The running joke about Craigslist is that anything and everything can be sold–truly everything (legal). A brief Google search yields some intriguing but terrifying results (for example, see
). Want to purchase another human for a week to be a zoo animal? Not a problem. Need some spare belly button lint? It’s always nice to have a jar – Craigslist has it covered.
To be sure, online sites like Craigslist advertise helpful services–car washers, dog walkers, or landscapers. But even when used for practical purposes, these sites have their flaws. Other than the buyer’s own discretion, traditional online marketplaces have a
difficult time screening genuine postings from fake ones
. Those that want to hire a helper can be duped by someone with a made up profile.
Additionally, centralized marketplaces like Fiverr, Etsy, and Upwork take huge cuts of the profits via transaction and shipping
(often as much as 20%). After all is said and done, sellers are left with shrunken profits and buyers have paid hidden surcharges. To list ads, potential sellers need to pay a high one-time fee or an ongoing subscription fee. This understandably discourages
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