Craigslist is a prevalent, American, Classified Advertisement platform. It was established in 1995 by Mr. Craig Newmark with a presence in over 700 cities across 70 countries. The forum follows a socio capitalistic model in which some services are charged while offering others for free. The primary source of revenue for Craigslist comes from classifieds posted by users in selected categories. The rates vary depending upon the type of advertisement, the geographical location, and the advertising plan the user opts for.
Craig Newmark started Craigslist as an email distribution service sharing information about local events in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995. It became a web-based service in 1996 and gradually increased its scope of activities and geographies covered over the years. It operates in more than 70 countries in more than seven languages. The goal of Craigslist remains to earn profits while at the same time providing humanitarian service to the global community. They have recently made themselves available as a mobile app on iOS and Android.
When did Craigslist start charging?
Craigslist started charging customers for paid Job listings in 2004.
- According to information published on their website, they charge between USD 10 – 75 for job postings in the US. The charges vary depending upon the location.
- They charge 5 USD for apartment rentals in certain US Cities and 5 USD for commercial real estate and postings by owners and dealers of Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, Etc.
- Gigs are charged anywhere between USD 3-10 depending upon the location.
- Postings for services are also charged 5 USD per posting.
- Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted as valid modes for payment.
Recent Changes on Craigslist Charges
Most of the classifieds posted on Craigslist were free until recently but gradually changing. On March 15, 2018, ads posted in the services and the Gigs section on Craigslist started getting charged. The user-to-user advertisements of Cars and personal vehicles were free until April 2019, but beginning April 15, 2019, Craigslist has introduced a charge of USD 5 for such listings. Several contradictory views about why Craigslist started charging end users for these services. A section of the community believes that the company wants to make more profits, but that may not be the case.
Why were the Charges were introduced?
Until recently, Craigslist was being misused by many spammers and cheaters. Since listings were free, craigslist fake listings were increasing. Civic offenders could post listings without losing anything and without the threat of being traced. Also, there was a threat of spam being posted by competitors, although this cannot be proved in a court of law.
Craigslist has managed to kill three birds with one stone. The three benefits of the charges on Craiglist are:
- With the changes coming in place, only genuine sellers will post their requirements or products on Craigslist as they stand to lose 5 dollars for every posting.
- Also, it becomes possible to trace the seller or the person who posts the listing using his credit card number.
- Buyers will benefit because they will get to see genuine listings and won’t be cheated.
How do I post a free ad on Craigslist?
- To post a free ad on Craigslist, you can visit their website at craigslist.org.
- Ensure that the location mentioned at the top is where you want to publish your ad. If the area is not correct, check the list of available sites and select the most appropriate one.
- Click on “Post to classifieds” in the top left corner. Select the category of your post.
- You can then enter the text of your post. In some types, you may find the option to add images. Make sure that everything is in place.
- You will then have to confirm your post via email. Open your email via craigslist and click on the confirmation link.
That’s it, and your free ad has been posted.
How long does a Craigslist ad last?
The expiration period of a free ad varies from 7 days to 45 days depending upon the location and category. Paid ads expire in 30 days, and the expiration date of ads related to Events depends upon the Event organizer.
Categories on Craigslist
Some of the main categories on Craigslist include, For Sale, Jobs, Housing, Community, Services, Gigs, Resumes, Discussion Forums, and Event Calendar. Since Craigslist is a privately held company, it does not have to disclose its financial statements publicly. It was, however, reported that in 2016, the company’s revenue was around 700 million USD, and the Net Income was stated at USD 500 million. The company had about 50 full-time employees at the time.
Rules for posting on Craigslist.
Craigslist designs specific rules to enhance user experience.
- An advertiser can post an ad in one category and one city, only once in 48 hours.
- Craigslist does not encourage posting the same ad in multiple locations. The ad should be published in the area nearest to the advertiser.
- Users can advertise the services they offer only in the services offered section.
- Posting ads on behalf of others is not encouraged.
- Offer for Sale postings with links to auction sites like eBay is prohibited. Advertisers are allowed to edit and delete their postings.
Is it safe to sell/ buy on Craigslist?
While selling products and services, sellers should choose cash as the only mode of payment. It is not safe to accept personal or cashiers cheques as they can be bounced or fabricated. Also, money orders can be fabricated. Also, users must ensure that their personal information, like address banking information, is not shared with anyone. Users must protect themselves against identity thefts, phishing emails, and websites. Meet the counterparty only at a safe public place. Also, do not share personal or private information with anyone you meet via craigslist. Buyers must take precautions to ensure the authenticity and credibility of the purchased products.
Future of Craigslist
With over 250 million unique visitors, an average of 10 pages per visit, and 8 minutes spent on the website per visitor in February 2022, Craigslist ranks number one among all classified advertising platforms in the USA. With Founder Craig Newmark and CEO Jim Buckmaster holding on to their seats and digital advertising gaining in strength with each passing year, the future looks bright for Craigslist.
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