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How Does Craigslist Make Money?

Are you looking to sell or buy things online? But then, are you not sure which platform to choose for yourself? If you are trying to sell or buy anything online in America, then you should not think too much and sign up on the Craigslist website.

It is the best and most popular app in all of America. With around 50 billion researches every month, it is the best online app in the market.

But what is Craigslist? Craigslist is an online marketplace where you can do a variety of things. It is a region-based website where you can find jobs, products, services, gigs, resumes, or even conduct a discussion. You can post absolutely anything you need on this website and find every solution here. Although, this app mostly works in the area or the region you are in.

And how does it work? Just like any other application, Craigslist categorizes various things so that people can look through the category and choose the one suitable for them. To make sure that the website is completely relevant to the users, all the things available here are not just listed categorically but also region-wise.

The website has also successfully evolved over time and thus, the advertisements on the website have also become more searchable, and have a longer life.

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How Does Craigslist Make Money? (2022)

Craigslist Company History

Craigslist was founded back in 1995 in San Francisco, California by Craig Newmark. Before that, Newman worked for 18 years at IBM. But he wanted to bring in some change in his life and thus, he decided to move to San Francisco.

After moving there, he decided to spice up his social life. He started making new friends, going to local get-togethers and every other program that took place there. To make sure he or his friends do not miss anything, he started to keep a list of everything on email so that they would get notified before every event.

The email plan was started just for fun, but very soon, they became dependent on the list, and it worked as a reminder for them. Not just that, after a few days, they also started posting random things that they had but did not need anymore.

For example, if someone did not need a piece of furniture anymore, they would post it on the list and someone who is interested in that furniture could make a deal and purchase it.

Soon, the whole list got filled with such stuff. Newman then realized how he needed to make a new email list that would list all the offerings properly so that people interested can navigate through the list and find things they need.

He then came up with Craigslist in 1996. But, he didn’t intend to make this a profitable business. But later on, due to some competition, he had to run Craigslist as a profit organization.

In 2000, Buckmaster joined Craigslist 2000. But Newman was so impressed with his work that he asked Buckman to become the CEO. Thus, the company kept growing and in 2006, Craigslist was available in approximately 100 cities in America and some countries like Pakistan, Malaysia, and Portugal.

Over the years, Craigslist has faced a huge number of legal issues with eBay as well, but that didn’t hinder its growth. Today, Craigslist is the most popular website, with over 400 million people visiting the site every month. It is also available in over 70 countries.

How Much is Craigslist Worth?

Craigslist is one of the most popular websites all over the world, so what is its actual worth? There is no perfect answer to this question. Craigslist is lost as a private company with absolutely no investors.

So, having an idea about its actual value is impossible. We can only try and guess what it's worth. According to various data, Craigslist has about $700 million in revenue and a value of about $3 billion. In 2016, the company made 80% profit as well.

But why did it become so popular? It is because Craigslist has some loyal customers. Craigslist has always maintained its aim to serve “network first, profit later”. And thus, it is one of the most profitable classified websites in the world.

Who Owns Craigslist?

You will be amazed to know that instead of so many legal issues that this company had to face, it is still managing to stay strong in the business. The founder of the company is Craig Newman and the CEO is Jim Buckmaster.

This company is managed by only 50 people and yet it has managed to hold its ground in the market for more than two decades.

Future of Craigslist

It is not a startup that still can fall and disappear from the market completely. It has survived in the market for more than 25 years. Since 1996, Craigslist has had to face a huge number of issues like – surviving the MetroVox, decimating the newspaper-oriented industry, and much more.

Even after so many years, Craigslist manages to run a successful business with more than 499 million visitors every month. So, it is safe to say that this company will survive in the future as well.

But Craigslist does not need to spend even a single penny on marketing and with the changing business model, that can be a problem. Some experts believe that with the current business plan, they will not be able to survive in the market.

How Does Craigslist Make Money?

Before understanding Craigslist's financial model, you must remember that the company is not a profit-oriented one, rather it believes in providing the best service to its customers. And to run the company and make money, they charge a listing fee based on the category the customer wants to select.

  • Job postings – To make a job posting, you would have to pay somewhere around $10 to $75.
  • All sales by dealer – This will cost you around $3 to $5.
  • Apartment rentals – This depends on the city that you are choosing, but it approximately costs about $5.
  • Cars and trucks – You can also list cars and trucks on this site, and it would cost you around $5.
  • Gigs – It cost about $3 to $10 in the areas of America and Canada.
  • Furniture – You can also list furniture for a minimum cost of $3.
  • Service offerings – In the area of America and Canada, it costs about $5.

Craigslist: Funding, Valuation, And Revenue

  • Funding – Craigslist raised funding back in 2004 and raised about $13.5 million in just one round. It was eBay that invested in it in the first round.

  • Valuation – As mentioned earlier, Craigslist is a private company and has never discussed its valuation with people. Although, experts have tried to guess the value of this company. According to such data, their annual revenue is approximately $760 million, which means their company’s valuation is also around $2 to $3 billion.

  • Revenue – The company has only 50 members. That means the company gains about $15 million for every employee. Thus, the company is one of the most profitable classified websites in the world.


  • What is the target audience for Craigslist?

There is no particular community, gender, or age group that Craigslist targets. You can find various ads that fulfill the needs of various people all across the world. It is a website for everyone and does not target any particular group or audience.

  • What is the business model used by Craigslist?

The business model of Craigslist is based on the P2P or A2P model. This means you can find or post any advertisement on the website and directly contact the agency or the person posting the ad on the website.

  • How many ads can you have on Craigslist?

Craigslist has set a limit to the number of ads you can post at one single time. You can post one ad in every category and even one ad in every city for 48 hours. No matter what you do, the website will not allow you to post more than that.

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