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It's been out there for awhile, but Craigslist has apparently confirmed that it is or will be charging $10 for real estate listings in New York City. Craig currently charges $25 to post a job there.
Although no one has doubts that this will bring in a nice chunk o' change into Craig's coffers, the move had more to do with fighting spam than it did profit.
As you can imagine, the New York rental market is pretty intense and, no disrespect to The Big Apple, the city has a high concentration of scam artists licking their chops at the opportunity to access Craig's users at no cost.
The $10 fee, albeit small, is sure to deter shady behavior.
Remembering my job board days, we used to sit around at the beginning of each year discussing the option of raising rates. We'd say, How many customers will we lose? Will our competitors raise their rates? Well, we're still cheaper than so-and-so.
In essence, How high can we go?
I wonder if the conversation these days is a bit different, as in, Should we lower our prices? If so, how much? How can we compete with $10?
It's bizarre to consider lowering prices in the world as we used to know it, but not anymore. While job sites employ armies of sales people to convince employers to use them. Craig chugs along with a mainly self-service offering on the back of buzz and search rankings, no sales people required.
The small fee keeps spammers out and is a no-brainer for any size business, while maintaining a healthy, fair profit, and competitors are left shrugging their shoulders.
While Google and vertical search engines can offer postings at no cost, relying on their algorithms (and human policing, in some cases) to keep out the bad neighbors, the question for traditional job boards now is, How low can we go?