How to Sell on Craigslist > Respecting Craigslist Etiquette

Respecting Craigslist Etiquette

Before you start posting ads on Craigslist, it is important to abide by some basic expectations of its sellers.

Craigslist is a community-regulated website, which means the users control what stays and what goes on the site after it is posted. If you break the community rules, other users will likely flag your ad and then it will be deleted. In order to stay relevant on Craigslist, you need to stay within the community boundaries.

Don’t Use Symbols to Attract Attention to Your Ad

Here are some basic things to avoid: Don’t WRITE YOUR AD’S TITLES IN ALL CAPS. Also, do not use *symbols* to attract attention to your headline, such as @@@@ or ##### or ***** in your title.

Many sellers use all caps and symbols, and some writers claim that using this tactic is a great way to sell items quickly.

Actually, this is a great way to get your ads flagged and deleted. If your ad is flagged, no one will see it and you cannot sell your product.

Avoid the Gimmicky Formatting

If you use any such formatting in an attempt to draw more attention to your ad over others, expect your ad to get deleted.

Unlike eBay, where you pay for headings that stand out, Craigslist is a free website, so these actions go against the Craigslist community rules.

Here Are Some Things NOT to Do

  • Don’t put your ad into multiple categories or over-post your ad. It will get flagged if you do. Writing an ad once should be sufficient to get rid of your goods if you follow my tips.
  • Don’t include any links to other websites in your ad. Links to detailed item descriptions are OK, but don’t add a link to another selling website. Your ad may get flagged if you do.
  • Don’t put multiple ads on CL at the same time or attempt to write the same ad or item more than once, in a slightly modified format. If other users see you have too many ads going up on the site all at once, it will look like you are “overposting” and you could get flagged for spam. The official rule is that you can put one item in one category every 48 hours.
  • Don’t leave an ad online after your item has been sold. I have seen some ads where people did not delete the ad, but instead they edited it to make a note that the item was sold. However, it is better to delete the ad because it helps keep the site less cluttered. Also, you wouldn’t want another interested buyer to waste their time trying to contact you about your item if it is no longer available.

My Ads Are Still Being Flagged

If you feel like your ads are being unfairly flagged and deleted, you can check out the help area and ask other members why your ads are being deleted.

It can be frustrating getting flagged, but if you include specific details about your ad (such as your title, info in the description, category), you should get a helpful response.

I think a lot of ads get flagged because they are simply put in the wrong category.

For example, don’t put your TV in the household or appliance section. It should be in the electronics category. Don’t put your bicycle in cars & trucks. Don’t write an ad for your PS3 in the computers or the collectibles categories.

Craigslist Users Protect Craigslist

Keep in mind, Craigslist users are very protective of their community. They can be somewhat possessive of the website, even though users obviously don’t own the site.

If users feel like someone is breaking the rules and not following the guidelines, they will flag your ad so it gets deleted.

craigslist flagging

This is from the help section:

There are several reasons why a posting may be removed or deleted, including:

* postings may be flagged by other users.

* postings may be removed by CL automated systems.

* postings may be removed by CL staff.

* postings may be deleted by their author (you).

* postings eventually expire.

Postings may also be omitted or removed from category index pages and search indices.

Next Page: Create a Craigslist Account

2 thoughts on “Respecting Craigslist Etiquette”

  1. I posted some furniture for sale. I said in the post that I would meet at a US post office that is close to my condo to talk about the furniture. I gave the address of the post office and my phone number. All the responses said I was a scam. Why?

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