Dubizzle starts charging for car adverts

Some users of the classified advertising website said they may be tempted to advertise their cars elsewhere.

ABU DHABI // Dubizzle has started charging a fee for people selling vehicles.

Since the classified advertising website was founded in 2005, the adverts had been free of charge.

However, the terms were changed on December 3, meaning users must now pay Dh199 for each vehicle advert.

“This change is part of our efforts to maintain and grow the UAE’s biggest open marketplace in the Middle East,” said Osman Bhurgri, Dubizzle product marketing manager of motors. “Our goal is to have every car listed on Dubizzle sold as soon as possible, with as little hassle as possible.”

He said the number of motor adverts had dropped slightly since the change, which was “natural and expected”.

“Users browse the site for free, so we do not see a decrease in the demand. We also have designated packages for car dealers to suit the bulk-listing nature of their businesses.”

For a month, a package costs Dh650 to post five car listings.

Mr Bhurgri said the company needed to provide constant customer support, invest in regular improvements and innovations on the site.

It also needed to ensure ads were viewed by as many potential buyers as possible.

“Overall the recovery process has been faster than anticipated, which is a very positive thing and a testament to Dubizzle’s leading position as the number one motors marketplace in the UAE, with the average car selling in two weeks,” he said.

With the new charges, the company will also push an advert to the top of the search listings to give it more exposure to receive faster results.

Despite the new policy, Dubizzle users have shown little change in attitude when it comes to using the site.

Fayyaz Ahmed, a manager at Reem Automobiles in Al Shamkha, said he did not mind paying.

“We have a contract which is Dh24,000 for 12 months, and we can add 25 car ads to the website. I don’t have an issue paying the amount because we don’t have walk-in customers. We sell cars all over the GCC because of Dubizzle,” he said.

Another user who did not want to be named said charging a fee was no problem.

“It was my first time and the terms were that I needed to pay the fee. I need to sell the car, so I paid,” he said.

But he said if he was to use the website again he would expect a discount as a returning customer.

M K, 28, said he used to always post ads on the website, and was not happy with the new terms.

“I used to post regularly on behalf of my family and friends, and I was attracted to Dubizzle because it was free. I am not willing to pay now. I will not have enough money,” he said. aalkhoori@thenational.ae

Published: December 26, 2014 04:00 AM

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