The company’s new ‘Local Services Ads’ platform is being trialled in the UK and will allow plumbers, hairdressers, DJs and cleaners to serve their own ads to relevant customers in their area.

If an eBay user searches for a fridge, the new platform might show an ad for the services of a local plumber.

If searching for hair clippers, the service might display the ad of a local hairdresser.

“eBay wants to become a marketplace for services as well as products – and we think that this is a great place to start,” said the projects lead Bert Bassett.

“Our Local Services Ads will particularly help small service-based businesses to use our inventory to target local, relevant customers.

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“And crucially, we’re helping them reach users when they’re already in a buying mood, and when we know they’re in the market for a particular service, to deliver maximum ROI.”

 Its mobile app has been downloaded over 348 million times.

Businesses will be able to use eBay Local Services Ads by signing up for an account, with the option to upload their own ads to the self-serve platform, or alternatively use a standard native format supplied by eBay.

The local companies will be able to choose who they want to target, segment their audience by product category and searched keywords, location and various demographic categories.

eBay says it will have access to a detailed FAQ, tutorial videos and webinars, and will contact support services online for new users of the platform.