Friday, March 03, 2006

Chennai Craigslist experience

I did a post on Chennai Craigslist last month. Since then I have posted a few items for sale in this world's largest classifieds site with good results (sold 2 out of 3 items listed). I have used craigslist extensively in US to buy & sell stuff from phones to cars. I always used to get a hit within a few weeks. At that time, it used to be free for scam & spams. But now, they have found its way here as well. Majority of the mails I got for my listings were scams & spams. It is so bad that, Craigslist attaches a warning to all mails from the prospective buyers. I got of bunch mails from purportedly from parents in Europe wanting to buy my stuff for their kids in Nigeria and stuff (yeah !!! right). Also, some guys from bharatpatal.org kept spamming me urging to post my ware in their site. However, I did get a buyer (from Chennai) for my MP3 player & mobile phone.

For the uninitiated..
Craigslist is the world's largest classifieds portal. It started as local service in Bay Area and has now spread to over 70 cities across the world posing threat to print classifieds business. One can post anything from clothes to computers to cars for free in this site. So, how do they make money? They run a extremely lean company with a staff of only 19 and make their money from job postings.

interestingly, Craigslist is being sued (in US) by a Chicago fair housing agency accusing it of violating the fair housing act of 1968 by allowing discriminatory advertisement. So what is Craigslist is being accused off? They are being accused of allowing anonymous ads that are discriminatory in nature. Here are some of the wordings that housing group found offensive:
  1. "African Americans and Arabians tend to clash with me"
  2. "No kids allowed"
  3. "single occupancy only"
  4. "no minorities"
I am just wondering.. What would happen if the same yard stick was applicable to classifieds in India? Most of the classifieds (even job ads from major corporations) are caste and age specific.

My Take
  • Go ahead try it out.. Its free
  • Beware of scam mails..
  • Expect spam mails
  • Entertain local deals only
  • Price reasonably to improve the chances of a hit
  • consummate the transaction in a neutral place like a coffee shop..
Related Links
My post on Chennai Craigslist
Craigslist Scam Warning
Craigslist fact sheet
Fair Housing Act