How to Make Money With a Classifieds Website ?

A recent research found in next ten years around the world Classified web sites will boom by geometrically. After that i did some market research and found some interesting findings. Some similarities are very common among all of the classified web sites.

Traditionally, classifieds acquire listings of some sort (sales, data partnerships, scraping, stealing, selling etc.) and with volume one can monetize through AdSense or other networks. Some even sustain on this level without taking the next step of charging for premium/bumps, for which liquidity is a pre-requisite, click here for more info.

There are a few more options – even though they probably represent a very small share of the global classifieds revenue (approx. $75b 2015: source AimGroup) . This is by no means a priority list nor a comprehensive one, but I thought it might be useful with a more detailed comprehensive list with real examples.

1. Google AdSense

It will creates related ads and it will helps you to earn per click or per view. This source is very trusted and secured. But challenges are, you have to run your site with their guidelines otherwise they will not take time to ban your Google AdSense account.

2. Display

Display has very good impact as revenue source. Most of the time advertiser wants to display ads based on the targeted customer. Site owner’s also display ads based on the high traffic volume.

3. Listings

There are numerous variants of monetizing listings:

  • By number

Very few sites are charge for ad. Like eBay charge for heavy usage i.e. more than 5 ads and Craigslist may be for few.

  • Premium listings

The most common form of way to monetize classifieds used by almost all of the big players Naspers, eBay, Schibsted, Avito, Kinnevik/Rocket and others are:

  • Bumps or enhanced or premium. Listing are bumped to top of the search results. Either fixed as a sticky posts or just by renewing the time-stamp. is taking price for it but is offering it free. This depends on the sites strategy.
  • Design highlighting with border, bold text or the like.
  • Links or placements of the ad in other areas than the search result.
  • Time extension or prolonged listing time.

4. Auxiliary Services / Affiliates

A pretty standard setup is to work with related affiliate link on listing pages which may even enhance the user experience and not come across as bought media. Horizontal classifieds mainly keep to personal finance links (loans, insurance etc.), escrow or shipping.  On markets where listings are free or easily accessible (Verticals and the US real estate market in particular) these are more prevalent.

5. Data

Few marketplaces openly talk about selling data, but especially for strong verticals meta data of prices and trends is quite valuable for banks, insurance companies and other players.

6. Premium Rate Numbers

Offering private numbers, unique to the listing, to sellers is fairly common on many markets, but is mainly offered as a quality service but some give take a small cut, like Blocket.

Some sites have phone numbers/calls as a serious source of revenue. One example of such is in UK where listings are mostly free, but buyers calling in on the seller numbers pays an extra fee for each call.

7. Premium/Pro User Accounts (enhanced usability)

Pro accounts can both offer extra features for the buyer and sellers, but paid by the user. Common features are seeing listings earlier meaning slight delay for freemium users (e.g. for general classifieds and for rental listings), sending texts/SMS to sellers and different ways of ensuring leads are answered (e.g. LinkedIn’s InMail credit system).

8. Selling Leads to Businesses

This business model somewhat diverges from the general idea about classifieds, so this is a stretch, but still deserves a mention., and many more charge per number of leads delivered or fixed matching fee. The reason these models deserve a mention in connection to classifieds is that a number of real estate and vehicle verticals sell leads to businesses on the side of their listing service (e.g. general leads to search leads to agents on for example . Usually it’s a car service garage or a real estate agent who pays in some form to get leads.

9. Link exchange

Proper SEO is very important for any classified ads sites. So part of this, link exchange with the related classified site is very good source of earning. Because it’s a win-win situation. Both site user are commonly share between two sites.

10. Spot ad

Giving rent any spot of the site is another good source of revenue. Site owners mostly give rent home page Top Right spot or Home page middle left or right spot. There are some tools that will tell your sites popular area, that is which portion of your site are mostly visited and you can make ad spot there for rent.

Above mentioned examples are most popular and common around the world for Classified ads site.

More read: e-Commerce business in Bangladesh


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