Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet The Almighty Buck

Ebay Buys Into Craiglist 171

Posted by michael
from the buy-it-now dept.
unboring writes "The news out today morning is that eBay has bought a minority stake in Craigslist. Here's Craig's take on the whole issue. For those unaware of Craigslist, it was launched by Craig Newmark in 1995 in San Francisco, and is an online network of classified ads and forums aimed at people looking to find an apartment rental, meet friends or trade goods. For those unaware of eBay, get out from under that rock! Google news stories for your convenience here. So will Craigslist now become more corporate/evil? Personally, I've benefited a lot from Craigslist classifieds and I hope it doesn't lose its attitude."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ebay Buys Into Craiglist

Comments Filter:
  • by scifience (674659) * <webmaster@scifience.net> on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:24PM (#9962769) Homepage
    The article title says "Craiglist", but it should be "Craigslist."
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Why is this moderated as troll? It's 100% correct. Oh, wait, I know -- Michael can't stand any criticism, even when it's correct.
  • Re: Craigslist (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:24PM (#9962771)
    I've used the barter/trading section of craigslist before but was leery of trusting the people who I traded with.

    Then again, craiglist works only when you trade in person unlike ebay.

    And the listings are free...
    • The barter/trading sections of Craig's List have always kind of confused me. I thought humanity invented the currency system so that people could sell things that they made or no longer needed and then buy other people's things. Craig's List doesn't have a commission cut and there's no spread between buying and selling prices, so what's the point in trading?

      Why not just sell what you have and then buy what you want? Why limit yourself to only doing business with people who have the opposite needs of you
      • Maybe they don't want to get a third and fourth party involved, and go through at least two extra steps. Maybe it's easier to find somone to trade with than it would be to liquidate their item. Maybe people resent the commodification of everything around them and would like a little break from that to have a human transaction/interaction not mediated by money.

        Craig's List doesn't have a commission cut and there's no spread between buying and selling prices, so what's the point in trading?

        The point in t

    • by nocomment (239368) on Friday August 13, 2004 @06:12PM (#9963738) Homepage Journal
      I like the rants people put in there. Like the 405 loogies. It's from the Seattle area, but applies anywhere http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sea/35334909. html [craigslist.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:24PM (#9962781)
    I'm gonna have to check them out. Say, have any of you heard of this new interweb thing that's starting up? I hear that this company named America Inline might offer something like it.
  • by Richthofen80 (412488) on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:24PM (#9962782) Homepage
    is how craigslist is a virtual hook-up community, as well. If you want no strings attached sex and can host, you have a good chance of meeting someone to fuck in the major metro area of your choice.
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:26PM (#9962799) Homepage
    For those unaware of Craigslist, it was launched by Craig Newmark in 1995 in San Francisco, and is an online network of classified ads and forums aimed at people looking to find an apartment rental, meet friends or trade goods.
    And let's not forget trading bodily fluids [craigslist.org], while we're at it...
  • by Neo's Nemesis (679728) on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:26PM (#9962803) Journal
    eBay is really trying to squeeze itself into every possible market it can, which deals with basically buying/selling.
    It has also bought of India's largest trade portal baazee [baazee.com]. Lets keep an eye on its tale of acquisitions in 04.
    • More like pollute.

      They've managed to totally botch up the half.com "transition" that's been going on for the last year or so.

      They just don't seem to understand that they can't possibly scale up to a single back end for everything.

      Steven V>
  • by tungwaiyip (608795) on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:26PM (#9962806) Homepage

    EBay bought 25% stake in Craigslist, as founder Craig commented in his blog. This is not your usual "community effort sold out to big corporation" story. It begins when craigslist first established as company, Craig made a gift of some equity to a guy who was working with him at the time. He reasons that the equity really had more symbolic than actual dollar value. Given the success of craigslist, this is probably self-deprecation. Indeed, this person latter left the company and decided to sold his stake to eBay. The irony is this person is going to make all the monetary gain while Craig would likely to shoulder all the criticism.

    Being a for-profit company or owned by big corporation is not necessary a bad thing. People need to make a living and an office need money to run. Even slashdot.org a fervently independent outlet is now owned by VA Software. But craigslist has made a name of itself by strongly resist to commercialize. The web design is basic and text only, entirely free from advertisement. All services are free with the exception of job posting as its sole income. Had it decided to brought in venture capital, craigslist has every potential to be a contender to eBay, a 50 billion dollars corporate giant. But it choose to stay this way, running like a struggling non-profit, forgoing the dream of uncountable wealth.

    While it might look a mistake now that he gave away equity to a person who later sell to big corporation and profited, I believe he acted in the interest of the organization at that time. He understand the website that bears his name is more than himself. By making some form of employee ownership he could make it a better and more accountable organization.

    I can only hope the ownership change will strengthen craigslist's service without straying it from its mission. No matter what it is going to be, craigslist has already made its name as an antidote to the dot-com frenzy

    (Comment replicated from my blog) [tungwaiyip.info]

    • Being a for-profit company or owned by big corporation is not necessary a bad thing. People need to make a living and an office need money to run. Even slashdot.org a fervently independent outlet is now owned by VA Software. But craigslist has made a name of itself by strongly resist to commercialize.

      This is a hodgepodge and makes no sense. Craigslist is already supporting 11 people's livelihoods and, last I checked, they were working in an office. Who then do you mean by "People"? Nobody's talking about C

      • Those shares could have been sold to anyone- we're happy that eBay has communicated that they want no part of craigslist if we're unhappy with the deal. With a 25% holding, there's no real power that can be exerted by eBay. Obviously I can't go into details, but craigslist is secure.

        it's up to us to prove with actions, not words, that we're still the same old craigslist.

        Sean @CL
    • Intersting a stake having only symbolic value has monetary value too. The weblog does not say why the stake wasn't at least offered for sale first to the craigslist group before offering it out to third parties.
    • But it choose to stay this way, running like a struggling non-profit, forgoing the dream of uncountable wealth.

      What? Wasn't the last story about Craigslist talking about how they were a company with 14 employees, and revenue of $25 million per year?

      I think they're doing fine.
  • by bdigit (132070) on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:26PM (#9962813)
    ...putting craigslist up for bid on their website?
  • Creeping Change? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:27PM (#9962818) Homepage Journal
    Personally, I've benefited a lot from Craigslist classifieds and I hope it doesn't lose its attitude."

    This issue is clearly at the top of my list where businesses begin to fail their customers, they lose that rough edge they had when they started out, that panache which got them noticed, their attention to fixing what was important and not wasting energy putting doilies on things, and lastly being accessible -- too damn many online companies have buried their customer service behind FAQ's and forms to the point you try to alert them to a problem and the square peg won't fit their round-hole request template and you never really know if anyone did receive that urgent missive, but you do get a form letter which seems completely out of context with your concern. In short, they become 'Sirius Cybernetics', a mindless bunch of jerks who should be first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

    I'm fairly pissed off with eBay, for their constant fscking around with user interfaces and services that don't need half the crap they put into it and it never really quite works as well as it used to, but it's full of cutesy sh!t pictures and things, oh, and the pages are really big now, lots of bloat in there. I hope Craig's doesn't fall under the heel of the eBay design wizards, but expect some day for 'Craig' to be dropped, to look more corporate.

    • by carbolic (616993) *
      Consider how much eBay has to deal with. They are the single biggest online entity in sheer dollar volume with millions of customers. Yet they still try to keep the community the focus. I think that's prevalent even with all of the creeping changes. eBay doesn't want to alienate its own clientelle. That's a noble effort, even with all of the glitches that surround giganticness.

      I suspect eBay will treat Cragslist clientelle in the same fashion - community first. Yet, they will be able to bring more r

    • Even the "small guy" can be like that.

      I still have not found the email address for Julie C. Meloni, the author of a book. Why do I need it? I need it to report a few mistakes in her book PHP, MySQL and Apache. I consider the errors to be greater than what made it into Sam's errata sheet on the book.
      • I still have not found the email address for Julie C. Meloni, the author of a book... I need it to report a few mistakes in her book

        Have you tried snailmailing her publisher? That's the normal way to contact an author.

    • Re-designed and re-launched as the new "CList! from eBay"
  • Rocks (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Rank Amateur (38275)
    How much longer must we be hammered with the cliche, "get out from under that rock?"
    If you don't know Doom, get out from under that rock! If you haven't heard of project X, get out from under that rock! If you haven't read articles about personality Y, get out from under that rock!

    Get out from under that rock. The jaded journalist's quick cliche fix. Available at stores near you.
    • Re:Rocks (Score:2, Funny)

      by mopslik (688435)

      How much longer must we be hammered with the cliche, "get out from under that rock?"

      Indeed. One should avoid cliches like the plague.

    • Re:Rocks (Score:2, Funny)

      by teetam (584150)
      People have stopped staying that for a long time now. If you don't know that, get out from under the r...
    • This needs to be a revision to S.L.A.S.H. [slashcode.com], any mention of those words auto-links to either Google or to the Wikipedia of that subject.

      If you haven't heard of slashcode, get out from under that [google.com] rock [wikipedia.org]!.
  • Could they want to redirect the bevy of free and cheap things listed on craigslist on a typical day to their site for auction? Or are they interested in getting into the online classifieds market in general?
  • According to cnet and lots of others:
    "eBay has acquired a 25 percent stake in Craigslist, an online listing of classified ads and forums."

    Sure 25 percent may be the minority, but there is nothing minor about it. When a company owns 25% of your company, you do half at least part of what they suggest you do.
    • Sure 25 percent may be the minority, but there is nothing minor about it. When a company owns 25% of your company, you do half at least part of what they suggest you do.

      No, you don't. The person/company with 51% or more of the stock/interest is the HNIC.

      Craig owns 75%, so he has all the say. If eBay does not like this, they can request an election. Oh ya, they'll lose since Craig owns a 75% stake of the company.
      • Re:Minority Stake? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GregChant (305127)
        Craig owns 75%, so he has all the say. If eBay does not like this, they can request an election. Oh ya, they'll lose since Craig owns a 75% stake of the company.

        While in theory, you are correct, but in practice, this becomes financial suicide. You forgot to include the comedy second option: if eBay doesn't like Craig's decisions, they can pull out: potentially hurting the value of craigslist in future trading.

        The real power is in the purse, not in the votes.

        • While in theory, you are correct, but in practice, this becomes financial suicide. You forgot to include the comedy second option: if eBay doesn't like Craig's decisions, they can pull out: potentially hurting the value of craigslist in future trading.

          Well, since CL is not a publicly traded company it can't hurt them. I guess if they started losing money, eBay could loan/give them money if they wanted to. However, that point is moot since CL is a profitable company.
          • No, the only real danger is a shareholder lawsuit. If ebay was unhappy with a management position, they could really hamstring CL through litigation, even if the claims were groundless.
  • The two markets are somewhat related. As Craig said in his blog, "Like craigslist, eBay is about helping folks get everyday stuff done."
    We'll see how it turns out
  • Ebay takes the hook? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:28PM (#9962844) Homepage Journal
    The other day we read a story claiming that there's so much IPO interest for craigslist, and the response from Craig is that they're not interested. What interests me, however, is that the article claimed that there was so much money in Craigslist ($25 million or more!). While I'm extremely skeptical about such an estimate, I have no doubt that they're doing quite well.

    I'm thinking that eBay was either thinking along those same lines or they were convinced by the article's claims.
    • They're a public company. They have to do this little thing called "due dilligence". It takes a while. I suspect the article may have arisen out rumors that some invertment banks were doing something involving Craigslist. People then apply their greedy imaginations.
    • actually what ebay probably wants to do with the idea of craigslist is turn it into a geographic front end portal where the transactions of sales of items between local buyers and sellers can scale in the volume of ebay - but retain the small personal local feel of CL.

      If you can get the transaction backend of craigslist to be more robust its a good thing. For example I have asked craigs on several occasions to provide multiple ticket catagories, but they resist any such changes, which is just lame - and t
  • Yikes. (Score:5, Informative)

    by daviddennis (10926) * <david@amazing.com> on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:31PM (#9962864) Homepage
    Craigslist has its quirky charm, and it's free to use.

    I certainly hope neither of those things will change.

    It's always had a reputation for being a bit anti-corporate, so seeing a press release written in boilerplate corpspeak [businesswire.com] is more than a little appalling.

    I also wonder about liability problems associated with the Erotic Services and Casual Encounters categories. That seems like the kind of thing a major corporation would be forced to neuter.

    Still, it is a minority stake which I daresay gives them no rights at all. I wonder how much they paid for those no rights.

    Oh ... is Pierre Omidyar in any way involved in eBay anymore? I notice that Craig thanks him in his announcement, and that seems odd. I thought Pierre had long since cut the cord and gone on to charitable stuff.

    D
  • my co-worker has used them on several occasions... he didn't really have too much luck with the personals but he managed to find people to jam with (he's a drummer).

    my roommate has used it to buy a drumset, some keyboards, a Fender Rhodes, and some other misc instruments, then subsequently sell them back when he needed cash for more than he bought them for.

    I, personally have only posted a single personal ad... got 2 responses. one from a guy asking if I got any responses (what a fag), and one from a girl
  • Craigslist has been an invaluable resource for me. I've found apartments, sold my furniture when I had to move out of said apartments due to unemployment [one of which was directly across the street from the CL office] and 3 out of my 4 full-time jobs from there.

    Craig's a great guy but, as you can probably tell from reading his comments on the issue he doesn't always think things through and has a tendency to wing it. My hope is that the free spirit of Craig and the, well, corporateness of eBay don't end u
  • And instantly.... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Monkelectric (546685)
    Craigslist begins to suck.
  • by otisg (92803)
    I think this is a prime example of 'The Return of the Bubble'. Yahoo buying Outpost, Microsoft buying Lookout, EBay getting 25% of a 14-people, $25M/year business... where do yo uwant to go today? Your trading account site, I suggest.
  • .. can come up with this crap I suppose.

    Lists?? WTF - I expect Craig used the nice name for the site to get around a few laws on advertising dodgy things men get up to.
    • http://www.reklama.lt/index2.php?program=catalog&b ranchid=168

      It's everywhere. Same thing, different place, different language. In this case, the place is Lithuania, the language is Lithuanian , but it's still the same. ("Reklama"="advertisement")

  • Cool! (Score:4, Funny)

    by shigelojoe (590080) on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:53PM (#9963079)
    What was the winning bid?
  • by RabidPuppetHunter (620593) on Friday August 13, 2004 @04:54PM (#9963099)
    I've used Craigslist to sell loads of stuff very successfully. I prefer it because it allows me to sell things locally eliminating the need for shipping, and concerns with payment. I've sold everything so far with a "look at it, test it, if you like it pay cash" model. No frills ad, FREE and annonomous email. Simple and effective. I trust cash. No disatisfied buyers yet.

    I've avoided ebay because I prefer local not global. I may be the only one that does not trust a buyer I do not meet. Ebay is not free or allowing annonomous email.

    My hope is Craig keeps it simple and free. I still have lots of stuff I plan to sell and do not need the hassles of ebay. I doubt ebay can effectily morph to meet local and face to face transactions. certainly not for free...
  • I hope Craigslist maintains its grassroots look and feel (doubtful), as well as customers. You can find more free crap on Craigslist than anywhere else I've ever seen. It's become a new hobby for our fraternity; a guy upstairs managed to get a three piece connected leather lounger with built in telephone and massager for free. We tried to hook up the school bus one guy offered but it didn't go through. Fishtanks, computer stuff... you can find anything on there.
  • by greymond (539980)
    "Like craigslist, eBay is about helping folks get everyday stuff done, on a level playing field - they emphasize trustworthiness and reputation, and try really hard to listen to people. Basically, we're both about building community, and humanizing and democratizing the 'net, and there's gotta be more of that."

    This is utter Bullshit. First off Craigslist has many sections a good portion of which are adult related (see the Erotic Section). In addition Craigslist also supports anonymous posting and emailing
  • by enrico_suave (179651) on Friday August 13, 2004 @05:04PM (#9963190) Homepage
    Fark selling headlines?

    e.
  • by Lxy (80823) on Friday August 13, 2004 @05:21PM (#9963364) Journal
    When asked to comment on the purchase, Craig's only comment was "Fast Payment Welcome to Bid Anytime A+++++".
  • I love Craigslist. It has become a very central part of bay area life, especially within San Francisco itself. If you live in SF chances are you found your current residence from an ad listed on craigslist, whether it was for an empty apartment, or one of the bajillion ads for room mates. I know that's how I found my current studio ($820/mo on Market Street, woohoo!!) apartment.

    I'm not sure what E-bay would want from it. I understand that they charge for job listings, everything else on the site is fre
    • Yeah, my initial thought was of disgust. However, it seems like Ebay won't really have any control over it.

      Craigslist is a huge part of the SF culture though. I found my current apartment, two tables and two different chairs, sold two guitars and even found someone to sublet my apartment for the summer on it.

      I used to work at the SOMA Trader Joe's and a guy came through my line wearing a Craigslist T-Shirt. He was actually working for Craigslist (imagine that), so I asked him a few questions, namely, how
  • Terms of service (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Craig's list is a great site. I've used it quite a few times, and I've pitched in to point out some errors in the past, as well as problems with the database that the admins didn't notice. About 2 1/2 months ago, I was posting an ad, and came across the new (huge) screen where you have to agree to the terms of service before you can finish the posting process.

    OK, fine. Terms of service. What else is new? Thanks to the size of the screen, I bothered to read it. Apparently, some /.'ers have problems wit
  • Well, I for one didn't see this coming.

    I'm a bit worried that it had to be eBay. eBay does not have very good corporate ethics (one only has to look at how they run PayPal, which they now wholly own, to see this in action), and in many ways they are (at best) a marginal net-citizen.

    What worries me more is that Craigslist is, in essence, the competition. I hope this dosen't mean the end of it as we know it.
  • by reallocate (142797) on Friday August 13, 2004 @08:01PM (#9964419)
    Except for the obligatory, and meaningless, slam on the U.S. and corporations, his explanation reads like any corporate PR post.

    Of course, Craig incorporated. Otherwise, he -- personally -- would carry all the financial obligation and risk for anything related to his business. Only a fool would choose to run the risk of bankrupting himself if his business goes under.

    Of course, it is expected that Slashdot -- part of the OSTG corporation would pander to the bigotry of its fantasy-ridden core audience.

  • The dude is reportedly [slashdot.org] rolling in money; one of his former business parters sold out to Ebay; now there's a big messy lovefest and Ebay is about "building community?"

    Sure it's all possible...

    ...but so is favicon hypnosis. [craigslist.org]

"I'm not a god, I was misquoted." -- Lister, Red Dwarf

Working...