To Top

Craigslist Vs. eBay


barterfarmfrontWithout Craigslist or eBay I doubt eWillys would exist. Therefore, I try to keep up with news about those two companies.   Also, after being a co-founder of an early online bartering system we called BarterFarm back in 2000 (see logo to the right), I have followed eBay, Craigslist, and other online classified-based companies over the past decade.     So, I found this article today in the Guardian very interesting.  I thought maybe a few readers would be interested in this too.

I knew that eBay had managed to purchase a sizeable chunk of Craigslist back in 2004, but I didn’t know the following.

1) eBay is fighting to get a board of directors position on the Craigslist board, because they own 28% of the company.

2) To keep this from happening, Craigslist has been attempting to dilute ownership so that eBay will own less than 25% of the company, which keeps eBay from being able to demand a board seat.

3) I knew that there are only a handful of employees at Craigslist (maybe 20?), but the revenues last year for Craigslist totaled about $100m.  That’s much, much higher than I expected!  Given the size of their employee base, I suspect they are either contracting out a lot of services or raking in a lot of cash.

4) eBay launched Kijiji, a competing classified website which I have seen around, but never took very seriously.

I’m not saying one venture is better than the other, but eBay would eat their own children, while Craigslist is a community focused, egalitarian venture (hence the lack of ads, the lack of a national or international company sponsored search engine, etc).  One is public, while the other is private.  One is entrenched in the center of San Jose and Silicon Valley, while the other is situated in the heart of San Francisco.  eBay only obtained ownership by purchasing private stock from an early founder or investor (I can’t remember which); this didn’t make the other owners very happy.  Therefore, this relationship is destined for a rocky relationship of some kind.


4 Comments on “Craigslist Vs. eBay

  1. Brian's 58 3b

    Interesting How does Craigslist make money? I could see Ebay looking at Craigslist as a money maker and a threat. My dealing through Craigslist has been a lot better than Ebay. Find the object and work down the price or move on.

  2. mmdeilers Post author

    Corrections, as of 2009 there were 28 employees …

    From Wikipedia: “As of 2009, Craigslist operates with a staff of 28 people.[2] Its sole source of revenue is paid job ads in select cities – $75 per ad for the San Francisco Bay Area; $25 per ad for New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Seattle, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Portland, Oregon – and paid broker apartment listings in New York City ($10 per ad).”

  3. mmdeilers Post author

    And they make money here, but I doubt much …

    “Craigslist announced that it will close the ‘Erotic services’ section, replacing it with an ‘adult services’ section where the postings will be reviewed by Craigslist employees. Postings to the new category would cost $10 and can be renewed for $5. This decision comes after allegations by several US states that the erotic services ads were being used for prostitution.”

  4. Jim Lee

    Ditto Brian’s 58 3b comment.

    Ebay with its insertion fees, final value fees and mandatory use of paypal fees has just about taken all the cream off the top.

    I liked Ebay when it first started but now it costs too much to sell there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe without commenting