PayPal’s biggest competitor on Craigslist

Few people would argue that within the next few years, offline classified ads will be all but extinct. There are lots of obvious reasons why online classifieds are much better. Posting an add to sell a swan statue on Craigslist provides instantaneous publishing, exposure to a potentially limitless number of buyers, and it’s completely free. It’s a nearly perfect example of the powers of the Internet.

Undoubtedly, unless the item is free, the large majority of these listings will close with some kind of payment transaction. The majority will be offline and done the old-fashioned way. When I sell on Craigslist, I don’t take checks. I’m sorry, but it’s a cash only deal if you come to my house to buy a swan statue. Most people feel the same way I do. That’s why PayPal’s biggest competitor on Craigslist is still cash.

But, for all the people that are selling on Craigslist, that do accept online payments, how many accept PayPal? It’s easy to figure out. Divide the number of listings in the For Sale category (it was 113,723 this afternoon) by those that advertise “PayPal” (I get 1377) and it works out to around 1%.

And the winner is… cash!

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