Corporate Eye

College Students Craiglists

It all started with Craigslist. It is one of the top ten internet properties and a widely known place to buy and sell just about anything. The founder Craig Newmark — whose official title is “Founder, Chairman, Customer Service Representative”, is an interesting businessman. He doesn’t want to change his somewhat antiquated text-based website, is against placing advertising on the site and is happy with the rather modest financial performance of his business. The only sales sources are charges for placing job ads and real-estate listings in only three cities. Some analysts estimate total yearly sales of only $10 million (USD).

Because of its popularity, Craigslist has an ever growing number of competitors. Perhaps its most prominent competitor is eBay who already owns about 25% of Craigslist and is trying to acquire it. Ebay launched Kijiji a Graigslist-like site with bells and whistles. Another competitor is OLX which received an additional $13.5M in Series B funding from General Catalyst, Bessemer Venture Partners, Founders Fund, and DN Capital. Then there is publicly traded LiveDeal.

While these “catch all” classifieds sites are noteworthy, what is interesting is a growing number of Craigslist-like websites targeted toward college students. The main driver is the price of textbooks. A recently launched site CollegeMedium started with books and expanded into other items, jobs, housing and chat.

But wait, there’s more —

SITE

FEATURES

Uloop Requires an .edu e-mail address, takes you to full classifieds site for your school
Campustrade Not limited to your school, full classifieds
Campusx Full classifieds, college reviews, scholarship information
Campusclassifieds Focus on books but offers free classifieds. Accepts business advertising

This is only a sampling. There are more and because of the market potential additional sites are likely to be launched. It will be interesting to observe who will survive.

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Ed Konczal has an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business (with distinction). He has spent the last 10 years as an executive consultant focusing on human resources, leadership, market research, and business planning. Ed has over 10 years of top-level experience from AT&T in the areas of new ventures and business planning. He is co-author of the book "Simple Stories for Leadership Insight," published by University Press of America.
 
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