Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Greg Collier 1:30 pm on January 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Animal Welfare, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Online ads, Puppies,   

    Geebo’s “No Pets” Policy: Animal Lovers Understand Why 

    Everyone loves a puppy – but you won’t find any for sale on Geebo.

    It’s not that we don’t love puppies. It’s because we love puppies, kittens and other animals that we won’t allow animals to be sold on our site. You see, we learned years ago about puppy mills, the commercial breeders that sometimes put profits over the welfare of the animals themselves, and made a decision that we would not provide a marketplace platform for these breeders.

    Now, a report released by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, finds that the majority of the puppies advertised for sale over the Internet are from commercial puppy mills where dogs are raised in unsanitary conditions without adequate food or water or even veterinary care.

    The organization tracked ads on a number of online sites and found that, among the hundreds of thousands of ads on those sites, the vast majority of animals were from mills. The group looked at a number of factors, including pups under eight weeks old being offered for sale, more than 20 puppies being advertised in a single post or the use of sale slogans such as “Christmas Pets.” In some instances, as many as 62 percent were believed to be from puppy mills.

    Certainly, we aren’t looking for validation for our business decisions in this report. But it’s a telling tale of what’s happening in the classifieds industry, all for the sake of money made from those advertisements. The report reads, in part:

    Dogs are not just another commodity to be purchased from an anonymous seller online. They are living, breathing, thinking creatures that can experience happiness and suffering. And the Internet is unfortunately a platform ripe for exploiting these animals. Remember that each click to purchase a dog over the Internet could be building incentive for a puppy mill breeder to continue their operations.

    Geebo is already known for taking strong stances around the types of ads we accept. We’ve called on other sites to follow our lead in taking steps to stop online human trafficking by refusing to accept personals ads. We consider this issue around the sale of puppies to be just as important.

    I realize that it’s unusual – or even unwise, from a business perspective – for the operator of a classified advertising site to refuse so many types of ads that could prove lucrative for the company. But I didn’t start Geebo to become a forum for the transactions of the underworld, a marketplace for any living creature, whether an immigrant forced into the world of slave labor or prostitution or a harmless pup who may someday bring joy to an animal lover – but is forced to live in cruel conditions until that day comes.

    If that means I lose business over my moral values, then so be it.

     
    • Erik Berry 2:00 pm on January 15, 2013 Permalink

      Good for you Greg! Puppy mills are run by greedy avaricious people and don’t deserve to use your platform for profit!

    • Alicia Shalhoup 3:58 pm on January 15, 2013 Permalink

      This is just another reason I love Geebo (and you!)!!

    • OCPoundhounds Small Breed Rescue 12:34 pm on March 7, 2013 Permalink

      Thank goodness you and your company is making a stand on dog “rehoming” adverts on Geebo!!

    • Sandra 12:28 am on June 8, 2013 Permalink

      So glad you do not let people post ad’s that are selling pets. :-):-)

    • Rosetta 5:43 am on August 14, 2013 Permalink

      Thank you for taking a stand against the exploitation of animal cruelty on your website! So wish many other organizations would follow suit!

  • Greg Collier 3:28 pm on January 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: acquisition, , , Oodle, QVC,   

    Can a Company Become Unique via Acquisition? 

    One of the keys to being successful in business is keeping an eye on your industry – and your competitors. Over the past several years, the classified ads industry, like so many others, has been through its own periods of challenging times. Some of the companies – Geebo included – have adopted new strategies or developed new partnerships to bring something unique to the playing field.

    Geebo, for example, partners with a site called wegolook.com so that buyers of big-ticket items listed in Geebo’s ads in other parts of the country can dispatch an inspector to take a closer look before the transaction is finalized. It’s a differentiator that helps make Geebo unique.

    For some time, I’ve been watching Oodle, a competitor that’s steadily been focusing its business model around social networking, specifically Facebook and its marketplace. Bringing buyers and sellers together via their online friends, as well as their friends of friends, was Oodle’s differentiator. And it seemed to be working for them.

    So, imagine my eyebrow raise when I read last month that Oodle was being acquired by QVC – yeah, that QVC, the shopping company. In blog posts, just as anyone might expect, both companies praise the deal, playing up each other’s strengths and how this will impact the growing world of social commerce.

    It’s definitely an interesting approach and one that probably still has a lot of potential to be shaped, re-defined and groomed.. But I will admit that I also wondered if this is a case of big company swallowing smaller company, tapping into the best of what it does and sacrificing the rest of it down the road. Certainly, I don’t know that to be true, but a post on Techcrunch last month suggested that QVC was especially interested in Oodle’s mobile platform – which would make sense. The question is how much of the rest of Oodle is QVC interested in. At some point we’ll find out.

    I’m a big believer in independence for a company, an investor-free approach that allows a founder-executive to call the shots for the long-term good of the company, instead of for the quick return. I only mention this because, Techcrunch also notes that, in an earlier interview, Oodle execs believed that, through social, they could compete with and possibly even become a major challenger to the biggest players in the classifieds business.

    Is that the way this will play out for Oodle now? Or will the dream that a small company once had be reduced to a bullet point on an annual corporate goals strategy presentation?

    Who knows how this will turn out? Like any good businessman, I’ll be watching to see what works and what doesn’t in my industry.

     
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