Craiglist is an interesting part of the Internet’s legacy. Founded over 15 years ago, the site has steadfastly refused to change its minimalist design and easy-to-use posting system. Though perhaps no longer as popular as it was a decade ago, Craiglist remains a popular and successful site.
This success has spawned many imitators over the years. Most of those sites like Craigslist have failed before anyone knew they existed. Still, there are a few sites like Craigslist that serve a similar purpose.
If you’re looking for a straight Craiglist clone, this is it. Backpage.com replicates much of what makes Craiglist great in the eyes of many – a basic design with a simple, (usually) free posting system. In fact, posting on this website is a lot easier than posting on Craigslist.
Backpage is not as popular as the site it imitates, but its following is surprisingly robust in some areas of the United States, particularly the southern states like Arizona and Texas. Some cities in Italy, Germany and a few other countries are supported, but there’s not much activity.
Oodle is both a site like Craigslist and an anti-Craiglist at the same time. The basic concept of posting online classifieds is the same, but it embraces Facebook to provide a more personal experience. You don’t have to use Facebook to post, but if you do so your profile will be accessible via Oodle.
There’s a lot of activity on Oodle. It’s not just good for buying and selling – it’s also great for finding nearby jobs in major metropolitan areas. This site seems to do a better job of providing geographically relevant results than many competitors and there is support for several countries besides the United States.
On the other hand, Oodle’s focus on social networking makes it a bit less intuitive for people looking to find items in a specific category. Some people will prefer this design, and others will find it frustrating.
Nearly as old as Craigslist, Sell.com is more focused than many other sites of this type. Rather than focusing on all potential classifieds – including personals, job ads and more – this site only focuses on buying and selling. This site also does not categorize classified by region automatically, though there is the option to enter your zip code.
Sell.com is quite basic and free to post on, though you can make your ads more visible on the site by paying money. The focus on buying and selling reduces the flexibility of this site, but it also frees up space on the page, providing room for thumbnail images of many items. You’ll also find eBay-like features such as seller ratings and a shopping cart.
This is eBay’s new attempt to rival Craigslist. It was known as Kijiji but has since been renamed to make sure everyone is aware that, yes, eBay is the owner. This site is a bit different from others because it was launched globally first and then re-purposed for the United States. Unfortunately, the international community seems to have been completely erased in this latest incarnation.
Ebay Classifieds is quite popular in a number of metro areas. It focuses on buying and selling but supports many other classifieds such as jobs, housing and more. The site’s design is cleaner and more attractive than other competitors, but still intuitive.
Another Internet veteran, Geebo has never obtained the household name status of companies like Craigslist and eBay but has remained relevant for anyone who’s looking for an alternative. Like most classified sites, the design is simple, but like eBay Classifieds it is far more colorful and modern than Craigslist. Another similarity is this site’s focus on the United States.
Geebo uses the tagline “safe community classifieds” and claims to have a more personal atmosphere than the competition. The site’s blog does spend a lot of time bashing the competition for sketchy practices, but otherwise the site isn’t “safer” than anywhere else.
That doesn’t have much impact on buying and selling, however. If you just want to find a free chair or get rid of an old car, Geebo is excellent. It even offers thumbnail images and easy-to-use advanced filters.
There are a lot of sites like Craigslist, but these were picked because of their strong user communities. A classified site is not of much use if no one ever visits it.
Do you know of an alternative that has an active community? Tell us about it in the comments.