Facebook Marketplace vs Craigslist

If you’re trying to sell or buy used or new items online, you might’ve thought about using Facebook Marketplace of Craigslist. The reason being, they’re among the most popular e-commerce platforms out there.

Facebook Marketplace vs Craigslist

However, there are many differences between the two platforms. If you’re wondering what they might be, this article will provide the answers.

Facebook Marketplace vs Craigslist: The Main Differences

Here are the things that you’ll need to consider before figuring out which is the better option for you.

Basic Information

Did you know that Craigslist is one of the oldest websites still in use? Launched in 1995, it has become the go-to platform people use to offer and find jobs, items for sale, various services in their local area, and so on.

Facebook Marketplace came into being in 2016. Ever since the launch, its popularity has been on the rise. Currently, it’s one of the leading e-commerce platforms.

Listing Policies

Probably the most important difference between Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist lies in their listing policies. These policies explain what you’re permitted to list for sale and help you choose between the two sites.

Facebook Marketplace only allows you to buy or sell physical things. In other words, you can’t sell or hire services. Also, digital products are a no-no, too. Of course, there are certain “physical things” you can’t sell on Facebook Marketplace. We’re talking about animals, alcohol, healthcare items, and so on.

On the other hand, Craigslist has fewer restrictions when it comes to what you’re able to sell or buy there. You’re allowed to list both physical and digital products, as well as offer your services.


Even though Craigslist has a broader listing policy, it has no official app. Therefore, it’s not so easy to create or browse ads via your mobile browser. In contrast, the Facebook application allows you to easily browse or post ads on its online marketplace.

Overall Easy of Use

Creating ads is simpler on Facebook Marketplace by default. Besides entering the item category, adding some photos, writing a winning title, coming up with a quick description, and naming your price, there’s not much to do.

Lastly, as already mentioned, Craigslist is an older website. As such, it can be difficult to use. When it comes to UX, Facebook Marketplace wins the battle.


Here’s another downside to using Craigslist: buyers and sellers communicate via email. Of course, you’re able to add a phone number to Craigslist. However, you should avoid doing such a thing because of spam. Facebook Marketplace utilizes its messenger to handle user communication and transaction.

Your Target Audience

Facebook Marketplace enjoys more daily users than Craigslist. Facebook Marketplace has over one billion users. In contrast, Craigslist has about sixty million users in the U.S.


You’re never totally immune to various scams. However, certain Craigslist is more vulnerable to them. For instance, this e-commerce platform enables total anonymity. Buyers can fake just about anything (the item in question, their address, etc.). Plus, there’s no requirement to make an account with personal details.

Facebook Marketplace is a different story. You can always take a closer look at user profiles, check how long they’ve been online, their previous Facebook Marketplace activity, and so on. Also, you have the option of reporting them if something suspicious occurs.

Listing Fees

Facebook Marketplace doesn’t charge any fees for listing items. Nor does it place any fees for final sales. Most of these transactions are handled in person, with cash. Therefore, as a buyer, you’ll be able to keep all the proceeds to yourself.

Craigslist is also free, but not always. Certain listing categories have fees: cars (or other vehicles), real estate, services, job postings, and so on.

Selling Odds

Many users claim that you have greater selling odds on Facebook Marketplace than you do on Craigslist. Once you consider the user bases, this assumption seems on point. Like the popular saying goes: on Craigslist, people search; on Facebook Marketplace, they browse.

How to Sell on Facebook Marketplace

Here are two step-by-step guides on how to post and promote ads on Facebook Marketplace.

How to Post a Facebook Marketplace Ad

  1. Log-in to your Facebook account.
  2. Navigate to the “Marketplace” tab.
  3. Click on “Sell.”
  4. Choose a category. This will help Facebook promote your item.
  5. Upload the pictures of the item in question.
  6. Add a title, price, and other information. The price should be reasonable, and the product description concise, yet thorough.
  7. Provide some details on shipping vs local pickup (drop-off).
  8. List the item by clicking on “Publish.” Additionally, you can choose to list the item in certain groups or channels you’re following on Facebook.

How to Promote a Facebook Marketplace Ad

  1. In the “Marketplace” section, click on the “Your Account” button.
  2. Find the “Your Listings” section to view the desired item.
  3. Click on the “Boost Listing” button.
  4. Choose your budget and the recommended campaign. You’ll be able to customize the latter.
  5. Select your audience (if you’re listing an item with shipping).
  6. Verify your payment method.
  7. Take a look at your “Ad Preview” and review your “Payment Summary.”
  8. Once you’ve done all of the above, click the “Promote Now” button.

How to Sell on Craigslist

Here’s some valuable information on how to sell and promote your listings on Craigslist.

How to Post a Craigslist Listing

Before going any further, keep this in mind: you can only post the listing once. Posting multiple times is against the platform’s policy.

  1. Visit the website and choose your location.
  2. Find the “Create a Posting” button and click on it.
  3. Choose the kind of posting you want. If you’re wondering, for-sale-by-owner means you’re a private individual. On the other hand, for-sale-by-dealer suggests that you’ve got multiple items in stock.
  4. Before you post, make sure that the item you’re trying to sell isn’t on the list of prohibited items. Check the “Recall Information” section. For instance, you can’t sell weapons, ammunition, or alcohol/tobacco.
  5. Pick out an item category. There are many options, so make sure you go through everything with care. Once you find the option that suits your item, you can continue.
  6. Come up with a description of the item/service in question. Don’t be afraid to go into details since specific information counts when you’re trying to sell on Craigslist.
  7. Double-check your location (extremely important).
  8. Take some photos of the item. You can upload 24 of them (photos).

How to Make Your Craigslist Listing Visible

Here are some tips for making an ideal Craigslist ad.

  • Know your target audience Before you post the item, you need to imagine its ideal buyer. This will help you can come up with an ad that will speak to them. First of all, create a title that will attract people. Avoid using fluff and capitalize the title. Also, make sure that both the title and item description sound professional.
  • A little makeover won’t do your ad any harm Don’t hesitate to use images and various HTML options to boost your ad’s appearance. Change the font size, type, and color, and you’ll see how a little makeover can go a long way. In addition, we suggest that you include your business logo and other relevant images in the ad. This will help boost your brand recognition and company identity.
  • Top-quality photography to the rescue Low-quality photos are a genuine no-no. They create suspicion surrounding the state of the item you’re trying to sell. Simply imagine what you’d think of an ad for a (used) computer with a low-quality photo. You’d presume that the previous owner didn’t treat it very well.
  • Don’t be short on details – Write a detailed description of the item you’re selling or the service you’re offering. Don’t be afraid to write just about everything there’s to say about the item in question. Each detail could help you find a buyer. Also, try not to be dishonest in your description.
  • Share your listing on social media – Use various social media profiles to your advantage. Share your listing and reach a wider audience. Also, you might want to ask your friends to do the same.

Note: Rely on natural rather than artificial light. Also, make sure there’s nothing in the background.

Mind the Competition

If you want to sell something online, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are great options. As you no doubt surmised, Facebook Marketplace is the better option if you’re trying to sell material items. Also, you’ve seen that the platform features a smarter user interface, is completely free to use, and will ensure smoother communication between sellers and buyers.

On the other hand, Craigslist allows you to list your services, which is something Facebook Marketplace doesn’t. Plus, there are fewer restrictions in terms of its listing policy and the anonymity factor may appeal to some users.

Have you ever used Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist? If so, how did you rate your experience? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

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