If you want to buy or sell stuff in your area, two of your most popular options are the Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.
But these platforms are also quite different in many ways. And depending on what you’re selling and or what services you’re looking for, one option might be superior to the other.
That’s why this Facebook Marketplace vs Craigslist breakdown is covering all of the fees, features, and pros and cons of these two websites so you can make the right choice.
Let’s get to it!
Craigslist is one of the oldest classified websites around, starting in 1995. It lets people offer and find rentals, jobs, stuff for sale, services, and much more in their local area.
People have been using Craigslist to sell stuff for cash for years. And it’s also an excellent option for posting your services if you’re trying to start a new side hustle.
About Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is the marketplace service from Facebook, the largest social network in the world. It only launched in 2016, but since then, it’s become one of the most popular options for buying and selling stuff to people in your area.
Facebook Marketplace vs. Craigslist – The Features
When choosing a winner between Craigslist vs FB Marketplace, it’s important to compare features against each other so you can make the right choice.
Both websites are popular for selling stuff, but there are some significant differences between both platforms that you should know.
What You Can List
One of the main differences between the Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist is what you’re allowed to list.
The Facebook Marketplace only lets you list physical things for sale. This means you can’t list local services like your side hustle or side business. Digital products aren’t allowed either.
Other prohibited items on the Facebook Marketplace include:
- Before-and-after based services
- Healthcare items
- “In search of” posts
Ultimately, this makes the Facebook Marketplace useful for selling stuff for cash; think clothing, electronics, and toys.
In contrast, Craigslist has a much more lenient listing policy. You can list both physical products and services for sale.
There are also numerous service categories you can post under like:
- Real estate
So, you can use Craigslist to flip stuff for profit or to sell your unusued stuff. But you can also sell your skills by offering various services to people in your area.
This is similar to websites like TaskRabbit, and overall, the greater listing flexibility makes Craigslist more versatile.
Winner: Craigslist lets you list products and services for sale whereas Facebook only allows products.
Another factor to consider when choosing between Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace is ease-of-use.
This is also one area where the Facebook Marketplace is much better than Craigslist.
With FB Marketplace, creating a listing is fast and simple. All you have to do is enter the category of item you’re selling, add some photos, write your title and description, and set your price.
You can also manage everything on your smartphone through Facebook’s app.
Craigslist has a similar listing process for classifieds, but the website is older and a bit clunkier to use.
You also have to select a few more options since Craigslist has more ways to list (i.e. service vs product) so the process takes a bit longer.
Overall, Facebook’s user interface and entire process is just easier to use for buyers and sellers.
And Craigslist buyers respond to sellers via email. You can add your phone number, but you might get spammed. But with Facebook, you can use its in-app messenger to handle transactions.
Winner: Facebook Marketplace is easier to use than Craigslist for buyers and sellers.
On Facebook Marketplace, you don’t pay any fees for listing or for final sales as an individual. And since most sales are done in-person with cash, you keep all the proceeds.
The only time you’ll pay fees is if you sell as a business on Facebook through its Commerce Manager feature, but this isn’t the same as marketplace.
As for Craigslist, it’s also free to post items for sale just like the Facebook Marketplace. However, some listing categories have fees.
Examples of Craigslist posts that charge fees include:
- Cars/Other Vehicles: $5.
- Commercial Real Estate: $5.
- Job Postings: $10 to $75.
- Gigs: $3 to $10.
- Services: $5.
Again, if you’re just selling your unused stuff for cash or trying out retail arbitrage, you won’t run into fees.
But for selling services, job postings, and some listing categories, Craigslist is more expensive than Facebook Marketplace.
Winner: Facebook Marketplace is free whereas Craigslist charges for some listing types.
Number Of Buyers
At the time of writing, Facebook Marketplace gets more daily monthly users than Craigslist. According to Engadget, Facebook Marketplace has over 1 billion users. In comparison, Craigslist gets 60 million monthly users in the United States according to Arcalea.
That said, both marketplaces are available in dozens of countries and are extremely popular. If you live in a decently-sized town or city, both platforms should be active.
In my area, Facebook Marketplace is better for selling stuff like furniture, books, and clothing. I live in a college town, and all the young people use Facebook instead of Craigslist.
But Craigslist is better for some categories than Facebook Marketplace in my experience, like finding rooms for rent or buying and selling vehicles.
Winner: Facebook Marketplace is more popular than Craigslist.
As mentioned, one of the main differences between Craigslist and the Facebook Marketplace is that Craigslist also lets you offer services.
This makes it better for making quick money on the side since you can do more than just sell stuff to people.
Specifically, Craigslist is great for making money with services like:
- Handyman work
- Junk removal
- Moving help
- Window cleaning
In comparison, FB Marketplace is just for selling stuff to people in your area.
Winner: Craigslist is better for making money with side hustles than Facebook Marketplace.
Pros & Cons
Now that you know how features compare for Facebook Marketplace vs Craigslist, here are the pros and cons of each platform that are worth considering.
Facebook Marketplace Pros & Cons
- Very easy to use
- In-app messaging system works great
- Very popular so you can get fast sales for many categories
- Facebook mobile app is intuitive
- Facebook doesn’t let you list services lie Craigslist
- You can’t sell digital products
Craigslist Pros & Cons
- Lets you post services and jobs unlike Facebook Marketplace
- An excellent way to find clients for your side hustle or side business
- Some categories are more popular than FB Marketplace
- You have to pay for certain kinds of listings
- Not as user-friendly as Facebook Marketplace
- Less popular than Facebook Marketplace, especially for younger demographics
Craigslist vs Facebook Marketplace – Which Option Is Best?
There’s honestly a ton of overlap between the Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. And if you’re trying to sell stuff for cash, you can and should post on both platforms to maximize exposure.
However, there are some unique advantages to each company that can make either one superior depending on your needs.
Use Craigslist If
Craigslist is effective for selling stuff for money. But it truly excels for finding local cash gigs or posting services.
People post cash gigs on Craigslist all the time, and you can easily make a fast $400 or some similar amount by completing a few gigs in your spare time.
And if you run a service-based business that offers services like cleaning, landscaping, or junk removal, you should definitely try posting on Craigslist.
Use Facebook Marketplace If
Facebook Marketplace is better than Craigslist if you’re trying to sell merchandise as fast as possible. Listing is easier, and same goes for messaging potential buyers and arranging sales.
The downside of the Facebook Marketplace is that you can’t post services, so it’s just for resellers.
However, if you’re trying to flip stuff for profit, I would definitely start with the Facebook Marketplace over Craigslist.Just note that both platforms have plenty of lowball offers, so it can take some time and patience to find the right buyer!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Some Tips For Selling Stuff Faster?
It doesn’t matter if you sell on FB Marketplace or Craigslist; you want to follow best-practices so you can make fast sales.
Some popular selling tricks to keep in mind with both platforms include:
- Uploading numerous high-quality photos so buyers know what they’re looking at.
- Writing in-depth product descriptions and titles.
- Setting competitive prices with other sellers.
- Responding to buyers quickly so they don’t move on.
The part about writing good listings can really make or break your efforts.
For example, it’s important to include information like product size, condition, brand, and even details like if you live in a smoke-free or pet-free home.
Writing in-depth descriptions can also help your listings rank higher when people search for something specific to buy.
Extra Reading – Where To Sell Used Bikes For Cash.
Are There Other Websites I Can Sell On?
Craigslist and the Facebook Marketplace are two of the best ways to sell stuff locally for fast cash. However, you have plenty of other options, including some online ones.
Several popular resale marketplaces include:
- Depop: A popular marketplace for thrifted and vintage finds.
- eBay: One of the leading online marketplaces with millions of active buyers around the world.
- Mercari: A leading selling app where you can sell anything from cars to Pokemon cards.
- OfferUp: The closest app to Facebook Marketplace that also lets you sell stuff online and ship to your buyer. Read our post on OfferUp vs Facebook Marketplace for the whole breakdown!
- Poshmark: One of the best apps for selling clothing, accessories, shoes, and jewelry.
- SidelineSwap: The best way to sell used sports equipment and apparel.
Between Craigslist, FB Marketplace, and these options, there’s no shortage of places to sell your unused stuff for cash.
You can read our post on the best Facebook Marketplace alternatives for even more ideas!
I hope our comparison of Facebook Marketplace vs Craigslist helps you understand the differences between these two platforms and what’s right for you.
If I was selling sports cards or clothing, I’d start with FB Marketplace.
But if I was trying to make an extra $50 cutting lawns, I’d go with Craigslist.
And remember: you can always post stuff for sale on both websites, so you don’t have to limit yourself to just one option.
Best of luck!
Looking for even more money-making ideas? Checkout:
- How To Earn $1,000 In 24 Hours.
- The Best Apps Like Wonolo To Make Fast Cash.
- Where To Sell Disney VHS Tapes For Money.
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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