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Business Operations Business Models

How Does Craigslist Make Money (Business and Revenue Model)

The Craigslist business model

How Does Craigslist Make Money?
Here’s what you should know:
  • What is Craigslist, and how does Craigslist work?
  • How does Craigslist make money?
  • Posting Fees
  • Craigslist’s Subsidiaries, Acquisitions, and Exits
  • Craigslist’s profit and revenue
  • What is the Craigslist business and revenue model?
  • Craigslist’s funding and valuation

How does Craigslist make money if it’s free? Here is a full, in depth, breakdown of their main revenue stream and services they offer, as well as the Craigslist business model, their year over year revenue, and how Craigslist works.

What is Craigslist, and how does Craigslist work?

Craigslist is a classified ads website used for finding and posting local ads such as job listings, apartments for rent, houses for sale, gigs, free items, garage sales, discussion forums, and more.

Founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark, Craigslist now gets more than 50 billion page views per month as well as more than 80 million classified ads posted each month by its Craigslist users.

How Craigslist works is: Users can view and post ads with or without needing to create an account first, depending on where they live. From there, once a Craigslist user finds an ad they are interested in, they can simply follow the instructions laid out on the ad page or email the owner directly, unless otherwise specified.

Some of Craigslist’s competitors include Facebook Marketplace, eBay Classifieds, OfferUp, Mercari, Poshmark, and other marketplace apps.

Craigslist App in Apple App Store | Craigslist Business Model | How Does Craigslist Make Money? | How Does Craigslist Work?
Source: Apple App Store | Craigslist

How does Craigslist make money?

According to Craigslist’s factsheet (which they removed off of their website somewhere around mid 2016), the company has more than 50 billion page views per month with over 60 million monthly visitors in the US alone as well as more than 80 million classified ads posted each month by Craigslist users – just to list a few statistics.

So how does Craigslist make money off of all those page views, visitors, and classified ads?

Below is a breakdown of how much money Craigslist makes and its revenue model. Including their main revenue stream and how much they charge for their services.

Here is how Craigslist makes money (in 2022):

Craigslist has a revenue model that makes money in just one (1) way – posting fees.

#1. Posting Fees

Craigslist makes all of its money through a very simple business model – by charging posting fees between $3 to $75 per posting depending on the geographical area and listing type.

As noted above, Craigslist users post more than 80 million classified ads per month. Of which, the company charges a posting fee on the listings that meet the criteria – which you can view here.

Craigslist Posting Fees:

  • between $3 to $75 per posting depending on the geographical area and listing type.
Craigslist Posting Fees | Craigslist Business Model | How Does Craigslist Make Money? | How Does Craigslist Work?
Source: Craigslist

Note: You can check out the full list of Craigslist posting fees here.

Craigslist’s Subsidiaries, Acquisitions, and Exits

To date, Craigslist, Inc. has made a total of 1 investment and 1 lead investment.

Craigslist Investments | Craigslist Business Model | How Does Craigslist Make Money? | How Does Craigslist Work?
Source: Crunchbase

Craigslist’s profit and revenue

In 2021, Craigslist has a reported revenue of $660 million.

Note: Because Craigslist, Inc. is a privately held company, they are not required to make their annual reporting, such as Form 10-K’s, pubic.

What is the Craigslist business and revenue model?

Craigslist makes money through a few revenue models that they combine within their company, they are:

  • Freemium (upselling) business model
  • Fee for service (FFS) business model

Craigslist’s funding and valuation

According to Craigslist’s Crunchbase profile, Craigslist raised $13.5 million over 1 round and has a valuation of $3 billion as of May 2017, according to Forbes.