AdTrader - the free classifieds paper owned by Trader Media and therefore ultimately by Guardian Media Group - has joined the ranks of free UK digital classified providers with its very own Craigslist clone, this one with the delightful name Wooo - "we own our own". It’s evidently a marketing play, designed to build up traction and then
cross-sell into other Trader Media spaces (presumably AutoTrader in particular), and joins an ever-lengthening list of many such
ventures including Craigslist
itself, eBay’s Gumtree, Trinity Mirror’s
almost wholly unsuccessful AdZooks,
FridayAd’s fake-independent-startup Britlist and
NEP's (the regional press division of DMGT, my ultimate employer) rather nice Stuff4Sale.
I can't currently find more than a tiny handful of ads in any location, indicating that Trader Media is not taking the traditional shortcut of cross-listing its existing classified inventory to the new, free site. How then it intends to overcome the free classifieds chicken and egg dilemma - buyers won't come to the site unless there's something to buy, sellers won't come to the site unless there are buyers to see the listings - remains to be seen.