Craigslist.org, or Craigslist, is one of the most visited websites in the US, ranking among the top 20. Craigslist, started in 1995, is an online classified advertisements platform. While most dominant in the USA, the platform is also available in over 80 other countries and 450 cities. The platform has earned respect and trust of its users due to its focus on user experience. The platform allows users to post advertisements and gives them exposure to several million other users. Craigslist.org gets over 50 billion page views per month, one of the highest in the US.
That’s another reason why the platform is so popular among users. Its main competitor, eBay, is also one of the most visited websites in the US. However, eBay isn’t a direct competitor as the business models of both companies are different from each other.
The platform gets around 80 million postings each month. More than 1 million of these postings are job listings, which also earns Craigslist a small fee, between $10-$75 depending on the area of the advertisement. Craigslist also has a discussion forum that accumulates around 200 million postings each month from its users.
Despite its global popularity, there are some problems with the platform, which can affect the experience of its users negatively. Despite these problems, users of the platform use it without any consideration. Given below is a list of reasons why users should consider not using the platform.
1) It doesn’t allow users to target audience
Perhaps one of the biggest problems with Craigslist is that it does not allow users to target a specific audience. As mentioned above, the platform gets 5 billion page views in a month. However, these pageviews may come from different regions and for various categories.
That means sellers cannot control which audience can or cannot view their postings. Even if users reach their target audience, there is no way to know because they do not offer any diagnostic or analytic tools. It makes managing advertisements more difficult for sellers. The only feature they have available is categories, which can also be confusing sometimes.
2) It has a spam problem
Craigslist, like most other online platforms that allow user input, has a problem with spammers. The platform has taken some counteractions against those spammers and trolls. However, it has not been successful in getting rid of them completely.
Some spammers post fake advertisements and postings. Some others respond to ads. Most of these spammers may also have malicious intent behind what they do. Overall, spammers pose a significant threat not only to the platform but also to its users.
The increasing number of spammers has made some users quit the platform altogether. For users, spam is an important enough matter to consider not using Craigslist.
3) It also has some scammers
By giving access to users from around the world, the platform also gets exposed to scammers. Scammers are different from spammers, as they most directly affect the users.
While scammers do not directly affect the platform, they can affect the reputation of the platform inversely. There are also some reported incidents of scammers using Craigslist to lure unsuspecting victims for criminal activities.
The problem with scammers on the platform is well-known among most users. However, there are no possible ways for the platform and its users to detect or prevent these scammers. The platform does warn its users of scammers. However, that does not solve the problem.
4) Some categories are not free
While most of the categories on the platform are free to use for users, some others require users to pay before posting. These may include categories such as job postings, apartment rentals, commercial real estate, cars/trucks, gigs, and services, among several others. For professional users, the prices may be low.
However, for casual users, the charges mean they cannot post in the categories for free. Although their prices are minimal, considering the exposure they help users get, users may not be willing to pay for it. Therefore, the charges may be a reason why users consider not using Craigslist.
5) There are several modern alternatives available
While Craigslist is the biggest platform for users to post online classified advertisements on, there are many modern alternatives. Some users may find the simplicity of the platform useful. However, some other users prefer using modern platforms that offer better features.
The main alternatives to Craigslist, such as OfferUp and LetGo, build on features that are missing on Craigslist to give users a better user experience.
That alone may be a reason for users to consider using alternatives instead of Craigslist. The platform also has stayed behind the curve when it comes to new features, which also may be a negative point for some people.
Craigslist is an online classified advertisements platform. It is arguably the biggest platform of its kind in the USA. Despite its popularity and user-friendliness, it has some problems that some users may consider a dealbreaker.
Given above is a list of the five reasons why people should consider not using Craigslist as an online classified ads platform.