When you’re below 30 and recognize the worth of a greenback, likelihood is that you just’ve used Craigslist. Began by a lonely San Franciscan in 1995 as a technique to join individuals, Craigslist has since turn out to be the online’s #1 vacation spot for categorized advertisements. The positioning welcomes a staggering 50 million distinctive guests per thirty days, connecting school youngsters to smelly couches in 70 nations.
I’ve been utilizing Craigslist since 2005 after I started shopping for and promoting used airsoft gear for fuel cash in highschool. And whereas I like Craigslist for supplying me with telephones and furnishings all through school, as an grownup, I’ve damaged up with Craigslist (and it’s best to, too).
For head-scratching causes I’ll clarify later, Craigslist solely employs 50 individuals to handle 50 million distinctive month-to-month guests. Against this, Zillow and eBay make use of 5,250 and 13,300 individuals, respectively.
50 individuals simply isn’t sufficient, as evidenced by Craigslist’s persistent charges of scams, faux listings, and crime.
For the sake of your personal time, cash, and security, it’s time to maneuver onto a competitor.
5 causes to cease utilizing Craigslist
Craigslist founder, Craig Newmark is a pleasant man, however he’s not a lot of a frontrunner (his phrases, not mine).
For instance, he’s a powerful believer in Dunbar’s Quantity, a philosophy which states that people can solely preserve significant social relationships with a restricted variety of individuals. So to make sure workforce cohesion, he capped Craigslist at simply 50 workers.
So whereas Craiglist maintains a beneficiant Glassdoor rating, its customers undergo enormously from the dearth of innovation, curation, security, purchaser safety, and assist that its rivals provide.
Listed below are simply 5 causes to cease utilizing Craigslist:
1. It’s doubtlessly harmful
Every time a string of robberies (or worse) is linked again to Craigslist, the corporate is fast to defend themselves. Statistically, they are saying, for each Craigslist Killer, there are thousands and thousands of regular transactions.
True, however Northeastern College criminologist Jack Levin factors out that Craigslist remains to be an excellent looking floor for 2 causes:
- Customers can function in full anonymity, by no means revealing their identify, telephone quantity, or any traceable info.
- Craigslist presents an excellent platform for premeditated crimes. There are circumstances the place a “vendor” will checklist a $1,000 telephone for $800, and easily rob customers of their money upon arrival.
Whereas the chance of you getting robbed throughout a Craigslist deal could also be “vanishingly low” (once more, their phrases, not mine), it’s nonetheless larger than it will be on a competing website with fundamental purchaser safety.
2. It’s rife with scams, fraud, and phishing
You’re way more more likely to be scammed than robbed off of Craigslist. Craigslist scams are so widespread that there are .gov pages rating them.
The commonest scams are faux housing leases, the place customers usually tend to make a digital down cost and share essential private info with a “realtor.” In 2016, these researchers shared their findings with Craigslist alongside suggestions for making the positioning safer, however little has modified.
3. It’s choked with small enterprise advertisements
Craigslist ought to be a spot the place you may go surfing and buy a gently-used telephone or sofa from a neighbor. As a substitute, it’s turn out to be bloated with advertisements for pawn outlets, used automotive sellers, and extra.
As evidenced by the screenshot, there’s nothing stopping these companies from posting a number of instances in a row, neither is there any safeguard vetting their legitimacy.
Certain you may simply ignore them, however rivals deal with sketchy solicitors a lot better. Each eBay and Fb Market have built-in filters for C2C listings versus B2C listings, making a a lot cleaner searching expertise.
Talking of searching expertise…
4. Its UI is older than Publish Malone
50 workers means that you may’t actually sustain with the Joneses within the interface division. Craigslist seems to be like an HTML-based web page from the 90s as a result of it’s; the positioning hasn’t skilled an overhaul since Sophie Turner was born.
You may say that Craigslist exemplifies the “if it ain’t broke” philosophy, and that’s truthful. The positioning features at a fundamental degree simply high-quality.
Nonetheless, once you develop accustomed to options like Fb Market’s transparency and prompt messaging, and eBay’s purchaser safety and vendor opinions, Craigslist begins to really feel much less quaint and easily outdated.
5. There are a lot better options
Craigslist jogs my memory of the Coolest: a Kickstarter that grew so fashionable that it failed.
Craigslist hasn’t failed within the conventional sense, however it’s fallen behind rivals in usability, curation, and most critically, security.
7 superior, safer options to Craigslist
When you haven’t bought the gist of what I’ve been saying, I’ll reveal why there are a number of superior marketplaces you may store by means of, fairly than waste your time (and hard-earned cash) on Craigslist.
1. Fb Market
Fb Market is my #1 general Craigslist substitute. You’ll discover listings for electronics, furnishings, temp gigs, house leases, and extra. Patrons and sellers can talk and pay immediately by means of Fb Messenger and are required to make use of their actual profiles. In consequence, Fb Market has considerably fewer scammers and sketchy listings.
Plus, to encourage capitalism, Fb will often provide to ship your offered gadgets at no cost.
I purchased my Kindle, offered my Xbox, and have performed dozens of extra gross sales by means of Fb Market and have solely had optimistic experiences. Total, it feels safer, kinder, and higher than Craigslist.
Tesla most likely wouldn’t exist with out eBay, who purchased Musk-led PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
Enjoyable info apart, eBay set an instance for on-line classifieds that I want Craigslist had adopted. The traditional public sale website has gracefully advanced right into a veritable world bazaar the place you should buy just about something from anybody in any nation.
3D printed automotive elements from China? Carpets from Turkey? Uncommon collectibles from Iowa? They’re all on eBay, rapidly accessible by means of a slick interface with deep search features. Plus, vendor popularity is all the pieces on eBay, so most will work with you to make issues proper.
Realtor and Craigslist will share numerous the identical listings for housing and leases, however I desire searching on Realtor as a result of it has a greater UI and is just about void of sketchy listings. Plus, listings themselves are extra thorough, with photographs, ground plans, and visiting hours.
Realtor additionally means that you can join with actual property brokers and patrons and sellers in a neater, safer means. So, whether or not you’re in search of an condominium rental otherwise you’re full-on shopping for your first house, keep on with respected marketplaces like Realtor.
When you’re trying to rent or promote your companies for gig work, particularly for distant alternatives given the pandemic, Upwork is your buddy.
It’s #1 benefit over Craigslist is that it retains funds in an escrow so that you’re much less seemingly as both the customer or vendor to get ripped off. Plus, their UI is much less clunky and simply feels higher.
Nextdoor is a neighborhood-specific market and message board. You’ll be able to filter to incorporate households inside roughly one, three, and 5 miles, and despite the fact that that may nonetheless be 1000’s of strangers, Nextdoor nonetheless feels extra collaborative than Craigslist and even Fb Market.
Nextdoor’s For Sale & Free part displays this pleasant vibe. People incessantly checklist gadgets at no cost or almost free, merely trying to give them away to somebody of their space. It’s an ideal place to search out high quality furnishings, train gear, devices, and extra and buy them with out having to journey anyplace unsafe or unfamiliar.
Good ol’ Goodwill. I personally not too long ago found that Goodwill sells its most high-ticket gadgets, largely jewellery, by means of shopgoodwill.com. I assumed that was attention-grabbing, however it’s not why I introduced them up.
Somewhat, I deliver up Goodwill in order that I can point out my #1 thrift store tip: store for garments at Goodwills in rich neighborhoods. You’re more likely to search out actual designer garments there for below 10% of their authentic sticker value. When you store for designer items on Craigslist, you’re more likely to get scammed or swindled.
7. Habitat ReStore
Lastly, in case you’re searching for home equipment, furnishings, or house enchancment provides, take a peek in your native Habitat ReStore earlier than heading to Lowe’s or Craigslist. A hybrid of Goodwill and Residence Depot, the ReStore sells surplus provides and donations from Habitat for Humanity for a tiny fraction of retail. Better of all, the proceeds assist future Habitat homes!
For brand new householders particularly, the Habitat ReStore is a must-visit. Even in case you depart with only a window and a sink, you’ve already saved a whole lot and supported a 501(c)(3) within the course of.
Craigslist began with a noble goal however has merely gotten too huge for its britches. Its skeleton crew of fifty workers merely couldn’t present much-needed updates to usability, curation, and most notably, security for its 50 million customers.
Fortunately, in case you’re trying to purchase and promote on-line, superior options exist.