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Craigslist (stylized as craigslist) is an American classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, for sale, items wanted, services, community service, gigs, resumes, and discussion forums.

Some Craigslist sites cover large regions instead of individual metropolitan areas—for example, the U.S. states of Delaware and Wyoming, the Colorado Western Slope, the California Gold Country, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are among the locations with their own Craigslist sites. Users post ads in categories including Services, For Sale, Jobs, Housing, Community and Personal. Basic knowledge of Craigslist allows users to interact with one another safely.

Craigslist

Type of business
  • Private company
Type of site
  • Classifieds, forums
Available in
  • English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese
Founded
  • 1995 (incorporated 1999)
Headquarters
  • San Francisco, California, U.S.
Area served
  • 570 cities in 70 countries
Founder(s)
  • Craig Newmark
Key people
  • Jim Buckmaster (CEO)
Services
  • Web communications
Revenue
  • Increase US$694 million (2016)
Net income
  • Increase US$500 million (2016)
Employees
  • 50 (2017)
Website
  • www.craigslist.org (2018)

 

 

How Craigslist Works?

Posting Ads

Craigslist divides its ads into several different categories. Anyone can post an ad with or without a Craigslist account. Creating an account allows you to easily access all of your postings to revise or delete them. Without an account, you receive an email after posting with links to modify the ad. Click the **Post to Classifieds** link at the upper left corner of each page on the Craigslist website to create an ad. Fill the template fields including **Posting Title**, **Posting Body** and additional details such as **Price** and **Condition**. The ad may take a few minutes to appear in the category on the selected city’s Craigslist page.

Finding Ads

If you’re interested in browsing the Craigslist ads, select the closest city on the right side of the Craigslist page. The main page of your city’s page shows the ads organized under main categories. Subcategories appear below to help you find the specific items you want. The For Sale section includes categories such as Antiques, Appliances, Books, Furniture and Jewelry. Click on the desired category to see a list of ads posted from newest to oldest. You have the option of sorting those ads by price instead of chronological order. You can also see the ads from the selected category represented as expandable info-bubbles on a map based on the buyer’s location.

Responding to Ads

On Craigslist, all negotiations and transactions happen directly between the buyer and the seller. An interested seller contacts the person with any questions, then eventually may commit to buy an item and make arrangements to meet. Read all of the ad details before responding. Each Craigslist ad features a Reply button in the upper left corner. Click the **Reply** button to show all of the contact methods provided by the poster. Craigslist provides a service that masks the seller’s email address so it appears as a Craigslist email address and any mail sent to the address, Craigslist automatically forwards to the seller’s personal email address. Users choose if they want their actual email addresses or the Craigslist version to show when creating the ad.

Staying Safe

Since you interact with strangers on Craigslist, take precautions to protect your identity when inquiring about an ad. Plan to meet in a public location, such as a busy parking lot. In some neighborhoods, police stations encourage Craigslist users to meet outside the station for transactions. Take someone with you or tell another person where you are going. If the situation seems suspicious, trust your instincts and leave. Never wire money or pay for something before meeting with the person.

Like any other advertising medium, Craigslist requires some strategy, though paramount to its usefulness is simplicity. To start, you need to determine which city (or cities) you want to target with your marketing approach. If you’re a service provider, you can identify available cities on the site that encompass your service region. Keep in mind that some regions overlap.

For instance, if you’re a mobile groomer working in Orange County, Calif., but you also work in nearby areas like Los Angeles to San Diego, Craigslist reaches your service area across four cities. In that case, you’d want to develop your messaging and a posting schedule in each of these regions to increase your exposure. If you sell a product or offer a service nationwide, the opportunity to reach new customers is even greater.

Track Your Success or Failure in Craigslist

If you plan to post in multiple cities and offer specific promotions, tracking which ads produce the best results is important. You can track a Craigslist ad by e-mail, phone number or website referral. Each tracking mechanism should feature a unique component, like a custom e-mail address, telephone extension or website referral code. How you choose to track should depend on your industry and the typical methods customer use to communicate with you. Unlike eBay, Craigslist does not provide you with any demographic or tracking data.

Regardless of whether you sell a product or service, it’s important to understand the competitive landscape on a daily or weekly basis. Supply and demand for certain products or services will fluctuate. Take the time to get to know the other players in your cities or categories. If you see a rush on a certain product, focus on something complementary.

For instance, if you’re a mattress wholesaler and see that a large number of a specific brand and/or size mattresses are flooding your market, either match your prices to become competitive or focus your energy on a different size or bed frame until the market stabilizes.

Also, take into consideration the season and the demographic (both income and recreational) of the cities in which you post. Even in the winter, a snowmobile will not sell nearly as well in Los Angeles as it will in Vermont.

Let’s Probe Into the Business Model of Craigslist

Peer to Peer Interaction

Craigslist business model is based on a P2P (peer-to-peer) or A2P (Agency-to-peer) or A2A (agency-to-agency) model. Think about Airbnb that works on similar peer to peer model. This means that anyone on the platform can view advertisements in any of the district zones, region, state, or countries.

Customer and community interactions help to create potential channels that increase traffic flow to the Craigslist website. This is funneled through “word of mouth” or “through references.” It creates new potential revenue streams and an addition to the Craigslist database that can be utilized for promotional purposes.

The considerable amount of exposure through active channeling communities, accounts, and rare-users help build new potential signups, account activation conversions, and increase the platforms usage popularity and consideration.

Geological Locations based Ads

The platform is built to serve individuals with “close-range-proximity,” meaning that users are recommended to associate in dealings that are close in distance or location. This system has been put in place to help avoid users from any misguiding promises or possible fraudulent activities that may be a potential threat to an honest user.

Users can navigate to other regional locations to review advertisements from other areas that are not in “close-range-proximity.” Users can conduct dealings with such distant advertiser, even though this practice isn’t recommended.

C-Plus (Licensed App) for smart devices

In competition with new age mobile-based platforms like OfferUp and letgo, Craigslist developers introduced C- Plus application (ideally for smartphones and tablets) for those individuals that happen to use the platform very frequently. C- plus is a 3rd party mobile app gateway to the original craigslist website.

The application program has been designed for users to browse, search, and make posting on Craigslist, smoothly, effectively, and for free. (free listing for qualifying ads)

The C-Plus alone helps to initiate and deploy daily activities that include postings from relative and active users within a specific area or distance. The application is accessible once downloaded through an app store.

C-Plus application program not only helped to align solidified ads for active and frequent users, but this helped to solidify daily transactions from daily postings and help generate revenues for the company.

How Does Craigslist Make Money?

Fee-Based Service Structure

Craigslist charge fees for posting advertisements. Their revenue is generated through a vast collection of classified sections.

The following includes Craigslist fees structure;

how does craigslist make money

Business Model Canvas

When you build a business from scratch, it can be difficult to define what groups of people will be using your platform, who your key partners will be, how to build customer relationships, and what expenditures there will be in the future.

You can use the business model of an existing product like Craigslist to fill out a Business Model Canvas and answer all these questions. Or you can use the Business Model Canvas that we’ve filled out for you.

Craigslist business model Canvas

Building a classified website is not that difficult from the technical point of view unless you want to implement innovative features or use modern technologies. It’s much more difficult to attract customers and make them loyal to your product. For that, you need to know your audience well and build a solid business model, like the one we’ve outlined for you in the Business Model Canvas.

Future Work Technologies is the leading mobile application development company to take your business at high levels with the help of an exceptionally appealing and successful iOS and Android phone application. Don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

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