Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How to Advertise on Craigs List

I advertise on my local craigs list and on occassion craigs list in other areas of the US. It has brought sales into my store and locally offline. There has been some interest within the Homefront group that I tell them how I post without being flagged.

Here is a link to my current craigs list ad.

Craigs list has bots just like etsy that catch certain words that shouldn't be posted and in result they will remove your listing.
One sure fire way to get flagged and removed is by completely directing someone to your Etsy store without offering the option for local pick up or to work through your email address.
Of course you will want to direct them to your Etsy store but the best way to word it is by saying check out my site for more photos and details of the work I am able to do. Most people get the idea when they see it and will either purchase from your site or email you directly and place a custom order.
When posting a link for your etsy store I find that posting my mini, which will not show up as a mini, works best. Copy and paste the flash version of your mini and it will shop up as links saying buy hand made buy etsy and then your store name.

Avoid saying things like "I have sales every monday!" or check out my free shipping etc. Mentioning shipping in your ad again will get you flagged and removed because craigs list sees those posts as scams. Again, if they need the item shipped to them they will figure it out through your Etsy store or by emailing you.

The best thing to do is just give a rundown of your product and your price ranges. People on craigs list are generally looking for deals. There are people willing to pay more for handmade, custom and unique pieces as well so stating your range of prices up front helps a lot.

Of course there are always those craigs list snobs, especially in the babies and kids section, that will flag anyone trying to offer a service without thinking twice. In this case craigs list doesn't generally second guess and removes your posting. Your best bet is to email craigs list at the email they provide and ask them why you were flagged. As long as you are offering a tangible item that your target market can pick up within distance of their relative location then there is no reason for them to remove you and they will allow you to keep posting.
And when I say relative distance, that generally means within your states and the surrounding states.

Try to avoid posting to a craigs list half across the country because people will find you annoying and your shop a waste of their time because you are not even close to their region.
I know this from experience as I have had customers from Craigs List in my area that said they had thought about purchasing from another person who posts bows on my local Craigs List until they saw that she was located in California. In result they flagged her post simply because they were irritated that it wouldn't be available for pick up and purchased from me instead. :)

Other tips for craigs list posting is that most purchases are made toward the end of the week and over the weekend as that's when people have money to burn and time to surf the net. Or if you are in a military town posting on or after pay day is a good time for posting as well.

Craigs List buyers can sometimes, not generalizing, be a bit different. Some things to be aware of is that if you conduct a sale for a custom item they are picking up make sure you have a set price that you make sure they acknowledge to you either over the phone or through email. Make sure they acknowledge that you are asking cash only and that they bring EXACT change. I have had people show up with less than the total amount hoping I would sell for less. To help avoid this I state up front this is the cost, payment is upon pick up in cash only with exact change. If you do not bring cash and exact change I cannot sell you the item and you are welcome to go and pick up cash and exact change otherwise there will not be a transaction. Also, NEVER make an item to be shipped that you are expecting payment after completion. There is a lot of impulse buying on CL because people are fearful that if they don't purchase it first someone else might snag it up. Sometimes people don't think through their purchase and then change their minds leaving you with a finished custom project with nothing to show for it. I usually ask half the price in cash or through paypal up front. I do not start working on it until I recieve half of the amount and it has cleared.
Also there are scammers on CL that will email you wanting you to ship to another country etc. I generally avoid these transactions all together. Of course we can and are willing to ship to other countries but generally the people wanting shipment to another country from purchasing in a craigs list in Washington DC are looking to scam you.

So happy posting, I hope some of you are able to post to CL without being flagged and removed after reading this post and that it brings you many new sales. :)


Teri's Treasures said...

Great Post Ella! Thanks for the great info. BTW... still loving that banner!

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for this info! There are some great tips in there to help me do it right this time around!