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What Comes After craigslist?


01 Jul What Comes After craigslist?

I like craigslist. I’ve used it several times for both buying and selling big ticket items without the costs associated with eBay or even my local classifieds. The success is due to two things: it’s free (mostly) and it has a large community of users.

The big problem for me is the user-interface. I don’t know of any other successful website that has done less in 15 years. Granted, it seems to work for this giant, but aren’t we ready for the next craigslist?

Here’s what I want to see in a classifieds website:

  • Help me sell my items. There are billions of things you can sell, but it would be really cool if there was a system that helped create your ad by asking you questions about the product/service. For instance, if I was selling my wood dining room table I would select a furniture category, choose table from a drop-down, then maybe specify dining room table, then specify the material, then how many chairs, add some photos (more than four if I’d like), and finally some open-ended comments. Half of the battle of posting is coming up with the ad.
  • Help me find specific items. If sellers chose from a specific set of questions, then I would have more to search from. If I wanted a red, woman’s, 10-speed bicycle, then I can search for that through elimination lists.
  • Stop the scams (or at least the majority), before they are listed. Does it mention eBay motors? It doesn’t get posted. Is there lots of bad grammar, it gets reviewed, first. If there are words or phrases that continuously get marked as scams, then there should be a warning system to let users know or for moderators to review.
  • Prettier. I want beautiful navigation, search pages and listings.

Now all of this will cost money and I don’t mind the classified making money from advertising. Craigslist turned down banner ads. Ads are not the problem, layout is the problem. If I can’t find what I’m looking for, relevant ads might be exactly what need.

There are a few alternatives to craigslist out there. I haven’t reviewed these, yet, but might do that soon.

  • eBay Classifieds – Will eBay Classifieds take out craigslist? With eBay’s minority ownership in craigslist, and as it’s biggest competition, it seems like an antitrust case waiting to happen. Otherwise, they have the resources to be the next leader in online classifieds.
  • Oodle – Looks promising and lots of rave reviews. I’ll have to try it out. (Sidenote: MySpace Classifieds are wrapped into Oodle.)
  • Facebook Marketplace – Facebook might take over the world. The marketplace is not brilliant, yet, but I can see this taking off since so many people spend lots of time on Facebook already.
  • Yellow Pages – Focused on services and brick and mortar businesses.
  • Classified Ads – Paid ads take up a large amount of screen real estate.
  • Backpage – Very similar to craigslist, with a smaller community.
  • USFreeAds – Possibly uglier than craigslist.
  • Domestic Sale – Small community.

What online classified features do you want to see?

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