If The New Craigslist App Had Come Any Sooner My Life Would Be In Shambles

Screenshot: Apple App Store
Screenshot: Apple App Store

For the last 10 years or so, I’ve spent most of my life browsing two websites: Jalopnik and Craigslist. Read about cars, buy cars, wrench on cars—that’s my life’s motto, and it’s been serving me damn well (mostly). Right now, I own 11-ish automobiles, which, you could argue, is too many, but I’d own far, far more had the recently-released Craigslist app come a few years sooner. I thank the heavens it didn’t.


I purchased my first automobile back in 2010, having spotted the 1992 Jeep Cherokee with 215,000 miles on the clock for sale on Craigslist near Charlottesville, Virginia. I paid $1,400 for it, or about $500 under the asking price. After all, Craigslist etiquette, as we all know, requires that the purchase price be markedly lower than the asking price.

All through college, and even when I entered the workforce in 2013, I spent hours each day on my laptop browsing the internet for sweet old automobiles. I even bought a few, and met some incredible people along the way. But when a laptop wasn’t nearby, I rarely bothered trying to access the website from my cell phone. This, I’ve come to realize, was a blessing, as my impulse control when it comes to certain automobiles (manual transmission Jeeps, namely) is basically zero.

Here’s a bit more about the app from our sister-site, Gizmodo:

Like the website, the mobile app is extremely simple—no frills, bells, or whistles. The app’s overall design mimics the website as well, meaning its mostly just text and a clean interface. As you’d imagine, that makes the app extremely fast and easy to load. There’s also a post tab that streamlines posting straight from your phone. Not that making a Craigslist post was ever hard, but the app does make the process a lot smoother.

Now that the app is out, am I worried that I’ll wind up filling my yard with automobiles like Michigan’s Ron Dauzet—the man whose township forced him to sell all of his cars—did? Nope. Craigslist is pretty much dead in my eyes. Between the new fee they charge to list an automobile, and the existence of Facebook Marketplace, it seems there are fewer and fewer cool cars on the site, and while I bet this app will yield some improvements on that front, I don’t think I’ll be returning. At least, not as often as I once did.

Facebook Marketplace has its own share of problems, but as of now, it’s my go-to. Is it as good as a solid Craigslist app would have been about five or six years ago? I don’t think so, but that’s probably a good thing. For me, at least.

Sr. Tech Editor, Jalopnik. Owner of far too many Jeeps (Including a Jeep Comanche). Follow my instagram (@davidntracy). Always interested in hearing from engineers—email me.


Mercedes Streeter

While I applaud this effort, it’s far too late. At least in my area, Facebook Marketplace has taken over the vast majority of the online selling scene. The local Craigslist is now filled to the brim with spam from dealerships, scams, and thirsty folks who abuse tagging. There was even a guy that bought a Chinese clone scooter from me then tried to sell its parts as the real deal.

Facebook Marketplace may be hella broken (why is every Honda a 400EX?) but on the whole, I’ve been purchasing most of my vehicles from it. It’s nice that I can sorta figure out if the person I’m meeting with is a scumbag before I commit to it.

Now, there has been one good side effect of Facebook’s domination. It seems anyone who has either sworn off Facebook or doesn’t know how to use it is still on Craigslist. And thus, they sometimes sell their stuff for dirt cheap. The bargain basement TDI I bought a few weeks ago was a weird case. The dude had it listed ONLY in northern Wisconsin despite the fact the car itself (and him) was in central Illinois. Odd, but I still drove it home for a price so low I could have flipped it same day on Facebook for profit.