Oodle – Another Craigslist, But Slightly Better

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Created by ex-Excite executives Craig Donato, Scott Kister and Faith Sedlin, Oodle offers a significantly better experience than Craigslist. Reported to be the fastest expanding classifieds website, Oodle might just be Craigslist’s nemesis.

In addition to powering classifieds listings to several major newspapers, it recently welcomed Facebook Marketplace, AOL Classifieds as well as MySpace to their network. Why is Oodle the best player when it comes to online classifieds?

websites similar to craigslist

First of all, let’s talk about the interface. Craigslist has received a lot of criticism for its barebones 1990’s design but it has a major advantage that most didn’t perceive at first glance:

  • An extremely simple interface means a low barrier to entry for new users.
  • No graphics, animations; no distractions at all for the user. While not exactly pleasant for the eye, it means the user would get in and find what they were looking for fast.
  • Minimal operating costs; transferring text has the lowest bandwidth requirements and it doesn’t use too many CPU resources either. You could literally run a million dollar business out of your closet. No need to hire coders to maintain the service, debug code; designers to create new promotional images/videos/layouts.

The idea behind Craigslist is genius, and so is the implementation – to a point. Create a balance between eye-candy, usability and costs and you’ve got a Craigslist killer: Oodle.

What’s special about Oodle?

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  • It mashes together “˜80,000 sources’ according to their website; which isn’t that far fetched considering they manage classifieds for a number of big players in the market.

Oodle covers listings from national and local marketplaces in 289 regions, 494 colleges in the United States, 120 cities and 84 universities in the UK, and 39 regions and 31 universities in Canada. – Oodle Blog

  • It has an alert system that notifies the user once a product is available. Instead of searching every day, you sit back and receive the notification in your inbox.
  • A large inventory – many sources means more products and a good angle for negotiating.
  • Other classifieds sites use Oodle’s API to provide results – which means your posting will reach more than one single service. These sites are in the “˜hundreds’.
  • Oodle generates more revenue by attracting advertisers and having a paid inclusion program. Submission to the site is still free – but if you want more exposure you can pay for it.
  • International reach – just recently opened for Ireland and India.

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Oodle is definitely a better implementation of the online classifieds idea – and while it is not as revolutionary as Craiglist was when it first appeared – it does the job better and that’s always what matters for the end-user.

I’ve asked Kirsten Bollen, from Public Relations at Oodle, a couple of questions:

    Q: What makes Oodle, in your opinion, better than Craiglist? What feature would you say differentiates you from the other services?

    A: Oodle operates the largest network of classifieds services in the U.S., so buyers can easily find the best deals with access to more than 40 million listings aggregated from more than 80,000 different sites. Oodle also offers a compelling platform for sellers to promote their listings by leveraging the reach of Oodle’s extensive network of more than 250 partner sites, including AOL, Comcast and MySpace, among many others.

    Q:How would you see the service evolve in the future?

    A: Oodle recently launched Facebook’s new Marketplace, where we introduced a new feature – Sell For a Cause – which allows you to donate the proceeds from items you sell to over a million participating charities including UNICEF, the Sierra Club and local organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco.

I’d like to hear what you think about Craigslist and Oodle. If you haven’t tried it yet, go to Oodle.com.

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