Pros and Cons of Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and OfferUp

Jill Vonier

Jill Vonier

10 min read

There are a lot of diffent options when you are looking to sell an item locally. This article compares Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and OfferUp.

If you’re interested in buying and/or selling items online, there is no shortage of online marketplaces to choose from. However, it can be a little overwhelming choosing the right platform that is easy to use, secure, safe, and offers the quickest way to make money.

A good place to start is to choose from popular online marketplaces that have the most people. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and OfferUp are the top three online platforms that offer the best user experiences.

  • Craigslist: one of the oldest peer-to-peer marketplaces, known for its simple, no-frills design and user experience.

  • Facebook Marketplace: an online marketplace within a social media platform that is gaining popularity due to its ease of use and large user base.

  • OfferUp: a popular online marketplace that is hosted through a mobile app to allow users to connect directly through their smart device.

Each online marketplace has its advantages and disadvantages. Here we compare and contrast these three platforms to help you decide which online marketplace is best for you. We will discuss the features and benefits of each platform, as well as the potential downsides. By the end of the article, you should have a better understanding of the pros and cons of each platform and be able to make an informed decision about which one is right for you.


Craigslist Homepage

Everyone has heard of Craigslist, and for good reason. As mentioned above, it is one of the oldest online marketplaces, originally founded in 1995 as an email distribution list. It considered one of the pillars that made peer-to-peer online marketplaces what they are today. Here we review the advantages and disadvantages to Craigslist.


Craigslist is an easy to use platform that allows you to buy and sell locally to the largest user base for free.

Easy to Use. Craigslist is known for its very simple, no-frills design. The user interface is very similar today as it was 15 years ago. By not having constant updates to the user interface, you don't have to regularly be surprised and have to relearn the platform.

Local. Craigslist is a great option if you're looking to sell locally since it allows you to choose to sell and buy items in your specific areas. This type of close proximity makes it easier to connect with a nearby buyer and seller to make the transactions even quicker. It can also provide a competitive advantage so both buyer and seller can negotiate and reach a happy middle ground.

Largest User Base. The size of the user base is everything when it comes to online marketplaces. Imagine trying to buy or sell your item in an empty room. Fortunately, Craigslist has one of the largest user base which makes it easier than ever to shop for the item you are looking for and increases your chances of reaching a potential buyer. According to Wikipedia, it currently hosts over 80 million listings every month.

Affordable. If you're on a tight budget, Craigslist is the perfect option for you. It is free to use and doesn't come with any hidden convenience fees or take any cuts from items you sell. What's better than free?


However, Craigslist does have some potential downsides to its platform. Not Visually Appealing. With today's advances in code and software, we're all wired for clean, simple user interfaces. However, Craigslist's simple, no-frills design feels more outdated than clean. Many users say the user experience is less-than-stimulating and makes it less appealing to use.

Not Easy To Navigate. Unless you are already familiar with the platform, Craigslist can be a little challenging to navigate at first. It doesn't necessarily emulate the type of user-friendliness we are used to on our smartphones or social media platforms. It does take some getting used to.

No Buyer Protection. Unfortunately, Craigslist does not offer any buyer protection so you'll need to be cautious when dealing with potential buyers. This can be especially challenging for inexperienced sellers who may not be aware of how to protect themselves from fraud or scam alerts. You will want to make sure you up-to-date on current scams and always check with Google if something seems suspicious.

Overall, Craigslist is a great option if you're looking to sell items locally and you're on a tight budget. Its large user base and free listing fees can be major advantages, but its lack of buyer protection and its less user-friendly interface can be drawbacks for some sellers.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace Homepage

Facebook Marketplace is a relatively new platform that is quickly gaining popularity due to its ease of use and its large user base. If you have a Facebook account, you can easily list your items for sale on Marketplace, and potential buyers can search for items in their area. Let's review the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook Marketplace below.


Facebook Marketplace offers many advantages, namely its Refund Policy and Purchase Protection Policy.

Easy to Use. Facebook constantly gathers information on how its users use the platform so it can continually update it and make it easier than ever to use. Facebook Marketplace offers a clean, intuitive space that makes it one of the easiest online marketplaces to use.

Purchase Protection Policy. Now you can buy and sell with a peace of mind that you'll be protected. Facebook Marketplace's buyer protection policy includes a variety of tools to help you verify the identity of potential buyers and protect yourself from fraud.

Facebook Marketplace also protects you when a seller doesn't uphold the refund policy. If you don't receive a refund from the seller, Facebook Marketplace will provide one instead.

Refund Policy. Facebook Marketplace offers a refund policy to ensure you, as the buyer, are satisfied with your purchase. If an items arrives damaged, different than the listing description, or doesn't arrive at all, the seller must provide the buyer with a refund. If they don't, Facebook Marketplace will provide the refund instead.

Large User Base. Since Facebook Marketplace is hosted directly on one of the most popular social media platforms, it hasn't had a hard time building a large user base. Facebook is able to promote its Marketplace directly to its user and show products in the newsfeed.

Affordable. Just like the Facebook platform, Facebook Marketplace is free to use. Ability to Boost Listings. However, if you want to get more eyes on your stuff, you can spend a few dollars at Facebook. Facebook allows you to boost your listings to make them more visible to a wider audience, which can be a great way to increase your chances of making a sale.


While Facebook Marketplace does have some great advantages, it does have some downsides as well.

Not Focused on Local. Facebook Marketplace is not as focused on local sales as Craigslist, so you may have a harder time reaching buyers in your area.

Not Anonymous. Unlike Craigslist and other online marketplaces where your identity is protected, Facebook Marketplace is showing Additionally, if you don't have a large following on Facebook, it can be difficult to promote your listings and get them in front of potential buyers.

Your Facebook Followers Can See It. Since Facebook tries to promote items sold on Facebook Marketplace, this also means your friends and family may see the items you're selling on their newsfeed. This can be challenging if you're selling a gift, a family heirloom, clothes with sizes you're not proud of, and so on.

Charges Fees. As mentioned above, Facebook Marketplace is free to use but does charge fees for boosting. These fees can add up if you're a frequent seller.

Overall, Facebook Marketplace is a good option if you value buyer protection and the ability to reach a wider audience. However, its lack of focus on local sales and its potential difficulty for sellers with small followings can be drawbacks.


OfferUp Homepage

If you're not familiar with OfferUp, it is a popular mobile app that allows you to buy and sell items locally. OfferUp was launched in 2011 and is considered the "unicorn" of online marketplaces. Is it better than the rest? Find out the advantages and disadvantages here.


It is known for its user-friendly interface and its focus on safety, with features like background checks and a safe trading zone tool to help protect users. Local Sales. One of the major benefits of OfferUp is its focus on local sales. It allows you to choose where you want to buy and sell. If you're looking to sell items in your area, OfferUp is a great option.

Easy to Manage. Since OfferUp is a mobile app, it's super easy to list and manage your items on the go. You can easily answer questions, adjust pricing, and so on from the comfort of your couch or while running errands.

Safe. OfferUp wants to make sure every transaction is as safe as possible. The mobile app introduced TruYou verification that allows a user to have their identity verified with their driver’s license so you know they’re trustworthy, as well as in-depth user profiles that include photos and contact info. It also provides Community MeetUp spots so you can have a safe place to conduct your in-person transaction.

Anonymous. Unlike Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp offers messaging within the app to avoid your information being misused.


OfferUp has some really great advantages, but does coe with some downsides as well. Not As Large User Base. One of the biggest disadvantages to OfferUp is the user base. While it's very popular, it's not as widely used as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, so you may have a harder time reaching your potential buyers or finding the item you need.

Charges Fees. Although OfferUp is free to download, the mobile app does charge fees to use certain features, such as featured listings and bumping your listing to the top of search results. These fees can add up if you're a frequent seller.

Overall, OfferUp is a good option if you're looking to sell items locally and you value user-friendly features and a focus on safety. However, its lower user base and fees for certain features can be drawbacks.

In Conclusion

Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and OfferUp are all popular options for selling your items online. Each platform has its own unique features and benefits, so it's important to consider your needs and priorities before deciding which one is right for you.


  • Advantages: Easy to use, focused on buying/selling locally, has the largest user base, ad completely free.

  • Disadvantages: Not visually appealing, difficult to navigate for new members, doesn't offer buyer protection.

  • Overall: Craigslist is best for those want a free platform with a large user base to buy and sell locally and don't mind taking the time to get used to the interface and be on the lookout for fraud and scams.

Facebook Marketplace

  • Advantages: Easy to use, offers purchase protection, has a large user base, and lets you boost your listing.

  • Disadvantages: Not as focused on buying and selling locally, doesn't let you sell anonymously, your Facebook friends can see your listings, and boosting fees can add up.

  • Overall: Facebook Marketplace is best for those who are already on Facebook, value purchase protection, don't mind everyone seeing what they're selling, and are willing to pay a fee to boost their items for a fee.


  • Advantages: Easy to use, offers purchase protection, has a large user base, and lets you boost your listing.

  • Disadvantages: Not as focused on buying and selling locally, doesn't let you sell anonymously, your Facebook friends can see your listings, and boosting fees can add up.

  • Overall: OfferUp is best for those who want the ability to post and manage all their listings directly from their smartphone, boost their items to the top of search, and value purchase protection.

The right platform for you will depend on your individual needs and priorities. After considering the features, advantages, and disadvantages of each online marketplace, you are now better equipped to choose the right one for you!


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