eBay Ditching Kijiji in Favor of eBay Classifieds

Online auction giant eBay has been angling for Craigslists‘ online classifieds business for years, and while it’s own online classifieds service Kijiji has found some success overseas, it’s never caught on in the United States. So now eBay is rebranding the service as eBay Classifieds…and hopes to lure in folks to its services with mobile applications that enable users to view ads and post items for sale using their mobile devices. It also plans to have an iPad app ready to go April 3.

ebay ditching kijiji in favor of classifiedsstatement. “eBay Classifieds sets a new standard in the U.S. classifieds market, offering a trusted local community selling format for items that don’t make sense to sell on eBay marketplace, or when selling locally is preferable.”

Craigslist has managed to out-maneuver eBay by providing buyers and sellers a way to deal locally, avoiding shipping hassles, jacked-up “handling fees,” escrow services, and the ever-present question of trust on eBay. That’s not to say Craigslist deals are always peachy or on the up-and-up—plenty of fraud has taken place via the service—but may users are more comfortable dealing with buyers and sellers face-to-face and actually seeing the merchandise, rather than bidding on grainy digital photos. eBay Classifieds aims to tape into teh same market, and introduces improvements on Kijiji that should make it easier for users to search for items. eBay Classifieds will also dodge some controversy surrounding Craigslist by not accepting ads for adult items or services.

eBay owns a minority stake in Craigslist; the two are still engaged in a bitter court battle, with Craigslist accusing eBay of misusing confidential information to develop Kijiji.

eBay is also rolling out two new iPhone applications: a new eBay selling app for iPhone enables users to take pictures of an item and have it listed on eBay in “60 seconds or less,” while a new Ebay Classifieds application enables users to search and post classified ads.