I used to be a big fan of Craigslist. That was back in 2005 or so. Just before I started using Facebook in 2007. I was using it to buy and sell bicycles at the time since I was into cycling more then. I also used it to buy and sell lawnmowers that I fixed up or just things in general that I wanted to sell. That was when I lived in Toronto and had access to a larger metropolitan area. Up in my parents area, Stayner, they used a actual paper based magazine called The Simcoe Shopper which my Dad loved.
Back then, Craigslist was top of the mountain. Late night TV talk show hosts were finding funny ads and joking about them. That drew even more attention to the classified site and before you knew it, other sites started popping up that were either more local based or more item specific. It was then that I discovered Kijiji which seemed more Canadian based so I started using it more and more.
I was always a big fan of eBay and I was still selling on there since it had a larger international buying base. And I had a (and still have) a consignment selling business which seemed to peak in 2005-2007.
So what happened?
So what happened? Well, in my opinion, Kijiji started eating Craigslist lunch at least here in Canada and then those similar sites that were micro-based started chipping away at The Craigslist business model. There were sites that specialized in just sporting goods and then ones that just focused on gardening tools. Then along came Fivrr which started making the GIG economy more acceptable. And as Facebook evolved.. so did the local neighbourhood sites which started their own buy and sell pages. There seemed to be one for every town and city and those pages were getting thousands and thousands of members. This created a trust between the buyer and seller since now the buyer could see that the seller was a real person and not a curb-sider who was dubious at best.
Then Facebook stepped up
Then in 2016, Facebook Marketplace officially opened. And that pretty much put the last layer of dirt on the Craigslist casket. You can go on The Marketplace now and find everything you need and see the details of the buyer or seller. You can negotiate over the messenger app, get pictures and set a meeting place. You can rate the buyer and seller which is something that you can’t even do in eBay (in eBay, a seller cannot rate a buyer but a buyer can rate a seller). Facebook owns the market now and they even monetized it so that you can promote an item for a price.
Not only did Facebook kill Craigslist and Kijiji but they also finally finished off the classified section of most newspapers. Back in 2010 or so, newspapers were crying that Craigslist was tearing down the papers most profitable section but now it’s completely gone. And after CoVid-19, I think that we will see all print based media take a nose dive and either switch to all digital or just disappear altogether.
So it was nice knowing you Craigslist. Thanks for all the memories.