EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 279 - January 23, 2011 - ISSN 1528-6703     8 of 18

Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Craigslist

By Ina & David Steiner

Email This Story to a Friend

In January 2011, AuctionBytes surveyed almost 2,800 online sellers and asked them to rate 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 16 online marketplaces included in the survey.


Customer Service:


Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

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

Craigslist came in eleventh place with an overall rating of 5.3. Its highest marks were for Ease of Use (6.89) and its lowest marks were for Communication (4.0). "You need to jump a few hoops and put up with some spam, but it keeps it really local and quick," wrote one respondent. "Excellent for local sales," wrote another.

While Craigslist is an online classified site, last year's Sellers Choice confirmed that some professional sellers do use it as part of their online selling strategy. Respondents said in the comments that Craigslist was best for certain types of items, and many used the words "garage sale" to describe items on the site. "I like using Craigslist for big items that are pick-up only items," wrote one. "It is good to sell items that are large or not allowed on other sites," wrote another. But several respondents said buyers expect cheap prices.

Spam, scams and security were big concerns. "Too many spammers, criminals, and rip off artists, but it is free and local, and you can sell livestock!"

A number of respondents also complained that other users would flag their items for removal. "Craigslist is plagued with "flaggers" who will sit and flag your post if they don't like what you are selling, if they think you are asking too much for something, or if they think you've posted too many times (which could mean posting three different items in different categories on the same day)."

"Craigslist does not provide customer service, ads get flagged, and too much spam."

Easy to use, said one, but "Their listing policies are confusing and don't ever try to email them and expect a response in this lifetime!"

Link to 2010 results

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:
I like using Graigslist for big items that are pick-up only items.
Great local option for selling, buying.
I sold a clothes dryer here in 30 minutes once. My neighbor who is a real estate agent went to do a final walkthrough this week on a bank-owned condo that she sold, and found that someone had moved in. This woman had rented the place through a Craigslist ad, paid $500 deposit and another $1000 first month's rent last week, and moved in. Craigslist is full of stuff like this - not sure why the normal classifieds were not like this and Craigs is.
I would only recommend this for a cash in hand local pickup sale, like the classifieds used to be,
I have sold cars, a piano, and other things a few times. Great experience. Effective. EASY.
I live in a large city - so I am selling to a wide audience - and Craigslist does work. Since there is no expenses the profit is excellent. I rated CL poor in CS and communication - but I really don't need or expect anything from them. Ease of use is a 10.
I get instant results selling on craigslist. I do not like all fhe scammers that craigslist attracts, especially from foreign countries. But for instant results locally - can't beat craigslist with a stick!!
I use Craig's list to sell large items that would be difficult and costly to ship and so far this has worked well for me. But everything is "outside" of Craig's list as far as the sale and money collection etc. Of course, there's also no commission to have to pay.
Craigslist as a whole reaches a large audience but attracts an inordinate number of scammers. The last ad I placed was responded to immediately by 2 such. I think that the addition of a secure payment method would go a long way to alleviate that particular problem
Craig's list is a perfect venue for selling if you have large items that can't be shipped. It's relatively easy to use, has no listing fees or final value fees. As far as communication with it's sellers... well they don't bother you at all period. No explanation if a listing is removed
Craigslist #1 Virtue- it's free. I have sold on it, but not lately. Now it seems that any kind of ad you put on it is answered by somebody wanting to get you to go to another site, or scam you. Even on the VT Craigslist (which unfortunately is dominated by Burlington) your ad gets buried pretty quickly. It also has glitches at times that are not intolerable, but very inconvenient. I still recommend it as one venue to try because it is free and so many people read it, with those caveats.
Craig's list is easy to sell on but there is no real customer service-it's fast and easy to list more like a local classified-one drawback to me about buying electronics on Craig's list is no available warranty used items like you can purchase on eBay. Still a quick venue for fixed price items.
Craigslist worked well for selling off large-scale furnishings and fixtures when the brick-and-mortar store I sometimes worked for closed, and my brother loves it for finding service providers, but I don't trust it, nor would I trust any service providers I found there. It's intrusive to have people come to your house to get stuff, and it's scary having to go to theirs. (The Craigslist murders were no surprise to me!) It's also overrun with crap and a pain in the neck to shop. It works well for certain things, such as the aforementioned furnishings, which are impractical to sell on eBay (where we successfully sold off the self-same closing store's art and craft inventory) but I can't see using it again in the foreseeable future.
good place to dispose of things locally and quickly however balky listing process, limit of 4 pics, spam as soon as you place your ad, ads disappear quickly since they are displayed in order of their receipt, latest first. only use for items i don't want to ship.
Their damned filters make posting for Non Spammers and Scammers, like me, very difficult. Their Help Forums are patrolled by volunteers who think they're God, are not helpful, treat you as if you've committed a Felony and do nothing but trash the ad you are attempting to post As for Buyers, they expect to pay 20%-40% of your Asking price even when your ad does not solicit offers
Craiglist is what it is. Not much more than a want ad site. Lots of scammers and spammers as well as just plain jerks. I use only if I want to sell something cheap and fast.
I tried selling my railway collectibles for a few months here but found no buyers. Lotsa people asked if I would accept prices much lower sometimes fractional and so I gave up. There weren't too many people selling artifacts like I do so I think CL is just the wrong venue for my inventory. People here seem to want everything for nothing and I'm not giving me stuff away just to make them happy. I still need to eat!
I would not recommend it to anyone. They still accept adult and illicit solicitations openly and make no effort to stop it. They have no way of preventing scams, and don't really care about the type of people that sell there or if your ripped off. Its not their problem. In my opinion its at the bottom of the barrel, a dive, and I would never recommend anyone to use it. You don't know who your dealing with and most are shyster sellers and something for nothing buyers. Wal Mart, penny pinching types.
Craigslist is great for selling things locally. I wish they had not forced the removal of Craiglook, because I used that for buying and it helps sellers find buyers. Craigslist is easy to use, but I have never had any reason to inquire about anything with customer service.
They have no customer service whatsoever, and 99% of the people who respond to ads placed there either never show up, or just want you to give them something for free.
The only thing that I do not like about craigslist, is that they allow other people to have your posting removed. I am a business owner and I posted some prods that I had for sale and because apparently the person did not like my add or was even selling m the same item, they had it removed. My item for sale was not against the policy
Have used Craigslist for over 3 years. The vast majority of the experience has been with local people who are nothing more than con-artists, thieves or I just wanted to see it in person - I never really wanted to buy it!. I sell a wide variety of items including Vintage High Dollar Collectibles and Craigslist has proven to be of value to me only in the reselling of used furniture and household items that I would not sell on-line. MASSIVE amounts of Spam and Scammer email from posting listings on Craigslist. Still use it as an advertising venue but not truly as a selling platform.
Their listing policies are confusing and don't ever try to email them and expect a response in this lifetime!

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 and have been writing about ecommerce since 1999.

You may quote up to 50 words of any article on the condition that you attribute the article to and either link to the original article or to
All other use is prohibited.