Hoping to gain some ground in the online classified advertisements space, eBay announced Thursday a partnership with Rewarder, an online marketplace that lets users buy or sell their knowledge or expertise. Rewarder will allow users on eBay Classifieds to post “Wanted” ads to help find items or expertise across several eBay Classifieds categories.
Rewarder uses mapping and matching technology to quickly match a customer looking for help with someone willing to sell his or her knowledge. For example, when a person posts to look for help fixing a roof on eBay Classifieds, Rewarder will automatically share it across both platforms and send it to users who are best suited for the position.
“The combination of the eBay Classifieds and Rewarder communities will provide timely, trusted responses to posts and deliver a great customer experience,” Naresh Shety, the general manager of eBay Classifieds, said in a press release.
The obvious elephant in the room is Craigslist, where eBay formerly was a part-owner. eBay won a lawsuit against Craigslist in 2010, the same year it rebranded its internationally focused classifieds platform, Kijiji, as eBay Classifieds and launched it in the U.S. Craigslist has offered Wanted ads for a long time, so eBay Classifieds its hoping the functionality of Rewarder will offer added value for its own listings, though the company wouldn't answer why this functionality wasn't available in the past.
Kendall Fargo, the co-founder and CEO of Rewarder, told the International Business Times that the partnership will give eBay Classifieds users more opportunities to get what they need, and solve those needs faster. He claimed that there are more than 750,000 "experts" on Rewarded, and that 75 percent of requests are filled. eBay Classifieds users will be able to tap into this to post ads looking for expertise or items.
The partnership will also give eBay Classifieds the functionality of Rewarder’s iPhone app, which uses location technology to notify users when someone near them can use their expertise. Rewarder says more than 80 percent of its users use the iPhone app, and these users will start seeing and be able to respond to eBay Classifieds posts.
In Febuary, LinkedIn paid $120 million to acquire Bright.com, a service that uses an algorithm to match job seekers with employers. eBay is not purchasing Rewarder, but the matching technology sounds like a similar idea, only focused on finding items and expertise instead of full-time employment.