Craigslist is “conservatively” worth $3 billion and could be worth $4 billion or $5 billion, Forbes magazine estimated in a two-article series last week about the general-classified giant and two of its primary competitors, OfferUp and LetGo.

The 5,000-word series was an excellent overview of Craigslist and its challengers, with little real news. A few quick tidbits, however:

— EBay may be trying to sell Close5, its “OfferUp clone,” as reporter Ryan Mac put it. “The company has been shopping it around for an acquisition, according to one source,” the report said.

— OfferUp “says it will handily surpass $20 billion in goods sold this year, with about half coming from car sales.” (To which we reply: “Oh really? And how the hell do you value transactions when they never take place on the site, when listings are reposted over and over, when your users don’t have any transaction capabilities, and when user visits are no indicator of who’s actually buying or selling?” We don’t take estimates of sales on OfferUp, LetGo and similar sites with a grain of salt; we take them as unmitigated baloney, to use the polite term.)

— LetGo expects to facilitate $23.4 billion in transactions in the 12 months that began last July. (Likewise, baloney.)

— LetGo spent an estimated $100 million on television commercials in the U.S. last year, while OfferUp spent only about $1 million.

The outstanding reports cover the history, growth and revenue potential of OfferUp, LetGo and Craigslist, among others, and the sad collapse of newspaper classifieds. They were written by Mac, a dogged San Francisco-based reporter who covers “the agitators in technology and e-commerce” for formerly worked at The New York Times, Bloomberg News and other newspapers.

(Disclosure: Ryan spoke to us repeatedly for the articles, and quoted AIM Group research extensively.)

Check ‘em out:

Can OfferUp and LetGo kill Craigslist?

Craig Newmark and his billion-dollar company.

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