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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 255 - January 24, 2010 - ISSN 1528-6703     7 of 17

Seller's Choice Marketplace Ratings: Craigslist

By Ina & David Steiner

January 24, 2010

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In January 2010, AuctionBytes surveyed over 1,400 online sellers and asked them to rate the marketplaces on which they had experience selling. An introduction to the survey along with a summary of the overall ratings can be found here, with a link to the results of each of the 15 online marketplaces included in the survey.


Customer Service:


Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

Year Established: 1996
Description: Classifieds. General merchandise, Real Estate, Help Wanted.
More Info

Online classifieds site Craigslist earned high marks on Ease of Use, below average on Customer Service and Communication, and average marks on Profitability. Many respondents appreciated the "hands-off" approach Craigslist takes with transactions, but remarked on a lack of customer service. Commentors liked that Craigslist does not send sellers a stream of emails, but on the other hand, complained about the spam they received from other users as well as scams on the site. Sellers point out some of the pros and cons of listing on classifieds sites: they liked listing large items locally and getting cash, but the downside was that it was more time-consuming, and some feared meeting strangers in person. A large number of respondents reported having experience selling on Craigslist, and it was rated fifth out of fifteen as a recommended selling venue.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:
Best deal, least hassle, consistent.
Great selling venue. No fees charged is an excellent feature. Also no fees to PayPal as it often involves cash payments. Also, a lot of traffic on the site, items sell fast in general.
Craigslist doesn't directly communicate with sellers, but they do provide the basic sense type of communication that a venue like this should be expected to have: they don't get in the middle of the sale... they simply warn both buyers and sellers of scams to watch out for, and leave it at that. It's free, so I retain 100% profits of anything I sell. The only thing Craigslist could improve really, is the ability to more quickly remove spam listings or those who appropriate email addresses from the listings. All of that clutter creates some delays and trust issues, but still Craigslist is still much more preferable to Amazon and eBay.
Ultra easy, you're on your own, and it's FREE. I love only being communicated with when there is an issue, not constantly being flooded with promotional emails, seller reports, etc. I take care of all of that stuff myself, thank you, and CL provides me an open venue.
For a totally free, no rules about how many pictures or what kind of payment etc they are ok. At least they pretty much stay out of your transaction if it's legal and above board.
I have used Craig's List to list real estate for rent mainly and it has been successful. I have also used it to list mdse for sale and found it moderately successful.
I've used Craigslist for large items that I don't want to ship and it's been effective and haven't had any reason to communicate with Craigslist themselves. My concern with Craigslist or similar is that I don't want people I don't know coming to my house to look at items personally - I think it is safer to handle sales through the mail.
Very easy to use,can be very time consuming due to mostly local delivery pick up by customer.Overall an excellent supplemental venue.
I listed my item (laser printer $140) 3 times over a period of 3 weeks and sold it for full price. I wouldn't recommend it as I received over 20 smutty, inappropriate emails from total strangers.
I am not sure that they have any customer support, as they have never answered any emails I have sent. The site is very easy to use, and peolpe do call, and sales do happen, and most of all its free. I am in the process of posting more.
Craig's list is a good tool to sell things that you are looking to get rid of for an average price, but it isn't extremely user friendly, and I don't see much in the way of customer support...you are on your own.
Very difficult to bulk list, good for large buyer-collect items, or job lots, completely different environment to other venues.
For antiques and collectibles, craigslist is a very poor site. There are no thumbnail photos with the listing and the limited photo capabilities make it difficult to show items to their best advantage when someone does click on your listing. Also, the feature that only allows buyers to search one area at a time doesn't help.
Every time I place an ad for a product for sale I am solicited by some member for something even though they say it is not allowed. When I contacted them about it they apparently didn't think it was worth a reply
Craigslist is simple, easy, and fee free. It's just not the best venue for what I typically sell. Their communication is virtually non-existent. The CD/DVD board in south Florida is flooded with non-CD/DVD listings but they don't do anything no matter how much you report or email. Very frustrating. I use Craigslist more for sourcing inventory than for selling.
Lots and lots of spammers live there. Also, in selling something and I receive questions - links can have viruses. I NEVER click links like that but the question from a potential buyer looked very legit and I got a computer virus that cost me money. Now I am VERY leery of useing Craigs List at all.
The main problem with Craigslsit is visibility. Your listings get buried very quickly and then no one sees them. Also I don't like that crabby users can get your items deleted if they think you're violating the "rules". That seems to be very arbitrary.
Spam is becoming a huge problem. Every item I list with an email and phone number. I easily get 20-30 spam emails from every ad.
have used it to sell large pick up only items. customer service is virtually non existent, other sellers are able to report you items for violations and get them removed, even if their are no violations, if listing two items, say a diswasher and trash compactor you will get a notice saying you can't list one of them because it is the same as the one you just listed. would not recommend for someone trying to make a living selling on line


Sellers Choice
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the survey results or the survey itself, please feel free to post them in the AuctionBytes Blog.


About the author:

Ina and David Steiner are publishers of EcommerceBytes.com and have been writing about ecommerce since 1999.

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