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Free Classified Ads Sites: Craigslist and eBay Classifieds, Plus How to Enter the Free Classified Mobile Market

Updated on May 22, 2012

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?

See results

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.

New Markets

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.

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    • profile image

      ayla5253 2 years ago

      I agree about posting in multiple cities. We live 1/2 way between 2 major cities (cleveland and akron) and could pull in buyers from either, but no, CL will not allow it, we get flagged all the time

    • adskir profile image

      Max 4 years ago from USA

      Craigslist is the biggest classified but not user friendly. It has simple but a not simple interface.

    • profile image

      Justin 5 years ago

      Check out Ebay Classifieds. You can either get there by typing it into Google, or go to Ebay and click on the Classifieds link in their menu. It's free to post and it works locally by region the same way Craigslist does.

      Also, I personally think it looks better and is easier to use. Ebay owns part of Craigslist and has a member on their 3 member board of directors so Ebay Classifieds is growing. It used to be Kajiji, but they changed the name.

    • profile image

      AJ 5 years ago

      i love craigslist.best site ever.i definetely have it up all day every day.long live CL.

    • profile image

      Mark 6 years ago

      Craigslist has got its own place in people's heart. But its not about what people think anymore. Its about sellers getting their sales pitch conveyed and possible buyers being offered with what they want. So people will love craigslist as always but also they will always be in search of better and more places to advertise. After all advertising in classifieds has always been inspired by the idea of getting more exposure.

    • profile image

      used cars under 5000 6 years ago

      Sell ??Used cars online has many advantages over through local show room

      I prefer to make a review on the blog or on twitter, but quickly got requests for it via Craigslist is very good especially for the USA

    • profile image

      Sabuj Ahmed 6 years ago

      Craigslist is the boss of free classified ads. Thanks for nicely explain this subject.

    • profile image

      Sabuj Ahmed 6 years ago

      Craigslist is the boss of free classified ads. Thanks for nicely explain this subject.

    • profile image

      Son Dang 6 years ago

      @Paul Edmondson

      Oops, I hit the "Post Comment" button too soon.

      Anyhow, I am getting things configured and launch a site that covers some of the missing features that Craigslist and eBay's Classifieds next month. February 3, 2011 to be exact.

      There are power advertisers that wants to be able to publish ads across multiple cities and categories, and there are power seekers that want to be able to search county, state or nation wide for items without having to switching regions for each query. The upcoming site will address their needs. At the same time, other features that included are ad discussion, bookmark, ad counter, activate/de-activate ads (good to notify ad seekers that you have sold your items so that they don't have to contact you), and more.

      Again, the site will go live on February 3, 2011. I am looking for users, both ad publishers and ad seekers, to try out and tell me if certain web pages' content need clarification.

      Hope to see you all there.

      Regards,

      Son Dang

    • profile image

      joe s 6 years ago

      It will eventually happen.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image
      Author

      Paul Edmondson 6 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I keep thinking that someone will start to give cl a run for their money. Kind if like what google did to yahoo in search.

    • profile image

      Joe S 6 years ago

      I agree with Todd, there are plenty of classified sites out there that are good. The only thing that's hold Craigslist together is popularity and page loading rate. I believe in the past they mention that they will never make any drastic changes to there site...Still a good investment for Mr. Buckmaster. Per Kiji, they will continue to improve there site and they have proven that through there site. Oodle, I believe is the first aggregating classified site or at least well known for it which is something different from the rest of them, think of it as a search engine to other classified sites. Not sure with the other site but heard Olx is up there with Craig/Kijiji. I guess I can add one more to the list that I stumbled upon, extoldeals is another local classified site that just started and I believe they aren't charging anything.

      *** The post above me should be deleted, nothing relavent to the subject. I take it he's a fan of craigslist lol ***

    • profile image

      stopflagger 6 years ago

      Yea Craig's list was king and it may still be but not for long if the crazy flagging people continue to harries a sellers listing for no reason at all other than the fact they did not like your price.

    • profile image

      Bryant Emerson 6 years ago

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    • zzron profile image

      zzron 6 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Great post, can you promote your hub pages site on craigslist?

    • Paul Edmondson profile image
      Author

      Paul Edmondson 6 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      No. You have to pay to post on eBay. But they do have a local classified site that is free.

    • profile image

      Stephanie 6 years ago

      Are there free advertisement on Ebay?

    • profile image

      cathring 6 years ago

      can someone please tell me a better site than craigslist

    • profile image

      Uncle Al 7 years ago

      Come see how a good site works. You need pva to post here

    • profile image

      kim 7 years ago

      classified sites are old and spammy press release are in!

    • profile image

      Bathroom Store 7 years ago

      Helpful resource.

    • freelanceauthor profile image

      freelanceauthor 7 years ago

      Very informative. Thanks for sharing those links.

    • profile image

      Johny 7 years ago

      Craigslist may be number one but I think their design is terrible and just don't seem attractive. Americanlisted is a much better choice in my opinion for a classified website.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image
      Author

      Paul Edmondson 7 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      Interesting comment about TV sites with websites. I've felt for the last few years that TV advertising could be effective at growing a local site. I wonder if the television stations have figure this out.

    • MikeNV profile image

      MikeNV 7 years ago from Henderson, NV

      Local Media - specifically Television stations with Websites that are smart are also offering free classifieds. The advantage to date has been they can capture emails and target specific to their local markets.

      This is a medium shift that should be embraced... those who do will win and those who do not will lose.

    • TRex916 profile image

      TRex916 7 years ago

      Thank you Paul for letting me know of some other sites out there beyond Craigslist. I've tried Oodle, but its not quite what I'm looking for in the Real Estate Industry (CL charges and doesn't get the job I need)

      I recently came across yupletre.com. It's still young but if you're in the RE biz or looking for a house, it's worth your time.

    • Richard Nester profile image

      Richard Nester 7 years ago

      It's nice to see that others have similar opinions regarding Craigslist. I am not a fan myself and it's interesting that Todd is also recommending Americanlisted.com which I have done on other occations, I think it's worth trying.

    • profile image

      Deborah 7 years ago

      Here comes my suggestion:

      I don't know about Craigslist, but I do know that Americanlisted.com allows users to post an ad locally and still makes it visible to anyone across country.

      No matter where you live in US, you'll be able to find all ads just by selecting "all states" at first step during your searching phase.

      Hope this helps you somewhat, Angela!

      Good luck!

    • Paul Edmondson profile image
      Author

      Paul Edmondson 7 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I totally disagree on craigslist. The site is blazing fast, and a bit quirky, but it's the best local classified site on the the internet. At the end of the day, you want people to buy your stuff and Craigslist has buyers.

    • Todd D profile image

      Todd D 7 years ago

      I would forget about craigslist it´s a mess and the search sucks. It feels like something from 1999, there are much better classifieds which are safe, free, and local + have great search and posting options.

    • profile image

      CV 8 years ago

      Craiglist is the no.1 in classifieds industry.

    • profile image

      Gavin Hines 8 years ago

      I don't think any classified site can top craigs list even in the future because people are just so aware of craigslist its like a house hold name now.

    • profile image

      Angela 9 years ago

      I love Craigslist. I just wish they would allow people to cross cities and country post. I've found great stuff surfing across other states, and countries.

      However, when I have something great that someone would like to buy in another city or country. I'm not allow to post.

      This will be a reason for me to stop using Craigslist. I hate E-bay, Kijiji and anything to do with E-bay. I hope Craigslist will reconsider.

      Angela

    • profile image

      Gary 9 years ago

      Justgoodcars is a free automotive network where private sellers and dealers can buy and sell vehicles on over 1000 websites worldwide.

    • profile image

      gredmondson 10 years ago

      I check Craigslist all the time and have made some purchases and given away some things. Check the free stuff in cities like San Francisco. It's amazing sometimes.

    • profile image

      Donlin 10 years ago

      Yup I love craigslist, just sold a large mower using the list. Its a lot better than ebay for selling stuff plus its free and done locally and you use cash.