Craigslist Posting Software offers businesses a robust platform for advertising their product offerings to a virtual market, consequently extending their reach. Potential online shoppers can access a wide range of classified ads on the Craigslist website. However, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be able to sell all the products you post on the platform because the ads can be flagged or inadvertently deleted. The craigslist flagging system is a user-regenerated little community that relies on a unique algorithm to remove ads that are not legit or that many users have flagged as inappropriate. Here is a guide on how to use Craigslist flagging software without being deleted.
How do I bypass Craigslist flagging?
Here are some viable strategies and tricks you can use to bypass the flagging of your posts when using the software:
1. Avoid Posting Your Entire Inventory
If you want to list your entire inventory on Craigslist, all of your posts will probably get flagged. New car dealers, for instance, with an inventory of about 10 to 100 cars, can get away with listing their whole inventory on Craigslist. This is doable if they’ll have to spread their posts over several days to get some variety in the different locations they post.
On the other hand, more established auto dealers will need to post only a very small portion of their current inventory on Craigslist while they wait to sell new inventory. Try to be smart and strategic about posting only cars that are hot in your area. At a maximum, you want to advertise about 80% of your cars on Craigslist.
2. Spread Out Your Posting Over Several Days
All your postings stay active for between 7 and 45 days, depending on the areas you are posting to. Therefore, it is better to plan a schedule to post ads a few days apart and spread them out over several days. Standardizing the frequency with which you post on Craigslist will help you avoid flooding Craigslist with all the things you are planning to post. This is the reason why some ads are flagged and canceled.
When a post is removed from Craigslist, Craigslist still has the ad and records it, but it never posts it to the website. Adding a listing for a product, such as a car that already has a live ad, can cause it to get flagged or cause it to be deleted. So it’s best to keep track of your cars for a while before posting a listing for it.
3. Use Non-Identifiable Text
If a computer program can flag your ads automatically, it will find your Craigslist post URL. People can find your ads on Craigslist by doing a simple search for your business in the body of your ad. In other words, if you include your dealership name in a URL or other text in the body of your post, people will try to stop you from posting. Use images to show people what you offer and include your phone number, dealership name, and location.
Craigslist posting software can help you post ads more quickly, but there is still a lot of work to do to make money off selling your product offerings online. It takes just a few steps to install the software, configure multiple proxies that are unique, and create multiple designs of your listings. You also need different phone numbers and to contend with possible competitors who may flag your ads for it to start paying off.
4. Use Different Unique IP Addresses
Craigslist monitors the IP addresses from which most of its listings come from. If you use the same IP address a lot for posting several ads of available vehicles, then Craigslist will flag them for deletion. The platform does this in order to prevent individuals from posting too many ads at once.
Many vehicle dealers only have one IP address to work with, so posting the same message to several different Craigslist boards will cause several posts to be flagged. You will need to use different IP addresses when posting to Craigslist. This can be done manually, or you can use an automated Craigslist posting to help with the posting. If you’re a big dealership, it’s advisable to consider employing a robust Craigslist posting strategy that allows you to post your ads from other dealerships.
5. Post at Random Times and Target High Traffic
Avoid posting at a specific time of the day, even if it’s easier because Craigslist will flag your posts. Some of your competitors may try to use a program that flags all your ads to have them taken down.
But to use these flagging programs, people will need to insert the exact URL of each listing into the automated program. You can post at any time of the day or night to make it difficult for people who want to target your posts. Moreover, you can post very randomly on high-traffic days such as Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays to avoid being flagged by your opponents.
6. Follow Craigslist’s Guidelines
Sometimes ads are flagged because they don’t comply with Craigslist’s terms of service and other guidelines. Craigslist prohibits posting ads for auctions, bidding, or other business opportunities that involve multi-level marketing or recruiting members of clubs. Ads for banned products, such as weapons, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, are also flagged. Craigslist also requires that you post in the correct category for each product or item you offer. You also need to post in the correct category for each of your services or products.
7. Avoid Spammy Behavior
Craigslist always warns users that it will not tolerate spam, such as ads that appear precisely the same in different places or in different categories but from the same location. Ideally, choose one city or one area to advertise in and one category for your ad, then wait at least 48 hours before posting another ad there. If you want to expand your search results, Craigslist says in its FAQ section that you should take your ad elsewhere.
Never post a phone number that contains odd combinations of text and numbers or text, such as two55onetwo. Craigslist flags such ads from spammers who try to cheat their flagging system and stuff from detecting spammy content.
8. Change Ad Format
Sometimes businesses use texting or wording that sounds too commercial or salesy. Therefore, using coercing words that are meant to inspire potential buyers to buy your products on Craigslist, such as “Offer Ends Today,” “Call Now,” and “Buy Now,” is not a good strategy. The usage of symbols and ALL CAPS in your ads might also result in flagging. In addition, ensure that you triple-check the construction of your sentences to remove any unclear statements or anything that seems deceptive to readers.
9. Report Flagging Problems
Before you contact the company, try to engage with other users on the Help Forum to get advice and reviews about any of your flagged ads. You’ll be surprised to learn some of the few mistakes that could be affecting your postings and change accordingly. But, if you indeed feel there is a flagging error for your ad, feel free to contact the company and provide all requested information. If you believe specific competitors flagged the ad, you can also include the posting ID beneath one of the competitor’s ads when submitting your petition.
10. Use Several Real Photos
Remember, smart online shoppers know that scammers don’t have several photos of the particular item they want to buy on Craigslist. Therefore, if a potential customer asks for extra photos of a car, send extra legitimate photos so you can always be in good books with buyers and the platform. Potential buyers may flag you as a scammer if they felt you were trying to swindle them of their hard errand money!
How do I stop being flagged on Craigslist?
Businesses such as car dealers often reap huge benefits from advertising their cars on Craigslist. For example, they can get new customers by reposting their ads on other sites or receiving ad referrals from other dealers. Some car dealers succeed by posting their used and new cars on Craigslist and gaining more customers from organic traffic to their websites and from people contacting them by telephone and email.
But advertising on Craigslist can cost you big time: dealers have to find time to post their cars manually and optimize how frequently they repost their ads. Unfortunately, many managers struggle to prevent ads from being flagged because people can easily find them, and it costs their businesses a lot of money to repost ads constantly.
Suppose random people flag and remove your ads. In that case, it could signify that your competitors are trying to sabotage your business by using black hat tactics like creating programs that automatically flag Craigslist posts. By being strategic and employing the right tactics, you can avoid flagging your listings by other users resulting in a deletion by Craigslist.
Even if you do everything the right way, there is no guarantee that the product offerings or services you sell on Craigslist will sell. But you can definitely find ways of maximizing your chances. Getting the right balance takes a long time, patience, and many failed attempts. Once you get that balance right, thousands of people will be exposed to the products or services that you’re selling.
Christian Rodgers is the founder and SEO of Smart Software Advice, an online publication focused on providing expert advice on various software solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses. With a software development degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA, Rodgers is experienced with software development, leadership, business strategy, accounting, and operations with an emphasis on building great teams and increasing profitability.