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There was a time when Craigslist was the best place on the internet for people looking to meet someone special, buy used goods at a bargain price, or find a roommate on short notice. But the internet is no longer the same deserted place it was when Craig Newmark founded Craigslist in 1995.
Today, there are many wonderful Craigslist alternatives whose design and features aren’t stuck in the last millennium, and, in this article, we bring you our 10 favorites.
Why You Should Look for a Craigslist Alternative
Shortly after Craig Newmark began Craigslist in 1995 as an email distribution list to friends, he realized that there was a lot of unrealized potential to unlock by turning his service into a website, which is exactly what he did in 1996. It took just a few years for Craigslist to expand beyond the San Francisco Bay Area to other cities in the United States.
Over time, other categories were added besides local events, such as jobs, housing, for sale, items wanted, services, community service, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums. The erotic services category, where people openly advertised sex for money enjoyed a lot of popularity, as did the personals category, with subcategories such as women seeking men, men seeking women, or missed connections.
Before the rise of modern dating apps like Tinder and Grindr, Craigslist was the go-to destination on the internet for people looking to make real human connections.
Unfortunately for long-term Craigslist users, the erotic services category was closed in September 2010, following a controversy over claims by state attorneys general in 17 states that the advertisements promoted prostitution.
Another massive hit came in 2018 as a direct consequence of the passing of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) in the United States, which made Craigslist subject to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse the personals category unlawfully.
Instead of risking anything, Craigslist decided to shut down the personals category for good, angering millions of people around the world who used the section every day, hoping to make a connection with someone special without the use of apps like Tinder or Grindr, both of which place heavy emphasis on looks.
While Craigslist hasn’t closed any of its less controversial categories, there’s no denying that the website doesn’t measure well against modern e-commerce sites, which are considerably safer, easier to use, and feature only authentic products—not fakes and stolen goods.
All in all, Craigslist is no longer the exciting advertising page of the internet. Instead, it’s a watered-down version of its former self, and there are so many fantastic Craigslist alternatives in December 2019 to choose from that it’s no wonder that long-time Craigslist users are leaving the site in droves.
Best Craigslist Alternatives in December 2019
Craigslist was never a great place for meeting likeminded people because of its anonymity. Any brave listing posted by someone who has recently moved to a new city and is looking for friends and people to do stuff with usually receives at least a couple of inappropriate replies from shady people.
Facebook offers the exact opposite of anonymity, requiring users to use their real name and photo when signing up. Since most Facebook users also fill in additional information about them, such as their hobbies, place of work, or school, it’s very easy to strike up a conversation with other Facebook users.
Facebook also lets its users sell and buy items on Marketplace. Almost all categories of goods are allowed, except for tickets, animals, pharmaceutical products, and virtual items.
With over 3 million unique visitors each month, ClassifiedAds is one of the largest classified ads websites on the internet, and one of the top Craigslist competitors. The categories of ads you can find on the website include vehicles, services, for rent, real estate, community, pets, jobs, personals, and items for sale.
The personals category is broken down into six sub-categories: casual dating, men seeking men, men seeking women, missed connections, women seeking men, and women seeking women. All Craigslist users should instantly recognize these sub-categories as familiar. Unlike Craigslist, ClassifiedAds sports a fairly modern design with a useful search filter that makes it easy to narrow down the ads by city or country.
Letgo is a mobile app that enables its users to quickly post items for sale and chat with potential buyers. It was launched in 2015 in the United States, competing primarily with eBay and Craigslist. Since then, Letgo has expanded into several other countries and merged with Wallapop, another mobile classifieds startup.
When buyers browse items posted for sale, they see them listed from the nearest to those that are farthest away. When a buyer becomes interested in a certain item, he or she can simply initiate a real-time chat session and negotiate a price. Items on Letgo tend to have a higher quality than what you usually see on Craigslist, so you should be able to find what you’re looking for fairly quickly.
It’s possible to earn a substantial income on the side by responding to Craigslist job postings. The only problem is that you’re guaranteed to sooner or later run into a scammer who will do everything possible to avoid paying you. As a leading online and mobile marketplace that matches freelance labor with local demand, TaskRabbit provides a safer and more convenient alternative to Craigslist job postings, allowing users to find immediate help with everyday tasks.
At the time of writing, TaskRabbit is available in nearly 50 US cities, several cities in Canada, and England. To become a Tasker, all you need to do is create a user account and verify your identity. TaskRabbit will then notify you of potential jobs in your area, and you can select the one you want to complete.
The world is drowning in electronic waste as hundreds of millions of consumers around the world spend their hard-earned money each year to purchase the latest and greatest mobile devices, laptops, digital cameras, and other electronic devices just to stay at the bleeding edge of technology. If you can be happy with a generation or two old device, this Craigslist alternative is for you, allowing you to safely purchase newish tech products at a fraction of their original price.
More specifically Swappa focuses on iPhones, Android phones, laptops, smartwatches, tablets, video games, cameras, and smart home devices. Unlike Craigslist, Swappa doesn’t allow broken items to be listed on its marketplace, and it uses PayPal because of its extensive buyer and seller protections.
Have you ever tried to find a roommate on Craigslist just to receive messages from old men offering to pay YOU money in exchange for living with them? Way too many Craigslist users have. Founded in 2003, Roomster offers a better way how to find rooms and roommates. This easy to use website and app can help you find great rooms and roommates in 192 countries
You can start using Roomster with just your Facebook account and safely communicate with real members worldwide through Roomster’s in-app messaging. There are millions of verified listings to choose from, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding just the right room or roommate for you regardless of temperament, hobbies, and personal quirks.
Considering that Reddit is the 18th most popular website in the world, according to Alexa Internet, we think it’s pretty safe to assume that you’ve already at least heard of it. If not, you can think of it as a massive online community made up of thousands and thousands of sub-communities, called subreddits.
For example, r/r4r (redditor for redditor) is an adult-only subreddit dedicated to personals and meeting people for almost anything. There’s also r/redditbay, where Reddit users buy, sell, swap, and exchange goods while relying on Reddit’s karma system to prevent scams. Regardless of why you use Craigslist, you can be sure to find a subreddit that can scratch the same itch.
FetLife is one of the best alternatives to Craigslist personals for people who are into BDSM, fetishism, and kinky sexual practices in general. Since FetLife users are encouraged to create detailed profiles with real pictures, lengthy personal descriptions, and other information, it feels a lot less sketchy to arrange a real-life meeting with someone than it does on Craigslist.
The only problem with FetLife is that there aren’t that many users outside large cities. If you live in a rural area, you might have to drive at least one hundred miles just to meet the closest compatible user. However, if you live in a major metropolitan area, FetLife is guaranteed to keep you busy for a long time.
You won’t find too many great career opportunities on Craigslist, unless you’re contemplating a career in the adult industry. When it comes to salaried jobs offered by leading employers, Glassdoor is one of the best options out there.
In addition to job offers, Glassdoor also has a comprehensive database with salary information, company reviews, and interview questions, giving you everything you need to make the right career decision for you. Employers can use Glassdoor to recruit informed candidates, manage job postings, and learn about the latest recruiting trends and practices.
When it comes to buying and selling used items, eBay is one of the most obvious alternatives to Craigslist in December 2019. On eBay, you can either bid for an item or purchase it right away for a higher price. When you purchase something on eBay, you automatically benefit from its comprehensive buyer protection program, which guarantees timely delivery, authenticity, and agreed-upon condition.
eBay doesn’t tolerate the selling of stolen or counterfeit goods, but you should still be cautious because it’s possible to stumble upon an illegal listing from time to time.