"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Money with Craigslist" does actually exist :)
Not casting aspersions :), merely pointing out that such a thing exists..and apparently for less than $20.oo ..
and searching just..
"idiots guide to craigslist" brings up quite a few "free guides" to Craigslist, on various sites..
As search terms they at least give you a starting point..even though the first "guide" has "somewhat mixed reviews" :)..Niche opportunity for a "pros guide" there ?
Yeah but I'm not looking to sell home made pot holders or the kids used school uniforms. Ebay-type garbage.
I'm looking for tips on using CL to sell significant quantities of full priced products. Especially interested in getting very targeted local traffic to our website. An e-commerce slant. Also, does CL have any SEO merit?
Sorry :) not being "on the left side of the pond"..I've never actually used it..just heard the "myth" so to speak..:) as a sort of Shangri-la of sales where everything except "human trafficking" and kilos of "class A" substances was allowed advertised and bought and sold..
But the inadvertent "bump" may attract a passing "guru":)..
One thing it may be necessary to take into account..if it is like Amazon ? You'll need bar codes for everything.. new ones come in blocks of 100,000.oo , old ones ( that don't incorporate your company name and ID ) can be had from "brokers" in smaller quantities ..and without recurring yearly costs..
New ones are actually quite cheap at around $250.oo ( joining fee ) and $250.oo per year ( first year is on top of the "joining fee"...and then $250.oo per year after..but you do get a block of 100,000.oo unique "standard type" barcodes..
Amazon insist on these for business sellers ..Don't know if Craiglist do or not ? ..
Rumour is that Ebay will insist on them soon for pro sellers..
( "write off" expense ..but there nevertheless )
I have stuff at full price ( slightly less because of Amazon TOS ) on Amazon ..it is a good traffic driver to the "mother sites" for each niche..Tangential info ..but may be of use to you .. ?
The $250.oo is approximate ..it is all paid to the same organisation ..but the fees vary slightly from country to country ..although in theory you can register with the cheapest country ..even if your business is not registered there ..I'm registered in more than one for business, but I "buy" my bar codes in France..$250.oo per annum per 100 thou' is about what I pay in dollar terms..plus the first year "joining fee" which was about the same ..
Here's something about Page Rank and CL. Otherwise CL doesn't seemed to have been discussed much in this neighborhood:
Short story: Craigslist **will not** be allowed to be used as a resource to bring traffic to your site. That's not what it's for, so don't bother.
Generally it's user maintained. The users can flag posts and get listings deleted, it is all automated, and the users are extremely voracious about keeping it just what it is. External links are likely to fly swat you faster than you can say "where did my listing go."
RE: Cheesy look: This is one of the sites that doesn't care about what people think about how it looks. It's 100% about function, and those that use it LOVE that about it. In making the "cheesy look" assessment, you're allowing your design sensibilities to interfere with the value of the resource - not that there is anything wrong with that, just that there is a Very Good Reason Craig & co have never bothered to give it an "updated look." When you figure it out, it's pretty enlightening. :-)
|Sorry :) not being "on the left side of the pond"..I've never actually used it..just heard the "myth" so to speak..:) as a sort of Shangri-la of sales where everything except "human trafficking" and kilos of "class A" substances was allowed advertised and bought and sold. |
Pretty sure those have probably been done on there as well.
|Short story: Craigslist **will not** be allowed to be used as a resource to bring traffic to your site. That's not what it's for, so don't bother. |
I see tons of CL ads by dealers with links to their business websites. Some of those ads were posted weeks ago and haven't been deleted. Are dealers, but not individuals, allowed links?
|I see tons of CL ads by dealers with links to their business websites. Some of those ads were posted weeks ago and haven't been deleted. Are dealers, but not individuals, allowed links? |
That's what I see too.
I happened to be looking mostly under "Boats - by Dealers," and mostly at the expensive ones. I wouldn't call the ads spam. They generally focused on one boat for sale, but there was a link to the dealer's site which is natural when the product sells for $30k to >$100k.
Now I wonder whether a dealer could post an ad not specific to a particular boat, basically a listing that says "follow this link to our company site to see our entire inventory of boats."
Anyway, CL is really easy to use (much easier than Ebay), costs zip except for a very few situations and the worst that can happen is my ad will be yanked eventually.
Going to experiment and report back here. Want to see how much traffic a fairly generic ad (with discount coupon) brings into our site.
|I see tons of CL ads by dealers with links to their business websites. |
Interesting. I probably should have added - I am by no means a Craigslist "expert," but the experiences I remember were ads and users getting flagged and booted due to external links. Maybe no one is looking at and flagging those ads.
OR, perhaps they are PAID ads. There may be less restrictive rules governing those.
Some verified experiences:
I had an ad selling some paints for a hobby. No external links, just ad copy with allowed HTML and a picture. It was flagged and removed, and there was no explanation. Their message boards were fairly unhelpful, mostly the snarky "sucks to be you" replies, the closest I ever got to an answer was "too much HTML in the ad making it look spammy" (It was a table describing the colors included in the paints) or "wrong category." These paints are for RC cars and aircraft, and there is no fitting category for that, so it was in "Toys and Hobbies." The bozo arguing the point said "paints don't belong in toys."
This isn't a rant, it's to demonstrate the kind of environment you're dealing with. Any registered user can flag a listing. It's like reporting spam, they can flag it if they're in a bad mood, selling competing products, or just not interested in what you have. You're completely at the users' mercy. Enough flags, it automatically gets removed and there's no explanation. All you get is a bazillion references to read the TOS which is loosely defined and generally unhelpful.
I still use it for selling stuff, but personally would never use it to gain incoming links. There's "the way we perceive the workings of the Internet" and there's Craigslist. :-)
Only paid ads on CL are employment ones in some cities and certain apartment ads in NYC plus "Therapeutic" ads (wink wink!). Makes no sense to me. I'd charge a flat $10 for everything and go up from there. Most ads run for 45 days (I thought that period was much less years ago)
Limited HTML is possible. I'm sure most of us would be tempted to dress up the bland, archaic-looking classifieds with some code. But as you imply, getting slick is risky.
Main place I see really polished ads are in the homes for sale section. Was looking at one 5,000 sq foot mansion with pool not far from me. Beautiful ad with tons of professional photography but I guess it cost zero to post.
|All you get is a bazillion references to read the TOS which is loosely defined and generally unhelpful. |
Yes, order seems to be enforced by whim of the users and management. No appeal. I've read their blog and other resources and I'm still finding out little about the advertising limitations.
Makes me tense. At least I now know where to find any kind of massage.
Or a new house :)
I've always been curious how many flags it takes to get something removed though. Surely it's not just one.
Here are the preliminary results from my CL experiment:
Spent a lot of time last weekend posting some attractive ads on Craigslist. Each ad had a link to our site and the promise of a nice discount coupon. We have seen some traffic coming into our landing page from CL but otherwise I detect no revenue benefit.
None of our ads have been flagged as inappropriate.
lolol. No, ha ha. No, I'm sorry. CL is not about function. If it is, they are doing a terrible job.