Craigslist is more than the Internet's most popular online classifieds site. Craigslist is one of the most-visited sites in the United States, trailing only behemoths such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and YouTube. The site is all-encompassing. Whether a user wants to buy or sell real estate, a car, office furniture or his old iPhone after getting the latest version, he can find a suitable category on Craigslist. The site also features sections for jobs, dating and small business advertising. There is even a category where users can try to make a missed connection, such as finding that girl in the Camry he locked eyes with on Interstate 95.
For all its capabilities, Craigslist comes with a few notable drawbacks. For one, the site's sheer size works against users at times. Sellers in popular categories, such as real estate and automotive, complain that within 15 minutes of their posts going live, they are already relegated to the second page, having been supplanted by dozens of more recent ads from competitors. Craigslist has also long been a magnet for scam artists. Unscrupulous sellers often post fraudulent ads that look like great deals, but their intention is to extract and exploit financial information from naive and unsuspecting buyers.
Craigslist has been loath to update its interface in the decade-plus since its inception. While the site's simplicity remains popular among users tired of needlessly complicated websites with slow-loading graphics and auto-play videos, Craigslist has some features that could stand to be modernized. Most notable among these are users' ability to sort within categories based on price, distance, and other specifications. For these reasons, many online buyers and sellers eschew Craigslist in favor of several alternatives. The following sites represent the best alternatives to Craigslist as of 2015.
eBay Classifieds harnesses the power of eBay, the largest online auction site in the world and, incidentally, the sixth most popular website in the U.S., three spots higher than Craigslist, and channels it into a local classified site with a format similar to that of Craigslist. eBay launched the classifieds site under the name Kijiji in 2007 and, struggling to compete with the name recognition of Craigslist, rebranded it as eBay Classifieds in 2010.
This alternative offers buyers several advantages over Craigslist. First, its sort function is far more advanced and much easier to use. With a few clicks, a buyer can sort items within a category by price, distance or how recently the post was made. Thumbnail photos of the product accompany ad listings, saving buyers time since they can scroll right past ads with worthless stock photos or, worse, no photos at all.
eBay Classifieds also provides sellers with a few benefits Craigslist lacks. A Craigslist ad in most categories disappears from the site after seven days, although it typically becomes buried deep enough in the search results to become irrelevant long before that. On eBay Classifieds, ads stay live for 60 days. While an ad's general visibility steadily decreases over that time period, it still shows up in more targeted queries long after it is posted, thanks to the site's advanced sort and search functions.
Adoos is organized similarly to Craigslist. Its traffic is much lower, which can be disadvantageous to buyers since they have fewer products from which to choose. For sellers, however, it is a mixed bag. Lower traffic means fewer buyers searching for their products, but it also means less competition; ads receive more visibility and for longer durations.
One unique benefit of Adoos is users can search not only locally but also nationwide. This is helpful when seeking a product or service, such as editing or logo design, for which it is not necessary to buy from a local seller. Like Craigslist and unlike eBay Classifieds, Adoos features a section for personal ads, making it possibly the top Craigslist alternative for classified users seeking romance.
Adoos started in Spain and remains popular abroad. Travelers find the site very convenient when searching for products and services while in places such as South America, Western Europe, and South Africa.
Trove is a smartphone app that follows the format revolutionized by dating app Tinder. On Tinder, a romance-seeker creates a dating profile similar to how he creates a profile on a more traditional site, such as Match.com. When his profile goes live on the app, locals can find it in a list of potential matches, which they navigate by swiping their smartphone screen. Users swipe right when interested in a profile and want more information; they swipe left to move on to the next one.
Trove works similarly, only users are not looking for love; they are looking to buy and sell products and services within various categories. Potential buyers in those categories, similar to Tinder users, swipe right and swipe left based on interest level when an ad appears on the screen.
This is a great alternative to Craigslist for classified users on the go. Its mobile-optimized interface means very little typing or trying to click on tiny links is required to bring up a product on a smartphone screen.
While not a classified site, Facebook has enabled many of its users to buy and sell products more quickly and with more convenience and security than Craigslist. To sell something on Facebook, a user can simply post a status update with a picture of the item, a brief description, and the price. The user can request his friends to share the post with their own friend lists. Even if only a handful does so, the post's exposure can multiply quickly.
A lot of people are more comfortable selling on Facebook than on Craigslist or other classified sites because they are dealing with friends or, at worst, friends of friends, as opposed to strangers. News reports have featured documented cases of robberies and violence stemming from botched Craigslist transactions. Using a social media site to sell an item provides a layer of security and peace of mind not available on most online classified sites.