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Seven Habits of a successful Craigslist poster (Or How not to be “Naughty Listed” by Craig)

Seven Habits of a successful Craigslist poster (Or How not to be “Naughty Listed” by Craig)

Our company strongly pushes Craigslist posting. Like many other companies, we use an online tool to help us post quickly and easily. But Craig…well, Craig can be a little picky about posts. With dozens of properties all required to post 3 times a day, I hear a lot about what can get you “naughty-listed” on Craigslist and what you can do to avoid it.


What happens when you’re “naughty-listed?” Either you’re doing something that breaks Craig’s rules or they think you’re a spammer. And when Craig thinks you’re a spammer, it’s never good. Soon, everything you post will be over scrutinized. Is that a bad thing? Yes! Imagine taking the time to post three times a day and having them all deleted. I don’t know about you, but I do not have time for that. So I’ve put together seven of what I feel are the most important Craigslist tips.



  1. Always add pictures. Does this really need to be stated? Surprisingly, yes. Many people are looking through the gallery search. If there’s no photo, I can almost guarantee you that you’ll be skipped.
  2. Don’t use the same floorplan in a 48-hour period. This one can be a challenge if you only have two types of floorplans or just a couple vacants. You can take out square footage one time, leave it in another and change prices. Do everything you can to make the floorplans different in your ad.
  3. Don’t repeat titles. This is a big red flag to Craig and can land you on the naughty list. Take the time to come up with unique titles. If you can’t come up with something snappy, go to Craigslist and see what catches your eye. Use that. What’s the saying? Imitation is the best form of flattery? Well flatter the heck out of people.
  4. Don’t post back to back and make sure to delete all your ads after 48 hours. Both of these can make Craig think you’re a spammer. Wait at least an hour, even better two. Every morning, go in and delete your ads from two days before. 
  5. Don’t EVER repost an ad. It’s oh so tempting. I KNOW. Just push a button and boom, there’s your ad. But resist the temptation. Reposting your ads are a red flag to Craig, and again the naughty list is just waiting to welcome you.
  6. Post from the same IP address. What’s an IP address? It’s the address that your internet company gives your computer(s), much like your street address. Craigslist tracks what IP addresses are posting to your account. If you post from work, then you post from home and then from a friend’s house, Craig is going to know. And he doesn’t like it. Do your best to only post at the office.
  7. Difference between Ghosting and Flagging. So what IS the difference between ghosting and flagging? Ghosting is where Craig decides that an ad is spam or breaks some other rule and it never goes live. Flagging, however, is where your ad goes live, someone sees your ad and flags it for some reason. Getting flagged only one time can result in having your ad pulled down and sometimes it take multiple times of being flagged. It really depends on your reputation with Craigslist. Now I have seen competitors and disgruntled ex-employees flag a community over and over and it’s not pretty. So if a light bulb just went off over your head after reading this (Bing!) and you’re tempted to do that to your competition, I urge you not to. Let’s all play nicely in the sandbox.


Craigslist changes all the time, and I have found that seven rules and with a little planning, everyone can be a successful Craigslist poster. And remember, stay off the naughty list!

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Unfortunately, some of your advice is already outdated. Never ever use a software program to post the ads. Somehow Craigslist has ways to detect unauthorized posting software and those ads come down much easier. Do NOT delete ads every 2 days. Craigslist added an ad renew to allow ads to be brought to the top of the list after 48 hours, but the caveat is that it also counts as a new ad posted. Craigslist also has an ad limit of around 20 per month, any more than that and the ads become much easier to remove. This means that at most post one ad per day and keep the total to less than 30, realizing the last 10 might need fewer flags to remove. Some additional things that will make ads easier to be removed include text embedded in images, too many edits of the ad, use of too many special characters particularly in the ad title, certain email domains, certain words (Keller Williams), etc. Keller Williams had a long history of abusing Craigslist and corporate was caught teaching its realtors how to cheat the system, so Craigslist makes their ads and acocunts easier to remove.

  Jack Handy

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