Walmart.com launches free classifieds

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has launched a free classifieds service on its Web site, Walmart.com.

The retailer began the classifieds service, which is in beta testing mode, to give customers another way to save money, said Ravi Jariwala, spokesman for Walmart.com, via e-mail.

Wal-Mart envisions customers using the classifieds to buy and sell items locally, find local jobs and learn about events in their area. The service “provides an expanded offering of products and services, the majority of which are not traditionally available from Wal-Mart,” Jariwala said.

The service “also further connects our community of 130 million customers who shop the Wal-Mart brand each week,” he said.

The Wal-Mart classifieds service is being powered by Oodle.

Wal-Mart is going up against Craigslist, the reigning online classifieds giant, and eBay's classifieds offering, Kijiji, which was launched last year. The two are currently embroiled in their own legal entanglements. In May, Craigslist countersued minority owner eBay for allegedly violating federal and state antitrust laws. It claims eBay attempted to use information from its 28% stake in Craigslist to benefit Kijiji.

EBay said the allegations are unfounded and an attempt to distract from eBay's lawsuit, filed in April, alleging that Craigslist leaders Craig Newmark and Jim Buckmaster engaged in a series of “clandestine transactions” intended to dilute eBay's stake unfairly.

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