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An Introduction To Online Classified Ads

Updated on February 22, 2013

Classified Ads What is The Difference To Traditional Methods

Have you ever tried looking for an ad in a newspaper? if you have then you have probably found them to be curt, difficult to read, lacking in details, and ultimately, uninformative.

Have you ever tried an online classified's website?

The differences are massive, but for the better. To begin with, many more ads are at your disposal. On Craigslist, for instance, hundreds of ads in your region may appear each day. Internationally, the number rises to hundreds of thousands.

Furthermore, online classified's have more room for classification. In a newspaper, for instance, you would find ads for hair stylists and line cooks together, as they both fall under employment.

However, on an online classified's website, hair stylists would fall under the beauty section, while line cooks would fall under the food and beverage section.

Because of the specific nature of these categories, finding what you need becomes much easier. If you are looking for a job as a hair stylist, simply click on the beauty section. You won't waste your time reading about line cooks. Browsing through irrelevant ads is a relic of the past.

Don't you wish that instead of browsing through pages and pages of classified's, the right ad would come to you? Most online classified websites offer a search engine. Type in what you want, and voila, your results.

Perhaps the best thing about online classified's is unlimited space. Because space in a newspaper is limited, each ad becomes short and uninformative.

Help needed—what does that mean?

What kind of help?

How much are you paying?

Are there benefits?

Where are you located?

While newspaper classifieds fail to provide the pertinent details, classified websites rise to the rescue. Each ad can be several paragraphs long, and contain many photographs. There is room to explain the nature of the job, the qualifications needed, and the details of compensation. When you make that call, you already know what the job is all about.

Because online classifieds provide users with almost unlimited space, the type is bigger. No need to squint at the small letters on newsprint. Put away your reading glasses, and log onto an online classifieds site. Big, bold letters can be such a relief.

Whenever advertisements are discussed, the issue of deception always arises.

How can you be sure that this company is genuine?

How do you know this ad is not a scam?

As with any advertisements, classified ads also present this risk. However, online classifieds offer some form of control: users can flag certain ads as scams, and have them removed.

Furthermore, posting an ad online is free. Viewers will be able to access your ad for the next 30 to 60 days, depending on the website you choose.

Why shell out for one day of paper advertising when you can advertise for two months for free?

So where do I start?

Craigslist ( is easy and intuitive, a good place for beginners. Kijiji is also an excellent website, with a straightforward, user-friendly interface. Be sure to try them out!


Craigslist And Online Ads

In 1995, Craig Newmark began an email service about local events in the San Francisco Bay area.

He had no idea that this small enterprise would go on to become the world's leading online classifieds communities. Currently, Craigslist features advertisements in 570 cities, in 50 countries.

What kind of advertisements does Craigslist feature?

Categories of ads include employment, buy/sell, personals, volunteering, and community events. Employment is further subdivided into precise sections, including education, retail, food and beverage, writing, film, and part-time.

If you have ever used Craigslist, you have probably been cautioned about scams. Certainly, the risk exists that the person posting has dishonest motivations. However, this risk exists with any classified ad, be it online, or in print.

Craigslist does its best to offer protection: users can flag ads as scams, resulting in the ads' removal.

Although Craigslist poses minor risks, it is ideal for job hunting. Over a million employment ads are posted every month. In major cities, such as Toronto, you can expect to see up to hundreds of new job ads a day.

The procedure for job application on Craigslist is fairly standard. Usually the employer requests that applicants email their resumes and cover letters. The employer can choose to use his or her business email, or to use a numerical, anonymous email from Craigslist.

It's a common stereotype that established companies never post on Craigslist. As with many stereotypes, it's simply not true. Businesses, emerging or established, are beginning to realize Craigslist's power. For instance, Montessori schools, acclaimed for their bilingual education, have posted on Craigslist. So do not fear. Not only will you find jobs on Craigslist, you will also find good jobs.

Craigslist is an excellent venue for small companies, or parents looking for help, to get started. If you are an emerging business, you likely do not have the cash for television ads. Therefore, Craigslist is the perfect starting medium.

Similarly, parents looking for tutors may not wish to spend big bucks to place ads in newspapers. Craigslist, being free, is their choice.

In addition to its employment sector, Craigslist thrives with local business: rentals, housing, yard sales, used cars, second hand computers, you can find virtually everything.

Because Craigslist is divided geographically, you will have no problem finding apartments or yard sales in your area.

Craiglists also hosts a plethora of personals and adult services. Categories include platonic, men seeking women, women seeking men, men seeking men, and women seeking women. People from around the world can have a meeting of minds.

If you don't feel like browsing through pages and pages for your ideal job, or if you are unsure which category it would fall into, you can type in a few keywords into a search box. Furthermore, if you are looking for events by date, not by interest, you can click on the desired date in Craiglist's event calendar.

Posting an ad is simple on Craigslist. Simply click on "post to classifieds."

The next page will ask you "What type of posting is this?"

You must select from job offered, housing wanted, community, event, personal/romance, job wanted, etc. Then you're ready to type in your ad!


What Is Kijiji

In Swahili, Kijiji means village. The word conjures feelings of community, closeness, and immediacy.

Kijiji, as a local and international online classified's community, brings the world together.

It offers a smorgasbord of advertisements: employment, buy/sell, housing, events, and personals.

Kijiji has its roots in eBay. eBay launched Kijiji as a subsidiary, in 2005. Since then, Kijiji has acquired various other online classified's companies, such as Intoko, Gumtree, OpusForum and Loquo. Because of these mergers, Kijiji spans the world.

Currently, Kijiji is available in all of the United States and Canada. 300 German cities rely on Kijiji for advertising and communication. Other countries include Japan, Taiwan, India, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Italy and China.

How does Kijiji work?

Lets say for this example you live in New York. Log onto Kijiji USA, then click on New York. You will be taken to a lively page, listing endless categories of advertisements: for sale, jobs, cars and vehicles, housing, pets, services, community, swap/trade, free stuff, and vacation rentals. These major categories are meticulously subdivided, for search specificity.

If you don't feel like looking through endless advertisements, you can use Kijiji's search function, located at the very top of the page. Type keywords into the search box. If you wish, select the category you wish to search. If you do not know, select all ads. Then presto, you have what you are looking for.

Say you are looking for events on a particular date. Find the Kijiji event calendar, located on the bottom right of the page. Click on the date desired, and you are taken to a listing of events happening that day. If you are looking for super recent posts, refer to the new ads section on the upper right corner.

How do you post an ad on Kijiji?

Click on Post Ad, at the top of the page.

Then you must select the appropriate category for your ad. On the next screen, you can type in your ad.

Additionally, you can upload a maximum of eight pictures, the total size of which cannot exceed 4 MB. The process for posting an advertisement is really straightforward.

Posting an ad on Kijiji is absolutely free. However, Kijiji lists its ads chronologically, from most to least recent. After a few days, your ad will be moved back several pages. Chances are, your ad will only be seen during the first two days of your initial posting.

How can you counteract this problem?

Everything can be resolved with money. For two dollars, you can bump your ad back to first page. For $30.99, your ad will appear at the top of its section for a week. If you want your ad on the homepage, where viewers are sure to see it, shell out $68.75.

Whether any of this is worth it, it's up to you.

After 30 days, your ad will expire. If you wish, you can repost ad, at no charge. Do not worry, Kijiji will send you plenty of warning emails.

Kijiji is extremely popular: in both Canada and Taiwan, it is the number one online classified's site. If you need to advertise, Kijiji is just a click away.


Facebook Is Great For Social Networking But What About Classified Ads?

Facebook is an excellent social networking tool, but have you ever thought of it as a cheap and powerful means of advertising?

Essentially, Facebook is a giant, free bulletin board.

Unlike real bulletin boards, however, Facebook is limitless.

For instance, we have all seen community bulletin boards simply overwhelmed by advertising. A poster about piano lessons is covered by an ad about an upcoming play. Information about the youth group is overshadowed by LSAT preparation dates.

Where is the ad that you posted just two hours ago?

Someone had ripped it down, and replaced it with a poster for belly dancing.

With Facebook, on the other hand, no one bullies anyone. Facebook can host virtually an infinite number of ads, and give each equal opportunity.

For example, if you create an Event called "Yard Sale at My House", you can ensure that your ad has a page all to itself. Additionally, no one can rip your ad down!

What makes Facebook different from other free online classifieds?

Why should I choose Facebook over Kijiji, or Craigslist? Again, we turn to Facebook's capability for infinity.

On Craigslist, for instance, advertisements are listed in chronological order, with the most recent ads presented first. Thus, if you posted an ad last Thursday, chances are the ad is fifty pages back, and no one has seen since Thursday or Friday.

On Facebook, however, ads are listed in no particular order. To access your post from last Thursday, your friend does not need to flip back fifty pages. She simply clicks on your profile, and selects your Event or Group. Facebook's easy access to new and old information removes the need to repost every day.

Because Facebook was created as a social network, nothing you post will ever be deleted, unless you choose to do so. This means your ad will never expire.

On Kijiji, however, your ad has a 30 day lifespan. This results in annoying expiration date emails, and repeated re-posting of your ad.

Facebook also allows for more aggressive, rather than passive, advertising. Kijiji, Craigslist, all these online classifieds rely on one basic assumption: others will read your post.

However, you cannot force them to read your ad.

Facebook, in contrast, is coupled with a messaging system, much like email. When you create an Event, you can all your friends about this Event. If you created a Group, you can invite all your friends to your group. Facebook allows you to sneak information right under people's noses. They can't help but read your ad!

Another advantage of Facebook lies in its versatility. Your ad can be presented in a variety of forms: a series of wall posts, mass messaging, a Group, an Event, or all of those. The different approaches for advertising allows you to attack from all angles.

In addition, you can upload photographs, music, and videos, to complement a verbal description. What other website allows for multimedia?

Why post boring paragraphs of text on Craigslist, when you can introduce your product with a video on Facebook?

More Resources To Help You Get The Most From Classified Advertising

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