Etailer The Hut Group is attempting to disrupt the estate agency market by waiving all fees in April on the website of new acquisition Preloved.
It will be free for consumers to buy, sell and search for property on Preloved, the UK’s second classified advertisements website.
The Hut Group chief executive Matthew Moulding said: “Preloved has put the power back into homeowners’ hands by waiving all fees in its ‘Open House Month’ and with over 120 million visits to the site every year, it provides the ideal shop window for buyers and sellers to come together.
“Our group has a track record of disrupting key markets using data driven consumer insights to create leading global brands across beauty, weight management and sports nutrition and we are committed to similarly transforming the online property market.”
There has been much activity in the online estate agency market with Poundland co-founder Steve Smith launching EstatesDirect and Easyjet tycoon Stelios Haji-Ioannou setting up easyProperty.
Preloved has over 1.9 million active registered users and more than 120 million visits per year. Along with property and accommodation, it sells a wide range of goods such as pets, motoring, clothing and home and garden. It is second in the market after Gumtree.
The acquisition will enable The Hut Group, which has strength in the health and beauty sector, to cross sell to Preloved’s predominately female customer base.
Preloved’s “free to use” service means that website visits are mainly generated via direct and organic channels rather than being acquired.
The Hut Group plans to upgrade the Preloved website functionality and providing a more personalised experience.