Facebook Marketplace vs. Craigslist: Which is Better?

by | Sep 18, 2022 | Craigslist, Facebook

Thanks to its innovative features and intuitive chatting interface, the Facebook app is famous for overthrowing platforms like MySpace, Flickr, and Orkut. However, in 2016, Facebook went beyond its primary social media function and incorporated its marketplace, the Facebook Marketplace.

This Facebook Marketplace enters the niche of famous platforms, especially Craigslist, a website for people to post listings of jobs, sell items, and other noteworthy offers.

With Facebook having 2.936 billion facebook users and Craigslist having more than 700 local craigslist sites in 70 countries, it’s worth wondering which platform has the best marketplace.

For this reason, this article aims to dissect Facebook and Craigslist and present a detailed comparison for informed decision-making on which website to use.

 

Facebook Marketplace vs. Craigslist: Comparing Features

It’s necessary to compare the features of both platforms when choosing whether to sell items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist since it allows you to make the right choice. Understandably, both websites allow individuals to present offers for purchase; however, they have significant differences that are worth exploring.

 

Listing Categories

The first difference between the Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist is what items are selling locally on each platform. For example, the Facebook Marketplace strictly permits only sales of physical products.

In other words, seller posts aren’t allowed to sell services or digital products; everything is physical and tangible.

Facebook further dissects this emphasis on physical items with a list of tangible, prohibited items. These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Healthcare items
  • Animals
  • “In search of” posts
  • Illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs.
  • Before-and-after based services
  • Weapons

These restrictions make the Facebook Marketplace perfect for selling electronics, shoes, clothes, and toys for cash.

On the other hand, Craigslist has a more flexible policy regarding what sellers can sell on the platform, allowing both physical products and services. Unlike Facebook, this platform features more categories like:

  • Beauty
  • Computer
  • Real estate
  • Automotive
  • Pet
  • Writing
  • Job offerings
  • Health
  • Event

This lenient policy on Craigslist allows individuals to sell new and old products for profit, trade their services for money, and start a lucrative side hustle.

Ultimately, in the battle between Facebook Marketplace vs. Craigslist, the latter wins the brawl due to better-listing flexibility. In other words, Facebook only allows physical products while Craigslist offers the same category and more.

 

Number of Users

When setting up a shop and an online marketplace, the number of users is equally as crucial as foot traffic to a brick-and-mortar store. In simpler terms, the number of potential customers visiting the platform is essential to how well your business performs.

Currently, Facebook has over 2.936 billion users, while statistics show that Craigslist gets 250.6 million visits every month, according to statistics. With these factors, it’s clear that selling on the FB marketplace raises your chances of success due to the high number of users monthly.

Furthermore, these websites are available in different countries, with one option having a larger online community. However, based on pure statistics, the Facebook platform is a recommended option for better business due to the number of Facebook users.

However, it’s essential to consider what you’re selling before jumping on either Facebook or Craigslist. For example, Facebook Marketplace is for selling items like books, clothing, electronics, and furniture, while Craigslist shines best in selling vehicles, room to rent, and services.

Nevertheless, Facebook is more popular, making it easier to meet potential buyer.

 

Seller Fees 

The Facebook Marketplace is financially generous to sellers as they aren’t required to pay any listing, final sales, final value fee, or transaction fee. Furthermore, you keep all the proceeds since most sales on your Facebook page are complete via cash in person.

The only time sellers are required to pay a fee as a business on Facebook is when they sell using the commerce manager feature. However, this isn’t the same as the marketplace.

On the other hand, while Craigslist doesn’t require sellers to pay a fee for posting items, some categories have listing fees attached. Some of these include:

  • Job Postings: $10 to $75
  • Gigs: $3 to $10
  • Commercial Real Estate: $5
  • Cars/Other Vehicles: $5
  • Services: $5

It’s worth emphasizing that you most likely will not pay any posting fee if you’re selling basic things on Craigslist. Nevertheless, the complete financial generosity of Facebook makes it a better option when comparing Facebook Marketplace vs Craigslist.

 

User-friendly Interface

When considering the virtual location of your next online shop, ease of use is essential. This is one area where Facebook Marketplace performs much better than Craigslist.

On the FB marketplace, creating a listing is intuitive, simple, and fast; all that’s needed to sell stuff is the category name, photos, title, description, and price. Furthermore, you can set up and manage your Facebook page via the app.

On the other hand, Craigslist has similar requirements to sell stuff; category name, some photos, title, description, and price. However, the website is more difficult to navigate since it’s older and less optimized.

Also, Craigslist has a few more options to select from than Facebook since it has more ways to list an item, like a product and service. Therefore, the listing process takes slightly longer to complete.

It’s also worth comparing both platforms on how sellers respond to buys. For example, on Craigslist, you communicate via email and phone number, but on Facebook, there’s the option to use Facebook messenger right on your phone.

Ultimately, Facebook is more friendly to users, especially beginners, since its interface is intuitive and easier to navigate.

Building Sellers Credibility

While both platforms keep sellers anonymous, Facebook goes the extra mile by letting customers and potential buyers build a connection with you. Essentially, Facebook Marketplace has a rating system which allows individuals to rate their experience with your store.

While this opens you to criticism, it also helps buyers understand what to expect and distinguish between real and fake sellers. This also helps the reliability of Facebook Marketplace.

On the other hand, Craigslist doesn’t offer this system and also gives sellers complete anonymity with no concrete way to validate their authenticity. This factor has proven to be problematic, especially with the many unfortunate crimes on Craigslist.

 

Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace Summary: Which Should You Choose?

Statistically, Facebook Marketplace shows more promise than Craigslist; however, your results may differ practically, so experts recommend posting on both platforms to maximize your results.

Nevertheless, if you wish to specialize on one platform, some factors make either Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist a worthwhile option.

 

Craigslist Marketplace

Consider opting for Craigslist if you wish to sell things for money, post services, or find local gigs. People drop job postings regularly on the platform, meaning you can do the same for services like cleansing, junk removal, landscaping, etc.

 

Craigslist Pros & Cons 

While Craigslist lets users enjoy some benefits, some drawbacks also exist, and this section aims to explore these pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Sellers’ listings can include services and digital products, unlike Facebook Marketplace.
  • Some categories sell better on Craigslist than on Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist provides the perfect atmosphere for growing a side hustle

Cons:

  • Some products attract posting fees
  • Less popular than Facebook Marketplace
  • Not  user-friendly
  • There is no Craigslist app

    Facebook Marketplace

    Facebook Marketplace is a better option than Craigslist if you’re trying to sell merchandise, furniture, electronics, and other everyday items. Furthermore, the platform makes listing easier, doesn’t attract any cost, and communication with potential buyers is seamless via Facebook messenger.

    The only drawback presented by this app is the inability to upload services, making it ideal for retail. Also, the platform’s features and policies make it easy to flip items with other people, making it better than Craigslist.

     

    Facebook Marketplace Pros & Cons 

    While Facebook Marketplace presents some benefits, some drawbacks exist, and this section explores these pros and cons.

    Pros

    • User-friendly Interface and features
    • Sellers and buyers can communicate via messenger
    • A high number of monthly users

    Cons

    • Facebook Marketplace does not feature services
    • Sellers cannot trade digital products

     

    Conclusion

    Online businesses are taking over brick-and-mortar stores thanks to the increased exposure provided by platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Furthermore, deciding on which platform is worth your while depends on the products or services you wish to offer.

    FB Marketplace is more popular, easier to use, and more financially considerate; Craigslist has millions of sellers and is ideal for trading specific items or services. Hopefully, this guide was sufficient in helping you make an informed decision.

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