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Sellers Choice 2020 Marketplace Ratings: Craigslist

craigslist

Craigslist slid up a spot and came in 8th in the 2020 Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces. Finally developing a mobile app may have helped, as sellers have always found Craigslist to be one of the more profitable places to sell. Managing listings and flaky buyers are a challenge, but easy to use for local selling.

In January 2020, EcommerceBytes readers rated the marketplaces on which they had experience selling. An introduction to the Sellers Choice survey along with a summary of the overall ratings can be found here, along with links to results for each of the 10 online marketplaces included in the survey.

craigslist - 2018 Sellers Choice Awards

Profitability:

Customer Service:

Communication:

Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

craigslist
Year Established: 1996
Description: Online classifieds; general merchandise, real estate, help wanted
More Info

Summary:
Craigslist came in 8th in the 2020 Sellers Choice Awards. Easy to use and profitable sums up sellers main praise for Craigslist.

As in years past, sellers say Craigslist is great for selling locally, particularly items too large or heavy to ship. A repeat complaint: buyers are flaky, and don’t always show up to consummate a deal.

Some sellers have luck beyond that – though others echoed the sentiment from a seller who said, “Better for getting rid of stuff than making money.”

One seller called buyers on Craigslist “bottom feeders and tire kickers,” adding that it was “hard to get people to commit to a sale, and they want to low-ball.”

It’s interesting that no respondent mentioned the mobile app Craigslist launched in December, given the comments last year from sellers who called for one.

Safety was again cited as a concern, as with other local selling platforms. One seller said they only meet buyers at police stations over safety concerns. “My concern was the number of bizarre people contacting me, and that is not Craigslist’s fault, just a hazard of dealing with a bargain-seeking public.”

Others also cited safety concerns about meeting buyers in person. “There are a lot of scams and mostly don’t feel safe letting people come to my house for larger items any more.”

One seller suggested Craigslist open up its platform to shipping in conjunction with PayPal payments, writing, “I think this site would be great if they allowed mailing of purchases.”

One of the challenges sellers have is managing listings. As one seller wrote, “You do not receive any notification that one of your items has been removed, you just have to notice it on your own. It is incredibly difficult to figure out why an item gets taken down.”

“Don’t like how you have to reload photos if you don’t catch the listing b/4 it expires,” said another.

Another seller explained, “One negative is the longevity and positioning of the listings is relatively short for having invested so much time to post them with a good description and photos. Takes time. Sellers should have the option of refreshing a listing as often as they need to, or want to. To relist is just as time-consuming the 2nd time… no way to save a listing and relist it quickly.”

Another complaint: “When you list an item on Craigslist you are bombarded with spam and rip off email and texts,” explained one seller. Another wrote, “Hate all the “fake” flagging competitors use to clear out the competition.”

Sellers also praised Craigslist for the autonomy it lends them. “No fees. Incredible visibility. Puts all the power directly between buyer and seller. One of the best choices,” wrote one seller.

Craigslist received a 5.49 in Profitability; a 3.63 in Customer Service; a 3.76 in Communication; and a 6.55 in Ease of Use. It received a 5.49 from sellers when asked, “How likely are you to recommend Craigslist as a selling venue to a friend or colleague?”

Reader Comments:The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Great when I want to sell something locally or an item that is hard to ship. Almost everything I list on Craigslist has sold and usually for free.

Non-intrusive into my personal info. Love that!

First of all it’s free, even if you sell something. I even sold a boat. And fruit jars. Collectables. Furniture. It’s great for selling STUFF. LOCALLY. They also give you good advice because scammers, phishers, and other low lives haunt the site trying to get your phone number, actual email address, etc. But Craigslist does a good job of protecting those until you feel certain that the potential buyer is actually a real person. But what you make on what you sell is pure profit.

Craigslist is easy to use, free, and gives you more profit. Also a good venue for selling large items or items you’d rather sell locally. No communication from customer service though.

I have made many sales on CL. I like the renew option. Unfortunately, local buyers can be flakey and sales can be very slow. I do not like it when I am renewing and it bogs down. Otherwise, it is a good venue to sell items that are too large to ship online.

I like Craigslist. It is an engaging platform.

Safety issues would keep me from recommending this site. I had little reason to communicate with them. I have always had great luck selling on this site. Recently sold a house and saved thousands.

Craigslist is a quick and easy way to sell items. However, you then bring in the sketchy factor of people that flake out or late arrivals and so on. But, all and all, I’ve had my best luck here.

Craigslist is where I sell my old car or old computer. I don’t use it to sell my clothing line. But it’s always been effective for selling my old stuff.

Easy to use and everything I have ever posted here I have sold. It is basically a local venue so it makes it easy to communicate with your buyer.

Craigslist really doesn’t have any involvement, which is fine since most items listed on craigslist are for local pickup anyway, and don’t really require any customer support.

Craigslist is just a whole different thing on its own. Better for getting rid of stuff than making money.

Craigslist is easy to use, and free. Because I don’t have to pay selling fees, I usually price my items lower than on sites where I do have to pay fees. I have never tried to get Customer Service, so I don’t know how good it is or isn’t. Regarding communication, there really isn’t any. Over the years, I have occasionally had items that were removed. You do not receive any notification that one of your items has been removed, you just have to notice it on your own. It is incredibly difficult to figure out why an item gets taken down. I know there is a forum where you can try to get help, but a lot of the contributors seem snarky in their answers, so I haven’t used that.

I know it’s free but anything I’ve listed on there sells. The format is kind of old school. It’s extremely popular.

Easy to use and great “profitability” if the buyer follows thru and actually meets w/you to buy. LOTS of buyers don’t follow through. So sometimes Craigslist is a total waste of time… but you never know, so worth the try especially for large, bulky, heavy or very fragile items. One other negative is the longevity and positioning of the listings is relatively short for having invested so much time to post them with a good description and photos. Takes time. Sellers should have the option of refreshing a listing as often as they need to, or want to. To relist is just as time-consuming the 2nd time… no way to save a listing and relist it quickly.

Great for local sales and for large items difficult to ship. No fees and don’t need to use PayPal. No customer service to speak of.

What I like about Craigslist is they have the necessary traffic that you need to make sales. I still like eBay better, but Craigslist isn’t bad if you know how to list your item so it gets views. Craigslist is a learn as you go platform.

Craigslist is fairly self-service. We have a high success rate with large items and local service. It’s free. Never really had to contact anyone at Craigslist,

No fees. Incredible visibility. Puts all the power directly between buyer and seller. One of the best choices.

I’ve had great success selling on Craigslist. The lack of fees helps with profitability. Although things need to be priced more aggressively (lower) than on eBay to move items.

I like the capability to sell larger, difficult-to-ship items to the local market. Even had 1 buyer come from several states away for an area-way double door.

We’ve listed on Craigslist such as large tools, and renting our Mother-in-Law suite. Our responses have usually been people who were serious. Those times when we didn’t sell, almost always I agreed with the potential buyer.

A great choice for heavy items. It takes some patience if you live away from large cities. Many people will not drive far to pick up, unless you have a hard to find, popular item.

It’s very easy to use, and I only met my buyers at police stations so I felt safe. My concern was the number of bizarre people contacting me and that is not Craigslist’s fault, just a hazard of dealing with a bargain-seeking public.

Craigslist has no customer service of any kind but the site is easy to use and there are no fees of any kind. Only accept cash and deal locally because there are a lot of scammers. Never accept check or money orders and don’t fall for the “I included extra so you can pay my shipper” that is always 100% a scam. Craigslist is not as busy as it once was which is most likely due to a mixture of competition and bad press. I mostly sell larger items that would be difficult to ship. For smaller items, I meet people at our local police station which has a designated area just for this purpose.

I have made pretty good money on Craigslist, but there are a lot of scams and mostly don’t feel safe letting people come to my house for larger items any more.

I sell many items on this site. I have not had to use customer service. It is easy to list items on Craigslist plus they allow 24 pictures – most people want to see an item-front, back, sides, top, bottom. In addition, I can stipulate Calls Only, no texts. Also, people can see my other ads by clicking “More ads by this user.”

Easy to use, but of course there will be no customer service or communication if there is a problem. One really understands and expect this from Craigslist, as it has the reputation as such at this point. Can be profitable, but one must proceed with caution and understanding the risks.

Nothing but great experiences selling, but I am driving customers to my store – I would NEVER invite a CL shopper to my home. There is too much possibility that someone may be pretending to buy, but instead casing my property for burglary later. I like the anonymous response feature that doesn’t give my email directly but I can respond to inquiries. A couple of SERIOUS scams but I got an instant response when I reported them to CL management. CL seems like a magnet for scammers who can’t penetrate other venues. I recommend it but tell people to be very wary.

I think this site would be great if they allowed mailing of purchases. If sellers use PayPal there is a built in buyer guarantee. I mailed a package to a customer once when they agreed and paid by PayPal. I referred them to my 100% Positive Feedback record on eBay. The customer responded he was satisfied. Craigslist has the most possibilities than anywhere else.

There is no customer support on Craigslist. They have managed to cut out a lot of the scammers, but you still have to be careful. I will only do local pick-up and payment must be in cash.

It’s great that it’s free. There is no customer support whatsoever. It’s a pain to relist items at the monthly point because I’m always getting blocked if I try to relist “too quickly”. I do reach people and sell things in person, so that’s great. I have been stolen from in a couple of instances.

There are very few perks of selling on Craigslist other than no fees! It is a good venue for certain items.

Lowest cost for selling, but highest risk of fraud/scams. Practically limited to local area selling and requires direct contact with all elements of the public.

Bottom feeders and tire kickers – hard to get people to commit to a sale, and they want to low-ball.

Lots of no shows (frustrating) – not nearly as popular in my location as it once was.

Scams abound on craigslist and craigslist does nothing to prevent them!! I was scammed and received no replies to my problem from craigslist.

Not really any customer service, lots of scam buyers and no-shows, but nice for items that are too big or heavy to ship.

Good for local classified sales but has not improved much over time so is loosing traction in the online sales game and buyers are not looking there as much so sellers have a smaller market.

Don’t like how you have to reload photos if you don’t catch the listing b/4 it expires.

I am irritated that they don’t monitor the listing and they have people giving away dogs and cats for free which are used for bait and backyard breeders selling dogs.

I think craigslist as to small items and household has been taken over by Facebook marketplace and other newer apps. Every time I list I get marketing pitches and it’s not very personal

It’s the wild west with CL. Communication from staff is almost non-existent.

Craigslist is extremely easy as a seller, minus seller communication (no phone to contact them), however I always make sales, because the customer base is so large. However, I am always having to haggle, so profit usually goes down.

Good overall experience as seller and buyer.

Pros – no fees, easy to create a listing Cons – limited to local sales

Great place to sell large, no mail-able items. Be very watchful for scammers though. They are very common on craigslist.

I have no experience with customer service with craigslist. Even though I have been selling on there for about 14 years. It is easy to use and involves no shipping.

You are mostly on your own with Craigslist. You have to arrange meeting for exchanging money and item. It can be a scary process.

Craigslist is dying out in my opinion. Poor admin services of eliminating bots and scammers. Now they charge to list vehicles and such a poor interface. The gui (Graphical User Interface) is poor. Honestly I haven’t used Craigslist since last year and have no desire to go back…not even as a buyer.

Items are only listed for a period of 7 days. Don’t like that! NO customer service or communication with them. Items are removed with no explanation. How can I fix it if I don’t know the reason???

CL’s biggest problem is having to upload pictures for a reload. Please save photos along with rest of post!

What a horrific place to try to list an item. Most people that respond are trolling and they are the same exact people in the seller forums that bash everyone and gang up on people like wild animals. It’s by far the most unappealing customer support or community interaction by far. It’s literally repulsive the way people speak to others in the seller forums and the staff is the one berating people as well as going on hate speech tirades. I have sold some stuff off there, but the local apps like 5 miles, letgo and offer up are better.

Only good if you want people coming to your door. Big drawback is that you can’t ship orders on this site. Can be dangerous and an invasion of privacy.

It’s actually pretty scary selling (or buying) on Craigslist. You never know who will come knocking. You do however have a huge audience.

I really don’t like meeting people, and customers don’t like paying for shipping.

When you list an item on Craigslist you are bombarded with spam and rip off email and texts. If you get an actual customer it is very rare.

Craigslist has no customer service and no communication, which, is great but has the occasional drawback. I will only do local pick-up with cash. Too many scammers to accept any other form of payment. Some buyers don’t show up. Craigslist isn’t as popular as it once was, so be prepared to relist your item over and over before it sells.

Biggest complaint is all the fraud and buyers that jerk you around. As far as their customer service, I have never even found (or looked too hard), how to contact them. Got the idea I was pretty much on my own there. Also, I think a lot of spamming with repeated listing of same items happens there and they don’t seem to get that under control. I don’t sell daily, just list items on occasion.

Put something on there and someone complains because they don’t want competition and craigslist takes off your listing. Frustrating. I gave up on listing on craigslist.

Most of the people buying on craigslist just want things really cheap. It is really a waste of time to try to sell on there. In my experience you do better with a garage sale.

Their customer service or presence is zero. Sellers have a low esteem of this site, perhaps for that reason. Prospective buyers will respond with serious interest and then never even respond to responses. They will often if not almost always make specific appointments and then not show up for them or communicate again. They never give even a courtesy response to say they are not coming. I had one person ask me to meet him in a far away store parking lot on a cold winter night so it would be more convenient for him on his way home. I went and waited in front of the store for an hour and he did not come. When I went home and emailed, he said, “Oh my co worker offered me his old coffee maker when he heard I was buying one, so I didn’t need it anymore.” But he didn’t even tell me?? I was so mad I was on the verge of saying some very not nice things to him and it took me a long time to get over it and even still think about it. Why is it this is very typical for craigslist and the feelings I described occur often when similar things happen all the time. Craigslist gives a feeling that there is no accountability on either end, by buyers but by sellers also who often actually say it is craigslist. I don’t have to guarantee anything. But it is local, so I use it sometimes but under duress. Only occasionally, it is a successful sale.

Some sellers relist/renew many times a day, loading up the selling pages and pushing others’ items to the bottom of the list. I’ve only been able to renew after 45 days. Another very annoying issue is the number of spam messages I get as a result of posting items.

Apparently I missed the spot to check not to show my address on the ad and I had people showing up at my house totally unexpectedly and without warning! That shouldn’t have even been an option to show my home address, especially in this day and age!!

Craiglist has become the place to go to make a mess of the buying and selling experience. Cheap used electronics, used furniture, used cars. Not the place to sell good stuff unless your definition of good stuff is a used screen door.

Sellers Choice Awards:
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the Sellers Choice Awards, please feel free to post them below.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.