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Thu May 24 2012 11:15:47

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

By: Julia Wilkinson

Sponsored Link

Should Craigslist remodel its famously old-school, text-intense, classic web site design? An article on BetaBeat speculates that it might, based on an ad placed on the San Francisco CL site under jobs.

Among the missions of the new gig:
"* improve the craigslist user experience -- faster, friendlier and easier;
* develop new products and features;
* integrate new front-end technologies wherever appropriate; and
* solve interesting tech issues at billion-page-view-per-day scale."

Craigslist has famously resisted change over the years, to some criticism -- including at least one piece in WIRED Magazine; but personally I appreciate for the most part that they didn't mess with success. One change, however, they did add which was IMO sorely needed was the ability to show thumbnail images with a list of postings...to do this, you need to click the "show images" link in the upper right corner of the page.

What about the mobile site? You can certainly bring up Craigslist on your iPhone or other smartphone with a browser, but there are already many apps to choose from to use CL on the go: on my iPhone alone, there are the apps: Craigslist (Free), Craigslist for iPhone and iPad, Craigsphone, Craigslist Mobile, Craigslist Housing, Nationwide Craigslist, and so on.

I've found some great services over Craigslist and even made one very good friendship. In terms of selling things, my record is more spotty; people can easily flake out on sales using CL.

What about you...do you think CL could use a makeover? If so, what should they change? And do you use Craigslist much to sell and/or buy? Post a comment here!




Comments (19) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

by: 10 year seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 24 14:34:25 2012

How about adding an online payment system and a buyer/seller verification system. i know ebay owns part of craigslist so maybe they have agreed to not compete.

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu May 24 14:59:26 2012

Credit me with being an old fuddy-duddy... but I cannot imagine ANY circumstance where I would want to use Craigslist... either as lister or a reader.

Perhaps irrational paranoia and excessive caution is something that comes with age... and maybe I read too many news stories... but Craigslist seems to be such a big risk. (Especially with fraud, theft, violence...)

Our lovely neighbors put their house on the market several months ago. It was listed with a REALTOR, with conditions that clearly specified showings by appointment only.

Within days of their listing being made public, they started to get visitors throughout the day... with no appointment, with no realtor, and wanting to view the house.

It turns out that someone had used the MLS info about the house, and publicly available property info about the owners... and posted an ad on Craigslist. The listing included all the pertinent information about the property, but with a BARGAIN PRICE... way below market... and the phone number so that the ''owner'' could take calls.

The fake owner made up a story about having to leave the country very soon, and that he needed to sell immediately. He invited people to drive-by and take a look, and if they wanted it, they should IMMEDIATELY PAY HIM a deposit to hold it. (Obviously, his goal was to get as many deposits/holds as possible... then disappear.)

My neighbors eventually printed a sign to tape on their door. With BIG BOLD letters, it said:

We Did NOT List This House On Craigslist!!
SHOWINGS BY REALTOR APPOINTMENT ONLY.
CALL THE NUMBER ON THE ''FOR-SALE'' SIGN.
PLEASE DO NOT KNOCK.

Okay, so that's my ''close-encounter'' with Craigslist. Needless to say it was very distressing to my neighbors to have these brazen visitors peering in windows and knocking on the door at all hours.

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Thu May 24 17:55:22 2012

I've used Craigslist for years with no problems. Sold many high priced items (ie: motorcycles, musical equipment, tools, computers, phones) that I wouldn't dare list on eBay or were too heavy to ship.

On the other hand, I can't get through 10 transactions on eBay without somebody trying to lowball or scam.

I think Craigslist is perfectly fine the way it is. If they start making changes, it will be  a lot like eBay where you never know what changes are coming next.

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

by: memker This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 24 18:02:44 2012

craig newmark's answer to the rumors about the redesign: "What redesign?
"
source is himself: http://goo.gl/WzyJc

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 24 18:08:17 2012

A working feedback system would be great, there are lots of flakey buyers......

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidofthis.com

Thu May 24 18:18:39 2012

Would like to see Craigslist Mobile offer Google Maps/GPS for their Garage Sale section... or what we like to call it in Brooklyn--- a Stoop Sale.
Unless such an animal already exists that i'm not aware of?

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 24 23:06:27 2012

Craigslist is a slum. Plus there are "Morals Police" in many areas. I ran an ad to buy men's magazines. The up tight jerks in a couple of towns had it deleted. I would never sell anything on CL.

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 25 00:26:14 2012

CL is great the way it is....Feedback system???? Big sissy, meet the people and make the deal...Payment system??? Foolish proposal...take the cash!!!  I sell more on CL with less hassle than ebay now.  Love meeting the people and doing business face to face!  
I will say to use COMMON SENSE with any dealing, if you can't use common sense better sick to ebay....they will guide you every step of the way....

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

by: bluejen This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 25 00:54:46 2012

I think it's long overdue. They probably want to make it easier to read on tablets/smartphones. One thing I dearly wish they would separate the Inland Empire into at least the two counties - San Bernardino and Riverside County. Many of the cities in the counties are several hours away.

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Fri May 25 01:59:26 2012

I sell on craigslist with no problem for again items I would not even think of trying to sell on eBay. I do not list my phone they have to contact me with their phone number and I will get back to them. I meet the person at a public place and we make the exchange of cash. Just like running an ad in the paper you have to use common sense in your dealings and I get to talk to people the old fashioned way.

Bill

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

This user has validated their user name. by: Stockmiser

Fri May 25 09:49:26 2012

I use CL for 2 things - large items that I would only ever buy locally (like a used mower or fridge), and rentals.  In fact, I bought a golf cart off CL a few years back, and it was the only place I could find what I was looking for.

As for rentals, our local paper probably lists 10% of what's out there - CL is THE place in my college town for rentals.  We manage 10 rental houses, and we always use CL - and it's never failed us!  

Should they update the site?  Yes and no, imho.  No, because it works and there is no need.  Yes, because eventually - like ALL things interenet - it will be replaced by something much better if they don't update.

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
Web Site

Fri May 25 19:35:34 2012

@biddofthis.com

There is an app called iGarageSale that meets your needs.

http://www.igaragesaleapp.com/

Craigslist is the best. Leave well enough alone.  

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

by: Skyer Biz This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sat May 26 08:18:46 2012

Craigslist......
SkyerBiz an online sell shop for buying or selling a store and shop

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 26 11:50:38 2012

I've bought and sold quite a number of items through Craigslist. Zero stress, unlike that other place so often mentioned here.

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Sat May 26 21:26:22 2012

RAOTFLMAO is correct. Craigslist is FREE, it doesn't need a feedback system, payment systems, buyer protection, etc. It's FREE !! Cash in hand, no fees, nobody telling you how to handle your business. If you don't have enough common sense to use Craigslist safely, then stick with Amazon and eBay where they have training wheels.  

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 27 10:03:33 2012

Stop and think, CL is now where ebay started, just a list to post items, buyers and sellers meet and made the deal with no interference....ironical don't you think???

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

by: JoyfulA This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 28 23:57:29 2012

Check the Wanted to Buy category on Craigslist. I've made a couple of decent sales that way.

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

This user has validated their user name. by: basset

Tue May 29 09:18:11 2012

We have sold a few hard to ship household items on Craigslist. Safety being a concern, we meet the buyers at a parking lot that has cameras  - then we just hope the cameras are working or pointed at the right spot. A branch of your bank is good, you can immediately take the money in to deposit.
  Hot item: moving boxes!!!
I admit I have not used Craigs to buy anything. I need to sit down & play with their search a bit more.  

Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?   Should Craigslist Get a Rumored Facelift?

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Mon Dec 31 07:17:56 2012

Absolutely not.

Craigslist works because it isn't trying to be anything. You get the sense that you are using a simple tool, not being manipulated thru a marketing maze as you attempt to list your item. The entire, DIY experience- the fact that CL doesn't hold your hand- means a more raw experience, which naturally turns some people off.

I think a lot of the sleaze, porn etc on Craigslist is what protects it from being out-and-out taken over or commercialized and for that reason, it needs to stay.

To be sure, you do meet some wild ones, but you can usually get a sense who's really interested vs who's a wacko.

If they foul up CL with all kinds of mouseover, flash, animated CRAP script then I'm outa there.

Now blocking SCAMMERS is an altogether different proposition. When the same ad copy in vastly different geographic locations is posted, 9 times out of 10 it's a Chinese scammer gathering up personal info and this would be ridiculously easy to catch and stop with a search routine running in the background. If that's too server-intensive, they could even contract it out.

I'm a vociferous critic of eBay but their Classifieds offering works very well for certain types of items aimed at mostly older folk, who seem to be the primary users of EBC.

As far as feedback goes: feedback means mandatory accounts, and neither service as yet forces that. What's interesting about both eBay and Craigslist classifieds is the ability to bang out a one-off, individual listing without having to create an account, so long as it's tied to a working email address...

If they do jazz up CL, I fear that would be the first thing to go.



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