Don’t Repeat THIS Mistake: Do Not Post In Different Craigslist Categories

Don't Make This Craigslist Mistake!

Photo by Hermkan Yung

Hi all. Thanks for visiting I’ve partnered with some great entrepreneurs to bring you the best material possible. We’ve assembled a great set of resources here for you. I’m confident these tips and tricks will dramatically boost your Craigslist campaigns.


First up is Zhenya, an entrepreneur who used Craigslist to build a smart phone repair company. He has an amaCraigslist for Small Businesszing story, which you can read here. Plus he’s the author of Craigslist for Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs, and Marketers; a great resource that details how used Craigslist to build his company from working in his apartment to getting so many customers he had to hire a full staff. Great stuff!


He’s agreed to share 4 of his best tips to getting Customers to Click on Your Craigslist Ad and Buy from you. And seriously, you can apply these lessons everywhere (Craigslist, Ebay, Pinterest – even your very own website.)


Without further ado, here’s Zhenya.



Craigslist is the best way to advertise a small business. Just check how many ads are posted daily in the “sm biz ads” category.


While I’m writing this very text, I am curious myself – how many are there?


Are you ready? …


…close to seven HUNDRED. Seven hundred ads in just ONE day, in ONE category!


Do you know why there are seven HUNDRED ads in the “sm biz ads” category? Because those business owners are getting customers for FREE from Craigslist.

Craigslist SmBizAds Posted Today

The Secret Rules for Craigslist Success

Whether you are an experienced Craigslister, or want to give advertising on Craigslist a shot, you absolutely have to learn some of the most important rules of Craigslist.


Rule 1: Know Your Category


The first one is – know your category.


On Craigslist’s home page you will see dozens of different categories and subcategories. Clicking some of them might reveal another set of subcategories.


When creating your very first Craigslist ad, you will be guided by Craigslist through several steps to determine which category is the most appropriate for your offer.


Wrong Category == Fewer Clicks == Fewer Sales


Ads that don’t belong to a given category will get very few clicks since people visiting that category would be looking for what the category was created for.


The wrong category can get you flagged

The wrong category can get you flagged. Photo by Alyssa

The Wrong Category Can Get You Flagged


Also, your ad can be “flagged” by a diligent Craigslister. “Flagged” ads will be removed from the website and you won’t be able to “renew” it.


It is true that some categories are visited more often and your ad will get more views if your ad is in the “casual encounters” category, but how many customers will you score for your moving business?


Think quality, not quantity.

Think “quality,” not “quantity.” Photo by Jason Taellious

Think “quality,” not “quantity.”


The Exception to This Rule


But… there is always a little “but,” an exception.


I found out about that “but” only after months and months of practice and hundreds of posted ads.


On page 62 of the “Craigslist for Small Businesses” there is a chapter called “Where to Post?” There you can learn about one simple, yet unknown for the vast majority, exception to the rule “Do not post in different categories.”


In the next article we will cover Rule 2: How To Make a Title That Stands Out


I will tell you exactly how to write your ad’s title to stand out from a long and boring list of search results that your potential customer will see.

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • February 10, 2018, 5:32 am

    We have office furniture posted in business /commercial, but all the posts there are mostly not office furniture, office equipment. Can I copy these items, delete the business post and Repost them to another category?

  • February 26, 2017, 1:25 am

    Great article, really helpful

  • January 25, 2017, 3:36 am

    Stained concrete is a great product for new or remodel commercial or residential projects. I have a better process than the majority of the industry for residential and small commercial . My son and I have been service contractors for 13+ years and we desire to share our knowledge and products to improve our business and our industry. I have a training facility in East Texas and private label top quality products to sell to those I train. What category for training and business opportunity would you suggest that I advertise in on Craigs list.
    Thank you in advance

  • Susan Keller
    June 29, 2016, 4:13 pm

    I have two items I want to give away . Approx 7 feet of deck railing , intact and stained, which had been removed from my deck.
    And a treadmill with less than 100 hours usage. It had been disassembled during a recent move from another state and once reassembled it will not start.

    What category should I post these in? Free to anyone who would haul them off.

    Thank you.

    • August 10, 2016, 11:24 am

      I always put my free items in the same category I would sell them and put the price as free. In this case, try sports equipment for the treadmill and housing supplies for the other.