Gumtree, even the name sounds inviting. Gumtree South Africa is the South African division of a British Community website and classifieds website. Classifieds website is a website on which advertisements cut across all ranges.
The adverts are usually short and are grouped into ‘classes’, hence the name. These classes vary from services like plumbing to job vacancies, to items for sale and help wanted adverts. Like with most classified adverts, the adverts are either paid for or fee depending on the location of the product advertised.
Gumtree is considered one of largest websites in the United Kingdom, in the same vein, Gumtree South Africa is considered one of South Africa’s biggest classifieds Websites.
Founded in March of 2000 by Simon Crookall and Michael Pennington, the website has grown to connect many countries including helping South Africans who have recently arrived in a new city to find accommodation, meet new people and gain employment.
Cape Town Gumtree
Gumtree South Africa is currently the number one classifieds site in South Africa with ‘Gumtree Cape Town jobs’, ‘Gumtree Cape Town cars’ and ‘Gumtree jobs Cape Town’ being the highest searches on the website. This indicates that Gumtree is mostly used by those who are in Cape Town or moving to Cape Town to find jobs, accommodation and vehicles.
Gumtree jobs in Cape Town are easily accessible especially with its heavy presence on social media sites including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter which it uses to convey news, brand information and inform the public about promotions and competitions.
‘Gumtree Cape Town Cars for Sale’ is easily considered one of the most popular ‘classes’ in Cape Town as well as ‘Gumtree Cars Capetown’, revealing that Cape Town is the premier choice for automobile purchase in the country.
While buying and selling on Gumtree South Africa is usually free, users can however pay to have their advert visibility increased. This service is typically referred to as a ‘bump up’.
Controversies in Gumtree
The Gumtree UK was reported by the guardian, a well regarded UK Newspaper, to have many fall victims to high rent deposit scam. Here, a Landlord in London took advantage of his potential tenants by charging them a large amount to check their references after already collecting deposits.
To make matters worse, this was just one of many.
In April of 2008, another reputable news source – The Journal, reported that “Gumtree scams continue to target international students”. In a particular scam, the students were convinced by fraudsters to rent nonexistent apartments and homes through the sites.
Although a representative from Gumtree responded to the criticism in 2008, stating it was an ‘industry wide problem that affects a small number of their users’, the cause of controversy still remained active with different scams still persisting on the website.
In 2009, BBC News warned the public over a false landlord scam on the Site and on July 2010, a warning was issued by UK’s National Fraud Authority and it read: “Scam targets potential tenants on Gumtree. A number of would-be tenants have lost money after replying to a new wave of bogus adverts for rental accommodation on the website, Gumtree”.
Controversies Gumtree Cape Town
While Gumtree UK has unfortunately been drenched in controversies about fraudulent scams, Gumtree South Africa has equally not managed to stay clear of it. As recently as November 2015, a 23 year old woman was brought before the Pretoria Magistrate after allegedly defrauding the complaint of R32,735.
The complainant alleged that she deposited the amount into the suspect’s account as payment after seeing a great opportunity to buy and sell baby nappies from a company called NKE babies. However, it all proved to be in vain when the complainant started to ask about her order. After she reported the matter to the police, the suspect was arrested.
Even more harrowing is that in October, 2015, a young woman was caught trying to selling her 19 month old child for R5,000 on Gumtree, claiming she did not know it was illegal to sell the baby online, or even sell her baby at all.
The twenty year old woman revealed that she needed R25,000 to pay off her ex boyfriend for the maintenance and upkeep he spent on the child after he discovered he was not the father of the baby.
However, she also blamed her ‘low IQ’ for her poor decision making
Despite all these, with an increase in searches such as ‘Jobs in Cape Town Gumtree’ and ‘Gumtree South Africa Cape Town’, it shows many still have faith in the Gumtree brand in South Africa as many others have success stories to share.