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Category Archives: Online Classified Ads

St. Albans FPF… fantastic!

Earlier I posted a “FOR RENT” posting for my step-daughter for her house on the St. Albans City Front Porch Forum.

We were inundated with requests.

She has rented it and I appreciate all those who responded to my posting.  Thanks.

Posted by Mark for today’s FPF.


Table Saw Sold!

Posted by Mark on the Jericho Front Porch Forum today…

This is what FPF really shines at- avoiding craigslist and finding good homes for your treasures locally to people you actually know! My old workhorse has a new stable, as it were. Thanks FPF and the buyers of the saw!


Sure beats dealing with scams…

#VT - Just wanted to let everyone know I sold the iMac I posted the other day to another FPF member.  Front Porch Forum sure beats dealing with scams from Nigeria on Craigslist.

Shared by Dana with her Shelburne neighbors today.


Free Trampoline? Here’s what you do…

Dave in Bristol #VT just shared this nugget.  He had a trampoline he was looking to unload.  He listed it on Craigslist Vermont for a month… no calls.  Almost immediately after posting it on the Bristol Front Porch Forum he heard from seven neighbors!

I wish I had 7 to give away after the responses in the first hours after posting.

We hear this kind of thing again and again.  FPF can be a super-effective way to buy, sell, give away, etc.  The big differentiator… your posting reaches people who are not actively looking for what you have/want.  But when they read your FPF posting, some of them think… “Yeah… I’d love a trampoline!”


Craigslist a mess?

An interesting take on Craigslist in Wired is now online.


Better than classifieds?

Online classifieds are a dime a dozen… but many of these services are failing lately.  As reported on Local Onliner

Jay Schauer, a friend who runs Ad2Ad.com, … complains that “people seem to assume that classified advertising is an easy business to understand and enter. It’s not. It’s a business that demands fierce commitment to localization, understanding the nature of the small local advertiser, and a commitment to small, individual sales.”

Schauer notes that it is “hard ground for start-ups driven by dreams of an IPO. In the past year I’ve seen three competitors drown. Two others are careening toward the treacherous shoals…

“What those failing groups seem to have lacked is the desire to get down and get real with the individual advertiser who will actually pay for classifieds. That customer is not rich, not sophisticated, not interested in pretty, elegant or cool.”

He goes on to note that “the bulk of classified advertisers live in small towns and tight neighborhoods. They don’t build social networks. They are typically the salt of the earth — and hence of little interest to VCs. This customer wants RESULTS FAST. They want to get information to their neighbors — who are also their customers. Most important, they will pay a reasonable price to do so.”

“Classifieds are not pretty,” says Schauer. “But the economic engine they support is large and remains robust. More important, the neighbor-to-neighbor business interaction is core to the strength of the greater economy and to our political well-being.”

While Front Porch Forum is more about neighborhood conversation than classified ads, many of the postings are, essentially, classified ads shared among clearly identified nearby neighbors.  And FPF postings often out perform classified ads on Craigslist and other platforms.  In fact, a member just posted this on FPF in Burlington’s Old North End…

Hi Neighbors, In my recent posting offering to sell several items  (coffee table, accordion, shelves, etc.)  I received way more response then I ever expected!  I sold/gave the items to those offers which landed in my inbox first.  I apologize to all those who I did not respond back to… if you did not hear back from me, the items are gone!  Many thanks.


Local online is about local offline

From Greg Sterling today…

Here’s a general article on the local market from Business Week. Many people have seen it and emailed me about it.

It bothers me because it’s pretty superficial…

Here’s the reality, which BW either doesn’t fully “get” or seem to want to explore in sufficient depth:

  • Local is about offline — money spent in physical places.
  • E-commerce is <4% of retail; 95%+ percent of product purchases happen offline. Increasingly those purchases start online.
  • 99%+ of service business transactions happen offline/locally (yet online is the place where more and more people go to find service businesses).
  • People may communicate via Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to others around the globe but they live in physical places and when they travel they’re also in physical places, where they stay, eat, shop.
  • SMB advertiser acquisition is hard, yes — no dispute there (see the last two years of blog posts)
  • The central barrier to more geotargeted and local advertising by nationals has been the challenges of offline tracking in any given campaign

Seeking Vintage Hearse

Front Porch Forum gets lots of predictable postings among neighbors, but I didn’t see this one coming…

“Does anyone know of a place that would have a vintage style Hearse that I could rent like a Limo?  Do I just start cold calling Funeral Parlors?”  -Brennan in Burlington’s Old North End

“Cold calling” indeed.


“authenticity of users” and online classified ads

From the Local Onliner

Local media is so fragmented that its becoming increasingly important to aggregate classifieds from several sources. GoogleBase and Oodle go a long way in this regard… But other classified aggregators are coming up the horizon, too.

One site that recently launched is iList, a San Francisco-based company that has received $1.5 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson. It offers users the ability make their ads portable to all their friends who are tuned into them on all the social sites…

The authenticity of users is especially pushed – something that is coming up more and more. Users won’t see the site’s authenticity star until they verify their identity via cell phone SMS.


“Local social networking communities will thrive”

From Scott Heiferman

Forbes: “The Watch List: Meetup.com. The bartering economy will expand. Local social networking communities will continue to thrive and help people connect to information, resources, ideas and employees. Meetup.com groups will be at the center of the burgeoning part of the economy. Entrepreneurs will tap these groups for goods and services and to form new partnerships.” (Maureen Farrell via Greg)

We certainly see high volumes of business being done through Front Porch Forum… and it seems to be increasing as the national economy sours.