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◄  Back to Search Results  |  March 20, 2024

From print to digital: Where have classifieds gone?

In Hawaii, where we have a culture of reducing waste by finding a new life for things we no longer need, classifieds have always been a popular local method for buying and selling.

However, as technology advances, the landscape of classifieds has undergone a significant transformation. Once only featured in newspapers, classified ads now thrive in the digital space, with platforms like Facebook Marketplace leading the charge.

"In this digital age, the way we engage with commerce has evolved significantly,” notes Central Pacific Bank’s EVP and Chief Digital Officer Jason Lazzerini. “The transition from print classifieds to online platforms reflects not just technological advancement, but also shifting consumer behaviors.”

From Craigslist to Facebook Marketplace

In the early 2000s, Craigslist emerged as a revolutionary platform, providing a place where users could post ads for free, reaching a broader audience than ever before. It streamlined the buying and selling process, ushering in an era of convenience.

However, convenience also brought about new difficulties. The anonymity of online platforms created opportunities for fraudulent behavior. As a result, Craigslist became plagued with scams and counterfeit products, which overshadowed its usefulness.

Then Facebook reshaped the landscape once again with Facebook Marketplace and the platform’s Buy and Sell Groups. Leveraging personal profiles and social networks, it offers a seemingly safer alternative to Craigslist.

As Facebook Marketplace presents a promising platform for local transactions, it's not without its share of risks.

Tips to Buy and Sell Safely on Social Media Platforms

Here are five friendly tips to safeguard your transactions when using social platforms to buy or sell:

  1. Check Seller Reputation: Look over the seller's profile for reviews and feedback from previous transactions.
  2. Inspect Items Thoroughly: Take the time to examine the item closely and ask for additional photos if you need to.
  3. Meet in Public: Plan for well-lit public locations when meeting up for exchanges and consider bringing a friend or family member along for added safety.
  4. Trust Your Instincts: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don't be afraid to walk away from a deal if it doesn't feel right.
  5. Hold Off on Digital Payment: Avoid sending digital payments until you have the item in-hand. Be mindful of potential scams associated with online payment platforms, such as phishing scams that may involve clicking on unfamiliar links.

"While platforms like Facebook Marketplace offer enhanced safety features, it's crucial for users to remain vigilant," advises Lazzerini. "As the digital marketplace evolves, so do the tactics of bad actors. Staying informed and proactive is key to ensuring secure transactions."

More than just a “marketplace”

In communities like Hawaii, where interpersonal connections are highly valued, classifieds – whether printed or digital – have served as more than just a marketplace.

They have become a hub for locals to:

  • Share interests
  • Build relationships
  • Facilitate community events
  • Find love

Whether it's through specialized Facebook groups dedicated to hobbies like surfing or gardening, forums focused on local events and activities, or personal listings that help people meet their soul mate, classified platforms have provided a virtual space for community members to connect on a deeper level.

As classifieds evolve from newspapers to digital platforms, they not only streamline the buying and selling process but also enrich community engagement and interpersonal connections. With technology advancing, their role in fostering affinity groups, facilitating meaningful relationships, and strengthening community bonds is likely to expand further, solidifying their status as essential tools for both commerce and community interaction.

"The evolution of classifieds into digital platforms mirrors the evolution of our society's interactions,” Lazzerini says. “By adapting to these changes and remaining vigilant, we can navigate the digital landscape safely and continue to foster connections that enrich our lives and communities."

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