Monday, November 11, 2013

Craigslist Kills Free Market Traders

In a stealth move, Craigslist has flagged (removed) all Ads by traders that have an HTML link, without any warning, cutting of income for legitimate sellers.  Sellers in all categories from home based businesses to auto dealers and real estate brokers have found their pipeline of leads just stopped dead and their business seriously affected.  You can post plain old vanilla Ads, but no links.  Consumers actually benefitted from being able to click on a link in an Ad to see the sellers's storefront and legitimacy, weeding out many fraudulent posters.

What is wrong with that simple Free Trade Model?

Why has Craigslist suddenly sought to use power and control in such an arrogant manner?  It doesn't bode well for them to kill off legitimate trade.  It doesn't even affect their business model because this is or was a FREE Classified site.  Craigslist could have adopted an Ad revenue model to generate income.    Instead of  capitalizing on it's real-estate, it has sought to sue sites such as Padmapper and 3Taps claiming it owns the intellectual property of content - it's Ads.  The case was dismissed.

What are the Alternatives?

Sites such as Ebay Classified are too rigid in their format for those looking to create brands and increase awareness by pushing their viewers to their own websites.  Oodle and especially Backpage, are ripe alternatives to steal this traffic away, but lack branding.

Craigslist is reasserting its authority in what appears to be a panic move.  But this is the beginning of a downward spiral as it reduces the value of its services to Advertisers and drives away business to the competition.  It's only a matter of time before alternatives steal the show.  Wake up Craigslist!

Sociable

 
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