“What seems to make Craigslist work is our deal about "doing well by doing good," and by providing a platform where people can help others with everyday basic stuff. That starts with helping get a job and a home, and goes from there.”

~ Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist, reported by the Huffington Post

A Little Background on Craigslist Inc.

Craigslist Inc. started out as an e-mail distribution list in 1995. According to an article by Today I Found it Out, in those days the posts were created by the founder Craig Newmark. Most of those posts were about social events for Internet developers living or working around the San Francisco Bay area.

The subscribers grew quickly, and soon people were using the list to post for technical positions. In 1996, Craigslist went live with multiple categories.

In 1999, Craigslist was incorporated as a private for-profit company.

Now, Marketplace reports the site sees over 9 billion page views per month. Craigslist ranks 9th as one of the most viewed websites in the United States.

Unfortunately Not Everyone is “doing good” on Craigslist

In a posting by the City of Novi, a 2010 study is cited. This study reports that Craigslist had 50 million users. It was linked with 330 crimes, including 12 murders, 105 robberies or assaults.

“Safe Havens” for Online Buyers and Sellers

The City of Novi, along with other metro Detroit cities, has started offering what the Detroit News referred to as “safe havens.”  These safe havens are police stations.

The City of Novi has offered the front lobby of their police station and the parking lot for Craigslist transactions. According to the City of Novi’s website, those areas are active throughout the day, are well-lit, and are monitored by staff and security cameras 24-hours a day.

The Detroit News has reported that:

  • Sterling Heights Police Department’s lobby and parking lot is open for transactions.
  • Troy Police Department is also a safe haven.
  • Southfield and Ferndale will soon offer safe havens as well.

Staying Safe When Making Transactions

The City of Novi and the article by the Detroit News have offered tips on staying safe when making transactions that include:

  • Personal checks can carry risk. Make sure to only accept cash or cashier’s check.
  • Never go alone.
  • Conduct transitions with local buyers.
  • Meet at police stations.
  • Do not allow anyone to come to your home, and do not go to anyone’s home.


Many people use Craigslist to buy and sell items, to find places to live, and to find jobs. With over 50 million users, you will have lots of options. When conducting transactions, the most important thing to remember is to be safe.