UK consumer portal Gumtree.com plans to expand into France and Germany over the next month as part of its strategy to create a pan-European classified ad forum.
The portal - which competes with sites like Loot and enables consumers to post listings for anything from flat-shares and cars to personals - is launching sites in Paris and Berlin.
If these sites prove successful, Gumtree director Michael Pennington said he plans to create sites for Milan and Rome in the near future.
“We launched a site in Warsaw in Poland last September to see if our model would work in other European markets and it has taken off pretty quickly,” he said.
He believes the fact that ads are free to view, no registration is necessary and there are no banner ads on the site makes it attractive to users. Gumtree is funded by recruitment ads, with employers being charged between £8 and £20 to place a listing.
French and German-speaking staff based in London will promote the site to employers in France and Germany, and companies won’t initially be charged for placing ads.