What’s better than Craig’s List? How about Emma.

Emma classifiedsThe last time I searched Craigslist was a while back when I suddenly had an urge to find a free (or cheap) piano for the living room. I have to admit, the pages upon pages of listings, the text-laden interface (even if they did remind me of those good old early email days) and the I-have-no-idea-if-they’re-really-selling-a-piano inner dialogue made me hold off.

So it’s no surprise that so many companies are improving on the functionality and trust factor of listing services, and we’ve found a great one.

Emma
is a new service that makes classifieds searching a lot more personal and easy-to-navigate, because it access your own social network on Facebook to start. Whether you’re looking for that piano, a date, a job, a gently used high chair, or a
ride to New York (hopefully not with the high chair), you just might find it in your circle of friends and acquaintances.

Using either the Emma website or Emma mobile app,
you log in with your Facebook account and then can search through
the hundreds of categories of classifieds or post something yourself.
Every Emma member is verified through Facebook, so while you’re
potentially still dealing with strangers, you at least have a tiny bit
more of a clue as to who they are. In fact, you can specify the age of those you correspond with, location and gender, so you aren’t trying to rent your pied-a-terre out to 18 year old Frat boys.

What I really like though is that you can limit your sharing to Friends or just Friends of Friends, because isn’t that the best place to start anyway?

In your interactions, you can control how much information the seller or buyer sees, so you’re not sharing all your kids’ photos just to get rid of their baby clothes.  Emma facilitates the bid and introduction. You chat through the app, and as you get more comfortable, you can reveal more info, like your location, and move forward with the transaction or back out.

Since
the site is new, the inventory and number of classifieds available
doesn’t match up to what Craigslist offers, but that may be besides the point. If you want a more
controlled way to buy and sell your stuff using your network of
friends, this is a perfect place to start. -Jeana 

Emma is available as a free app on iTunes and Google Play.

Jeana Lee Tahnk is a prolific tech writer, crafty mom, and fan of any products that make it easier to raise three children.

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