View Full Version : Free Program To Post To Craigslist

ProTech Support
05-14-2011, 06:15 AM
I am currently looking to run an advertising campaign on Craigslist in a couple of different locations. Being that one of the areas is New York, there tends to be many posts a day. I was wondering if anyone had experience with an automation program for Craigslist that would assist me in posting once a day and in multiple locations?

Before someone gives me a "Let Me Google That For You" link, I have done a bit of homework, but I am looking for some feedback based on experience so that I don't go through 45 programs looking to suite my needs. As usual, any assistance is appreciated.

05-14-2011, 06:37 AM
Isn't that against their terms of service? (Honestly, I'm asking...isn't it?)

ProTech Support
05-14-2011, 06:38 AM
Is it? I thought it was pretty common.

05-14-2011, 07:45 AM
Is it? I thought it was pretty common.

Just because it is common doesn't make it right (i.e software pirating)

ProTech Support
05-15-2011, 06:37 AM
Well in theory, I didn't see anything wrong with it. All I was looking for was for a program that would basically save a template for me and post it. That way I did not need to manually do it. After doing some research I see that it is not recommended. I honestly did not realize all the commotion with this.

05-15-2011, 11:31 AM
I looked into this about six months ago and discovered this ...

Terms of Use
You agree to additionally not
y) use any form of automated device or computer program that enables the
submission of postings on craigslist without each posting being manually
entered by the author thereof (an "automated posting device"), including
without limitation, the use of any such automated posting device to submit
postings in bulk, or for automatic submission of postings at regular intervals.

But of course it is largely ignored. Despite the seemingly simple Web 0.5 appearance, Craigslist has some sophisticated monitoring going on in the background and many bot postings are discovered and postings taken down. There is also "flagging" wherein the community is supposed to police itself and report inappropriate posts. You can imagine the abuse that engenders.

As far as automation goes, most of the tools I found had a fairly hefty price tag attached and I was unwilling to pay for the service as I didn't think I would get the ROI. (note: I use Craigslist occasionally when business is slow. Some local shops post routinely on Craigslist in addition to more traditional advertising.) After some playing around I came up with this approach.

1) Craigslist uses word recognition to detect multiple posts, therefore put all of your advertising into a pretty flyer type format (I use MSPublisher), jpg it, and use only that for the body of the post. Since it is an image, the monitoring cannot detect the verbiage. Make seven copies of that jpg and rename them eg:CLPostMon, CLPostTue, etc. and use each on the appropriate day.

2) Craigslist can be searched for local area so add in the names of the towns that you service as regular text in the post.

3) Each post must have a different header to avoid overposting detection.

4) Think of your customers behavior and post at the time you think would be appropriate to get your post to be the first one they see. During the week I post at about 9am as Mom's have gotten the kids off to school and are now getting things done for the day and small business owners are solving their problems. On the weekend I post between 10 and 11. Another good time is 7-9 PM during the week if you want to catch home users.

I know that this can all be managed with a post-bot as well but this is the manual way to do it. Once I set up my process and saved all the jpg and text files locally, it takes me about three minutes to put up a post.

05-15-2011, 06:54 PM
It's not free, but it's the best:

05-15-2011, 08:46 PM
I used vFlyer (http://www.vflyer.com/main/marketing/craigslist)a while back when I was doing some eCommerce. A lot of real estate agents use vFlyer and they have some pretty decent templates.

I haven't been there in a while and I see where there is now a $12.95/mo charge but I'm assuming that is for auto posting. If you wouldn't care, you could always create the flyer and then copy the source into a CL listing (that's what I used to do). I'm assuming they still offer that functionality.

I'm sure you would prefer something automated but as mentioned, I think that's taboo.

05-15-2011, 08:48 PM
I don't post multiples but I understand that in the header, if you use special characters, the Craigslist system will not pick them up as duplicates. Some people use the symbols " *, -, +,or !".

I'm one of those who frequent three different Craigslist Counties for good buys and as I'm looking, I Flag all of the 'pirated software' ads I can find.:D

In the Los Angeles Craigslist there are a number of companies who put up multiple ads, day after day, and sometimes more than once a day. They don't do that in my county so I don't bother with flagging them, I just flag the 'pirated software ones' in LA.