Founded in the 90s, Craigslist was one of the earliest companies to bring classified ads online. Because of Craigslist, people for the first time could get the kinds of deals they’d find at garage sales without the hassle of having to spend their Saturdays driving all over creation to find them.
The idea was a hit and Craigslist quickly grew.
Over 20 years later, it has kept a “keep-it-simple-stupid” approach to its website design and has remained a completely free service. They’ve also expanded to over 70 countries around the world. For all of these reasons, Craigslist remains an incredibly popular place to find everything from furniture and cars to jobs or apartments.
But Craigslist’s popularity can also make it a magnet for scammers. Whenever I plan to sell stuff on Craigslist, I know that I’m most likely going to have a few spam replies for every legitimate contact.
12 Best Sites Like Craigslist
If you love being able to buy and sell stuff online from locals, but would like to find a smaller website/app that offers a more modern design and less spam, we’ve got 12 for you to check out.
1. Facebook Marketplace or Swip-Swap Groups
If you are already a Facebook user, I would highly recommend using their Facebook Marketplace or local Swip-Swap groups to buy or sell things in your local community.
Yes, you do have to be logged in to Facebook to use either of these services, but this is also one of its main advantages. Many people do not like Craigslists focus on anonymity and would prefer a platform where they know exactly who they are communicating with.
If you are one of those people who has nightmares about all of the terrible things that could happen to you when you go to an anonymous person’s house to pick up an item, then using a more transparent platform like Facebook could really help reduce your anxiety and build trust.
From your Facebook homepage, look at the left-hand sidebar and you should see a little home icon with the word “Marketplace” next to it. Clicking on that Marketplace link will bring you to your local Marketplace homepage. Once there, you can start scrolling through the recent postings or shop by the following categories:
- Home & Garden
- Clothing & Accessories
Some stores also sells things on Facebook’s Marketplace, but I’ve personally found the majority of postings to be from individual sellers. And by selecting the “classifieds” filter, you can remove business listings altogether.
If you’re looking for a more closed environment than Facebook’s Marketplace has to offer, you can also search for local Facebook Swip-Swap groups.
From your Facebook homepage, just search for “swip swap + the name of your town” and you’ll most likely find that a group has already been created. Just click the “Join” button, and as long as you live in that area, you should quickly be approved.
What’s so nice about Swip-Swap is that they are actively managed by administrators, which means that scammers are quickly weeded out and removed from the group.
If safety and trust are your top priorities and you are already a Facebook user, then Swip-Swap may be your best Craigslist alternative.
Letgo offers virtually all of the same services as Craigslist but with a more attractive design and a better experience on phones – two things you would expect from a company that only launched a few year ago.
With over 100 million downloads on mobile devices, Letgo is one of the largest and fastest-growing places to buy and sell stuff online.
Don’t like the idea of random people having your personal phone number or email address? Letgo has fixed this issue by creating their own self-contained messaging service for buyers and sellers to communicate through.
You can also choose to only communicate with users who have “verified” their identity via their Facebook profile, Google account, email address, or phone number. Finally, Letgo has a built-in rating and review system.
All of these things make using Letgo an enjoyable experience and increase your chances of quickly finding legitimate deals.
Here are the categories that you can search by:
- Free stuff (love that they make this a category)
- Other Vehicles (like motorcycles, scooters, etc.)
- Sports, Leisure
- Home and Garden
- Movies, Books, and Music
- Fashion and Accessories
- Baby and Child
While on the surface Oodle looks like just another Craigslist copycat, it actually offers some unique features that you won’t find on any other site.
The greatest thing about Oodle is that they have built mutual affiliate partnerships with newspapers and other classified sites. What this means is Oodle will show posts that were originally created on other sites while those sites will do the same thing for Oodle listings.
As a buyer, this gives you a larger variety of options, and as a seller this gives you a wider audience. Unlike Craigslist, Oodle offers a paid-ad tier in addition to its regular free listings.
While the Craigslist experience is all about anonymity, Oodle (like Letgo) encourages users to connect their accounts to their Facebook profile. They also have first party apps on the app stores for both Android and iOS.
Similar to Letgo, Offerup is a well-designed, mobile-friendly site. Where Offerup is different is that they focus solely on facilitating the exchange of “tangible” items.
Advertisements for anything other than physical items are strictly prohibited. In their Prohibited Items guidelines, Offerup gives examples of intangible items that are not allowed to be advertised on their platform:
- Links to or information about flea markets, yard sales, and garage sales
- URLs, links, or redirecting to other websites
- Rentals and timeshares
- Multi-level marketing schemes and related promotional materials
- Job postings
- Lost pet ads
- Services for intangible items such as dog walking, babysitting, and IT support
If you are someone looking to promote any of these things, Offerup is obviously not going to be a good fit for you.
But Offerup enforces these strict guidelines to ensure that their users have positive shopping experiences. When you are browsing on Offerup’s app or website, you can be sure that each photo you click on will open a listing for a legitimate item for sale.
This saves time and hassle and is one of the reasons why so many people love using their site.
Offerup began by simply helping users find items for sale in their local community. However, they have recently launched a service that allows users to buy items from anywhere in the U.S and have them shipped to their home.
Offerup’s mobile app is unique in that there is absolutely no text on the homepage, but rather a huge grid of photos. Just tap on a photo that catches your fancy to see more pictures, learn more details, and find the asking price.
- Once you are interested in an item, you can click “Ask” to send a question to the seller using Offerup’s built-in messaging service.
- Or you can click “Offer” to let the seller know what price you would be willing to pay. The seller can then accept your offer or counter.
Once you’ve agreed upon a price, you can arrange a meeting place and pay the seller with cash. Or for products that require shipment, you can pay through the app with a debit or credit card.
Finally, Offerup allows sellers to pay to promote their items.
- Sellers can pay on a case-by-case basis or can purchase a Promote Plus monthly subscription, which gives sellers constant access to one promotion.
- Once an item sells that was being promoted, subscribers to Promote Plus can simply move their promotion to a different item.
As their name suggests, 5miles is all about proximity – connecting you with people near you that are looking to buy or sell things.
Although not yet as big as Letgo and Offerup, 5miles also has an attractive, modern design and offers an array of features, including:
- Phone number verification to reduce spam and fraud.
- Access to SEAL (Safe Exchange Area Locators)
- User reviews and ratings
- Online payments and shipping (in case you don’t feel comfortable meeting someone in person).
To increase buyer confidence in sellers, 5miles has instituted a “Level” system very similar to eBay’s seller rating system.
- As sellers receive positive reviews on completed sales, they will continue to move up to higher levels.
- This helps the buyer know which sellers can be trusted.
- It also helps experienced, high quality sellers earn more business over time.
Unlike Offerup, you can list intangible items on 5miles, including services and housing.
You can “Boost” listings on 5miles for free, but these free Boosts only last 4 hours. If you want to Boost your item for a longer period of time, you can pay to do so.
Lastly, 5miles has recently introduced a new feature called 5milesDash, which allows users to bid on items in an auction format.
Honestly, this new feature looked a little sketchy to me and I noticed that it hasn’t been getting favorable reviews. For now, I would recommend staying away from their auction sales and just stick with using 5miles for traditional purchases.
6. eBay Classifieds
When you mention eBay, most people primarily think of them as a “buy and ship” site like Amazon or countless others. But did you know that eBay’s platform also supports local, classified ads?
For several years, eBay actually had a dedicated Ebay Classifieds website, but in 2016 they shut that site down. You can still create classified ads, however, and they are searchable right from the main eBay homepage.
If you want to filter your search to only surface Classified Ads on eBay, just click on the “Advanced” link next to the search box. Inside these Advanced settings, you’ll see a Classified Ads checkbox that you can select.
If you want to post a Classified Ad on eBay, the following categories are allowed:
- Business & Industrial
- Construction: Buildings, Modular and Pre-Fab
- General Office: Trade Show Displays
- Websites & Businesses for Sale
- Specialty Services
- Everything Else
- eBay User Tools
- Funeral & Cemetery
- Information Products
- Reward Points and Incentives Programs
Unfortunately, eBay does charge a $9.95 insertion fee for placing a classified ad on their site. For this reason, they would not be a good place to list inexpensive items. But eBay could be a good fit for selling pricier items or for advertising your business.
You can also use eBay to sell real estate, but will be charged a $150 insertion fee for a 30-day listing or $300 for a 90-day listing.
Clothes are one type of item that can be frustrating to buy on Craigslist for two reasons:
- First of all, pictures are often low-quality due to Craigslist’s focus on utility over design.
- Second of of all, since Craigslist has no built-in shipping service, you are realistically only able to connect with people in your local area. Depending on the size of your town, finding someone who is selling what you’re looking for and in the size that you need can be difficult to impossible.
For these reasons, when people think about buying clothes online, they tend to stick to shopping at actual clothing stores. But buying things directly from retailers is more expensive. If you’re like me, what you really want is to have the quality and variety of a store but at used clothing prices.
Poshmark is a platform specifically designed to give individuals an enjoyable place to buy and sell clothing. Apparel, jewelry, and accessories are the only types of items that you will find on Poshmark. They are hyper-focused on delivering a quality apparel-shopping experience to their users.
I can speak from experience that Poshmark’s system works because my wife has used Poshmark extensively as a seller. Using Poshmark, she has been able to sell many of our old shirts, shorts, dresses, and jeans. Getting our closet organized while making some money at the same time feels pretty awesome!
Here are a few of Poshmark’s features that they believe set them apart from other sites:
- Posh Parties: Virtual buying and selling events that happen in the app. You can browse, buy, and list together with your friends.
- Posh Post: When you sell an item on Poshmark, they provide a pre-paid, pre-addressed label to use for shipping.
- Posh Protect: Full refunds are given in the event that your item never ships or does not match the listing description.
Unfortunately, Poshmark does not allow you to connect with sellers in-person. All items must be shipped.
But if that doesn’t bother you and you are wanting to get a great deal on your next pair of jeans or just make some money off your clothes that don’t fit you anymore, Poshmark could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Moving from clothes, we’ll now discuss a site that focuses solely on games and accessories. Let’s talk about Gameflip.
Gameflip boasts over 3 million users all around the globe. In addition to games, you can also use Gameflip buy skins for your devices or gift cards at a discount.
But what Gameflip may be best known for is the ability to get paid for “Gigs.” Have you ever dreamed about getting paid to play video games? Well, believe it or not, with Gameflip you can.
It turns out people will pay a lot of money to watch, play with, or be coached by expert game players. If you are a gamer who wants to advertise your services, Gameflip is the place you want to be. To learn more about Gameflip Gigs, check out their FAQ page that explains more.
Like Poshmark, physical items bought on Gameflip must be shipped out to the buyers after they have been purchased. In other words, their site (and app) is not designed to physically connect buyers and sellers in local communities.
Kijiji, while failing to compete with Craigslist in the U.S., has become the dominant classifieds sites in Canada – receiving three times the traffic of Craigslist by Canadian users.
Owned by eBay, Kijiji has continue to innovate and improve their product each year.
- In 2016, they announced Kijiji Admarkt, which is basically Kijiji for business.
- In 2017, they began to show eBay ads alongside your Kijiji search results.
- Most recently, they have introduced “My Messages,” a messaging system that allows users to communicate directly through the site.
- In November 2018, they announced Kijiji Autos, an entirely separate site and app focused only on auto sales.
Automobiles have always been some of the most popular items bought and sold on Kijiji, and they want to make the car buying experience even better for their users, by incorporating things like:
- Ratings and reviews
- Price analysis tools
- Vehicle recommendations
- Enhanced search filters
Kijiji definitely seems to be a company that is looking to constantly improve their user experience. This is not a website that is holding on for dear life to its small segment of users on some corner of the internet. Kijiji is a major player and is only looking to grow.
So if you live in Canada and aren’t using Kijiji yet to buy or sell stuff, you definitely need to check them out!
VarageSale is another classified site based in Canada, but they have been able to make a better dent in the U.S. market than Kijiji. There are two things that set VarageSale apart from Kijiji and Craigslist:
- All users are required to verify their identity with Facebook.
- Every community group is managed by a dedicated administrator (similar to Facebook Swip~Swap groups).
These two things communicate to users that VarageSale is a safer place to shop than other sites.
The local group administrators stay on top of things well and are quick to ban any bogus accounts or scams. If safety and avoiding scams is important to you, then you may want to give VarageSale a shot.
Moving on from Canada’s top classified ads websites, we’ll now discuss the UK’s favorite classified site, Gumtree. In addition to Gumtree’s popularity in the UK, it’s a dominant classified site in Australia, South Africa, and Singapore as well.
If you live in any of these areas, there’s a good chance that you will see more local items for sale on Gumtree than on your local Craigslist branch. And if you are a seller, Gumtree will provide a bigger audience and could help you sell your items a lot faster.
While you can list anything for free on Gumtree, you can also pay to increase ad visibility.
12. PennySaver USA
Ah, the PennySaver – an American tradition. If you are a U.S. resident, there’s a good chance that you’ve had PennySaver newspapers delivered on a weekly or monthly basis to your driveway for the majority of your life.
Closed down in 2015, the PennySaver was resurrected exactly a year later by former employees who loved the company and wanted it to remain a fixture in American communities. Two years later, they are showing no signs of slowing down.
I did a quick check with my local PennySaver and found that they allow an impressive variety of ad categories:
- Sports/Fitness Equipment
- Garage sales
- Dining and Entertainment
- Real estate
- Services Offered
Your local PennySaver affiliate may be slightly different, but will most likely have similar options. Keep in mind, that you will be charged for in-print ads, so you’d only want to use it for more expensive listings.
However, you may be surprised to learn that PennySaver also has a national website, called PennySaver USA that allows online-only classified ads to be placed there for free. Sellers are also given the option to advertise their items both in-print and online.
As the old saying goes, sometimes your best options are sitting right in your driveway…ok that’s not really a saying.
Nevertheless, if you are looking to buy or sell something, your local PennySaver deserves your consideration – especially since they may serve a different audience than you would reach through some of the other sites.
If you love buying and selling stuff online but have been frustrated with some of Craigslist’s downsides, you don’t have to feel trapped. There are lots of great alternatives out there that could offer exactly what you need.
Have you used any of these sites or apps? If so, you can help others out by sharing what kind of experiences (positive or negative) that you’ve had.
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