You may have heard about Backpage, a website where you could find ads for just about anything you can think of. That’s because it made national headlines a few years back because some unsavory people were using it for questionable reasons. That said, many people used Backpage legitimately such as buying or selling regular goods like you can do on popular sites such as OfferUp.
While Craigslist is one possible (and popular) alternative to Backpage, it no longer has personal ads either. So, read on to learn more about twenty of the best Backpage alternative websites. First, we’ll cover Backpage alternatives in terms of meeting people for casual dating or hookup purposes (like Tinder), then we’ll cover alternatives for buying and selling goods.
11 Backpage Alternatives for Meeting People and Dating
A lot of people appreciated Backpage for its personal ads page as a way to find other people looking for “casual” encounters. So, we’re going to start off by looking at some of the best Backpage alternatives when it comes to casual online dating or finding hookups.
There’s a large variety here, so you’ll want to read through to find out which site or app may be the best choice for you. Also, you should be aware that some of these pages may have some of the same issues that plagued Backpage and ended up getting that site taken down. So, please take into account the following disclaimer:
While most of these sites are perfectly legitimate, there are a few that might have scams and/or ads for illegal activities. In general, you should always exercise extreme caution when using largely unvetted public sites or Backpage-type websites. Remember to meet in a public place and always trust your gut.
This one doesn’t really require an introduction, as just about everyone and their mom has heard of Tinder. It’s gone global and is now the number one dating app in the world in terms of registered accounts, largely due to its popularity with millennials and gen Z. In case you’re unfamiliar, Tinder is a pretty straightforward app. You see random profiles in your area, with photos and a little bit of text. You then swipe right to indicate your interest, or left, if you don’t. Then, you’ll be matched with people who you swiped right on who also swiped right on your profile. From there, you can start messaging and go from there. As with the other sites, there’s a free version as well as a paid tier (Tinder Gold) for additional features and unlimited swiping.
2.) Ashley Madison
You’ve probably seen ads for Ashley Madison on *ahem* those websites. That’s because this site is all about connecting adults who are looking for casual hookups. One big plus for Ashley Madison is that it really prioritizes discretion. For example, if you decide to become a paying member, your credit card statement will simply read “Online services.” And you will probably want to do that if you’d like to take advantage of everything this website has to offer, including features such as “Traveling Man,” which lets you reach out to people from the area you’ll soon be visiting.
When it comes to alternatives to Backpage for romantic encounters, Adult Friend Finder is easily one of the top choices. It cites itself as “The World’s Largest Sex Dating Site & Swinger Personals Community,” and it has a staggering amount of people signed up—over 100 million accounts, in fact. Just as with Ashley Madison, there’s a free option but it’s rather limited compared to the paid subscription tier. There are chatrooms, vlogs, messaging, and a (paid) feature called Stories that lets you discuss your dream dating life so other people can see if they share the same vibe or goals.
Kasual, formerly known as Yumi, is a cool Backpage alternative because it’s really unique. Instead of getting matched up via algorithm or swiping, you get connected randomly to a person and the two of you can begin talking right away and see if there’s a connection. This app is available for Android and iOS, and the free version is pretty complete. If you like, though, you can always opt for the Premium membership. Ultimately, Kasual is a breath of fresh air compared to many hookup sites like Tinder because it’s ultra-focused on casual hookups (hence the rebranded name).
5.) Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish, or POF, refers to the old dating mantra that there are “plenty of fish in the sea”—in other words, don’t sweat being single or getting broken up with, because there are a whole lot of people out there (billions, in fact). You can use POF as a website or app, which is kind of nice. It’s a pretty typical dating site, where you get matched up with people based on shared interests. They also have a nice video-date feature that may make you feel safer (especially women) about meeting up with someone after seeing them over video first.
Pernals is an app that’s all about personal ads. It allows you to create your own personal ad for free so you can state exactly what you’re looking for (a relationship, casual hookup, friend, etc.). Pernals even lists itself as a direct alternative to Backpage classified ads. They feature relationship categories like Backpage’s personals page used to: platonic, woman seeking woman, woman seeking man, man seeking woman, etc. It’s only available as an app, which you can download either with Google Play or the Apple Store.
Bedpage is another Backpage alternative. Although it features many different categories, the ones that may be of most interest to people looking for a Backpage alternative would be the “Dating” and “Adult” categories. You should definitely proceed carefully with this site, however, as there are no doubt many people trying to use it to scam people and/or conduct illicit activities.
Doublelist is another site that’s similar to Backpage. One slightly annoying aspect is you have to sign up in order to browse their site, which leads with the tagline “Connect with straight, gay, bi and curious!” So, it isn’t hard to know what most people are looking for with Doublelist. They claim to have more than three million users in the U.S., however, so there might be a good chance you can find something that you vibe well with. As always, watch out for catfishers and other scammers.
Oodle has features very similar to old personals sites, with categories such as “Men Seek Women,” “Women Seek Men,” etc. There are also some filters including age, which can be nice if you want to narrow things down. There don’t appear to be a ton of people using this site, but it might be worth a shot. At least for my area, there are a lot more men posting on it than women, so depending on what you’re looking for it might not be a great option.
Locanto has a similar set up to Oodle and the other Backpage personals imitations. For example, there’s a “Casual Encounters” category with lots of subcategories. You can post a personal ad to let people know what you’re looking for. Like with Oodle, it appears to be mostly men posting and some of the female postings seem rather scammy. As long as you use your best judgment, Locanto could end up being a solid option for meeting people.
Ebackpage is—you guessed it—a Backpage clone that’s just about identical to Bedpage in terms of its look. Like Backpage, there are personal ads available, and like Bedpage, there are both “Dating” and “Adult” categories with the usual options. This site didn’t appear to have many people posting, however. In the “Women seek men,” section, for example, the last posts were from May 2021. You can give this site a try but be aware that there are plenty of scammers on it.
9 Backpage Alternatives For Posting Classified Ads
While the above websites and apps all have the goal of connecting people for dating purposes, Backpage was really a one-stop shop for everything. So, this next batch of Backpage alternatives will focus on sites where you can post ads for buying and selling goods, whether that’s an electric guitar, Playstation, couch, or other items.
If you’re in the U.S., Craigslist probably doesn’t need much introduction as it’s been a household name for a while. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Craigslist. As with any of the sites listed in this review, you have to watch out for scams, but in general I’ve had dozens of easy, smooth transactions with people in my community. Although Craigslist no longer has a “personals” page in the wake of the Backpage scandal, it’s definitely one of the best places to go if you’re looking to buy or sell something in your area.
Offerup is a website for the buying and selling goods, whether that’s shoes, clothing, headphones, guitars, furniture, you name it. While you can use it on your desktop, the app itself is a bit better. Also, unlike Craiglist, there is an option for shipping, so you can find stuff from all over the country as long as the person is willing to ship whatever it is that they’re selling. As a buyer and seller, this opens you up to more options. Another cool feature with Offerup is there’s a “free” section so you can take advantage of what people are trying to just quickly get rid of.
PennySaver is another popular website for those of us out there who are always trying to save money. You can look for real estate listing, cars and motorcycles, jobs, services, even pets! There are a ton of different ways to save money through the PennySaver, which has been in operation for more than fifty years with its original printed classifieds and mailers. This is another great Backpage alternative with a local focus so you can save money whether that’s on a plumber of dining out.
Kijiji is the perfect Backpage alternative if you just so happen to live in Canada. Since it’s a Canadian site, you can browse in English or in French, plus there’s a Kijiji Autos page just for people looking to buy or sell their car. As with Backpage, you select your region and then your city. You can find just about anything on Kijiji, as with PennySaver, so that means getting deals on cars, apartments, services, and pets.
Geebo bills itself as “Safe Community Classifieds.” To this end, Geebo has a “Scams & Shams” page that encourages its users to follow certain safety practices, such as purchasing locally, meeting in public, bringing a friend, and following your gut. These are good rules to apply in general to all the sites reviewed here, but it’s nice that Geebo goes out of its way to try to encourage a safer experience. Geebo also has a job portal that can help you potentially find your next employee—it does seem like an expensive service, however, at $299 for 1 month of access.
Gumtree is the Craigslist of the U.K., so if you happen to live there then this is definitely one of your top options. You can peruse job listings, cars, gaming consoles, apartment listings, etc. Gumtree also has an option to rate people who you conduct business with, which is a nice feature as you’ll have a better sense of whether or not someone is trustworthy before you start engaging with them. In general, Gumtree has solid online reviews, as people appreciate the easy-to-use interface.
7.) Free Ads Time
Free Ads Time is a global classifieds website, which is nice because you can potentially use it all over the world wherever you go. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to have many active users, as I could hardly find any postings for my city (a relatively good-sized one). As with most of these sites, Free Ads Time has all the usual categories, meaning that you can look for apartments or houses to rent, roommates, jobs, pets, cars, furniture, clothes, etc.
8.) Want Ad Digest
Want Ad Digest is like Penny Saver in that it goes back some 50+ years. This site has a specific focus on the East Coast, catering to states such as New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, etc. You can use Want Ad Digest to find watches, electronics, cars, campers, even farm equipment! It’s got all the usual categories that you’re accustomed to finding on other sites, with a special focus on cars, trucks, powersports, trailers, boats, and the like.
The basic idea of LetGo is right there in the name, encouraging us to let go of what we have so that others might enjoy it. LetGo is a newer app that shares a fair amount in common with OfferUp (see above). This means that it’s only accessible via mobile app (iOS or Android). Like OfferUp, LetGo is all about letting you access the “secret economy right in your neighborhood,” as their website says. As with Gumtree and OfferUp, you can rate other users on the site who you transact with, which makes these sites feel a little safer than some of the others reviewed here.
As you can see, there are a ton of options in terms of Backpage alternatives. If you read all of these reviews, however, you can see that that definitely doesn’t mean that they’re all created equal. In fact, some of these are much better than others.
In general, if you’re in the U.S., your best bet is probably to stick with one of the major dating or hookup sites, such as Tinder, Adult Friend Finder, or AshleyMadison (or another one that’s similar to those). And if you’re looking to buy and sell stuff, then your best bet is to probably stick with OfferUp or LetGo. If you’re in Canada, then Kijiji, and if you’re in the U.K., then Gumtree.
Some of the other sites may be okay, but a fair amount seem to host quite a lot of scams, so remember to be extra careful if you’re using one of the lesser-known sites. Make sure you follow basic common sense and never send strangers any money before you’ve actually met with them and have verified that everything is legit. When in doubt, trust your gut and stay safe out there!
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