By Steve Outing
Over the years of Craigslist‘s meteoric growth, I received many e-mails from newspaper people (because I’ve written much about Craigslist) claiming that free classifieds can never be as good as classifieds that people pay for in newspapers. To which I say, bullshit.
Here’s an e-mail I just received from a real estate broker (who probably read one of my old articles):
“I advertise in Craiglist and on the Seattle Times Online (NO PRINT). For every 70 hits I get from the Seattle Times online real estate section, I get 700 from Craigslist. I stopped advertising in print awhile ago and I may stop my paid online real estate ads soon as well. …
“I recently moved from one house to another, I paid the major newspaper 40 bucks for a print ad and got zero response. I then put the exact same worded ad on Craigslist and had everything sold in 48 hours. There was more than one buyer for some items as well.”
Newspapers really need to figure out how to step up the value proposition. They continue to get beat by free. And when real estate professionals note this, that can’t be good for the newspaper industry.