Craigslist is one of the leading brands in the field of online classified ads in US. They offer classifieds ads in a number of categories from books, jobs, to real estates to their users. It has made its presence felt in 34 countries. They have a very large user base. The postings at their site are for free except for few big cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York where they charge, but very nominal.
The success of Craigslist and business model it has had confused many experts. Unlike any other organization, which has such huge presence, this company does not work hard to maximize its revenues. The site does not have any banner ads. It can hardly be called commercial.
Though it may sound bizarre to many, Craigslist and business model it has is in simple terms, all about keeping the users happy and giving a service which is based on trust. They provide localized service which is free for users and also easy and convenient for them.
Users are most important for them. No major change in their site is made without consulting the users first. Another value that they lay stress on is trust. User feedbacks and their suggestions are included in their decisions from time to time.
Secondly, the ease of use that user feels at their site has contributed majorly to their success. Their simple, convenient, text based format is well liked by users everywhere.
Something like, ‘maximizing revenues is not one of their goals’, is unheard of in today’s world. They have only 24 employees and they want to keep it small. Surprisingly, a new city is added to their ‘list’, when there is sufficient demand by the users for that particular city.
Probably if they start charging fee, their user base will decline. Analysts are now wondering how long can this model work for Craigslist. Only time can tell!