Craigslist has been around for years and it seems to work quite well on its own. Although the design hasn’t changed much in all this time, the behind-the-scenes work has constantly evolved throughout his tenure. But if it’s free to advertise on the site, how does Craigslist treasure Coast make money?
Also see our article How to Search All Craigslist at Once
I see the question is asked a lot online and I thought it was worth looking into. As a regular Craigslist treasure Coast user , I was also wondering how it still worked. The answer surprised me.
Some facts about Craigslist
Craigslist is one of the most valuable websites in the world. Founded in 1995 by San Francisco resident Craig Newmark, it has more than 700 different classified sites in more than 70 countries. It is valued at about $ 5 billion and its annual revenue exceeds $ 381 million ( 2015 ). Craigslist is a for-profit business, but all proceeds are reinvested in the business and other worthy causes.
Newmark said he originally created Craigslist treasure Coast to help people. Since many of the old Internet users were doing much the same thing, he thought it was a great idea. Craigslist was originally designed to list local concerts, events, and rentals for locals and newcomers to San Francisco. The site grew rapidly and caused the expansion in jobs and other listings.
The company is owned by Newmark and current CEO Jim Buckmaster. eBay owned a quarter of Craigslist until 2015, the year it returned its share after a fight. No other shareholders are known.
Craigslist serves 20 million page views per month, 80 million new classifieds per month, and 2 million new job ads per month.
Craigslist the dairy cow
Craigslist is a private company, so it doesn’t reveal much. What we do know is taken from financial analysis and guesswork.
Craigslist does not sell advertising, and posting and responding to an ad is almost always free. Where does that supposed $ 381 million a year come from?
Charge for job listings in six major cities and apartment rentals in other cities. In San Francisco, for example, it costs $ 75 to list a job, while in the other five it costs $ 25. In New York, it costs $ 10 to list an apartment for rent. Finally, any listing posted under “therapeutic services” incurs a flat fee of $ 10.
With this income alone, the company covers most of its operating expenses. Craigslist has never been interested in earnings and has never made one. This is contrary to almost every other entity on the Internet, but it is very positive and maintains the original idea of being the center of attention.
Craigslist goes a little further to be helpful as well. In fact, it asks its users how they would earn money and what would be acceptable to pay. They use public forums to consult users before changing rates or adding more. This is a unique way of doing business and it is refreshing in the sense that it is not there to simply get as much cash as possible from its users like most other companies.
The Craigslist website says the company is always open to monetizing ideas, but wants to retain its character. He even openly solicits ideas from users in the same public forums that he uses to consult with them.
Quantity not quality
Craigslist is one of the few entities online where quantity over quality works. By the large number of people who use the site and only a few who pay for the privilege, you ensure that you make enough money to stay in business. Also, by keeping overheads low, there appear to be only 30 people, operating costs are mostly limited to technology.
This model won’t work for all businesses, but Craigslist has gotten it right. If even a small fraction of the 80 million new classifieds or 2 million new job advertisements per month are paying for their listing, the future of the business is assured.
Despite some controversy over illegal listings, Craigslist killers, and other nefarious acts allowed by the site, Craigslist has managed to survive and thrive.
In a corporate America where everyone is after their money, Craigslist is a welcome change. He really wants to help out and offer whatever he can for free. Even the prices it charges are reasonable and certainly much cheaper than a traditional newspaper ad.
While the intent to help people rather than take their money remains, it seems like Craigslist will be around for years to come!