This article has been updated since it was originally published to reflect current website offerings. Last update: April 17, 2014. Brandon Widder contributed to this article.
We all know Craigslist is more than a mere fad at this point. The popular classifieds site has become a magical place where you can buy, rent, or apply for almost anything since its 1995 inception as a emailing list distributed among friends in San Francisco — one conveniently burgeoning with all manner of goods and services one might desire (or not). However, the site appear more than outdated when it comes to visual design and search functionality. While we give Craigslist credit for being the go-to website for scoring a free sofa and finding an available apartment, there are plenty of other free services that do an equally fine job with with a more attractive interface and with less spam postings. They may not offer the sheer number of listings or familiarity of the aforementioned service, but they do provide a new audience and additional options not offered elsewhere, whether you’re merely looking for a short-term loan or to double post your ad both online and in print circulation. Here are our top picks for the six best Craigslist alternatives for online classifieds, so you can peruse a different kind of online classifieds.
Formerly known as Kijiji, eBay Classifieds is one of Craigslist’s largest competitors, thanks to eBay’s credibility. Like Craigslist, eBay Classifieds covers the scope of most categories: selling, renting, job opportunities, and community events. Not included under this umbrella are personal ads, so you’ll need to head somewhere else to find your Missed Connection or potential love interest.
Using eBay Classifieds might be an even better option than Craigslist, thanks to the user-friendly interface. You can sort items by price and view them in photo thumbnails, which is far more helpful than having to read all the Craigslist headlines and hoping the image attached is not some boring stock photo. Ads on eBay Classifieds also stay on the site for 60 days compared to CL’s 7-day limit in most cities. Like most things, eBay does have a downside. When you complete a search, you have to scroll past six sponsored links before arriving at the site’s actual posts.
Not only does Oodle acts as its own classified ad service, but it also aggregates posts from eBay, ForRent.com, and other competitors to make your search experience more thorough. Oodle has also been a service of choice for many companies in the past who used to offer classified sections, such as Aol and The Washington Post Express. You can narrow your search by applying as many filters as you want. And yes, Oodle has offer a personals section.
One thing Oodle has over eBay Classifieds is the ability to post if you’re a seeker — meaning if you’re looking to buy, rent, or need certain services. You can also access said listings or edit your own from the service’s free iOS app, and further filter search results by those you’ve already worked with. The service also boasts compatibility with social media sites, so you can link your Oodle account with your Facebook page and post status updates on the front page asking about services or specific items for sale. Moreover, connecting through Facebook attaches your face and name to an Oodle post, adding an element of trust and security not often found through Craigslist.
Recycler does exactly what its name sounds like: helps buyers and sellers swap items using the site as the medium of communication. While you can also post home rentals on the site, it seems more popular among sellers looking to get rid of used items. Recycler offers listings in most major cities in the United States — such as Atlanta, Boston, and Miama — but the site is rather useless if you’re not willing to trek to the nearest listed metropolis. Developers initially founded the site on the idea of exchanging goods and services instead of money, and though the component is still a major hallmark of the service, it’s expanded to include money offerings as the primary model for exchange. Additionally, Recycler pairs with a network of print publications dispersed throughout the country, allowing you to place the same ad online as in print circulation. This list of available publications is fairly limited, with the bulk them lining the West Coast, but ad exposure is still ad exposure.
As the apt name implies, Pawngo is more of a online pawnshop than a standalone service catered toward shady interactions between neighbors in a supermarket parking lot. Once you’ve chosen an item to sell, whether it be a custom guitar or high-end watch, Pawngo representatives appraise the item and make you an offer based on the item’s estimated resale value. The company then arranges the shipping and secured handling once you’ve accept an offer and set a loan length, directly depositing the money in your desired bank account upon proper inspection at its Denver warehouse. Obviously an interest rate is attached to the loan, typically ranging anywhere between 3 and 6 percent depending on the item, but you can also repurchase your goods within the allotted time period if you have a change of heart or find a better offer elsewhere. There’s no financial disclosures or impact on your credit either, rendering the service a online solution to short-term money woes. Furthermore, whereas most brick-and-mortar pawnshops offer loans typically around $100, Pawngo offers loans up to one million, with the average load hovering around $2,000. It’s catered toward high-end items and known to be exceptionally trustworthy, but as with any pawnshop, it’s best to know your item’s worth and hold onto those those coveted goods if you can.
Adoos does a good job highlighting various sections of classified ads, such as real estate, for sale, vehicles, community, services, and jobs. The little icons and pops of color are nice on the eyes and help organize your flow of content better than what you might find on CL. If you do not select your city, Adoos will search listings from the across the country, which might be helpful if you’re looking for online coupons or vouchers that aren’t location-specific. You can log into the site using your Facebook account as well, for maximum exposure. It may take some time to sift through the entries and find those applicable to you given the sheer amount of Adoos listings acting as advertisements for external sites, along with the site’s inability to narrow your location further than your city, but it’s also a terrific way to contact people in different parts of the country. Likewise, the site and service originated in Spain, meaning you can even use the service while abroad in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Argentina, or any one of the universal sites. Again, watch those ads.
Back on the minimalist front, Hoobly is a basic classified ads site that is helpful for those who want just snippets of photos to accommodate their search. The site can scour its listings from around the world or country-specific, and shows you each headline with a small excerpt to give you an idea of what the ad entails. Unlike Craigslist, Hoobly users need to register their email addresses before posting, rather than simply responding to verification email prior to publishing. This could, however, help with cutting out the spam. The site doesn’t have a section for personals like Craigslist, but it does include job listings and property rentals in addition to a swath of popular sale categories that range from electronics to jewelry. Though finding jobs and products in your particular city can be difficult — the site can only filter results as far as states with available listings — the service is more than suitable for finding specific items and opening doors outside your region, or even the world.
What do you think of our selection of the best Craigslist alternatives for online classified ads? Do you know of another solution? Let us know in the comments below.