August 15, 2008

Craigslist – The Ultimate Internet Classifieds


People scour the web in search of all sorts of things, and their searching often leads them to site after site. Craigslist is undeniably one of the most popular online classified sites around. Offering local classified ads for over 500 cities worldwide, Craigslist can help almost anyone in their search, whether it be for giveaways, meeting new people, finding a new home, or any number of items in between.

To use Craigslist, all you need to do is visit the site, select your state and city (or nearest major city), and browse the classifieds. Each city has eight overall categories, with several more specific sub-categories for narrowing down your search. Upon finding something interesting, you can reply to the poster via the contact information provided. Posting an ad is just as simple. Users fill in the title and description, add photos (if desired) and contact info, agree to the terms of use, and then wait for the ad to appear. Both posting and responding to ads are free with a few exceptions in popular markets.

One of Craigslist’s most unique features is the emphasis on community. Each city has its own classifieds and forums, and it’s all community-moderated. Users are responsible for flagging questionable ads so that anything that violates posting rules is removed. While this is vital to keep ads from spammers, scammers, and rule-breakers under control, the system can still be abused, leading to the occasional deletion of legitimate ads.

Practical Uses:

  • Find the perfect pet for your family in Craigslist’s pet category
  • Get a fair price on the extra camera you received at Christmas
  • Leverage the locality of Craigslist to unload that spare bed without having to haul it away
  • Connect with other locals and discuss topics about your city

Insider Tips:

  • Don’t worry if you flag someone on accident, it takes multiple flags for a post to be deleted
  • Be polite and follow the Craigslist Terms of Service to prevent your own ad from being flagged
  • Always take precaution when meeting someone through a Craigslist ad
  • Try to limit your dealings with local people in order to avoid scams
  • Craigslist will forward replies to you via an anonymous email address so you don’t have to post your contact information publicly

What We Liked:

  • There is a huge emphasis on community
  • The vast number of cities and categories makes craigslist ideal for nearly everyone
  • The site is purposely bland making usage simple and straightforward
  • Craigslist is constantly working to curtai misuse of the site
  • Users play an active role in the integrity and growth of Craigslist

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Craigslist attracts and is easily used by scammers, spammers and others engaging in illegal activity
  • Finding legitimate ads can sometimes be difficult
  • Users can start conflicts amongst ads rather than debating in the forums


Company Info:

  • Launched: 1995
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
  • Founded by: Craig Newmark
  • Web site:


  • Free for most users
  • Job posts in San Francisco Bay Area – $75 per job per category
  • Job posts in select major cities – $25 per job per category
  • Brokered apartment rental listings in NY – $20 per listing

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