For many years, Craiglist has been the king of local classified ads. When it was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark, it was based solely on the San Francisco Bay Area and was a fairly simple website just filled with links. No graphics, no fancy widgets, and no ads. About 25 years later, the site is virtually unchanged.
While the principle behind keeping the site simple and uncomplicated made sense years ago, with all of the modern web design advancements it no longer makes a lot of sense.
With the gap left by an ugly, painful-to-use Craigslist, there are a number of local buy-and-sell sites that are filling the space. The following are 8 of the best alternatives to Craigslist. Each of these list local items for sale from people who live near you.
1. On Social Media: Facebook Marketplace
Beyond any doubt, Facebook Marketplace has taken the lead when it comes to buying and selling goods from your neighbors. Facebook was an obvious platform for neighborhood virtual yard sales since all of those neighbors are already on Facebook.
Facebook Marketplace is organized into major categories like vehicles, rentals, electronics, and general classifieds for miscellaneous items just to name a few. Visiting marketplace while logged into Facebook zeros in on your local area automatically.
Each listing lets you exchange messages with the seller to learn more about the product and arrange a safe meetup location to make the purchase.
Just be careful when you start using Facebook Marketplace because searching for cheap stuff to buy is addictive!
2. Lots of Features: Letgo
Letgo is very similar to Facebook Marketplace, with mostly the same features but a different layout. When you first arrive on the site, you’ll see a popup window asking you to allow for location access.
Once you do, you’ll have access to just as many categories as products as well. These include cars, housing, electronics, fashion, and even a “free stuff” category.
Selecting an item will show you any photo and description the user uploaded a map with the location, and the ability to message the seller for more information. You’ll also see tags for how long ago the item was listed and how many views the posting has already had.
3. All Electronics: Swappa
Swappa is sort of the electronics version of Craigslist. All products you see there are consumer electronics only. You’ll see a Swappa Local button you can select to see that items are up for sale in your local area.
Unfortunately, Swappa Local is fairly new so it’ll only be useful to you if you live in one of the major cities listed in its Swappa Local selection page.
The listings in various cities aren’t many at the moment, but they keep growing in volume. Typical products include phones, laptops, video games and more.
Product pages are usually filled with a good number of photos and a decent description. Many sellers are willing to ship if you like, but there’s always a safe, local, public space chosen by the seller where you can meet to do the swap.
4. Trade Green: Recycler
What better way to avoid sending trash to landfills than letting your trash become someone else’s treasure? That’s exactly what Recycler is all about.
The first step in using recycler to find products near you is typing the town or city where you live and searching across whatever category you like.
The Recycler listings seem to be fairly plentiful all across the country.
On the listing pages, you’ll see features that let you:
- Adjust the distance of listing results from your location
- Assign one or more categories or subcategories
- Apply price limits
- View photo only listings
You’ll see the item title, location, a quick preview of the description, and the price of the item.
Individual listings are usually pretty brief, with just a single photo and a quick description.
But there are quick links in the listing that allow you to email the seller for more information or to set up a sale location.
5. Everything Local: ClassifiedAds
ClassifiedAds is one Craigslist alternative that only improves on the Craigslist web design very slightly. The main page is still a long list of links broken out into categories.
The first time you visit the site, it’ll automatically detect your geographic location.
There are plenty of ads updated on the site for not just merchandise but also real estate, rentals, jobs, and even community events. Individual ads usually include a fair amount of information like a good description, photos, and an overview template of specs. There’s also an on-page form you can use to communicate with the seller.
The listings don’t update quite as frequently as other sites, and you do have to deal with quite a few more ads as well. However, it’s worth a visit because there are lots of great local deals to be had, buried among the many listings.
6. Well Organized: Locanto
Locanto is probably one of the best organized Craigslist alternatives than any other. This is because of all of the advanced site features that Craigslist should have included a long time ago. These features include:
- A modern, interactive menu system for drilling down into subcategories
- A tagging system that lets you fine-tune your searches
- A subcategory tree system to narrow down browsing
- Number of results are listed in the location string at the top of the page
- Alphabetical category selection
The site is most useful currently if you live near large population centers. This is where most of the newest and most frequent listings are.
Individual listing pages may show an image and a detailed description. On most ads, you’ll notice a Buy now via partner button at the bottom of the listing.
This is because in most cases these are aggregated listings from external websites like Best Buy, Target, and other major retailers.
These listings are from local businesses with the item in stock and available.
It’s a somewhat different take on local buying and selling, but if your only interest is finding good deals near you regardless of who the seller is, it’s a good option.
7. Monitor for Deals: OfferUp
When you connect with OfferUp, it’ll identify your location automatically. Listings are all in your local area. The top of the page has a dropdown menu with 39 categories covering everything from bicycles and vehicles to furniture and photography.
Individual listings include nice pictures, a brief description, and a map of the exact location where the item is located. Near the user’s name, you can select Ask to ask the user a question, or Make offer to issue an offer and set up a local pickup.
New items don’t show up quite as frequently as other sites but then appear often enough to make this a site definitely worth monitoring for great local deals. It’s especially useful if there are specific types of things you look for like antiques or clothing brands.
8. For UK Shoppers: Gumtree
Most of the services above offer local buying and selling in the U.S., but UK shoppers aren’t without their own resources. Enter Gumtree, a fabulous alternative to Craigslist that’s available throughout the United Kingdom.
On the main Gumtree page, you’ll just need to enter your postcode or location and select Go to update the listings.
You’ll find major categories like property, motors, jobs, pets, and even community events. For most of the merchandise, you’ll want to select the For Sale category which as of this writing holds over 140,000 items for sale in London alone.
In most popular categories, you’ll see many new items listed every day. Gumtree is a very active buying and selling community, particularly in the more populated areas of the UK.
You’ll also find a few simple filters like price range, featured ads, urgent ads, or includes pictures. Best of all, once you fine-tune your search to the items and area you frequently search, just select Set search alert to receive alerts when there are new items that match your search.
Individual listings typically have a good collection of images and a location of the item on a map. You also have the ability to select Email to send the seller a message to ask more information or offer to meet and purchase the item.
Gumtree does have a few ads throughout but they are not as obtrusive as other alternatives to Craigslist.
It’s not always easy to choose the right local buy and sell platform, so give a few of the ones in this list a try and see which one suits your needs the best.