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Craigslist Will Now Charge To List a Car & Why You’re Going To Thank Them

Ah, Craigslist.

Even though we make jokes and sometimes see real situations involving sketchy people on the platform, we can’t help but love the site. For some of us, we’ve spent days searching for hours upon hours for just the right deal. The site acted as one of the first to provide a platform to search local ads for just about anything.

Sure, eBay had existed with the pay to play model. It seemed to be more oriented toward online ordering, though. Craigslist, on the other hand, was all about face to face interaction. It really satisfied the need for instant gratification and possibly getting stabbed by a stranger in a parking lot (kidding!). Since it was free marketing, just about everybody has thought of Craigslist as another avenue when selling something. There really is an absurd amount of power in removing the price tag, even if it is only a couple of dollars.

However, recently, the classified ad site has decided that starting today, that would all change. While sites like eBay have remained steadfast in charging customers a final value fee, they have removed the listing fees in most situations. For example, if someone were to want to list their personal vehicle on eBay, it would be free. They would only pay on the other end after somebody had purchased the car.

In turn, for local transactions, Facebook even added its very own marketplace. While eBay and Craigslist definitely had different target markets, Facebook took a strong shot at Craigslist’s demographic. Facebook also seems to be a little bit more convenient as it’s packaged with an app that most already use.

However, now, to list a vehicle on Craigslist, it will cost $5. It’s a small fee but if we know anything about people, we get the feeling that they’re going to be up in arms. Craigslist hasn’t officially commented on why they’re implementing the fee or why it’s only in the autos section. We can make a good guess, though.

We think that in the long run, it will all pan out for the better. After all, $5 is an amount of money that most people throw away on purchasing something stupid. If someone wants to really list their car, it’ll be no big deal.

With the small investment, though, it could ward off scammers and spammers alike. Unfortunately, when something is free that leaves the door open to abuse it. This means that the one bad apple might’ve ruined the free status for everyone. That’s right, we don’t want to see your car posted 15 times.

It also looks like the site has been making an effort to crack down on how dealers post. Craigslist’s listing terms say that dealers can only list one vehicle at a time. We all know that we’ve muttered a couple of choice words for those annoying bulk listings featuring an entire lot.

It might be natural to think that this could drive a nail in the platform’s coffin. After all, Facebook has to be cannibalizing a good amount of their business, right? Maybe after considering the fact that platforms like Cars.com have been doing just fine while charging $60-$125 to list cars, some will reconsider. In turn, Craigslist remains to have one of the best search functions for this kind of site. While it’s only anecdotal evidence, comments sections that we’ve read through seem to have the most positive feedback for Craigslist. Users seem to think that the platform brings more serious customers than the others.

Is this the beginning of the end of the paid platform or is Craigslist taking a step in the right direction? Only time will tell.