Craigslist has been eating the lunches of sites offering private auto sales. This past June, Cars.com pulled up a chair at its own lunch counter.

Its new private-party site is called Freebo.com – which stands for “free by owner.” (See CI Update, June 12.) Its price point is free, vs $20-$55 on Cars.com.

Freebo.com uses the same underlying technology as Cars.com, but offers more limited options for users to post cars for sale, and presumably less visibility than the high-traffic Cars.com.

Freebo clearly could become a direct competitor to Cars.com, but CEO Mitch Golub thinks there’s a distinct audience for Freebo that’s different from Cars.com’s audience.

“We believe there are two marketplaces,” Golub told CIR. “There are people selling cars $10,000 and above, and willing to buy into the right environment. And there are people selling for $10,000 and less – those are the people attracted to Craigslist.

We’re building them a safe and secure environment to buy and sell a car.”

In other words, Golub believes security will be the differentiator that separates the free offerings of Craigslist and Freebo.

“We know our Cars.com product is very strong technology,” he said. “Almost as important is the anti-fraud service behind the scenes.”

Marketing two products for selling a car – one free and one paid – could be tricky.

 “We’re going to be doing a lot of testing (of marketing approaches) over the next six months,” Golub said. “We have to be very creative in our marketing approaches – including some guerrilla marketing online and offline.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email