What: A social networking site that allows you to post items for sale, find a job, lend or rent your personal items, ranging from camping equipment to carpet cleaners. 

Commissions & fees: none

Husl$core: $$$

Review: Nextdoor is a seven-year-old site that is aimed at allowing neighbors to chat with other neighbors for both commercial and purely social purposes. The site encourages users to invite their friends and post local information about everything from lost dogs to crime. Consumers can use the site to organize or remind each other about community events, such as city council meetings and crop swaps, too. Nextdoor also has a commercial side, where you can advertise items for sale or rent and where you can attempt to find a job. Where this is probably not the right venue to seek work as, say, a television producer, if you want to work as a gardener, nanny or in elder care, your chances of finding an interested neighbor are not bad. People selling their household goods also say Nextdoor can be a nice place to advertise.  The site generally limits communication to a relatively small geographic area to make sure the communication is between neighbors, which means your advertisements won’t go to a huge audience. That said, posting an ad is free, so there’s nothing to lose in the attempt.  Eventually Nextdoor plans to monetize its operation, which may mean it will start to charge for posting advertisements. Until then, this is the equivalent of a mini-Craigs List, (mostly) without the scammers. 

The biggest complaints about the site are that the neighborhood “leads” can be arbitrary about what they do and don’t allow users to post. The site’s guidelines about what’s acceptable are vague. The site discourages ardent political speech and some commercial posts in the main discussion group. (Though you’re welcome to set up business pages.) Otherwise, the only site guidelines are to remember that you’re neighbors and treat each other with kindness and respect. Some leads have used that broad mandate to cut off conversations that they don’t like.

What their users say: (From SiteJabber)

“I joined nextdoor a year or two ago. I enjoyed it but noticed they really don’t want any comments that challenge the aggressive agenda if those who seek to take away private property rights or promote special interest group agendas. Recently I was suddenly locked out of this group. It is good to read all the posts of this site to see that I am not alone. In my case I noted that people were suspecting/commenting that the local city council of Rancho Cordova was on the take and being influenced by RV storage lots. One of the leads placed a feed on nextdoor showing why she and the city council were opposed to people storing RV’s, boats, etc. on their driveways. I responded to the lead and challenged the 12 pictures she was using. She failed to note in her post that she was merely posting photos promoting an RV storage lot business. That business had gone around the country looking for their best examples of ugly old RVs on driveways for their collage. The lead failed to note that these were not pictures in our local community and irrelevant. She also failed to note that it was merely the collage that had been made (with three advertising photos of their storage lot) to try to persuade the local city council to ban RV storage on driveways and force these to be stored in their for profit storage businesses! The lead did not respond to my challenge of her biased post in favor of a storage business. She instead immediately kicked me out of the NEXTDOOR forum. I have written to NEXTDOOR complaining but this does no good. It appears that NEXTDOOR is in cahoots with tyrannical government leaders who are selling out their constituents in exchange for either money under the table or campaign financing. Thank you for your other comments that show I am not alone in being very dissappointed with NEXTDOOR. GOOD NEWS: as a result of complaining I have been fully restored to NEXTDOOR and the lead who kicked me out has instead been kicked out of NEXTDOOR! So I am very impressed and pleased with NEXTDOOR! They strive to be fair when problems are raised to the level of those in charge. Petty tyrants cannot rule with impunity if challenged! Thank you NEXTDOOR. I love this site and all the great information and business sources provided!”

“Nextdoor.com is a great tool to use when rules are the same across the board. Unfortunately, I don’t understand why nextdoor.com allows rules to be flexible and allow racial discrimination. I live in a predominately caucasians neighbor and city which is fine and I know that there are just racist people in the world thats life and thats fine if they want to think that way. So after signing up for nextdoor I watched different things that people were posting which was mostly selling products and cars, promoting services for work (cleaning houses, pet sitting, babysitting,etc), asking for money cause they are in financial trouble, and making recommendations when someone asked…all on the news feed. All these post I looked at have been all caucasians and no people of color (The ones that had a photo). I do admit I did not look at the rules before posting about no socializing of business or services in the news feed. So my very first post I posted stated that I provide home care services like personal care, homemaker, companionship, and transportation as a Registered Nurse and anyone that might be in need of help like the elderly I would happy to help. I have a picture posted of me as a black women. Within the first 10minutes someone reported me and took down my post in their neighborhood. Then within about 5 hours my post was removed completely which had to come from my Lead over my neighborhood. Know I reported to nextdoor about what others are posting selling their services but then mine is reported, they stated that it is up to the lead within each neighborhood to determine if I broke the rules. This is very unfortunate that this is allowed and nextdoor does not want to step in and say that this is not ok and everyone needs to follow the same rules.”

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