The Future of Online Classifieds

Kevin Kelleher wrote an interesting piece last week about eBay’s new Kijiji classifieds service in the U.S. and how it stacks up against Craigslist.

Kevin links to Internet Outsider which has this great comment:

Despite significant online classified efforts, moreover, the classified opportunity remains massive: The dying newspaper industry still rakes in tens of billions of dollars a year for printed classifieds — a less efficient, less informative, less convenient, more wasteful, and more expensive way to buy or sell products. In another few decades, when the current (and last) generation of hard-copy newspaper readers dies out, printed classifieds will seem as archaic as whale oil. The newspaper companies may be able to retain some classifieds business as it moves online, but given the success of Craigslist, Monster, et al (and the seriously weak newspaper efforts thus far), this percentage will likely be small.

So, there’s a $10 billion plus market for classifieds, and the majority of it is not online.

Here’s where I get excited. Of all the news and community content features that eNeighbors offers to the neighborhood residents, classifieds have been the most popular by far. To date (we launched in April), we have had over 300 classifieds posted from only 2000 users in 18 neighborhoods. Keep in mind that most of the neighborhoods have only been using our service for a few weeks.

Additionally, we have already received numerous comments from users that they would like to be able to publish their classifieds to other neighborhoods in their area. This is a site enhancement that we are currently working.

The great thing is that we built the classifieds engine as a “nice to have” feature for residents to use when garage sales were not appropriate never expecting it to be so popular, but our users have begun to see a huge potential for a truly hyper-local type of market square.

I’d like to see eNeighbors follow in Craig Newmark’s footsteps and provide valuable relevant classifieds in an even more hyper-local context.

Never underestimate the power of free.

4 thoughts on “The Future of Online Classifieds

  1. I’m a resident of one of the eighteen eNeighbors sites and I recently found out about Tell A Friend which is another feature on the eNeighbor’s site. It’s an easy way to tell a friend in the neighboorhood next to you about eNeighbors. Besides all the benefits of the site they can also get their classifieds posted. Having the neighborhoods in close proximity to each other when eNeighbors gets the classified ads networked would be even more of a benefit. I sent it to my friend and she was able to send the information to her board who is considering signing up. Go to
    http://www.eNeighbors.com/overview and click on Tell a Friend.

  2. We are a new and exciting player on Indian online classifieds platform, BolCityBol. With unique features like well classifieds regions, google map listings, college vyapaar section etc BolCityBol has generated a lot of interest and is very easy to use and absolutely free. So for all your needs in cities of Mumbai and Pune Try it today.
    http://www.bolcitybol.com

  3. A new site that’s just come out and is sure to give craigslist a run for their money is Profitthumb.com. Unlike craigslist, Profitthumb makes it mandatory to include a photo of what it is you’re selling so that you’re not wasting your time reading descriptions of items that don’t fit the look you’re after. Aside from this, it also gives you the option to see what people providing services look like before utilizing their services. Let’s face it, looks matter and Profitthumb.com now allows you to see what and who you are paying for. Keep your eyes on this website. It will be a household name sooner than later.

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