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Written by Rosalind Renshaw

Rightmove has warned agents that listing properties on eBay could be fraught with dangers.

Managing director Ed Williams spoke out after property portal PropertyIndex allegedly did a deal with eBay.

eBay has just launched a property search facility on its site, which has 20 million unique visitors a month – dwarfing all the leading property portals put together. All the properties placed there appear to have come from agents who use the pay-per-lead PropertyIndex service.

However, eBay will also accept private sellers’ listings on exactly the same terms.

Williams, who led a fight against Tesco’s attempt to break into the property portal market, said: “It seems that PropertyIndex is using agents listings as a Trojan horse by which eBay could effectively cut out agents from the sales process all together. We do not believe that PropertyIndex makes it clear to agents as to how they will use their properties.”

PropertyIndex chief executive  Lee Bramzell said Rightmove’s criticism was ‘desperate’.

He said: “It’s a reminder of the film The Village. Rightmove has started trying to scare estate agents in the village about the apparent dangers of life outside, so they think it’s safer to stay locked up in the house with Rightmove. Anything that gives estate agents greater exposure to the market is a major benefit for estate agents.”

He added: “Clearly, a major annoyance for Rightmove has been the arrival of a number of Rightmove staff at PropertyIndex.”

PropertyIndex has recruited some of the Rightmove sales staff made redundant at the end of last year.

The first was John Page, former Rightmove head of London sales who is now PropertyIndex’s head of UK field sales. Since then, Page has hired 12 former Rightmove sales staff, including a new Rightmove recruit who joined ProperyIndex this week.

PropertyIndex, launched last September, says it has had a 148% increase in estate agents joining in the last month, with over 6,000 agents now signed up.

Comments

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    Ebay I understand have a deal with propertyIndex.

    In my opinion, sellers have not been made aware in advance that PropertyIndex were going to be allowed to list over 150,000 properties in classified ad format.

    In my opinion, this should not be allowed. First, the PropertyIndex listings are in the same format as others, but since being introduced our viewing numbers have went down rapidly, i understand viewers have quartered, I think it’s now harder for people to find our listings.

    Ebay is flooded with over 150,000 PropertyIndex listings, every other seller of property will be affected, Ebay should have told sellers in advance that this may happen.

    This appears to be a bit of an anti competition issue, an unfair advantage because PropertyIndex paid over the odds in advance for the deal with Ebay. Other advertisers have banner ads and text ads, PropertyIndex have been given free reign over what they list, and against Ebay rules!

    Ebay rules only allow one listing per category for classified ad format, however because PropertyIndex paid (I presume) Ebay allowed PropertyIndex to list as many as they liked, i understand there is fury from UK estate agents who have not been made aware from PropertyIndex that they were to market the agents properties through Ebay.

    This is PropertyIndex and Ebay together slapping faces of original sellers who have worked hard to build their business on Ebay, and affecting buyers by not allowing them to find what they are looking for because Ebays property sections are now flooded with PropertyIndex listings.

    I am seeking legal advice on whether this is allowed under anti competition laws, and for damages.

    • 31 May 2009 23:54 PM
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    Good Luck to Ebay! every media has its place and if it works well, im sure more of us will be up there!! just wouldnt like to pay the sellers or paypal fees!!!

    • 10 May 2009 16:18 PM
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    " I understand that eBay is just 1 of over 100 websites that Propertyindex puts its agents properties on which all added together dwarfs the visitors that Rightmove, Propertyfinder etc gets. "

    ...and the source of this statistic is where, exactly?

    What numbers do these sites get?
    Who counted them?
    Were they independent of the websites themselves?
    What numbers do Rightmove get?

    • 09 May 2009 13:31 PM
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    Agent Orange, thats true, I agree 100%. However there will still be a LOT of exposure from eBay whichever way you look at it, which can only be good news for us agents. I understand that eBay is just 1 of over 100 websites that Propertyindex puts its agents properties on which all added together dwarfs the visitors that Rightmove, Propertyfinder etc gets. And by that I mean visitors who are looking for properties, and not CD's and books etc.

    • 04 May 2009 23:00 PM
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    eBay may well be getting traffic that dwarfs the portals, but I'll wager that not all of eBay's traffic is looking at the property category. How many selling categories does eBay have? Divide 20 million by the number of categories, and we might be getting close to the level of traffic that can be expected to be viewing property on eBay.... True, some categories will get above average traffic, some below, but.....

    When visitor traffic comes into the property portals, it comes there to look at property - not computer peripherals, CDs, Books, and then Property.

    • 02 May 2009 19:10 PM
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    EAT, the dedicated PropertyIndex promo machine.

    • 25 April 2009 23:30 PM
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    eBay listing property is nothing new in the UK. Agents have nothing to worry about, look at eBay in the US, Ireland or Australia and you will see the majority of properties are listed by agents with very few from private sellers. The hype is all rightmove scare tactics as they have been wrong footed by propertyindex who now in theory have a bigger audience without having to charge stupid rates to their agents. What next, rightmove advising agents not to advertise in newspapers because there maybe a few private sellers advertising there too?

    • 22 April 2009 14:15 PM
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    eBay listing property is nothing new in the UK. Agents have nothing to worry about, look at eBay in the US, Ireland or Australia and you will see the majority of properties are listed by agents with very few from private sellers. The hype is all rightmove scare tactics as they have been wrong footed by propertyindex who now in theory have a bigger audience without having to charge stupid rates to their agents. What next, rightmove advising agents not to advertise in newspapers because there maybe a few private sellers advertising there too?

    • 22 April 2009 14:15 PM
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    Right move did not lead the fight against tesco at all, It was an estate agent in derbyshire called Hannells who threatened them with court action with breach of copyright and then tesco stopped and fish for homes drowned pardon the pun

    • 22 April 2009 14:12 PM
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    E-Bay?.....Property Index?....Rightmove????? Oooo choices choices choices BUT surely it is better to A: Advertise where the audience is looking and B: Have the correct adverts - I have asked people where they look for property and I have not had a single person say PROPERTY INDEX or E-BAY but I suppose things cna change BUT I had a look on both and was naturally suprised to see a property in my area advertised as FOR SALE that I had actually SOLD & COMPLETED ON at the very begining of this month! Brilliant! - Naturally I will nto be rushing to call/Email either of these 2 firms to advertise my properties and will sadly have to continue to pay stupid money to Rightmove, FindaProperty & Primelocation as that is where I get the leads from! - Rightmove gets double sadly and no I do not work for Rightmove but glad to see that Globrix is pushing leads direct to my own site so I am rooting for those guys personally.

    • 22 April 2009 13:48 PM
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    Forget Tesco what about Walmart, we've just been aproached by Asda to list all our properties in their stores.

    • 22 April 2009 13:03 PM
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    eBay can only give further exposure - it can't compete with the value-add service which good agents give, and no sensible vendor is ever going to say "Ooh, look, eBay can sell my house!" Private sellers have, and will always, exist and should be ignored. Most (90%+) choose to use Estate Agents because they want service. No vendor will ever get "service" from a website. For that reason, I think it is a fantastic step taken by PropertyIndex to increase exposure of its clients' properties on one of the most famous websites in the world. Don't worry about private sellers, just focus on fantastic service to the vendors and landlords who understand the value agents give.

    • 22 April 2009 12:41 PM
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    Desperat times and all that...RM should have realised that had they been more in touch with the majority of their clients then most would have gladly offered RM loyalty rather than going elsewhere...as they have in droves. There will always be a
    need for Estate Agents local knowledge and experience and whilst we should be concerned most Vendors will probably still use Agents....although quite how many Agents will still be around when we get through this is unsure!

    • 22 April 2009 12:19 PM
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    I do think that it is a real worry what Propertyindex are doing. It is similar to what happened with Tescos and should promote similar outcry from agents. I don't care if Rightmove are knocked off their box but if it is by ebay and millions of people become used to using ebay as the main place to come for property, then that really would be yet another blow for estate agency; All the millions looking on Rightmove/Primelocation etc. would shift to ebay and suddenly selling Privately would become very easy. Hence why we should stand up to what Propertyindex is doing. We no longer list on Propertyindex.

    • 22 April 2009 12:19 PM
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    Re Omnibus property portal, are low-income bus-riding travellers the sort of people who have the salary to buy your properties for sale??!

    • 22 April 2009 12:07 PM
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    Offering a unique perspective on a locality, and by making the service available only at off peak times, omnibus property portal, to be available on top decks, addresses several key issues.
    1. It is socially cohesive.
    2. It is readily accessible .
    3. Captive 20m audience.
    4. Street view is always guaranteed to be current.
    5. Improved utilisation of existing fleet.
    6. No smoking upstairs.
    Omnibus Portal's C.E.O. Jenny Taylors offers exciting opportunities for prominent exposure on selected routes or across an entire depots fleet.
    Omnibus Portal promises to take property marketing right into the community .

    • 22 April 2009 11:55 AM
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    Fancy some cow pie Mr Williams? You are beginning to sound quite desperate yourself.

    • 22 April 2009 11:49 AM
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    A few months ago, I did indeed hear 'the word on the street' say that Tescos own property website was not down and out, and that it would indeed rise again.
    Surely ebay is a better place to gain huge exposure for agents properties. Look, people advertise their cars for sale privately on ebay too, but the likes of the AutoTrader website (and indeed the associated printed media)still seem to fair well. I think their is room enough for all. And of course, once private buyers start dealing with private sellers directly, they will see for themselves what liars & cheats they can be and will definitely WANT an agent to act as an intermediary next time round!

    • 22 April 2009 11:28 AM
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    I wouldn't be surprised if Tesco's didn't re kindle their Property Portal initiative. Anyone going to see comedian Mark Thomas on his "Stupid Economy 09 Tour". He is in Eastleigh, near Southampton this evening although this is sold out. He has even suggested that Tescos should be nationalised!

    • 22 April 2009 10:55 AM
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