Gumtree, classifieds platform, has announced it will be offering users the opportunity to rate sellers, buyers and service providers that they transact with through the website and app. In the first phase of a major upgrade, Gumtree – which launched in 2000 and has been owned by eBay Inc since 2005 – will give customers the chance to provide feedback on their experiences of purchasing goods in the ‘For Sale’ category, by using an optional 5-star ratings system.
Gumtree is making the change to increase accountability and transparency between users on the site, and to instil greater buyer and seller confidence. The changes are highly requested in customer feedback and follows a phase of extensive research and testing. Offering user ratings is the latest update in a set of sweeping changes to the Gumtree platform. Stemming from a full site rebrand in 2016, other recent changes include a relaunched ‘Jobs From Gumtree’ category, and an integration between Gumtree Motors and eBay Motors.
In initial beta testing of the new ratings functionality, conducted in February 2018 against a sample of approximately 4,000 users, 70 per cent gave a full five-out-of-five star rating to the users they had met on Gumtree. The first phase of ratings is already available and visible to Gumtree users within the ‘For Sale’ category, and will soon be followed by the introduction of ratings across all other categories and the Gumtree app.
Matt Barham, General Manager, Gumtree UK says:
“ Introducing a ratings system is the next step in our evolution as we engage with our users and encourage them to have safe and fruitful experiences on the site. Gumtree is celebrating its 18th anniversary this month, and I am proud that as we did when we launched, we are continuing to challenge the traditional perception of the classifieds industry.”
The new experience will appear to users as follows:
Example of user showing a 4.5 star rating
Example of breakdown
Tony Neate, CEO, Get Safe Online said: “Get Safe Online always supports any active steps from organisations that help to build a safer internet, so this is a really positive move by Gumtree, especially as they are the leading classifieds in the UK. We know that trust and safety between users is key to having a positive online experience. We also know that giving users the ability to rate whether or not they had a good experience will mean that Gumtree is a much harder place for fraudsters to operate.”
Professor Angela Sasse, Professor of Human-Centred Technology, University College London – who partnered with Gumtree on its ‘Psychology of Scamming’ report says: “Feedback ratings are a way of users in a community sharing their experiences. Users not only feel more secure when they are able to check other’s experiences, but there is also evidence that such feedback deters what is known as ‘opportunistic fraud’ – basically honest community members being tempted to behave dishonestly to make a quick buck because they think everybody else does.”