Craigslist Is No Longer Letting You List Your Car For Free

Apr 17, 2019 2 min read
Craigslist Is No Longer Letting You List Your Car For Free

Is Craigslist still popular enough to charge $5 to post a car?

Once upon a time, Craigslist was the place to post a vehicle for sale - and also to find rare cars that have been stashed away in people’s garages. The huge appeal to using the site was, and continues to be, an alternative to having to pay or subscribe to list something for sale - offering a great alternative to AutoTrader and other places where you can find an eclectic mix of vehicles. However, they are changing that by rolling out a $5 listing fee for vehicles, is this good, bad, or doesn’t matter? Let’s talk it out.

So one amazing thing about using CL is that you can post (just about) anything for sale. The awful part of CL is…other people can do the same. If you’re a sane and reasonable person, you have a car, list the details of said car with as much accuracy as possible, add some recent and clear photos to your ad, list it, and then respond to potential buyers in a timely fashion. It’s great in theory, but not everyone on Craigslist seems to be playing with a full deck of cards.

The reality of Craigslist is the amount of seemingly insane people who use it, make it a chore to sort through to find anything. Here’s the normal scenarios you have to sort through to find anything legitimate on the site:

  1. This ad is long expired, and the seller on the other end is downright hostile that you dare make an offer.
  2. This ad is long expired, and the seller on the other end is downright hostile that you dare make an offer.
  3. The seller never responds, and you’re left wondering if they fell into a well right after posting the ad, where they will live out the rest of their days.
  4. Let’s just blanket this one and say that the ad is full of inaccuracies. And when you ask the seller to clarify anything, they are very unwilling to do so.
  5. The seller flakes.

It’s hard to say with absolute certainty, but after a strong decade, it’s probably not doing as well as it once did. With other platforms offering an alternative to Craigslist, and the Facebook Marketplace offering the same free services (and you can somewhat verify the person actually exists), its sharing the market space now. Mentioning this with as little biased as possible, there's also sites like Motorious with a comprehensive for sale section that allows sellers to reach a massive market of automotive enthusiasts, and allows buyers to find exactly what they want.

This $5 fee seems nominal, but it goes against the purpose of using such a platform. Just the idea of giving your billing information to Craigslist alone is a little cringe inducing. While it seeks to fix the problems with all the crazies aforementioned, could very well just tank (arguably) the most popular part of the platform. It doesn’t, however, fix anything amongst the tire kickers, low ballers, and time wasters when they come across the ad. To the legitimate buyer, this is another layer of hassle, and doesn’t stop scammers and spammers from ruining the selling experience. So is this about cleaning up Craigslist? Or are they letting greed get the best of them and banking on the most active part of the site?

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