Substitute for Craigslistby Aaron Charles
You can't really replace Craigslist -- which generates over 50 billion page views a month -- but you can find a decent substitute. One thing about Craigslist that makes it so popular is that it has a lot of what a lot of people are looking for, such as jobs, business services, auto sales and other buying and selling opportunities -- and it's mostly free. Multiple similar sites appeal to Craigslist's target audience.
Buying and Selling
Beyond scouring the more traditional print newspaper classified ads, there are online substitutes for Craigslist that allow you to shop or sell. Backpage, ClassifiedAds and eBay Classifieds (links in Resources) are three sites that function basically in the way Craigslist does, with some shades of difference. As on Craigslist, it won't cost you anything to create a basic "For Sale" ad on these sites. And also as on Craigslist, you can narrow your selling, searching and browsing to a particular location. For selling vehicles, also consider eBay Motors -- separate from eBay Classifieds -- and AutoTrader (links in Resources).
Personal ads also still have a home in local newspapers. Beyond those, Backpage and ClassifiedAds have a personals section. Backpage has an adult section, which is separate from its dating section that provides for space men seeking women, women seeking men and so on. ClassifiedAds does not have an adult section. Like Craigslist, though, it has a "Casual Encounters" section that's geared more toward those who are looking for flings rather than more serious relationships. Among these, Backpage is the only site that charges a small fee to post a personals ad. Both have listings of community events as well.
In a search for a job or an employee, ClassifiedAds, Backpage and eBay Classifieds can serve as a substitute for Craigslist. All three have listings for business services. Backpage will charge you to post a job or business service ad, but ClassifiedAds and eBay Classifieds won't. Also, ClassifiedAds has a section, like Craigslist, where you can post your resume. Aside from ClassifiedAds, there are other employment-focused sites, such as Monster, LinkedIn and CareerBuilder, that let you post your resume for free or a nominal fee.
Backpage, ClassifiedAds and eBay Classifieds all have local apartment or house listings -- and only Backpage charges a fee to list. Otherwise, there are websites that list rentals nationwide, such as Apartments, ApartmentGuide and Rent (links in Resources). For listings of houses for sale, you can also check with local realtors in addition to scouring the ads on Backpage, ClassifiedAds or eBay Classifieds. As on Craigslist, use caution when dealing with others you meet or do business with on these Craigslist substitutes. No classified listing service is completely immune from scams or criminal activity.