More than a decade ago, when Craig Newmark started the Craigslist to update his friends about the latest happenings in San Francisco, little did he realize that he’d be setting a trend of sorts. Today, the online classified ads site has its base in countries across the world; from Tokyo to Sydney and all other cities in between, including Paris, London, and Toronto. Craigslist has also paved the way for a number of sites that borrowed Craig’s basic idea and improvised on it, thereby providing an equal footing for the buyer as well as the seller.

Online classified sites have indeed helped to  post free ads   empower the buyer. In the days of yore, a buyer with specific requirements had to wait endlessly or had to be plain lucky to get what he wanted and at the price that he wanted. But today, with millions of people logged on the internet and using free online classified ads, the wait time has shortened considerably. Searching for classified ads in newspapers can be cumbersome, but online classified ads are marked by their ease of use and help to reach the intended audience directly.

While some have stuck to the basic concept of Craigslist, there are others who have taken this concept ahead. For instance, instead of the seller posting an ad for a product or service, the buyer posts an ad saying ‘I want to buy’ and the specifications of the things he is looking to buy.

These sites are also an ideal way to promote business. Simple text advertisements in one of the several free online classified ads sites that can help garner more interest than paid classified ads in newspapers. And if the business owner is looking to gain in search engine rankings, using target keywords can be very helpful. With little or no costs, he can manage to spread the word about his business and get search engine rankings as well. In fact, this is one of the main strategies of internet marketing where internet gurus can guide you about the right method to ensure that you stay ahead in the race for supremacy in the buyer’s market.

While it’s true that these online classified sites have led to an increased awareness of the consumer’s products, this domain has also become a target for spammers and con artists. Thus, it isn’t odd for sellers and buyers with dubious intent to advertise through these sites. It takes a discerning eye to separate the genuine sellers and buyers from the not-so-genuine guys.

This is perhaps where Craigslist and eBay are at a disadvantage. These and some of the other popular sites in this category hardly have a mechanism to control spammers and even if they have, these are ineffective. Thus people are increasingly looking for alternatives to eBay where buyer’s and the seller’s rights are protected.

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