A lot of companies seek out the help of a Craigslist posting service to help save time and be more effective at selling on the platform. While Craigslist still has a massive audience, the platform has done little to improve the selling experience for companies. If you need to post in multiple markets for several products, it can be a huge drain on team resources. Finding the best service for your company can make or break your sales efforts on the popular classifieds website.
When and Why You Need a Craigslist Posting Service
There are plenty of businesses that don’t need a 3rd party service providers to post for you on Craigslist. Most don’t in fact. If you’re only posting a handful of ads a month or don’t have product that fits the marketplace, there are better avenues for reaching an audience.
However, if you’re wanting post hundreds or thousands of times a month to reach the millions of users, there are three general options: posting service, freelancer, or a software platform. Before jumping into the options, here is a quick checklist to see if selling on Craigslist is right for you:
- How many times will you need to post a month?
- How many products do you want to advertise?
- Do you want to post in multiple markets?
- Will you be able to effectively ship your product?
- How does your product pricing compare to similar products on Craigslist?
We’re not going to get into specific companies or solutions because this is more of a high-level overview. We recommend that you thoroughly vet whichever you like best to make sure it is a good fit for your objectives.
Hire a Posting Service
Most companies simply want to increase sales efficiently but it is unpredictable when using an overseas team to keep costs low. The toughest part of going this route is picking a reputable team. A lot of times you simply need to test drive a company to see if it is a waste of money or an effective marketing strategy.
- Save a lot of time
- Consistency in your posts
- Save money by utilizing free listings
- These types of services are against Craigslist’s policy
- Some categories, like car/truck ads, still charge cancelling out the savings
- No real guarantee of service
- Spamming Craigslist to get around restrictions
- Over posting in free ads that can lead to bans or restrictions
- Language barriers as many of these teams are overseas
Regardless of the promises these services make, it is can hurt your brand and product reputation if things going awry. Make sure to ask about the companies post policies, ad design, reporting, and refund policy for failed posts.
Use a Freelancer
If you’re not really digging hiring a company, another option could be to hire a freelancer. This could be a potentially cheaper option but you’ll need to invest more of your time. Most freelancers need a bit more guidance in terms of your strategy, goals, and guidelines to ensure quality service.
- Save some time but have to put more time into training upfront depending on the experience level of the individual
- Can be the cheapest option
- No backup if the freelancer leaves for another opportunity
- No guarantees for posting
- No analytics unless you set up analytics manually
Try searching on Upwork, Fivver, or Freelancer for relevant freelancers. A quick search on Upwork revealed a lot of different freelancers that specialize in Craigslist. Just make sure to be very clear in your requirements and objectives when working with a freelancer.
Use Posting Software
Craigslist posting software has probably the widest range of possibilities. There are a number of cheap options that try to constantly cheat the system and come with little to no support. On the higher end, options are cost more but come with a lot more reliability, features, and effectiveness.
There are two different buckets of software when it comes to Craigslist: black hat and white hat. Black hat platforms try to get around the rules of Craigslist to cut costs. The problem with these platforms is they are very unreliable, provide few features, and can cause more marketing problems than they solve.
White hat platforms follow the rules of Craigslist and work with the system in place. They allow you to post in bulk without breaking the rules, which is worth it alone. These platforms can be more expensive but worth the investment if you’re a professional marketer or sales person. Also, when breaking down the time it takes to make a post, the cost of the service is typically less expensive than hiring someone to do it manually.
I’ve broken down the pros and cons of a reputable program that follows the Craigslist rules.
- The most reliable option and most effective in regards to time
- Helps to get you more prominent placing in the search results
- The ability to post ads in bulk
- Automatically posted ads on a schedule
- Some have the ability to edit ads from their dashboard
- Ability to format a Craigslist post easily
- Ability to post ads to multiple cities/markets
- Get better reach with optimized ads
- Lots of features, like lead tracking and analytics
- Higher cost because Craigslist requires these to be posted in the paid ads only
- Less flexibility if the platform doesn’t have a feature you need
- Platforms are sometimes restricted to specific categories
- A lot of platforms don’t allow you to edit the ads after they’ve been posted
Compare Service Options
|Manual Posting||Medium||Some but very dependent on the |
|Freelancer||Low||Almost none unless you give specific directions||Maybe|
|Posting Software||High||A lot depending on the platform||Maybe|
Questions About Craigslist Posting Services
The short answer is no. It is explicitly against the Craigslist policy.
It depends on the platform. Some try to circumvent Craigslist spam measures to bulk post a lot of free ads, which is definitely not allowed. Other systems tie into the official Craigslist API, like Dealer Promoter Pro, in order to work with the platform and within the rules.
Services typically charge $1-10 per post plus the cost of the Craigslist fee, which ranges from $3-5 for most paid listings. Typically, the cheaper services try to cut corners and ignore the official post rules. Legitimate services will charge more but are very reliable.
We talked to the Craigslist team and at this point in time, they don’t appear to be opening up the API to any new vendors.
Yes, there are a few platforms that work off of the official Craigslist API that have features for bulking posting ads.
Yes. A reputable software platform is the best choice for the car/truck Craigslist ad category. It also dealers to automate and manage ads in bulk.
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