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Free Classified Ads Sites: Craigslist and eBay Classifieds, Plus How to Enter the Free Classified Mobile Market
Ebay's Free Classified Site
Craigslist is the king of free classified ads. Anyone can post an ad and have it placed in front of a large audience for free in their local area. The growth of Craigslist has been credited for millions of dollars of lost revenue for newspapers. Use it to sell items locally, find a roommate, and even for casual sex. Yes, there's a bit of everything on Craigslist and it's all free to post, accept for jobs. They charge for those.
There are now all sorts of free classified ad sites for everything from cars to dating. Plenty of Fish has become the top free personals site, while Microsoft entered the game with Expo Live. In 2008, Expo live was shut down proving how hard it is to get traction in the free classifieds space. Google has also tried to get into the listing space. Google Base has turned into Google's Merchant center where product listings can be uploaded. It is no longer a free classified site.
Would you rather have a way to post your free classified ad across multiple sites from one place, or is the more elegant solution to aggregate ads like Oodle? Oodle has turned into a social marketplace that distributes listings across the we and to sites like Facebook.
Best Free Classified Ad Website
Is Craigslist the best free classified ad website?
Why is it so hard to start a free classified site
Large companies and entreprenuers have attacked the free classified space by leveraging their big brands in ecommerce like eBay to creating niche sites for every vertical category. Almost all of them fail. The main reason is that a marketplace needs buyers and sellers. People will list their products where they can sell them quickly and easily. Right now, that's dominated by Craigslist. There just isn't a compelling reason to for shoppers to switch.
Ebay remains committed and even owns a significant piece of Craigslist, but thus far, it hasn't made material progress in the US Market with only a few million visitors each month.
Craigslist has largely ignored the mobile classified space. I think this is the opportunity to attack the market, but people would be wise to think about this space as how to build the best community rather than the best tools. A mobile community in the classified space can take down CL.