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Craigslist Sales Tips and Best Practices Prepared and Presented by:
Monthly Unique Visitors Source: compete.com
AutoTrader.comCars.comCraigslist.orgEbay.com ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME--$50,000 PLUS 70.6%70.8%69%76% ADULTS--AGE %74.5%71%67% PLAN BUY--NEW CAR/VAN/TRUCK/SUV11%13.4%9.4%11% PLAN BUY--USED CAR/VAN/TRUCK/SUV22.3%19.9%21.7%16% PLAN BUY--DOMESTIC CAR/VAN/TRUCK/SUV 15.4%13.9%10%12% PLAN BUY--FOREIGN CAR/VAN/TRUCK/SUV 16.1%18.2%18.4%12% WILL PAY $20,000 PLUS FOR NEXT VEHICLE 15.8%18.7%13.3%15% WILL PAY $30,000 PLUS FOR NEXT VEHICLE 7.1%8.2%5.1%7% HAVE CAR LOAN39.7%39.9%32.6%41% Source: The Media Audit
Posting Guidelines For Dealerships Post no more than 15 to 20 ads per day per rooftop. Create a posting schedule that allows you to post some ads early in the day and some ads later in the day. Vary the addresses and Craigslist accounts used to post ads if posting for multiple rooftops. Vary the templates used to post ads within each posting session. Develop a rotation for posting that will help you list your inventory over the course of a week or longer rather than daily. Your goal should be consistent exposure over time with regular posting instead of on-again, off-again posting. Coordinate posting efforts with other users.
Things to Remember About Craigslist Refer to for the most up-to-date information regarding posting. Only Post in one Craigslist locale. Post as a commercial dealer. Do Not Post Too Many Vehicles at One Time. Do Not Post the Same Vehicle More Than Once at a Time. Do Not Post External Web Links Leading to Outside Websites Be Accurate and Detailed in Your Ads. Post Good Photos and a lot of them. Refresh Ads Regularly. Dont leave ads up for their entire life-cycle until they expire on their own. Post Inventory in Daily Cycles. Mix It Up! Using Templates to Increase Sales
Flagging Basics Flagging by the Craigslist community is what causes your ads to be removed and causes you to be blocked from posting! While Craigslist does have certain filters in place for posting habits and ad contents, these filters are really very forgiving and do not, for the most part, result in car dealer ads being flagged or removed. Flagging Triggers You posted too many ads in a short period of time. Either your posting habits, or your ad content was considered to be in violation of the Craigslist posting guidelines by the viewers of the ads.
Warning Signs The first thing that happens is that Craigslist users will start flagging ads, usually for over-posting. When a single ad has reached a threshold number of flags from users, the ad is then removed by Craigslist. When an ad is removed through flagging, you will receive an notifying you that your ad was flagged and removed. When multiple ads are removed through this process, Craigslist will implement a temporary block, currently understood to be 7-days long.
How to Know Youve Been Blocked You get an error message when you are trying to submit/place an ad. You are able to post ads, and they look like they took in the system, and perhaps even in your Craigslist account (Ghosting), but the ads are not actually showing up in the list. Response To Ad Removal Notice STOP POSTING IMMEDIATELY! DELETE ALL OF YOUR CURRENT ADS IMMEDIATELY! Wait two, or even three days, before starting to post again, and follow the advice for Recovering from a Block.
Recovering From a Block Once the block is over, you will be able to resume posting. Post very conservatively to avoid triggering another block. Start out with a much smaller number of posts, and slowly increase the number and frequency of your posts in time. Do NOT fall back into the old posting routine Stay well under the number of posts that got you flagged before. Be on the lookout for the warning signs that you might get blocked from posting again.
The Craigslist Paradox Its okay to be a commercial dealer on Craigslist, it is not okay to look like one in your ads!
Posting Craigslist Friendly Ads Do not embed website addresses, logos, phone numbers or anything else in the images you use in your ads. If possible, do not take pictures of vehicles that will include a large commercial store-front or sign, or that is overlooking an as far as the eye can see car lot in the background. When possible, keep the background plain and simple with a solid neutral color so that the car is easily discernable, and is the main focus of the picture with nothing distracting around it. Avoid using all capital letters within the ad or the vehicle title.
Making Your Craigslist Ads Effective Appeal to a customers vanity and emotion. Headlines should be simple, clear, and informative. Post ads for vehicles that are hot on the vehicle market. Post vehicles with a lower price. Use as many pictures as possible for each vehicle. Keep ads relatively simple. Change up the look and feel of your ad.
An Appealing Ad 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe - Shows great! Not a single dent or scratch! Pristine Interior. Non-smoker. Fully loaded interior. One owner. Perfect family vehicle. Must- see! Priced to sell! Boring Laundry-list Ad 2005 CHEVROLET IMPALA - Power Steering, Power Brakes, Power Door Locks, Power Windows, Power Windows, Tilt Wheel, Interval Wipers, Rear Defroster, Remote Trunk Lid, Reclining Seats, Accent Stripes, Power Sunroof, Body Side Moldings, Center Arm Rest, Sliding Rear Window, Fog Lamps, Wheel Covers, Remote Keyless Entry, Air Conditioning Ford Taurus - Must-see! Priced to sell! Shows great! Pristine leather fully loaded interior. Mint Condition. Bring in this printed page and receive an additional $250 off! Building your ads Going The Extra Mile
Impact of Ad Content on Leads Description Unique Callers Per Month Shows great! Not a single dent or scratch! Pristine leather fully loaded interior. Non-smoker. Power everything! All the toys! Low Mileage. Mint Condition. Must-see! First-class. Perfect first car! Priced to sell! 73 Air Conditioning, Power Steering, Power Windows, Power Door Locks, Tilt Wheel, Cruise Control, AM/FM Stereo, Single Compact Disc, Dual Front Air Bags, Front Side Air Bags, Leather, Moon Roof, Rear Spoiler, Alloy Wheels 7
Craigslist Summary Tons of leads Comparable lead quality to other channels Very low cost Disciplined approach yields great results A little effort into ad content results in dramatic increase in leads per click
Posting Tool Highlights Huge time saver Takes the hassle out of troubleshooting Integrated click tracking and performance reporting Variety of templates all finely tuned to the Craigslist community to reduce possibility of flagging and maximize leads Easy upgrade to tracking capabilities