The UK-based company didn’t give a specific reason for its closing, but hinted that it was focusing on its other overseas websites.
In its letter, it said it was constantly reassessing its Gumtree sites around the globe and that it is “unable to continue supporting the Gumtree New Zealand site.”
However, a local buy and sell website called Post a Note is eyeing up the online marketplace.
The company is keen to fill the hole left by Gumtree, says Post a Note’s general manager Nathan Weathington.
“I doubt we had anything to do with Gumtree’s closing, but I will say we are pretty excited to bring this business back to New Zealand,” he says.
Allied Press Ltd, an Otago-owned media company, became the majority shareholder of Post a Note in January.
Like Gumtree, Post a Note distinguishes itself from Trade Me by being a free service for buyers and sellers, although it is not an auction site.
Sellers set the price of an item and a buyer contacts them to sort out a purchase price.
Its point of difference from Gumtree is that it is a South Island-based company that only operates in New Zealand.
Post a Note’s Canterbury community manager, Lynnette Diaz, says this gives the company the upper hand over international companies.
“Being local and community focused has really helped,” Diaz says.
“People know we are not just another overseas, faceless website. Post a Note employs people all over New Zealand and spends money in the community, the same as any other local business. We just happen to be a website.”
The website has similarities to Facebook’s buy and sell community groups, which are increasingly popular.
A closed Auckland group called Auckland – Buy/Sell/Trade has 30,927 members, while an Otago group called Otago Buy Sell Swap And Exchange has 10,478 members.
Post a Note’s Otago community manager, Haley McKay, says the advantage of Post a Note is community managers monitor the site to and keep it free from the dramas of sites that aren’t moderated, like Facebook.
Gumtree says new ads are no longer being accepted on the site and any pre-existing ads will stay active until the site shuts down on 10 March.