The Dark Side of Craigslist

I love craigslist. I use it all the time, and I have found many useful things. I love the simplicity of it, I love that it was just started as a hobby for some guy named Craig. I love the community that has formed around it, I love the best of craigslist. Basically, I love everything about it.

Except for one thing. Craigslist is responsible for killing my favourite guitar store.Songbird Music has formally filed for bankruptcy. Songbird was easily the best music store in Toronto, perhaps Canada. Found out in the further reaches of Queen West, where the actual cool stores are, it was that rare place that combined a friendly, knowledgeable staff, excellent stock, and a relaxed fun attitude that made fun to browse guitar stores again. It was even family friendly, as much as a guitar store can be. The staff was as happy to sell my son and I shaky eggs and vibra-slaps as they are selling the expensive stuff. 

But then along came craigslist. Suddenly it didn’t make sense for a lot of people to pay a mark-up on used gear. People could buy, sell, and trade effortlessly, no middle man taking a percentage. And so, Songbird music has now filed for bankruptcy.

I know that there are more forces at play than just craigslist, but it must share some of the burden. People are always railing against huge conglomerates, saying that the Wal-Marts and Targets of the world are squeezing out the Mom and Pop stores. That might be true. But sometimes it’s not the big guy that’s killing the competition and shutting down businesses. It’s just another little guy that got bigger.