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 —
|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.