Craigslist is the Internet's most popular online classifieds site. Whether you want to buy office furniture or sell an old iPhone, hire an employee or find a date, there's a category for that. Yet not everyone is enamored of the all-encompassing site. Here are some alternatives.
- While Craigslist remains the biggest and most popular online classifieds site, it has some competitors.
- Morphing from an auction to a selling model, eBay functions as a classifieds site; it also still has a Classifieds section.
- Adoos is a popular site around the world.
- Facebook has become a significant classifieds community, with its Facebook Marketplace.
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 also has been loath to update its interface in the decade-plus since its inception. While its 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.
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 listings that are searchable 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. 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.
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.
Though optimized to work well on smartphones and tablets, 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 internationally. 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.
Available in 60 nations, 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, the U. K., Western Europe, and South Africa.
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 & Sell Groups.
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.