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Free Classified Ads Sites: Craigslist and eBay Classifieds, Plus How to Enter the Free Classified Mobile Market

Ebay's Free Classified Site


Craigslist is the king of free classified ads. Anyone can post an ad and have it placed in front of a large audience for free in their local area. The growth of Craigslist has been credited for millions of dollars of lost revenue for newspapers. Use it to sell items locally, find a roommate, and even for casual sex. Yes, there's a bit of everything on Craigslist and it's all free to post, accept for jobs. They charge for those.

There are now all sorts of free classified ad sites for everything from cars to dating. Plenty of Fish has become the top free personals site, while Microsoft entered the game with Expo Live. In 2008, Expo live was shut down proving how hard it is to get traction in the free classifieds space. Google has also tried to get into the listing space. Google Base has turned into Google's Merchant center where product listings can be uploaded. It is no longer a free classified site.

Would you rather have a way to post your free classified ad across multiple sites from one place, or is the more elegant solution to aggregate ads like Oodle? Oodle has turned into a social marketplace that distributes listings across the we and to sites like Facebook.

Best Free Classified Ad Website

Why is it so hard to start a free classified site

Large companies and entreprenuers have attacked the free classified space by leveraging their big brands in ecommerce like eBay to creating niche sites for every vertical category. Almost all of them fail. The main reason is that a marketplace needs buyers and sellers. People will list their products where they can sell them quickly and easily. Right now, that's dominated by Craigslist. There just isn't a compelling reason to for shoppers to switch.

Ebay remains committed and even owns a significant piece of Craigslist, but thus far, it hasn't made material progress in the US Market with only a few million visitors each month.

New Markets

Craigslist has largely ignored the mobile classified space. I think this is the opportunity to attack the market, but people would be wise to think about this space as how to build the best community rather than the best tools. A mobile community in the classified space can take down CL.


ayla5253 on October 23, 2014:

I agree about posting in multiple cities. We live 1/2 way between 2 major cities (cleveland and akron) and could pull in buyers from either, but no, CL will not allow it, we get flagged all the time

Max from USA on July 16, 2013:

Craigslist is the biggest classified but not user friendly. It has simple but a not simple interface.

Justin on March 15, 2012:

Check out Ebay Classifieds. You can either get there by typing it into Google, or go to Ebay and click on the Classifieds link in their menu. It's free to post and it works locally by region the same way Craigslist does.

Also, I personally think it looks better and is easier to use. Ebay owns part of Craigslist and has a member on their 3 member board of directors so Ebay Classifieds is growing. It used to be Kajiji, but they changed the name.

AJ on December 01, 2011:

i love site ever.i definetely have it up all day every day.long live CL.

Mark on August 09, 2011:

Craigslist has got its own place in people's heart. But its not about what people think anymore. Its about sellers getting their sales pitch conveyed and possible buyers being offered with what they want. So people will love craigslist as always but also they will always be in search of better and more places to advertise. After all advertising in classifieds has always been inspired by the idea of getting more exposure.

used cars under 5000 on March 15, 2011:

Sell ??Used cars online has many advantages over through local show room

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I prefer to make a review on the blog or on twitter, but quickly got requests for it via Craigslist is very good especially for the USA

Sabuj Ahmed on February 11, 2011:

Craigslist is the boss of free classified ads. Thanks for nicely explain this subject.

Sabuj Ahmed on February 11, 2011:

Craigslist is the boss of free classified ads. Thanks for nicely explain this subject.

Son Dang on January 25, 2011:

@Paul Edmondson

Oops, I hit the "Post Comment" button too soon.

Anyhow, I am getting things configured and launch a site that covers some of the missing features that Craigslist and eBay's Classifieds next month. February 3, 2011 to be exact.

There are power advertisers that wants to be able to publish ads across multiple cities and categories, and there are power seekers that want to be able to search county, state or nation wide for items without having to switching regions for each query. The upcoming site will address their needs. At the same time, other features that included are ad discussion, bookmark, ad counter, activate/de-activate ads (good to notify ad seekers that you have sold your items so that they don't have to contact you), and more.

Again, the site will go live on February 3, 2011. I am looking for users, both ad publishers and ad seekers, to try out and tell me if certain web pages' content need clarification.

Hope to see you all there.


Son Dang

joe s on January 20, 2011:

It will eventually happen.

Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on January 15, 2011:

I keep thinking that someone will start to give cl a run for their money. Kind if like what google did to yahoo in search.

Joe S on January 14, 2011:

I agree with Todd, there are plenty of classified sites out there that are good. The only thing that's hold Craigslist together is popularity and page loading rate. I believe in the past they mention that they will never make any drastic changes to there site...Still a good investment for Mr. Buckmaster. Per Kiji, they will continue to improve there site and they have proven that through there site. Oodle, I believe is the first aggregating classified site or at least well known for it which is something different from the rest of them, think of it as a search engine to other classified sites. Not sure with the other site but heard Olx is up there with Craig/Kijiji. I guess I can add one more to the list that I stumbled upon, extoldeals is another local classified site that just started and I believe they aren't charging anything.

*** The post above me should be deleted, nothing relavent to the subject. I take it he's a fan of craigslist lol ***

stopflagger on December 16, 2010:

Yea Craig's list was king and it may still be but not for long if the crazy flagging people continue to harries a sellers listing for no reason at all other than the fact they did not like your price.

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zzron from Houston, TX. on October 05, 2010:

Great post, can you promote your hub pages site on craigslist?

Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on September 28, 2010:

No. You have to pay to post on eBay. But they do have a local classified site that is free.

Stephanie on September 28, 2010:

Are there free advertisement on Ebay?

cathring on September 10, 2010:

can someone please tell me a better site than craigslist

Uncle Al on August 03, 2010:

Come see how a good site works. You need pva to post here

kim on June 18, 2010:

classified sites are old and spammy press release are in!

Bathroom Store on June 14, 2010:

Helpful resource.

freelanceauthor on June 08, 2010:

Very informative. Thanks for sharing those links.

Johny on April 13, 2010:

Craigslist may be number one but I think their design is terrible and just don't seem attractive. Americanlisted is a much better choice in my opinion for a classified website.

Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on December 20, 2009:

Interesting comment about TV sites with websites. I've felt for the last few years that TV advertising could be effective at growing a local site. I wonder if the television stations have figure this out.

MikeNV from Henderson, NV on December 20, 2009:

Local Media - specifically Television stations with Websites that are smart are also offering free classifieds. The advantage to date has been they can capture emails and target specific to their local markets.

This is a medium shift that should be embraced... those who do will win and those who do not will lose.

TRex916 on November 23, 2009:

Thank you Paul for letting me know of some other sites out there beyond Craigslist. I've tried Oodle, but its not quite what I'm looking for in the Real Estate Industry (CL charges and doesn't get the job I need)

I recently came across It's still young but if you're in the RE biz or looking for a house, it's worth your time.

Richard Nester on October 23, 2009:

It's nice to see that others have similar opinions regarding Craigslist. I am not a fan myself and it's interesting that Todd is also recommending which I have done on other occations, I think it's worth trying.

Deborah on October 21, 2009:

Here comes my suggestion:

I don't know about Craigslist, but I do know that allows users to post an ad locally and still makes it visible to anyone across country.

No matter where you live in US, you'll be able to find all ads just by selecting "all states" at first step during your searching phase.

Hope this helps you somewhat, Angela!

Good luck!

Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on October 19, 2009:

I totally disagree on craigslist. The site is blazing fast, and a bit quirky, but it's the best local classified site on the the internet. At the end of the day, you want people to buy your stuff and Craigslist has buyers.

Todd D on October 19, 2009:

I would forget about craigslist it´s a mess and the search sucks. It feels like something from 1999, there are much better classifieds which are safe, free, and local + have great search and posting options.

CV on June 08, 2009:

Craiglist is the no.1 in classifieds industry.

Gavin Hines on December 15, 2008:

I don't think any classified site can top craigs list even in the future because people are just so aware of craigslist its like a house hold name now.

Angela on April 20, 2008:

I love Craigslist. I just wish they would allow people to cross cities and country post. I've found great stuff surfing across other states, and countries.

However, when I have something great that someone would like to buy in another city or country. I'm not allow to post.

This will be a reason for me to stop using Craigslist. I hate E-bay, Kijiji and anything to do with E-bay. I hope Craigslist will reconsider.


Gary on September 11, 2007:

Justgoodcars is a free automotive network where private sellers and dealers can buy and sell vehicles on over 1000 websites worldwide.

gredmondson on March 28, 2007:

I check Craigslist all the time and have made some purchases and given away some things. Check the free stuff in cities like San Francisco. It's amazing sometimes.

Donlin on March 28, 2007:

Yup I love craigslist, just sold a large mower using the list. Its a lot better than ebay for selling stuff plus its free and done locally and you use cash.

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