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Once upon a time, if you wanted to buy a used car, purchase a dishwasher for cheap, or get a trampoline for your kids that didn’t break the bank, you pored over the classified ads in your local newspaper.
But all that changed in 1995, when Craigslist came into being—seemingly out of nowhere.
For better or worse, it revolutionized the way people do their buying and selling.
It’s been 25 years since the platform first catapulted into the public consciousness.
And during that time, the site has been a mecca both for sellers who have merchandise to get rid of and buyers desperate to get a great deal.
These days, Craigslist continues to be massively popular.
As far as Internet sites go, it only trails slightly in popularity behind such Internet leviathans as Facebook, Google, and YouTube.
Craigslist, the originator of the “the collective virtual garage sale,” has pioneered so many innovations we now take for granted.
For example, it was one of the first companies to try their hand at replicating a real-world business in cyberspace.
Which of course, was taking newspaper classified ads and building a digitally-based business around them.
It’s been able to survive when so many other dot.com companies bit the dust.
One of the reasons for its unprecedented popularity is its super easy-to-use interface that organizes ads by geographic area.
When Craigslist first did this in the 90s, this was nothing short of revolutionary.
And even in this age of self-contained online marketplaces, there are advantages to using classified ads to buy your merchandise.
One of these advantages is you don’t have to pay service fees or worry yourself sick because you gave a company your financial information.
However, this means you’ll have to expend lots more effort to close a deal.
And if you end up getting fleeced, Craigslist most likely won’t be coming to your emotional rescue.
Problems with The Site
Craigslist is a mess, and everybody knows it.
The design of the site is very primitive, harking back to the earliest days of the Internet.
Recently, all kinds of problems have plagued the site.
One of the issues is that within minutes of posting your listing, it gets buried deep down on the second, third, or even fourth page of search results.
This makes it difficult for prospective buyers to see it, resulting in missed sales opportunities.
Because of this, sellers have been disappointed that their profit-making capability has dropped precipitously.
And increasingly, it’s been a haven for all sorts of fraudsters.
These are people who love to prey on the naivete of the unsuspecting.
Because of this, scams are rampant, and site administrators are often slow to respond.
Yet another problem is that the site vehemently resists external pressure to modernize.
This means that it hasn’t exactly changed with the times, making it something of a technological dinosaur.
For some people, this is a plus.
That’s because, for these users, Craigslist’s insistence on being blessedly free from flashy graphics, auto-playing videos, and other techno gimmickry is like a welcome sprinkle of rain in the arid desert that is the Internet.
Does Craigslist Really Want to Stay Relevant?
Craigslist released its first mobile app in December—eleven years after the birth of the Apple app store.
Over the years, there have been many third-party apps.
But this is the first-ever official one.
It makes you wonder how invested Craigslist is in staying relevant!
Explore the Unknown
Even with all these red flags, you might still be using Craigslist instead of seeking out other sites like Craigslist to hawk your wares.
Maybe that’s because you’re used to it and don’t want to plunge into the unknown to explore other options.
I don’t blame you, because it can be scary to try something new.
But don’t worry, because I’ve checked out some of these other options for you.
So, read on and find out the “pros” and “cons” of each one.
After you hear what I have to say, you might find yourself ready to try one of these alternatives.
Who knows—you might find that these alternative sites work much better for you than Craigslist ever did.
If that’s the case, I will have done my job, and I can die a happy man (not really).
I’ll go into exhausting detail with some of these websites like Craigslist because they deserve more than cursory attention.
But others I give short shrift, either because they’re either too generic or scammy to devote a lot of time to.
So, join me as I give you the rundown on the best of the Craigslist alternatives–including a few you should definitely avoid.
The Benefits of Buying Local
I’m a huge believer in hyperlocal buying and selling, which is doing all your trading with people who live close by.
This helps cultivate a sense of community, and maybe even allowing you to forge some new friendships in the process.
This is an antidote to the corporatization of America, where big companies swallow up mom and pop shops, and there’s seemingly a Walmart on every corner.
This capitalism run amok is eating away at the nation’s soul and making our merchandising cold and impersonal when it should be anything but.
Hyperlocal buying and selling seeks to reverse all that.
Another reason for doing your trading with local buyers and sellers is that you get to eyeball what you’re about to buy before buying it.
This saves you the inconvenience of having to ship it back if you don’t like it.
Plus, you help to stimulate the economy of your city or town instead of sending your money far away.
Lastly, you’re being more environmentally friendly because you’re not paying a company to ship your merchandise clear across the country.
So, without further ado, here are 21 alternatives to Craigslist that could enhance your online buying and selling experience:
1. Your Personal Facebook Page
Lots of people are much more comfortable selling on Facebook than they ever would be on Craigslist.
That’s because there have been highly publicized crimes by people who used Craigslist as a way to carry them out.
You can even sell something on Facebook using a simple status update.
To do this, post a photo of the item you want to sell along with a compelling description.
And then, with the awesomely exponential power of social media, hope that your listing will be shared far and wide.
2. Facebook Marketplace
Increasingly, people are harnessing the power of Facebook to buy and sell goods.
That’s because these days, almost everybody has a Facebook account.
So, it’s only natural that a whole lot of stuff ends up getting traded there.
Facebook Marketplace is safer than Craigslist because buyers and sellers are required to use their public profiles.
This cuts down considerably on scheming scammers and fraudulent phishers.
Much of this trading takes place on Facebook Marketplace.
To go there, simply click “Marketplace” on the left-hand side of your home page.
When you do, you’ll see all the merchandise in your local area people are selling.
If you want to zero in on specific merchandise, enter a search term in the box at the top of the page.
For example, I used to do cross country skiing when I was much younger.
Lately, I’ve been thinking of resurrecting my old hobby.
So, I entered “cross country skis” in the search box, and dozens of possibilities popped up with prices ranging from $10 to $150.
Here are the exact steps to post a listing on Facebook Marketplace:
- ADD A PHOTO: Unlike some selling sites, Facebook Marketplace doesn’t charge for posting more than one photo. Add as many visually arresting images as you can to a listing on Facebook Marketplace so that potential buyers know exactly what they’re getting. The limit is 10.
- ADD YOUR TITLE: Next, add your title. It can’t be more than 100 characters. Makes sure it informs sellers precisely what the item is.
- CRAFT A KILLER DESCRIPTION: Next, add a description for your item. Add as much relevant detail as possible, so that you whet buyers’ appetites for what you’re hawking.
- SLAP A PRICE ON IT: Try to come up with a price that’ll give you a nice profit without gouging anyone. Once you decide what that is, Facebook will list it in your local currency.
- ADD THE CATEGORY: There are a whole bunch of categories to list your item under. Pick the one that seems to fit what you’re selling.
- ADD THE LOCATION: Add the location where you’re selling the item from. This way, people will know how far they must travel to pick it up.
If you follow all these steps correctly, Facebook will set your item to active so it’ll be visible to people.
Congratulations—you’ve just posted your first listing on Facebook Marketplace!
3. Private Facebook Groups
There are also private groups you can join to get rid of all that stuff that’s just hanging around your house collecting dust.
I live in Pittsfield, MA., and my local group is “Tag sales of the Berkshires.”
But if you join one of these groups, familiarize yourself with their rules.
You don’t want to get kicked out because you forgot to check out the guidelines before offering your junk for sale.
In my private group, these rules are listed in the “Files” section.
One of these regulations is that desktop users are limited to five listings per hour.
The day I checked the site out, I saw some fabulous lamps with a tiki floral print on the shade.
Since I’m obsessed with all things tiki, I might just have to plunk my money down and buy them!
In my opinion, Letgo is a hip redo of the woefully archaic Craigslist.
It’s what you’d get if you took your frumpy old cousin and gave her a stunning new makeover.
It’s definitely an upgrade of its much older competitor, and Google even listed Letgo as one of the best apps of 2016.
If you want to see for yourself how much better it is than Craigslist, take it out for a test drive.
Letgo is one of the fastest-growing of all apps for hyperlocal buying and selling.
It’s been downloaded over 100 million downloads since it was first offered.
Lots of people report that they get a lot more responses with this app than they ever got with Craigslist.
Its entire raison d’être is based on the observation that “the stuff we own isn’t the stuff we need to live the life we want.”
One great thing about the service is that there are zero buying or selling fees.
Another is that everything is beautifully organized into neat little and pleasing-to-the-eye categories such as Cars,” “Electronics,” and “Used Movies, Books, and Music.”
It’s much safer to use than Craigslist because, unlike Craigslist, you have to use Google or Facebook to verify your user profile.
And with their eminently useful ratings and reviews, you’ll gain a pretty good idea about the reputation of a buyer or a seller.
Great Chat Capability
All communication is done through this in-app feature, making it exceedingly easy to exchange information with others safely and securely.
It’s much faster and efficient than the way users connect on Craigslist.
Ability to Post Videos
One thing that differentiates it from similar sites is that you’re allowed to not only post photos but videos as well.
This gives potential buyers a much better idea of what they’ll be getting.
Okay, I’ve sung the praises of this magnificent app long enough.
Now, let me tell you how to sign up for it so you can start using it.
- First, you’re going to have to download the app (it’s available for Android and iPhone).
- Give them your email address.
- Set your password.
- Add a photo of yourself.
Once you’ve gone through these steps, you’re ready to browse listings if you’re a buyer or create a listing if you’re a seller.
How to Post Something for Sale
Snoop around a little to check out other people’s ads before you create your listing.
Seek out the best of the best and analyze in exhaustive detail what it is about these listings that make them so eye-catching.
Once you figure that out, you’ll want to incorporate these same things in your own ads.
Next, it’s time to come up with a description for your item that’ll drive potential buyers wild with desire.
Include all the powerful benefits that the buyer will get if he only buys it IMMEDIATELY before another second passes.
Also include the more prosaic details, such as condition, brand, model, and measurements.
These are the kind of boring minutiae that aren’t all that sexy, but still necessary to include.
If you’re selling something you want the dimensions for and you don’t have measuring tape lying around, download the fantabulous Airmeasure app.
All you have to do is to focus the camera on whatever it is you want to measure, and augmented reality does the rest.
I think it’s so cool to do that!
Only a few years ago, doing this would seem unbelievable—like something from the pages of a sci-fi novel.
Next, you’ll have to add some visual interest with some professional quality pics.
Just like Facebook Marketplace, Letgo allows you to add up to 10 photos.
Take them from multiple angles and make sure they do an excellent job of selling the sizzle.
This means engaging the emotions of prospective buyers on a visceral level.
Letgo has cool image recognition software, so you might not even have to add a title to your listing.
If the software can recognize your image, it’ll do it for you.
Lastly, you have to figure out price.
You can either decide on a specific amount or leave it as negotiable if you don’t mind haggling.
However, if you do this, don’t post your final selling price because you won’t give prospective barterers any wiggle room.
At this point, your listing should be finished and ready to go live.
I hope you put so much loving attention into it that it’s a modest artistic masterpiece.
Well, as much as an ad selling a physical object can be a masterpiece.
After you’re absolutely sure that your listing is as drool-worthy as you can make it, tap the “Done” button.
Now, it’s time to show your listing to the entire world.
It only takes a second or two to do it, because Letgo has really streamlined the process.
Merely click the “Sell” button at the top of the page, and your listing will soon pop up on the site, ready to do its magic.
What to Do If Your Listing Doesn’t Go Live
This could take up to 40 minutes.
If, after that time, it still hasn’t shown up on the site, contact the customer service team to see why.
You can do this by clicking on the “Help” tab.
Then, scroll down to the “tech support & bug reports” button at the bottom of the page and fill out the “Contact Us” form.
How To Edit A Listing
You can also edit a listing after you’ve posted it.
To do this, click on the “Selling” tab.
Find the pencil icon at the bottom of the screen and click on it.
Then, make the changes you want to and press “update.”
See Who’s Eyeballing Your Item
You can check to see how many times one of your items has been viewed by going into your profile and tap on the “selling” tab.
Click on the item you want to look at and select the “more info” button at the top of the screen.
You’ll see the total number of views right next to the eye icon.
Know the Rules
Like all these other sites, make sure you acquaint yourself with the rules.
One of them is that there’s a list of items you’re prohibited from selling.
If you try to peddle something from this list, your listing will be canceled immediately.
Another reason for a canceled listing is if you add multiple posts for the same item.
For safety’s sake, bring a friend when it’s time to finalize the deal in person.
This should be in a public place, like next to a police station, or at a coffee shop or fast food joint.
Make sure to thoroughly inspect the item before money changes hands.
And if you’re the seller, demand payment on the spot if your fellow trader wants to buy what you’re selling.
This should only be in the form of cold, harsh cash.
This means you definitely shouldn’t accept checks, money orders, or wire transfers.
One of the best ways to avoid getting scammed is to make sure payment and the handing over the item coincide.
Be wary if the other party makes an unusual request, like offering to send a check for way more than the asking price.
Or, a seller that won’t let you see an item before you buy it.
Report any user you have concerns about.
And definitely avoid any and all unverified users, those who send you spammy messages, and anybody who refuses to meet you in person.
There are reports of users presenting themselves as car dealers who buy junk automobiles that they try to scam people with, so be aware of this.
Make it a habit to always check a prospective trade partner’s profile page and his ratings and reviews.
This will give you a better idea of his reputation before you do any deals with him.
There are heaps of people to do deals with, so if one guy seems shady, drop him like a hot potato and go on to the next one.
Also, never give out your email address, real-world address, phone number, or other personal details to anyone on the site.
Most users are reputable, but there are still a fair amount of rip off artists who will rake you over the proverbial coals.
Give a Review to Get a Review
Give your customers a review, and they’ll most likely give you one.
You know how it works—quid pro quo, tit for tat.
You’ll Have to Handle Payments Yourself
The purpose of Letgo is to bring buyers and sellers together—not to provide a safe way to handle transactions.
So, you and your trading partner will have to hash out the payment details on your own.
This means Letgo’s not responsible for issuing refunds if you get a raw deal.
If there’s an issue after the purchase of an item, the buyer should contact the seller to discuss any potential refunds.
Show Buyers You Have an Established Track Record
The site gives you a way to show potential customers you have an established track record of success.
And that’s the “sold” category.
So, when you sell something, add it here.
This gives you a lasting record of all the merchandise people bought from you.
Buyers can see it, and if they’re impressed by your ability to please your customers, they’re more likely to continue to buy from you.
Time Lag Problems
Some users have experienced lag time issues with the app.
So, they’ve received their messages long after they were initially posted.
And even though they responded immediately when they finally got the message, their reputation was irrevocably damaged by then.
If the selling or buying of consumer electronic goods is your “thang,” take Swappa out for a test drive.
This is a site that specializes in newish tech equipment of all kinds.
The company began in 2010, and over the years, they’ve established a stellar reputation as the go-to place for people to get quality consumer electronic goods for cheap.
You can buy or sell phones from the four major carriers, which are AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
Also, you can buy and sell tablets, fitness trackers, watches, and lots of other things.
A Vibrant Community
Swappa isn’t your typical eCommerce site.
Instead, it’s a vibrant community where you communicate directly with your trade partner instead of having the company act as the go-between.
So, they cut out the middleman, saving you wads of cash in the process.
When you’re selling on Swappa, you’ll make more money than you could at any of the trade-in sites.
That’s because all those other places make their money by buying an item from a seller and selling it to a buyer for a substantial markup.
And because they think of themselves as resellers, they expect to rake in a considerable profit at your expense.
Not so with Swappa.
They’re not greedy like that.
If you buy merchandise from a seller who lives a long distance away, you can have this product shipped to you.
But if you live in a big city, you can also go to the section of the website known as Swappa local.
Here, you can see all the deals from sellers who live right in your neighborhood (or close to it).
This allows you to pick up your goods yourself, so you don’t have to pay a dime for shipping.
This is not only easier on your wallet, but it’s also good for the environment because it’s one less item that has to be shipped clear across the country.
Once you’ve finalized the sale online, the seller will choose a designated meeting spot.
All that remains is the two of you deciding precisely at what time you want the cash and the item to change hands.
All Buying and Selling is Done Through PayPal
Whether you have your merchandise shipped or pick it up in person, all selling and buying is done through PayPal.
This is a good thing because PayPal has some excellent built-in safeguards that protect you from the predations of unscrupulous scammers.
However, there are some people out there who despise it for reasons I can’t quite fathom.
And if you’re one of the haters who still wants to use Letgo, you’ve got problems.
That’s because it’s the only payment option available for this app.
What Are the Fees?
If you’re a seller, you won’t have to pay any fees.
But if you’re a buyer, you’ll have to cough up ten bucks and shipping costs once all the details of the sale are finalized.
How to Be a Buyer
Before you can plunk down your money for an irresistible doodad you decided you cannot live without, you’ll first have to register to use the site.
Once you do, log in and click on the item you want to purchase.
Sometimes, the listing photos are pretty crappy.
You don’t have to put up with this.
If the uploaded photos aren’t of stellar quality and you’d like better ones, ask the seller if he wouldn’t mind doing a photographic do-over.
It’s not unheard of for buyers to make this kind of request.
Better this than to get to the designated meeting spot only to realize you’ve made a horrible mistake!
Selling an iPhone
If you want to sell an iPhone, click on the “Sell on Swappa” button on the upper right-hand corner.
Then, click on the photo of the type of phone you’re selling.
You’ll see the selling criteria, which are all the conditions you’ll have to meet before you can list it for sale.
Once you’ve checked off all the boxes and made sure it meets all the rigorous conditions, you’re ready to have it verified by a Swappa staff member.
If you’re selling an iPhone, you need to upload a photo of it with your verification code written on a piece of paper, so this can be done.
The verification code is assigned to you after you click “Create Listing.”
Photos are used to verify the condition of the merchandise being sold, and they must be of the actual item that you’re selling.
After a listing is approved, staff adds a comment at the bottom of the listing, letting everyone know that the listing has been officially reviewed.
What’s great is that when you sell something, you’ll get paid instantly instead of waiting a week or more to get a check in the mail.
There’s no official Swappa return policy, and the company leaves it up to each seller to come up with his own that’s fair.
In Southern California, Recycler is legendary, with a long and illustrious history.
It started its life on a sweltering July day back in 1973, when two Canadians by the name of Gunter and Nancy Schaldach came up with the idea for the periodical.
They were inspired by the popularity of a similar publication in Vancouver and wanted to see if they could replicate its success south of the border.
So, with dreams of making it easier for people to sell their old junk, they set up shop in the land of celluloid dreams, Mickey Mouse dreams, and Six Flags rollercoaster screams.
Its original name was “E-Z Buy E-Z Sell.”
But because recycling was just starting to catch on back then, they decided to change the name to “The Recycler.”
The usual way to make money with a publication like they were starting was to charge to run ads.
But Gunter and Nancy wanted to turn that model on its head by making most of the ads free and charging people to buy the newspaper.
Their brainchild was a resounding success, and by 1975, they were turning a tidy profit.
Over the decades, it even has been the go-to newspaper for people looking to form their own band.
Some of the legendary musical outfits which used the paper as a launching pad include Guns and Roses, Hole, and Mötley Crüe.
One of these people was Lars Ulrich, founder of Metallica.
He took out an ad in the “musicians seeking musicians” section of the rag.
It merely said, “drummer looking for other musicians to start a band.”
A guy named Hugh Tanner answered the ad, bringing along a skinny kid by the name of James Hetfield with him.
Lars and James immediately hit it off, and the rest is history!
Recycler has made it its mission to “be the best and most trusted marketplace on the web.”
I think they’ve succeeded admirably in that regard, because of their longevity and rabid fan base.
They have a sterling reputation and are seen as the gold standard of classified ad periodicals.
From Sea to Shining Sea
The publication has come a long way since its early days in sunny southern California.
And now, their reach extends from sea to shining sea, with over 18 million users scattered all over the country.
On the website, there are dozens of city pages, including ones for Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
11 Categories of Goods
Currently, there are 11 categories of goods offered for sale, such as “Cars and Vehicles,” “Pets,” and “Sports and Recreation.”
And under each one, a bunch of subcategories.
I recently started thinking about collecting vintage camera equipment.
No particular reason—the idea just popped into my cranium one day.
I could start by acquiring a 1954 Kodak Brownie camera they’re advertising at the site.
Does anybody know if eighty bucks is a reasonable price for something like that?
Seamless Integration with Social Media
Recycler has seamlessly integrated with such social media networks as Twitter and Facebook.
This gives users the power to tap into the power of social networks to expand their reach and maximize the visibility of their listings.
So, if you enable social media sharing, your listing will go live on Facebook at the same time it goes live on the Recycler site.
OfferUp is often called a “Craigslist challenger” and is consistently a top app in both the IOs and Android shopping categories.
It’s never been as big as some of its rivals.
But with 80 million downloads and counting, its popularity is really starting to take off.
In 2016, it was bestowed with the prestigious “App of the Year” honor at the 2026 GeekWire Awards.
People love it because it’s like a high-tech garage sale with a layout that’s reminiscent of Pinterest.
It combines the best features of eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist into one gloriously synergistic whole.
Adding a Listing
If you know what you’re doing, it can take as little as 30 seconds to list something you want to sell.
Start out by taking a photo of your item.
Do this by clicking the camera icon in the upper right corner of the app.
You can also pull up the menu and then click on “Post an Item.”
Then, select “Take a Photo.”
If you like the way it came out, click “OK.”
Give your widget a catchy title, choose the category you want it listed under, and write a description so compelling, people will be lining up to buy it.
Next, slap a price on your doodad.
There’s an option to add the listing to Facebook—that’s totally up to you.
Finally, click “Post Item” so potential buyers can see what you’re selling.
Super Responsive Messaging
Messaging on the app is much more immediate than many other marketplace apps and websites.
You often hear back from interested parties within hours or even minutes.
But with Craigslist and eBay, that could take days.
Verify Your Account to Build Trust
You can go through a verification process so buyers will trust you more.
And when they trust you more, they’ll buy more from you.
To verify your account, click on “Join TruYou” under “My Account.”
The verification process will be done either through Facebook or by using a driver’s license.
This helps establish you as a real person who’s not looking to scam anyone.
Set Your Location
Set your location, so all your selling and buying activity remains hyperlocal.
Either have the app find your location, or type in your zip code yourself.
New “Hold Offer” Feature
OfferUp has always prided itself on being a pioneer.
For example, they were the first marketplace app to integrate Apple Pay and some of the other mobile payment and digital wallet services into their services.
And they continue to expend considerable effort in finding ways to streamline the whole process of selling on their digital platform.
But even as they worked to do this, people complained that having to bring cash to a rendezvous with a total stranger was making them feel uneasy.
So last year, the company introduced a way of completing transactions that eliminates this risk.
“Hold Offers” is this whole new way of doing things.
With it, a buyer pays for his merchandise within the app before the in-person meetup takes place.
Then, the transaction is officially completed.
All the buyer has to do now is to retrieve his goods by scanning a QR code.
By keeping payments in the app, users will get protections the company couldn’t offer before.
Integrated digital payments are standard in the traditional marketplace but are still a relative rarity in the digital marketplace.
So, this move on OfferUp’s part is a savvy one.
Giving Facebook a Run for Its Money
People seem to be increasing the amount of time they spend on OfferUp.
So much so, that it’s starting to rival the time people spend on the big social media apps like Facebook.
That’s incredible, and a clear-as-a-bell indication that users are starting to become passionate about the service.
Kijiji is an online classified ad platform that’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay.
It was initially launched to give people living in the same area a fun, easy, and profitable way to trade with others.
In February 2005, it began its corporate life.
First, it was only in Montreal and Quebec City.
But in November of that year, it spread to a bunch of other Canadian cities.
And now, it’s in approximately 11 countries.
Here are the countries where it’s available:
In Italy, Kijiji operates under this name.
But in South America, it’s known as alaMaula.
It operated for a brief time in the US, but potential users couldn’t wean themselves off Craigslist to give the site a fair shake.
However, it experienced unprecedented success everywhere else.
In fact, on the Canadian site alone, two new ads are posted every second.
Differences Between Kijiji and Craigslist
There are many differences between Kijiji and Craigslist.
One is that on Craigslist, the outright sale of pets is prohibited because people organizing dog fights would use the site to acquire their animals.
However, Craigslist lets you “re-home” an animal and charge the new owner a small fee.
There are no such restrictions on Kijiji, and you can sell and buy pets outright.
Another way it differs is that Kijiji has a more fashionable, chic vibe than Craigslist does.
Kijiji is also known for its stringent content filters to weed out would-be scammers, whereas Craigslist isn’t.
Kijiji in Canada
In Canada, it’s organized as a centralized network of online communities arranged first by province, and then by city and urban area.
It’s the most popular online classified service in Canada, with city pages for over 100 Canadian cities.
It’s in the top 15 of Canadian websites and draws three times the site traffic that Craigslist gets in that country.
Lots of people have used Kijiji to kickstart their entrepreneurial dreams.
To watch some of these inspiring stories, check out Kijiji Portraits.
Here, you’ll find people who have used the service in some startlingly original ways.
For example, a fifteen-year-old boy named Tyson had the drive to make a little money while he attended school.
And since he was too young to get a traditional job, he used Kijiji to fulfill his teenage entrepreneurial dreams.
So, he asked his grandfather to show him how to use the site.
His elder also taught him some valuable life lessons that will serve Tyson well for the rest of his life.
These lessons include always surround yourself with positive people and influences.
Also, that you can be an entrepreneur at any age.
Tyson once bought a bedroom set for $200, and within three days, sold it for $1,600.
Just two weeks after his fifteenth birthday, he put a down payment on a townhouse.
With the money he made from Kijiji, he was able to do that all by himself.
There’s also a woman who wanted to change her life.
Her name is Joey Beauchamp.
So, she went on Kijiji, sold a bunch of stuff, and used the money to buy a van.
Now she travels all over Canada with her cat, makes vegan food, and indulges in her photography hobby.
All she needs is her small kitchen and her camera stuff, and she’s good to go.
She can go wherever she’d like, and post from wherever she happens to be.
She went from nine to fiver to photographer and vegan food star in just under two years!
So, not only can you use these hyperlocal marketplace platforms to do your buying and selling.
You can also use them as a launchpad for your entrepreneurial dreams.
Gumtree is also owned by eBay.
It’s the very British equivalent to Craigslist and currently operates in the UK.
It has seven categories you can dive into: “MOTORS,” “FOR SALE,” “PROPERTY,” “JOBS,” “SERVICES,” “COMMUNITY,” and “PETS.”
These are displayed at the very top of the home page, followed by “Top picks.
It’s the UK’s largest website for local community classifieds and is in the top 30 sites there.
Simon Crookall and Michael Pennington founded the site in 2000 as a way for New Zealanders, Australians, and South Africans new to London to get help with accommodations and employment.
“Gumtree” was chosen as a name because it’s what Australians call the eucalyptus tree.
The originators of the site loved the symbolism of roots and branches connecting everyone into a real community.
Most listings on the site fall under the “FOR SALE” category.
However, there are also a large number of automobiles (“MOTORS”) listed at any one time.
Like other sites, users can pay to bump up their ranking in the listings.
Bookoo was started by two brothers by the name of Adam and Austin.
They came from a humongous family of nine children.
Because there were so many mouths to feed, their parents had to scrimp and save so they could afford to feed everybody.
They watched all this and learned the fine art of frugality at a young age.
Part of this education involved spending a lot of time at garage sales.
And when they grew up, they wanted to help others experience the singular joys of being frugal by finding a way to recreate the tag sale experience online.
On that day, Bookoo was born.
It’s not in every city in the United States.
In fact, in Massachusetts (my home state), it has only one city that has Bookoo—which is Brockton.
But if you have one of these online tag sales in your area, you’re going to have so much fun.
It’s a super-easy way to meet your neighbors while converting your old junk into cash.
And since all your running around is going to be online, this means less wasted time and gas.
Simply contact the seller, meet up, exchange the item, and then be on your merry way!
Geebo strives to make online transactions less dangerous by something they call “SafeTrade.”
This is where buyers and sellers agree to conduct their transactions near local police departments.
Their tag line is “safe community classifieds,” and they also claim they make it safer to search for merchandise on their site.
So clearly, they’ve made safety a selling point.
It’s currently in 160 cities and has much the same functionality that Craigslist has.
In fact, it looks so much like its much bigger rival that I think that it’s more than a little derivative.
The only significant difference is that it’s a little more aesthetically pleasing than Craigslist, but that’s not hard to pull off.
12. Penny Saver
In my younger days, I remember picking up the Penny Saver from the grocery store.
I would avidly read it cover to cover.
I desperately wanted to find ways to make money so I could afford to buy some of the delightful secondhand treasures I found in its pages.
Penny Saver has been in existence for over 50 years.
It reaches the over 11.2 Americans every single week who hope to find “The Best Local Values—In Print & Online.”
Bob DeMarco started the original in 1962, which was called the Huntington Beach Pennysaver back then.
And now, PennySaverUSA’s online classifieds brings everything that made the print publication great into a new digital age.
They must be doing something right because the website is visited by one million unique visitors every month.
13. Ads Globe
Ads Globe is a buying and selling platform that’s very much in the same mold as Craigslist.
So, Ads Globe should have a comforting familiarity to it if you’re a regular user of the platform that the site strives to emulate.
Like many of these other sites, you’re allowed to post unlimited free ads.;
There’s even an option to remain anonymous and let users contact you through Ads Globe.
This is another site with a clean and easy to use interface.
However, it’s a bit on the generic side.
The team at classifiedads.com emphasize that they take great pains to monitor their site so they can filter out irrelevant and objectionable content.
Not wanting to take their word for it, I checked it out for myself.
And more or less, that’s what I found.
Little objectionable or irrelevant content.
Unfortunately, I didn’t find any ways they’ve differentiated themselves from a dozen other Craigslist wannabes.
15. Us Free Ads
US Free Ads has been in existence since 1999.
Its very basic-looking layout is quite archaic and will remind you of 90s websites.
If you ask me, I think it’s in dire need of an update.
With a free membership, you’ll be able to post up to two ads at the same time.
If you’re a frequent seller or need more advanced features, you’ll have to splurge for a higher tiered membership.
One of these is Gold Membership, which costs $10.00 for 25 simultaneous ads.
There’s also Premium Membership.
For $9.99, you’ll be free to post as many ads as you want.
But if you’re only a buyer and not a seller, you won’t have to pay a single cent.
Locanto operates in over 60 countries, and most major US cities have a Locanto board.
These are their categories:
- For Sale
- Real Estate
All ad posting is free if you post on your local city page.
However, if you want to extend the reach of your ad to other municipalities, you’re going to have to shell out some money.
Placing your ad at the top of the search results so that more people will see it is also going to cost you.
How to Search
Type the item you’re searching for in the search box at the top of the home page.
Then, type in your zip code or location and a search radius.
The city that’s closest to me is Albany, NY.
And since I still haven’t found the cross-country skis I desperately want, I decided to search for it here.
And unfortunately, the only thing that came up was an ad for L.L. Bean to buy my gear there.
Also, an ad for a book with a delightfully retro cover on how to cross-country ski.
I guess I’ll have to keep searching!
The Curious “Currently Happening” Box
On the right side of the home page, there’s a “WHAT’S CURRENTLY HAPPENING IN ALBANY?” box listing all the newest ads.
I don’t really see the usefulness of this, but some might disagree.
It evens tells when someone upgrades to a premium account.
Why would anybody need to know this?
Trovit is an aggregator site with the tagline “Search for the life you want.”
Basically, it’s a search engine for all the local selling sites that exist in cyberspace.
Enter your search term, and its hard-working search spiders will start crawling through thousands of websites just so that it can bring back precisely the information you need.
They have three super simple categories—” Homes,” “Cars,” and “Jobs.”
If its cars you’re looking for, you can either search by make or search based on your geographical area.
AdLandPro has been offering free classifieds since 1998.
Users who have a free membership can post up to 20 ads at one time.
Although their basic ads are free, they also offer premium options that can give your ad more exposure.
Placing new ads will just remove older ads if you exceed the 20-ad limit.
If your ad is renewed regularly, it can remain indefinitely in their database.
If it’s not renewed, it’ll be removed after four weeks.
Varagesale’s tag line is “Sell simply, buy safely.”
In 2012, a Torontonian woman by the name of Tami started the site.
She was expecting, and while waiting for her baby to be born, she decided to declutter her home.
So, she went through every crevice and cranny of her house to round up junk she no longer wanted.
She found that selling on most social media platforms took more effort than she was willing to expend.
So, she enlisted her programmer husband Carl to streamline the whole process.
And, she solicited feedback from her local buying and selling group on how to make the site user-friendly.
This group eventually became incorporated into Varagesale.
Soon, other communities wanted to be part of the whole Varagesale experience.
So pages were created for these geographic regions.
Tami feels she brought a small-town vibe to her pet project, despite there being over a million people all over the planet who now use the platform.
Tami continues to balance her career as an entrepreneur with being a wife, mom, and elementary school teacher.
It sounds like she’s busy!
Emphasis on Safety
From its very inception, Varagesale wanted the site to be family-friendly.
To that end, a dedicated administrator makes sure stringent standards are upheld on every local community page.
And members must use their real names, photos, and identities.
And most importantly, everybody hoping to become a member goes through a review process before they’re allowed to buy and sell.
Still No Skis, But Lots of Other Interesting Stuff
I checked for cross country skis here, but alas, I still couldn’t find any.
However, there was a lot of other stuff posted I can’t wait to check out.
For example, I have a lot of books, and always in the market for bookcases.
I found one on the site 10.7 miles away from me.
Best of all, it was free!
Adoos is a marketplace platform only available in the United Kingdom.
It’s based on the eBay model, but it doesn’t get nowhere near the same number of visitors.
For buyers, this means there won’t be as much merchandise for sale compared to its much bigger rival.
For sellers, this means there’s much less competition.
If you need a service (such as web design) that doesn’t require it to be bought locally, Adoos has the capability of doing a country-wide search.
21. Los Angeles Ads
If you live in the Los Angeles area, check out Los Angeles ads.
It cost $2.00 to post a listing.
If this is something you want to do, you’ll have to choose your city on the home page.
These are the areas you’ll have to choose from:
- West Los Angeles
- North Los Angeles
- East Los Angeles
- South Los Angeles
- Central Los Angeles
- Greater Los Angeles
And then, under each of the areas are listed the cities in that geographical region.
Click on a city.
And then, choose the category that your item belongs under.
Finally, write a killer ad that’ll lure them in droves!
The site posted some tips for greater selling success:
- INCLUDE AT LEAST ONE PHOTO: To get people to buy your merchandise, you’ve got to lure them in with a visually appealing photo. So, include one or more in your ad.
- MAKE SURE YOUR PHOTOS ARE CLEAN AND FOCUSED: Your photos should look like a professional shot them. This means having excellent composition and a sharp, clear image. The only thing that potential buyers should see in your photo is what you’re selling.
- HAVE A COMPELLING DESCRIPTION: Your description should be written to entice people to buy. So, overcome their resistance by emphasizing all the compelling benefits of your item. Include as much detail as possible, including condition, brand, and model. Also, spend some time crafting the perfect title.
- LET PEOPLE KNOW IF THE PRICE IS NEGOTIABLE: If you’re flexible on price, let people know this upfront. Lots of people won’t even bother responding to an ad if the seller isn’t flexible, and the item is out of their price range.
- LET PEOPLE KNOW WHERE THE ITEM IS LOCATED: This way, they’ll know how far they’ll have to travel to pick it up. By including this information in your ad, you won’t waste your time or the buyer’s time if it’s too far to travel to pick it up.
- TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THE SITE: The more people know about the site, the more responses you’ll get to ads you post.
These tips work well for other marketplace platforms too.
If You Still Want to Use Craigslist…
Some people can’t be persuaded to use an alternative site despite all the problems with Craigslist.
If you’re one of the unpersuadable, you should at least familiarize yourself with some of the more common scams.
This way, you won’t get taken for a ride.
Don’t be one of those who think it can’t happen to you!
This misconception could end up costing you big time.
Scammers are very creative with their ruses, and even the savviest of users can be duped.
The same technology that makes it incredibly easy to find what you want to buy also makes it easier for scammers to bamboozle you.
There are a lot of technological innovators looking to streamline your online experience and make it easier.
But there are also a lot of scammers out there whose mere existence turns the technological marvel that is the Internet into a den of cyber vipers.
The sad fact of the matter is getting scammed on the Internet is unfortunately becoming epidemic.
Scams on Craigslist have become particularly rampant.
So, for those Craigslist diehards, here are some of the more popular scams and how to avoid them:
· WATCH OUT FOR FAKE OR CANCELLED TICKETS: The art of making tickets that are virtually indistinguishable from the original has gotten a lot more sophisticated in recent years. So much so, that scammers are even to make fake watermarks and holograms. If you fall for this deception, there won’t be any way to get your money back. To avoid getting this happening, never buy your tickets through Craigslist. Only go through Ticketmaster or the actual venue.
· IF THE AD ISN’T LOCAL, DON’T BUY: Don’t buy something advertised in a nonlocal ad, because you won’t be able to inspect the item personally. What you see in the ad might not even exist! Also, you’ll have to send money through an online platform, which won’t be as safe as getting your cash in person. Besides, nonlocal ads aren’t against the Craigslist terms of service, so if you see one, it somehow escaped the scrutiny of administrators.
· BE WARY OF THOSE WHO REFUSE TO MEET YOU: If your trading partner lives in the area but adamantly refuses to meet you in person, this is an excellent indication he’s a scammer.
· DON’T SUCCUMB TO FAKE CRAIGSLIST SITES: Some fraudsters have created fake Craigslist sites that people fall for. These are sites with domain names similar to the actual one.
· FAKE MONEY ORDERS OR CHECKS: Fake money orders or checks are another scam. Fraudsters send a very official-looking fake check and expect you to send them the item before the check clears. The “buyer” might also make out the check for more than the actual item amount and ask you to send them the difference. A bank will cash these checks and hold you liable for them.
· STEER CLEAR OF FAKE ESCROW SITES: A buyer might ask that you put your funds into an online escrow service, promising that your goods will soon be handed over to you. The only problem is that most of these sites are fraudulent and operated by the scammers themselves. So, of course, they never give you the merchandise—leaving an empty hole in your bank account where your money should be.
· KNOW THAT CRAIGSLIST “PURCHASE PROTECTION PLANS” DON’T EXIST: Another scam is a “Craigslist Purchase Protection Plan.” Craigslist doesn’t involve itself in actual purchases, so offers like this are fraudulent from the get-go. Don’t let yourself get victimized by them!
· DON’T USE WESTERN UNION TO SEND MONEY: Fraudsters asking you to wire them money via Western Union is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Don’t ever send money to people you don’t actually know. When someone requests wire service transfer via Western Union, there are usually a lot of red flags that come with this. For example, the deal seems too good to be true, or the rent is way below market. Or the rental may be local, but the owner is relocating or traveling and requests that you wire money to another country.
· NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR FINANCIAL INFORMATION: Handing out your bank account details to random strangers is asking for trouble.
· TURN AWAY ANYONE WHO WON’T COMMUNICATE VIA PHONE: The scammer might pretend to be unable to communicate by phone. That’s because fraudsters prefer to operate by text or email.
· REFUSE BACKGROUND OR CREDIT CHECKS: If you’re in the market for an apartment, don’t consent to a background or credit check unless you’ve already met your prospective landlord in person. Fraudsters use this gambit to steal people’s Social Security numbers and other sensitive information.
· BEWARE OF RENTAL SCAMS: One of these scams is renting an apartment at an unbelievably low price. The seller will collect first and last months’ rent, a security deposit, and any other fees he can think of. When it’s time to move in, you’ll find that the landlord has conveniently skipped town.
If you suspect a scam, contact the Internet Fraud Complaint Center.
And if you’re defrauded by someone you know, contact your local police department.
If you’re getting sick of Craigslist, you now have a solid list of other websites like Craigslist that’ll help make boredom associated with your merchandising activity a thing of the past.
Or maybe your problem isn’t boredom.
Maybe your problem is that you’ve found that your ability to sell on the site has drastically decreased, and it’s no longer worth your while.
Whatever the issue happens to be, explore the dizzying array of Craigslist alternatives that exist in the cybersphere.
Take one of these challengers for the Craigslist crown out for a test drive.
Then try another, and another.
You might find one that really clicks with you!
Some of them are uninspired Craigslist clones—as banal and as generic as can be.
Others take problems that users had with Craigslist and solve them in a way that streamlines the whole trading process.
And does it with a creative flair and pizzazz!
These are the ones you want to go with because they’ll help you accomplish your trading goals while being a joy to use.
Just remember to acquaint yourself with the rules of each site, so you don’t inadvertently violate a rule.
This could get you forever banished.
Now, you could possibly survive getting kicked off one, two, or perhaps three of these sites.
But any more than that and you’ll be severely limiting your trading options.
So, be a good boy or girl now, will ya?
You might be one of those who has a real flair for selling.
Then, you might be inspired to use one of these alternative sites as a launchpad for your entrepreneurial ambitions!