Angie's List Vs. Craigslist
By Scott Cornell
Two virtual lists that act as mediums to pair consumers with desired services are Craigslist and Angie's List. However, just because the two sources include "list" in their names doesn't make them necessarily similar. Though Craigslist receives billions of page views per month, it's open for anyone to use - including spammers, bots and anonymous posters. Angie's List, on the other hand, serves as a professional resource for consumers seeking specific types of services.
Craigslist is a classified ad website that is comparable to the classified section in your local newspaper. It's intended for both solicitors and seekers and, outside of certain cities, is free to both post and view ads. Ads are grouped by cities and regions and vary from job postings to for sale items, housing options and services. Craigslist also features discussion forums and personal advertisements. Craigslist is used by more than 60 million Americans and generates some 50 billion page views on a monthly basis as of September 2012.
Angie's List Basics
Angie's List is a review website and publication that allows people to make better decisions on the services they seek. It features over 500 categories -- from contractors to doctors -- of service for reviews. It also accepts reviews from only those with first-hand experience. Companies cannot pay to be on the list, giving you more unbiased information than competing review sites that may pad their reviews. However, companies are allowed to respond to reviews, so both sides of the story are portrayed, allowing you to make an educated decision.
Unlike Craigslist, Angie's List doesn't permit any anonymous posters. This helps Angie's List maintain credibility, as not just anyone can post or respond to a review. Angie's List also features a complaint resolution team and support through a customer service call center. Additionally, before a review is posted on Angie's List, it's first scanned to prevent companies from reporting on themselves and their competition. Conversely, on Craigslist, anyone can post, which is why the site has a disclaimer page before you click on certain posts to alert you when you may be encountering spam, a scam or something else that could be deceiving.
Unlike Craigslist, Angie's List members are required to pay either a monthly or annual fee to access reviews on the site. The fees help fund the staff members that make sure the reviews meet the criteria designated by Angie's List. Membership to Angie's List also comes with a magazine subscription, where you find articles, interviews and other helpful information. Member discounts for certain services are also offered to Angie's List members. Craigslist, on the other hand, has fewer staff members and more of a "use at your own risk" approach to its site.