In 1995, Craigslist was the new go-to place for online classified ads. Fast forward to the 21st century, and while the e-commerce giant is still going strong, it is easy to find a Craigslist alternative for anything you might want to buy or sell. And in terms of finding a job, date, or a new roommate, there are safer and easier-to-navigate online alternatives to Craigslist.

Whether you want to sell your car, buy new patio furniture, find a designer gown, or a new babysitter for your kid, there are mobile apps and e-commerce marketplaces devoted to entire categories of products and services. Whittling down your options might seem overwhelming at first, so we've rounded up 10 alternatives to Craiglist to help you buy, sell, and hunt for all the things you need or want from a new home to new help.

Key Takeaways

  • While Craigslist remains one of the biggest online classifieds sites, there are many Craiglist alternatives.
  • Morphing from an auction to a selling model, eBay functions as a classified site; it also has a classifieds section.
  • Due to scammers hitting Craiglist, specialized housing sites like Apartments.com, Zillow, and Trulia are often safer alternatives for finding a rental or home to buy.
  • Facebook has become a significant classifieds community, with its Facebook Marketplace.

Craigslist Drawbacks

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 they intend to extract and exploit financial information from naive and unsuspecting buyers.

While Craigslist's simplicity remains popular (you can search by town, city, state, and country) among users, the site has some features that could stand to be updated. Most notable among these are users' ability to sort within categories based on price, distance, and other specifications. In addition, the interface template design hasn't changed much since its inception. In 2019, the company added a basic app but its no-frills design is extremely similar to the website.

If you are looking for a date or a companion, you won't find it on Craiglist. The company discontinued its personal ads in 2018.

1. eBay Classifieds

The largest buy/sell site in the world launched the classifieds site under the name Kijiji in 2005 in Canada. The site launched in the U.S. in 2007 and was rebranded as eBay Classifieds in 2010. The site closed in the U.S. in 2016, but eBay Classified Group continued to operate sales sites internationally. In 2020, eBay began soliciting bids to purchase the eBay Classified Group. Still, users can also create Classified Ads, which are searchable listings from eBay's homepage. Categories range from travel to funerals.

This alternative offers buyers several advantages over Craigslist. First, its sort function is far more advanced and much easier to use. A buyer can sort items within a category by price, distance, or how recently the post was made with a few clicks. 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.

Notably, eBay Classifieds also provide 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 30 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. eBay is easy to use, and the site provides helpful seller and buyer information like ratings and positive feedback to help you navigate away from potential scams.

2. Facebook Marketplace

While not a strictly classified site, Facebook has enabled many of its users to buy and sell products more quickly and with more convenience and security than Craigslist. It has two options: Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Buy and Sell Groups. To sell something on Facebook, a user can 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.

Many 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 security layer and peace of mind not available on most online classified sites.

3. Poshmark

Selling used clothing and accessories or buying them because it is an environmentally conscious and affordable way to update your wardrobe, Poshmark, is a one-stop e-commerce shop. You can sell or purchase items for pets, kids, men, women, and your home. Think of it as an online consignment shop with hundreds of brand-name items, like Nike, Calvin Klein, Coach, and Chanel.

Poshmark has over 70 million community members across the U.S., Canada, and Australia, with over 200 million sale items. It's easy to list your own items for sale by uploading an image onto the app with its sale price. The company provides its sellers with a pre-addressed, free label to use when you send the product to the buyer, and you can have the box picked up for free or drop it off at a USPS mailbox. Unlike simply listing an item on Craiglist, you pay Poshmark a fee in the form of a flat commission ($2.95 for anything under $15) or 20% of your total sale price of an item above that amount. Its end-to-end platform makes it an easy way to buy or sell a wide variety of fashion and home-related products.

4. Apartments.com

If you are looking for an apartment online, this site has a lot to offer, from a positive reputation in the rental market and a tool that allows you to search specific neighborhoods, and you can also search by keyword. There are literally millions of listings. The website has a wealth of online tools, like 3D interactive tours of apartments to information on market trends, neighborhood schools, and other useful information for potential renters. The site boasts of 1.1 million apartments for rent at any given time and allows you to drill down on what you need, from a pet-friendly walk-up apartment to a luxury condominium.

If you want to rent your apartment out, the site can help you lease it online, whether you are an individual property owner or the owner of multiple apartment buildings. Craiglist still does a hefty business in rentals, and landlords or people searching for roommates can post their available apartment or room on the site. Still, Craigslist doesn't always vet posters carefully, and the tools (and likely peace of mind) offered by alternatives like Apartments.com may not be able to compete.

5. Indeed.com

Nearly every kind of job, from freelance work to full-time opportunities, is listed on Indeed.com, and this alternative to Craiglist's job postings is a full-scale job-hunting website. You can post your resume and ask to be matched to potential employers, and there is a corresponding app so that you can job hunt from your mobile phone or laptop, too. Indeed offers many tools to help you with your job hunt, including reviews of companies, an online career guide, plus a search tool that lets you track down salaries.

6. Match.com

Craiglist discontinued its personal ads in 2018, and even then, the lack of vetting and oversight made it a potentially risky way to meet your date or future mate. The number of dating apps has soared in the last decade from Bumble to Tinder (also owned by the Match Group) as online dating became the norm, especially among millennials. However, Match.com earned PC magazine's vote as one of the best dating apps for 2021, with a monthly fee of $44. It costs more than some of the newer apps. Still, its positive user ratings (it was founded in 1993) may be worth it if you are looking for a relationship rather than a quick rendezvous.

7. Zillow

You can buy, rent, or sell a home on Zillow, plus find useful tools and tips for house hunting, finding a mortgage lender, real estate agent, or even an interior decorator. The browsing feature on Zillow allows you to search multiple listings in your desired town, city, or state ranked by price, lot size, number of rooms, and other settings.

Zillow can help you find a real estate agent to show you the home, and some listings offer a virtual 3D tour. This alternative to house hunting on Craigslist, which sellers sometimes limited information, offers a level of professionalism and tools and expert advice needed for such a serious business transaction. Besides, the sheer volume of homes, townhouses, and condominiums available on Zillow make it house hunters' virtual paradise.

Etsy.com is a great alternative to Craiglist for browsing and buying vintage and antique items without having to leave your home to attend an advertised garage or yard sale in-person.

8. Caravana

Buying a used car online may be a bit of a gamble, but Caravana provides a 360-degree view of cars online (all accident-free vehicles) and will deliver your ride right to your home. You can purchase one of Caravana's cars by financing it, trade-in your car as a down payment, or pay outright in cash. The company also offers a seven-day test to own and a 100-day warranty. According to its website, 80% of customers choose to finance their purchase with Caravana, but you can also use a third-party lender. Caravana allows you to search their inventory with filters for make and model, features, price, fuel efficiency (yes, they offer electric cars), and more to help you narrow down on the best car for you.

You can also sell or trade your car on Carvana by sharing details about the vehicle. Potential sellers will receive a firm offer after their application is reviewed, and a representative from the company will come to your house, review the vehicle, and hand you a check or a trade-in car.

9. Care.com

An alternative to Craiglist for finding a babysitter or child care provider is Care.com. Founded in 2007, Care.com provides a platform for caregivers and families seeking help. Care.com offers connections for those in need of child care, senior care, special needs care, pet care, housekeeping, and tutors, complete with background checks. Those working in caregiving fields can use care to access jobs and benefits, plus tools to help them job hunt and find colleagues within an online community. Families can search for local caregivers by signing up for a basic (free) or premium account (an annual fee of $156) with Care.com.

10. Etsy

When e-commerce marketplace Etsy opened its virtual doors in 2005, it was embraced as an online community for crafters, hobbyists, and artists. Fans of vintage items and heirlooms found bargains as well on Etsy. The site has expanded in the last 16 years into a sprawling market where you can buy and sell original, handmade home goods, toys, clothing, vintage and antique items, and original artwork and materials for crafting your own projects.

Sellers can list their wares for 20 cents per listing and are hit with 5% of the price and shipping costs as a transaction fee for using the Etsy.com platform. Shoppers can use the e-commerce site's easy-to-navigate search options and check-out tools like Etsy's Editors' Picks. And there are specialized categories like Black-owned Etsy shops, Gifts Under $30, and Etsy Weddings, and the marketplace is used by millions of entrepreneurs and shoppers worldwide.

Craigslist Alternative FAQs

Is There an Alternative to Craigslist Personals?

Craigslist hasn't run personal ads since 2018, but the online dating market is saturated with alternatives. Match.com, Bumble, and Tinder.com are three popular dating sites where subscribers can post a personal profile, letting others know what they are seeking, whether it is a potential spouse or a casual encounter.

What Replaced Craiglist for Dating?

Craigslist didn't replace its personal ads, but there are plenty of online dating apps and websites available online, as mentioned above. Some are free, and others you pay a fee for posting your profile.

Is Letgo Better Than Craigslist?

Letgo is a mobile app purchased by OfferUp in 2020. It no longer exists as a stand-alone site or app but was absorbed by OfferUp. This site claims it is the "largest mobile marketplace in the U.S, with over 90 million app downloads and millions of buyers. "

The marketplace OfferUp is a mobile app versus an actual website like Craiglist.org and allows sellers to create profiles of themselves to utilize selling and buying. Is it better than Craigslist? OfferUp is a robust online marketplace with an easier and more modern interface and experience than its competitor, Craigslist.

Do People Still Use Craigslist?

Absolutely. You can search your local area on Craigslist and find used furniture, cars, rentals, and even jobs. However, because so many Craiglist alternatives exist, it is no longer a one-stop shopping powerhouse when it made its debut in 1995.

Why Does Craigslist Charge $5?

Posting on Craiglist is actually free in some categories. For example, if you want to sell your grandmother's china, the post is free to put up on Craigslist. If you want to rent your Boston-based apartment, it will cost you $5 to put up an ad. And if you are posting about jobs, it could cost you anywhere from $3 to $75. In most cases, Craiglist only charges for ads posted by auto dealers, or realtors in commercial real estate, and folks posting about short-term gigs and job opportunities.

The Bottom Line

Craigslist is an online marketplace contender, but there are many alternatives to it in 2021 to buy and sell goods and services. And If you want to go beyond e-commerce, consignment stores and used bookstores continue to be popular places to sell your stuff.

The job boards on Craiglist may not be able to complete with LinkedIn and Indeed for job hunters, and even gig opportunities can be found online on sites like Fiverr and TaskRabbit without having to wade through Craiglist posts. In the mid-90s, Craiglist may have the go-to for finding a rental or a home to buy, but with Trulia, Apartment.com, Zillow, and other sites like them, it is much easier (and some might say safer) to find a place to live via a specialized site than Craiglist.

This old-school e-commerce experience may be more useful for finding local, used home goods (think, used outdoor furniture or firewood) than a new roommate, babysitter, or job.