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B Jake Moran

Craigs List Now Charging $5 for Ads

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I don't know if anyone noticed but Craigs List is now requiring a $5 fee to place ads.  Just in the last 4 days, I have seen hundreds of cars previously on craigs list drop off.

I typically put my searches in as 1900 to 1999, Buick.  Sometimes I use a service called AutoTempest. I also put similar search criteria in.  In either case, most of the cars that were there a week ago are no longer listed.

Including dealership ads were the dealer seemed to "add" a new "ad" every day driving me nuts. I have to guess CL has seen at least 50% or more of their free ads go away.   $5 is surely not much. I ponied up to get my 2000 Eldorado on CL.  Remember the old days when a newspaper classified would be $15 for two lines for 2-3 days? 

I personally am thankful they went this route. When something is completely free, it's sometimes not a good tool. Meaning you would see nearly worthless ads on CL with 1-2 poor photos and virtually no description, yet the car "might" be worth checking out. Now maybe a seller has to try a bit harder to sell a car if they will have to pay and provide yet another 3rd party with CC information.  Again, it's still really cheap to list a car, but when it's free, there is even less incentive to create an informative ad. 

 

However, I am worried that with the extra effort required to post an ad, and another request for C.C. information, if we will see many cars disappear again from being offered. Free CL ads were the simplest of simple to place, and offered up to 24 photos.   I would say, just a guess, for every 100,000 craigs list ads a week ago, there might be 30,000 or so now, a 60 to 70% drop. 

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I have a 2005 Chevrolet Impala that my daughter wrecked. It was a great low mileage car that is worth fixing but needs a little bit more work than I want to put in it personally. It would not be worth paying a body shop to repair it.  I bought a nice used Buick Century to replace it. After a few months of it sitting here with me debating if I wanted to fix it, or sell it, I finally decided to sell it. I started to list it on Craigslist and found out that I missed the free ad deadline by a few days. The $5 charge is only for cars for sale. I initially listed it for free as a Parts Car in the Auto Parts section of Craigslist. After a couple of days with no responses, I deleted the listing and listed it on facebook marketplace. I received messages from 18 different individuals within 12 hours. With so many responses, I still have a lot of people who still need to find the time to stop by and see it, as the Easter weekend was not a very good time to list a car for sale. Like a lot of people, I have a love/hate relationship with facebook, and really hate to see it become any more of a monopoly. I think that Craigslist's new fee will probably work to the advantage of facebook, more than anybody else. I probably should have accepted the second offer that I received, which was 90% of my asking price and received less than 2 hours after listing it for sale on facebook marketplace. It looks like facebook marketplace might become the new predominant player in the used car ad business.    

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56 minutes ago, JFranklin said:

Hasn't facebook been deemed evil yet?

 

I don't think so, but I am sure it's just a fad! 🙄

At least that is what will happen if I ever join it. 

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That would make sense why there’s been so few cars for sale by me recently. Honestly I’d rather have ads. There’s some frugal people out there who wouldn’t pay for an ad when Craigslist was free. 

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OK Buick People:   It's happy. Ever go to a swap meet and see the vendor ask too much for their stuff, pack it up and keep doing the same thing? Well, cars can also be like that. Now at least if the car is not selling the seller has a legitimate reason to consider lowering the price.  Yup, VERY VERY HAPPY.  Mitch

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I doubt $5 will deter most people. Jeez, that's a drop in the bucket for a 30 day listing with 24 pictures. I've made a considerable amount of money over the years advertising on CL for free. Nothing but good experience aside from the usual phishing responses. Not just the money but ease of selling stuff I would normally not want to be bothered with advertising in other venues. I will gladly pay $5 for a CL add to sell a vehicle. I've sold stuff in as little as 2 hours from the time of listing.

FB marketplace has been drawing people away from CL for awhile so that's likely a reason for less listings if that's in fact the case. Having just placed a car on FB marketplace recently, its not that great a process to list and I ended up selling the car from a respondent on CL not FB.

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It's affecting some sellers must be.  I just checked and looks like 12 new cars today.  Down from 3 pages of cars before the $5.  I'm not saying I wouldn't pay it to advertise,  I'm just saying seems alot of people aren't.  When you have few new listings,  you have people looking because there just isn't much new to look at,  when other sites yield alot higher number of hits. Less lookers,  no reason to advertise there.  Also when your computer updates or such and you lose your tabs,  if they aren't all restored, (for some reason some of mine don't)  you tend to not miss a tab you weren't using much.  I run 12 tabs open at a minimum all time so it's easy for one to drop off an not get picked up.  Craigslist might just be like our local want ad digest.  That's where you used to advertise when you wanted to sell a car,  before you went to Hemmings if it was something old.  I used to buy it religiously on the first day you could get it,  even driving over an hour to get it on Thursday.   Now I visit their site only once in a great while and  haven't even bought the book in years.  Craigslist took over much of their market. Someone will take over craigslist market as mentioned before.  I think it's more about putting any financial information out there more than the $5.  Alot of the old guys we like to buy our cars from,  are very suspicious of the Internet if they even use it. 

I hope not but I really see a trend here. 

 

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On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 8:36 AM, JZRIV said:

I doubt $5 will deter most people. Jeez, that's a drop in the bucket for a 30 day listing with 24 pictures. 

The cost isn't the issue but the requirement to go in and pay for it, plus the aggravation to them of doing it again in 30 days is the issue.  I saw a lot of ads on CL that were phishing. The sellers would purposely ask too much for their cars.  To them, it's an inconvenience to go in evert 30 days and pay the man another $5.  

 

I have my 2000 Eldorado on CL now with a $5 paid 30 day period with zero interest.   I have even lowered my price $100 a day.  My biggest issue and this is interesting - there is no longer an option to push a tab and have your ad "go to the top".  It drops lower every day.  You want multiple ads?  That would put your car "at the top" for a bit.  But cost more.

 

$5 should give me the option of pushing a tab and bringing my car to the top once a week, for 4 weeks.  Otherwise, some people who might see it are not using the search function. They are just looking at the latest for maybe 2 pages and leaving.   As a collector, I always out in specifics.  I don't want to look at Mitsubishis or VW's or whatever. But most lookers do not do searches.  CL  activity will decease.   

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