Craigslist’s “no spam” policy Vs Digital Selling


Craigslist is a free classified ad website, where you can sell something to someone else locally in person. Craigslist is not designed to sell your item or service globally, and if you want to sell something in two locations (eg. Los Angeles and London) then you would need to actually list it separately in both areas, you can’t create one listing and have it sell in both areas (like you can on eBay).

Craigslist has a “spam filter” that may remove your ads if it believes you are trying to sell something in more than one area. Therefore, you need to list your digital products carefully to avoid the spam filters, and ensure you don’t breach Craigslist terms and conditions, whilst still achieving your digital product sales in more than one location.

Besides the spam filter, other people who view your ad can easily mark your ad as “spam” and therefore have it suspended until verified by Craigslist staff. This is very easy for people to do, and some people believe viewers have marked their listing as “spam” for frivolous reasons, like a jealous competitor, but unfortunately you still can’t do anything about this.

The key here is to keep you Craigslist ad professional, relevant to the category in which you have listed it, and not make “mass produce” it all over the different Craigslist locations around the world, otherwise it looks like spam.

There is also another problem with Craigslist that is not so well known, which is referred to as “ghosting”. This is where an ad is posted by the seller, and appears to the seller as real, but is actually not live on the Craigslist website live (ie. No one can see it except you). This is because the spam filter has marked it as suspicious, and it has to be reviewed by Craigslist staff before it is published.

How to try to avoid the Craigslist “Spam Filter”

There is a few ways around this challenge, here are the top three:

  1. Be very careful about how you actually post ads on Craigslist
  2. Insert an “image” which can be clicked on to go to your website where the buyer can purchase your digital product.
  3. Create different IP addresses and email accounts to open numerous profile accounts with Craigslist

All three of the above options are somewhat frustrating to implement at first, but if you think your digital product will sell well from Craigslist, then you should seriously consider implementing one of them to avoid your ads being “closed” by the Craigslist spam filter.


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