I'm not a horse person but my wife and youngest daughter are. So once you get a horse it's not too long before you need a truck to move it from point A to point B. After many visits to local dealers I pretty much gave up on buying a used truck the traditional way; I'm pretty sure none of them are willing to acknowledge gas is already north of $4 a gallon and quickly heading to $5 or more. Who's looking to buy a truck in these conditions?! Me, unfortunately.
The newspaper ads and classifieds were pretty much worthless. Those just featured more dealers hyping their overpriced "bargains" and loads of junk from individuals, most of which were in far away locations and not worth the drive.
Craigslist still hasn't become a phenomenon in central Indiana. You'll find several new vehicles added each day but nowhere near the volume found in the local paper. I find that odd since it's free to place a vehicle ad on craigslist, so why wouldn't you? The biggest problem seems to be awareness. Most people around here still don't know what craigslist is. In fact, when I told my wife I think I may have found a great truck deal on craiglist, her response was, "why is our son Craig maintaining a list of trucks?". I love her dearly but she's not the most tech savvy member of the Wikert clan.
Speaking of that great deal... It turns out there's a guy on the south side of Indianapolis who specializes in repo vehicles. He got one recently where the owner missed a few payments, got tired of being nagged and voluntarily took the truck and the keys back to the bank. Mr. Repo keeps a fairly low profile and only advertises on craigslist. Smart guy. He works with virtually no overhead and generally flip his vehicles within 60 days of acquiring them.
This guy is reselling used trucks for about half the price you'd pay at a dealership. Think of the middlemen he's cutting out: The vehicles don't go to auction, they're not advertised in the paper and they don't ever enter the dealership pipeline.
I used to think craigslist's impact was limited to the newspaper industry, but when you stop and think about it, craigslist's ecomonic effect extends well beyond the classifieds.