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5miles is a mobile app looking to usurp Craigslist’s throne

Need to get rid of that sofa? Old smartphone? Your motorcycle? 5miles wants to be your go-to resource for second-hand buying and shopping.
By
December 7, 2015
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Need to get rid of that sofa? Old smartphone? Your motorcycle? 5miles wants to be your go-to resource for second-hand buying and shopping.

In the ages of yore, historians tell us that town meccas like gas stations, hardware stores, or mom-and-pop diners would often have bulletin boards set up where people would physically go in-person to post messages on honest-to-God paper to each other. This was the best resource for anyone looking to hock their pocketwatch or sell ancient patio furniture, but in modern times, Craigslist has arisen as the digital replacement for these bulletin boards.

Although Craigslist has enjoyed immense popularity, it does suffer from something of an image problem. Just like the bulletin boards of eons past, anybody can post just about anything they want to Craigslist. Since nothing is vetted, scams and misrepresented deals run rampant.

Enter 5miles, a mobile app that expands on the bulletin board model by creating a marketplace designed with smartphones in mind. Available on both Android and iOS, 5miles uses your GPS location to put you in contact with buyers and sellers who are in your vicinity. To push back against the shady image similar services have developed, the app has a user rating system and requires Facebook and phone verification to weed out scammers. 5miles boasts that they have the industry’s first ever “dedicated Awesome Experience team,” who actively checks every item sold to ensure safety guidelines are being maintained and to detect any fraudulent or suspicious accounts early.

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It’s a plucky and bold venture for the Dallas-based developers. City users will almost certainly get much more use out of the app, which leans hard on population density to create this digital garage sale. The app also has far fewer users than the sprawling Craigslist userbase, but its popularity seems to be growing with over 3 million downloads globally across operating systems. 5miles’ vetting system may give it the edge it needs to bite a chunk out of Craigslist.

What do you think of 5miles? If you’re interested in giving it a spin, hit the button below to download it from the Google Play Store. Then take to the comments to let us know what the userbase looks like in your area.