Craigslist is considered as the “digital commons” as one avail the channel to meet individuals along with executing, investigating, talking about government issues and so on. However, the unique selling point of this popular website lies in its classified ads sections and according to Gizmodo[i], Craigslist is now viral in 70 countries covering almost 700 cities. Furthermore, Craigslist boasts of having a massive 20 billion page views with 2 million new job postings and 80 million classified advertisements on a monthly basis. These numbers are enough to place Craigslist in the category of leading classifieds service providers, making on the premium job boards across the globe.
Even though the numbers game is really strong, many Craigslist users have often wondered regarding the revenue generation of the website since almost all the features on the platform are almost free. On the surface, their domain does not put pricing on anything except a minimal fee for a bunch of classified sections. In fact, ever since its launch in 1995, the site has never attempted to commercialize itself.
In order to understand how Craigslist makes money, here is a guide that explains the business model of this valuable website.
Craigslist: A Brief Overview
In fifteen years, Craigslist has established itself as one of the top leading websites around the world by allowing sellers to post their ads under various categories that are used by the buyers to avail the services and products as per their need. As of today, 700 various Craigslist sites are viral on the web, catering to the needs of sellers and buyers all over the world in different languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch and Portuguese.
How Does the Site Bring in Profit Without Posting Any Ads?
When you glance through Craigslist, you will come to know that the site has no ads so how do they profit from the listings? Well, the website itself has declared that they make money by charging a minimal fee of ten dollars for apartment listings in the New York City, 25 dollars for job postings in six of its largest U.S. markets and 75 dollars for job listings in the city of San Francisco.[ii] The website also charges a ten spot in the States for any ad that falls under the category of “Therapeutic Services”. Apart from that, Craigslist also costs five USD when it comes to re-posting of an ad that is already viral and running. These are the only known earning methods of Craigslist and for organizations offering classified ads, the site prioritize them as the ads, which are almost free to publish. One of the important attributes of Craigslist is that the site generates unbeatable traffic with a no-fee business model, keeping it ahead of the competition in the market.
Quality in Their Craft and Presentation
Even though the newspapers have been a constant critic of the site, Craigslist has employed some of the most skillful people who work really hard to ensure that the site runs well and work with the legal forces to avoid any underhanded dealings. After all, it is a free website and one should not forget that the Internet is often home to a plethora of unwelcoming and strange people as well.
Craigslist Dominate Newspaper’s Classifieds
Of course, Craigslist makes enough that is why the newspapers despise the site due to their decline of classified ad space sales. Nowadays, if you want to rent a property or sell a mobile phone, you can post it for free on Craigslist whereas the scenarios used to be different in the past as you had to purchase classified ad space in the newspapers.
How can you Benefit from Craigslist?
Perhaps, this is where Craigslist distinct itself from the competition by asking its own users on the domain to input what to charge for the services the site is providing when it comes to selling an automobile or a property. Given the massive user engagement on the website, you will definitely feel that a few dollars are worth getting your ad published in front of millions. Thanks to the dominance of Internet marketing nowadays, you can easily get your product or service sold on Craigslist costing you a minimal fee.
Finally, it all comes down to the numbers, as Craigslist is entirely dependent on the huge volume of the user community that visits the website on a daily basis. As long as Craigslist keeps on prioritizing user experience over monetizing its services, it will keep on being a valuable website in the industry worth billions.