Craigslist gets about 30 million visitors each month looking for products that might be available in their very own backyard. If you own a brick and mortar, where customers come in to touch and feel the product then this marketplace is a great way to drive foot traffic into your store. A free local classified advertisement website where you can post your products and target buyers in your local neighborhoods.

 “What shouldn’t I do when posting to Craigslist”

The community that looks at Craigslist is given the ability to flag your listings for any reason. Even if you spelled Microwave wrong… Therefore, if you receive a notice that your item has been flagged, that doesn’t mean Craigslist has a vendetta against you and your listings, but it means that there are people in the community that didn’t agree with your listing - in the wrong category, listing a lot of items, bad description, no photos, there can be a series of reasons for flaggers. There are daily Craigslist users who never end up buying anything but feel it’s their job to clean up the listings.

Ghosting is a term some people haven’t heard. If you are not in compliance with Craigslist Terms of Use, they just might let you “successfully list” your item, but it never is shown live to the Craigslist community. If you do anything for any reason that Craigslist may feel you’re listing against the intended use of their site, your item has the potential to be ghosted. What would be against Craigslist Terms of Service?

  • Listing in a market that your IP address doesn’t match (If you’re listing from NYC, don’t try to post in DC)
  • Adding photo URLs hosted outside of Craigslist
  • HTML tags that aren’t basic tags
  • Don’t try to link to your eBay listings
  • Multiple listings every few minutes

Some things you want to do if you’re ghosted on Craigslist:

  • If nothing is going through wait 3 days to post again
  • Reduce the frequency of your postings
  • List from a different computer

“What is the best practice for posting on Craigslist?”

When listing keep in mind that the platform was built for peer-to-peer sales without businesses interfering. Craigslist saw the difficulty in keeping businesses from posting so they separated every single category to “By Owner” and “By Dealer”. This being said, you have to list in the By Dealer section without going against their Terms of Service.

Also when creating a listing, think about what catches your eye on a title. Craigslist automatically searches title and description. If you’re used to eBay, you think you have to fill all characters of a title. Not so in Craigslist. Therefore, try to get straight to the point, well-described in the fewest amount of words. Look at the top 3 examples in the image above:

  • Floor Lamp:  Too short, add height, color, style, that will grab the attention of the right buyer.
  • Nerf Gun & accessories Lot Assortment Sale: Excellent title, someone searching sees that this is an all-in-one purchase. No need to list all of the accessories. Title can grab your attention to click on the link.
  • IOS7 Iphone 5 Iphone 4s Iphone 4: Horrible title. Have no clue what they’re actually selling. My guess is that they install iOS on phones but listing in a By Owner category. This will get flagged quickly. Also, get your capitalization right. It’s not IOS, it’s iOS. and Iphone is iPhone.

Regarding your descriptions, if you are getting flagged quickly, find some terminology that is similar in every listing, something easy to find every one of your listings. If it’s your store name, address, phone number or catch phrase, remove it. Make every description unique and not matching. Photos speak better than descriptions can so make sure they are crisp, clear and show the product including any defects (if any) and utilize the maximum that allowed for your listings.

“What makes you the Craigslist experts?”

SellerVantage has been working with the Craigslist service since 2007 and when used to post relevant, localized inventory to your area it can be a powerful tool to increase product visibility and inevitably sales! SellerVantage is an inventory management software made specifically for online consignment stores, pawn shops, warehouse management, bicycle sales, sporting equipment retailers, antique sellers and more.

If you’re not not a user of SellerVantage yet, feel free to give us a call at 813-964-3222 so we can show you how this software will expand productivity and provide greater online sales results.