eBay-owned classified site Gumtree has been a great way to advertise on the internet for free. But – maybe – not for much longer. One of the largest sections on Gumtree in the UK is the property for rent section, and that’s just introduced fees.
Landlords with properties to let, or house-sharers, can now only advertise twice a year for free. After that, they’ll be charged £9.95 per property. Not so bad, perhaps. But what will hit a lot of Gumtree users very hard are the new charges for “bumping” adverts. Gumtree’s search results are ordered by newest listed, so if you want to keep your ad visible, you need to sign in to the site regularly and “bump” it back to the top. And that’s now going to cost you.
Outside London, it’s £2 a day; in the capital, it’s £7.14 a day – working out at just short of £50 a week for the daily bump it will need. The alternative is to sign up for an agent account at £50 a month – which seems expensive if you don’t have a property or two to advertise every month.
Gumtree have ramped up their marketing enormously in the last few months, not least with TV advertising, and it’s a reasonable assumption that eBay won’t let the rest of the platform run as a freebie forever. I know (with my non-TameBay hat on) a lot of landlords who’ve built entire businesses on the assumption that they’ll never have to pay Gumtree for their advertising. If you’re selling anything else on the site, assuming that you’ll always be able to do so for free, now might be the time to start looking at alternative strategies.