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  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AIM Group,   

    Craigslist is a billion dollar company, but should they be? 

    Craigslist is a billion dollar company, but should they be?

    If you’re unfamiliar with the AIM Group, they describe themselves as “a world-class business intelligence consultancy focused on digital marketplaces and classified advertising.” Or as they’ve been described by some, an industry watchdog for the online classifieds industry. They once famously called craigslist a ‘cesspool of crime’ and we’re unapologetic about it. But let’s face it, they were right. However, the AIM Group has released a new report that shows craigslist may have broken the old adage of ‘crime doesn’t pay.’

    In a recently issued press release, the AIM Group has announced a report that says craigslist is now a billion dollar company. Now some may scoff at such a paltry amount of revenue when it’s compared to companies like Apple and Facebook but to keep the amount in perspective, craigslist only has 50 employees. For an equivalent of a modestly successful ‘mom and pop’ business, craigslist had done all right for themselves.

    But the success has not come without controversy. It almost seems like craigslist has reinvested little of that money back into the infrastructure of their own website especially when it comes to user safety. Without even delving into craigslist’s questionable past of facilitating human trafficking, the number of violent acts that have been perpetrated against craigslist users has been unsettling over the past two decades. The fact that a number of murderers have been branded by the press as the ‘Craigslist Killer’ over the years can attest to that. It’s still no different today as just in the past day there have been headlines mentioning craigslist about scams, opiate dealing, and stolen goods. This is an addition to the almost daily headlines of robbery and assault.

    With all that purported money you would think that craigslist could invest in some site moderation to help keep scammers and robbers off of their site in order to better protect their users. Instead, it seems like they’d rather spend it on lavish homes in ritzy New York City neighborhoods.

    Craigslist can continue to play off their ‘We’re the little guy’ reputation all they want when in reality they’re just another greedy corporation.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AIM Group, ,   

    OfferUp teams with AIM Group to bring SafeTradeSpots to users. Welcome to the club. 

    OfferUp teams with AIM Group to bring SafeTradeSpots to users. Welcome to the club.

    Yesterday, it was announced that marketplace app OfferUp is partnering with industry watchdog AIM Group to launch a new website. SafeTradeSpots.com shows a national database of police and sheriff’s departments that have authorized their locations as safe meeting places for online transactions. It’s good to see OfferUp taking this step into user safety considering when you look up OfferUp on YouTube, this is the first video that comes up in the search.

    While we’re glad to see OfferUp start to take its users’ safety more seriously, we here at Geebo can’t help but pat ourselves on the back a little. Back in 2015, Geebo CEO Greg Collier recognized the need for locations where classifieds transactions that require a face to face meeting can be conducted safely. That’s why every Geebo ad contains a link to AIM Group’s SafeTrade Stations that lists a multitude of safe transaction zones all across the country.

    While we’re not in any way trying to take credit for OfferUp’s new safety initiative, we do like to think that Geebo is an industry leader when it comes to user safety. Not only does Gebbo review every ad for potential safety hazards but we constantly strive to educate our users on new and developing risks that are constantly evolving on less concerned sites like craigslist. We take our motto of being the safe community classifieds very seriously and continue to set the bar for safer online classifieds.

  • Geebo 9:05 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AIM Group, ,   

    AIM Group confirms our suspicions about OfferUp and LetGo 

    AIM Group confirms our suspicions about OfferUp and LetGo

    In a recent blog post, classifieds industry watchdog organization the AIM Group, appears to have confirmed some of our suspicions about classifieds apps OfferUp and LetGo. In our blog post about the Forbes article that called us ‘for naught’, we questioned the financial and userbase stats put out by the two apps. While we postulated the use of clickfarms may be involved, AIM Group founder Peter M. Zollman seems to believe the claims of success put out by both apps are fabricated.

    Regarding the claims of monetary success from both apps, Mr. Zollman had this to say…

    OfferUp “says it will handily surpass $20 billion in goods sold this year, with about half coming from car sales.” (To which we reply: “Oh really? And how do you value transactions when they never take place on the site, when listings are reposted over and over, when your users don’t have any transaction capabilities, and when user visits are no indicator of who’s actually buying or selling?” We don’t take estimates of sales on OfferUp, LetGo and similar sites with a grain of salt; we take them as unmitigated baloney, to use the polite term.)

    Mr. Zollman also calls LetGo’s claims that they will facilitate $23.4B in transactions baloney.

    With all due respect, the allegedly fictitious claims made by both apps seem to exhibit a desperate attempt to not only please current investors, but also to try to attract new investors in the ever-increasing shell game that is startup funding.

  • Geebo 9:22 am on April 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AIM Group, , crime,   

    Triple digit murders highlight craigslist’s lack of safety 

    Triple digit murders highlight craigslist's lack of safety

    Last year, The Washington Post ran an article entitled “Think twice before answering that ad: 101 murders have been linked to Craigslist”. That number was provided by the AIM Group who maintain a public list of victims on the Craigslist Killings – Craigslist Safety blog. Since that article was published, there have been nine more victims added to the list bringing the number up to 110.

    The article also goes on to mention Aim Group’s SafeTrade initiative to turn police stations into safe zones for craigslist transactions. That should tell you volumes right there on how unsafe craigslist really is. If a major industry watchdog group and numerous police departments across the country are urging you to use police stations to do business on craigslist then it really isn’t all that safe.

    Craigslist has such a low barrier to entry that they don’t even require a valid phone number for anyone to place ads. This allows anyone with a criminal intent to place an ad for whatever reason. The crimes on craigslist run the gamut from fake check scams to robbery to sexual assault, all the way up to murder. If history is any indicator, craigslist will probably not enact any additional safety features to the anemic ones that they barely have. Craigslist hasn’t even publicly commented on user safety in seven years, according to The Post.

    Craigslist has always prided itself on having a minimum number of employees. In the past they have stated that there are only about two dozen employees to help run a global classifieds empire. What it really comes down to is that craigslist seems to covet their profit margins so much, that they would rather sacrifice user safety than having new safety measures eat into their bank account. Craigslist may have been founded on Bay Area principles of community and sharing, but today they are nothing more than an international bastion of greed whose only real concern is the bottom line.

  • Geebo 12:05 pm on December 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AIM Group, , ,   

    Everything old is new again: Facebook Marketplace used for robberies 

    Everything old is new again: Facebook Marketplace used for robberies

    Back in October, we posted on this blog about how Facebook’s new Marketplace feature was not only rife for abuse, but that the abuses were already taking place. These were some of the same abuses that have plagued craigslist for years.

    Now, industry watchdog The AIM Group, is reporting that Facebook Marketplace is now suffering from an even bigger problem that is also reminiscent of craigslist, robbery. At least two armed robberies have occurred and in one incident a victim was stabbed while being robbed. If history is any indicator, it won’t be too long before the media is calling someone the ‘Facebook Marketplace Killer’. By AIM Group’s own estimate there have been 105 murders related to craigslist as of October, 2016. With as many users as Facebook has, they could potentially dwarf that unfortunate number.

    The problem with Facebook Marketplace is the same that craigslist has always had and that’s the lack of moderation. Facebook is making the same mistake as craigslist by relying on the community to police the ads rather than having in-house moderation. While human curation isn’t the be all and end all to keeping its users safe it can go so much farther than relying on an untrained community. Unfortunately, Facebook has a history of mishandling any kind of human editing staff. With its brand and userbase, Facebook has the potential to be even a bigger criminal hive than craigslist ever was.

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