What: Classified advertising site to sell anything; look for a job; rent out your house or car

Commissions & fees: mostly free (though employers and brokers pay fees to list)

Husl$core: $$$$$

Where: Nationwide (worldwide)

Review: Long before there was an Etsy or Letgo, a guy named Craig Newmark decided that he wanted to find a better way to keep track of arts and technology events in the San Francisco bay area, so he started a low-budget directory that allowed people to post their upcoming events for free. Some 20-plus years later, Craig’s List has operations all over the world and lists everything from clothing and cars for sale to job listings and rentals.

The site still aims to be local, offering separate local sites for each community it serves. That gives community members a forum to talk to one another and even find ways to organize. Though the site would halt inappropriate organization, Newmark says it tries to “stay out of the way” when Craig’s List is used for good. For instance, when Hurricane Katrina struck, site users re-purposed the New Orleans Craig’s List site to help people get in contact with survivors. “And then, people started using our site to offer housing and, later on, jobs to survivors,” said Craig Newmark in an interview with Wired. “…that was great stuff. We got out of the way of people doing that. We didn’t care that people were doing different things on the site.” The site remains non-commercial, charging only for corporate listings. Everyone else buys and sells on the site for free.

The problem: Because Craig’s List has more than 20 million active users, it is a magnet for scam artists, who attempt everything from renting other people’s homes to passing fake checks. Newmark is working on ways to spot and stop these scams, but the crooks are faster than the filters. In the meantime, when you use this site, use good judgement. Don’t take a check for more than the cost of the goods and services you’re selling and agree to “refund” the rest. This is a fake check scam. Be wary of rentals listed here too. They’re sometimes cut and pasted from other paid sites, such as VRBO. Usually, you’ll see warning signs, but only if you look carefully. Do that. We love Craig’s List. It’s high rating reflects the fact that it works for sellers, renters and job seekers most of the time. The one missing $ here is mainly related to the scam issue. This site, more than others, has a problem with crooks. 

The one other issue that weighed down this company’s (still high) score is that it does everything. If you scour the listings on SideHusl, you’ll see Craig’s List in practically every category — you can find a job; rent a house; sell your puppies. The site is a “jack-of-all-trades.” But because it doesn’t specialize, this is not the first place to go when you want to rent out your vacation home; or buy expensive jewelry. Buyers (and sellers) tend to be bargain-hunters, not the type to pay a premium price for a premium product.

What their users say: 

“I’ve always loved this website! From being able to sell your stuff, searching for jobs, and purchasing things, this site offers it all! Not to mention, being able to make $$$ by posting ads for some companies! There’s definitely some non-legitimate ads out there but there are also legit ones too! This is always a site I refer to whenever I need anything! Highly recommended!!”

“I was told yesterday that someone posted our vacation home that is rented on VRBO via Craigslist. Someone stole the pictures and information off the VRBO site and pasted them onto the Craigslist site. They were trying to rent it on a week that was already rented on VRBO and collect the money in advance. So, BUYER BEWARE…unless you like to lose money! If you rent something off this site, it is very likely NOT legitimate. You’ll find yourself at a house for your dream vacation, and someone else will be already occupying the house. So, you’ll lose money and will have wasted valuable vacation time!”

“Craigslist is a very good place to shop BUTTTT u suregotta watch all the time about all the scammers on there, I have listed a item for say $250.00 and immediately I have lowlife scammers try to get me to accept their check or they will have their truck come by and pick up item, I sometimes want to tell them what they can do with their offer; another thing ,I understand Craigslist cannot possibly monitor every thing posted there. I think there are a lot of honest people that use this service to buy and sell there.I will continue to shop there but being very careful.”

“Individual by the name of XXX XXX is using Craigslist to find a roommate for $385.00 monthly. However, she describes that due to past experiences and no show she will need a $168.00 deposit which must be done using western union account number she provides. In total, you will pay $171.95 because of the transfer fee. Prior to the transfer being done she stay in touch answering every question that you may have about the room. She does not care if you have to drive for hours to get to the apartment. Once you confirm that you have arrived her telephone number goes straight to voicemail, but if you text she says that she’s on her way the address she provides is extremely beautiful, but XXX is a thief who uses people to get money transferred to Money Network Paycard. .”

“I have sold countless bicycles, sporting goods … there are genuine buyers out there , but they are all local of course, if out of state no’s -Beware !! I’m in ATL btw .-Now if you get that 2 in a row – 30 minutes apart text messages where someone wants to know if your “Art” item is still for sale and “what You low last price ? ” on it…yeah them’s are scumbag scammers ,
-but Craig’s List is not at fault here …is just a fact of life that Scumbags are people
too, with smartphones !!”

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