REALLY need help with Craigslist flagging and blocking...Input please?

16 Replies

Hi all,

So I know craigslist has likely been beaten to death here in many posts, but I am really frustrated and hoping to get some input from anyone who has dealt with the issues I'm currently having and hopefully figured out what works...

While i am an investor, I focus primarily on brokering lease-option transactions as a licensed agent. I'm not a spammer and not looking to bombard craigslist with ads. I just want to have a reasonable presence with generic ads that direct buyer prospects to my landing page which will give them a free list of available lease-option or owner financed properties. I also occasionally email landlords and FSBOs with a simple non-spammy email to see if they might consider a lease option ...thats it...nothing special.

I have studied the CL marketing methods used by a lot of "educators" and people who sell/provide training or courses and have experimented with many ways to both post ads and email/text people who have ads already posted.

If any other members like Keith & Shannon French, Joe McCall, John Jackson, Will Velazquez etc... read this, I would really appreciate your ideas or input!

Here is what I'm doing specifically:

- I use a software program to mask my IP address and I change my IP address every time I log into craigslist to either post my own ads or to email potential FRBO/FSBO prospects.

-When I post an ad, I use no HTML code and try to not include anything obvious in the headline or the body that would violate the craigslist terms of use on posting.

-I have about 5 different craigslist accounts, each with a separate email and each is always logged into from a changed IP address when I place ads or send email through craigslist servers.

-When I email  prospects through craigslist email servers, I change my IP address, use different gmail accounts and never send more than about 10 emails from any one account.

I'm finding that almost all of my recent ads are being flagged and deleted within 45 minutes of being submitted, this means they are being flagged by Craigslist before they ever go live, and not some local competitor. I've compared my ads to other ads that are already posted and can see little to no difference or obvious reason why mine should be flagged for removal. Its also really frustrating to see some posters who are just throwing up garbage ads that are literally one step above spam, yet somehow manage to get their super cheesy ads posted multiple times per day without ever being flagged or are the very worst offenders who post spam ads for credit card services able to get away with this, while a local agent like myself is getting there legit ads flagged?

I'm also fairly certain that my emails are not getting through to the intended recipients. I know because I always include an email to one of my own ads in every mailing to see if it goes through and hits my email account.

So my question is:  Does anyone have experience with any of these issues. Has anyone figured out how to successfully market on craigslist, and if so, what specifically are you doing that works?

Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated...

Hey Chris! I actually don't recommend posting ads on Craigslist.  Too frustrating.  The only time I post ads on Craigslist is when I have an actual property that I am advertising.

I recommend contacting landlords and sellers on Craigslist with text messages and phone calls (slydial).  Emails don't work that well.  I only email ads that do not have a phone number.

Hope that helps!

Thanks a lot Joe. For what its worth I listen to your podcast religiously and have found it to be one of the very best out there. You and Alex do a great job and all though I haven't bought your course, I feel like I've learned a lot and gotten a lot of inspiration from you none the less.

Like you, I'd much rather contact someone by text or phone call, but the problem is that only a small percentage of FRBO/FSBOs in my area include their phone number as a way to contact them in there CL ads. The other 75% + only have the "anonymous" CL email as a contact method.

Do you have any advice on making sure your email actually go through and get received on the ads that don't include a phone number?

Thanks Joe and much respect...

Yo @Chris Thigpen Man leave good old CL alone. The days of having success on there is long gone. If you want leads then you must start to think outside the box. Allow them yo contact you versus you chancing them down. Build a website, and build that online presences locally. This is the route to go my friend.

Thanks Antonio. I agree that what used to work on CL, just doesn't seem to anymore. I guess the frustration comes from seeing others littering CL with all their ads that clearly break the CL terms of use agreement, yet they somehow seem to do it without being flagged

For what its worth, I do have a very robust website and several landing pages that are a central part of my business... 

@Chris Thigpen I've always had difficulty getting anything without a specific address that corresponds to the specific property to post.  I don't understand how other people manage to do it and get by.  I also wouldn't be so sure that your competition isn't flagging your ads.  I'm not sure how you could ever be certain but generally when CL flags my post it never appears and I'm not notified.  I'm advertising for standard rentals rather than LO but on higher end properties I seem to get more leads through Postlet affiliate sites now.  

Thanks a lot David. 

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure if the ad is flagged within 45 minutes of being submitted and never even has a chance to go live, its probably being flagged for removal by Craigslist bots or moderators and not a competitor...just my 2 cents...I'm clearly not a CL expert or I wouldnt be asking for help here...ha!

I created a postlets account, but havent really learned how to use postlets yet.

Could you be more specific about the postlet affiliate sites and what you are doing?


Hi Chris,

I would have to agree with Antonio.  Your best bet is to obtain your leads organically.  I have a client here in the Phoenix area that does a HUGE business with lease option leads.  It takes about 2-3 months of solid work, but you will be king of the proverbial hill if you do it right!


I will chime in as the dissenting voice :). I have my frustrations with Craig's List and as the OP noted, CL is difficult to fathom. I've done about everything the OP has done. My best success on getting ads to stick is to use a friend's account, often from another IP address. Last week I had about 50 ads on there active and indexed (not ghosted). this week, they started to get flagged. Maybe that's posters flagging them I don't know. I cannot figure out CL. 

That said, I have made a good deal of money off CL and continue to. I'm not looking for houses or properties - I'm looking for investors. It works. I've gotten many cash buyers off there. So I continue to post and deal with the headaches of CL because it does make money.

but getting ads to stick seems totally random to me. I have used a totally new account on a new IP address at starbucks, with new text, new pics, new EVERYTHING, not even using a phone number, and I've had ads auto flagged. It's a mystery to me. 

Hey everyone. Thanks for all your comments. 

After starting this thread, reading everyones helpful advice, and suffering through a little more trial and error, I think I have finally solved (at least for now) the riddle of successful posting on Craigslist.

Since tweaking my methods and figuring out what I was doing wrong, all of my marketing ads are posting and "sticking" with no problems. I've even hired a virtual assistant and implemented a step by step method for her to handle all of my buyer and seller Craigslist marketing remotely from the Philippines... So far, so good.

Say what you want about Craigslist (I probably won't disagree with you...), but it does actually work for bringing prospects into your pipeline and, best of all its free.

I've been very happy with my results so far. I've had one lead that is closing this week for a large commission (Im a licensed agent) and two more very strong prospects in the pipeline that should easily close soon...and thats just been in the last 30 days from CL only. I know its not for everyone, and I definitely wouldn't recommend it as your sole source of marketing leads, but I'm getting a tremendous amount of traffic and daily inquiries from CL now and its actually been great.

If anyone else here is struggling with the same issues I was having and might be in need of some helpful pointers, feel free to send me a message. I am always happy to help fellow BP members if I can.


@Chris Thigpen

Glad you got things to work. You told us the specifics of what you were doing when it wasn't working; how about telling the steps you took to make it work?

@Chris Thigpen

  Hey there I am active investor in Charleston.. lets talk.. if your bird dogging or what have you I am interested in looking at what you have.. I have done flips in Old mt. Pleasant

and have built 10 homes in the wagner terrace area this last year and have a 24 lot sub going up in N. Charleston.. I am very bullish on the area.. .. as you know its gotten hot for land inventory but there are a lot less folks looking for lots than homes. I still have 4 rehabbers going..

And you may have seen my home I built on 46 Aiken I sold it to Shep on southern Charm.

So you pound craigs list and all those venues and if you have deals you want to flip give me a shout

This post has been removed.

@Chris Thigpen

 I put all my wholesale properties in Postlets and let it generate the Craigslist code.  This seems to save me a lot of flagging.  "Ghost Ads" get flagged nearly every time.  I wouldn't be surprised if a local competitor has a search alert set up that notifies him/her when certain keywords come up and then flags any thing with "rent to own" terminology.  I post "We buy houses - Cash" ads on Charleston Craiglist weekly and they are left alone.  BTW, I am going to organize an investor's happy hour in  the near future.  I will make sure you get an Evite.  I am thinking September 15.  There are 60 local investors on my guest list, no idea how many will attend.  Keep in touch!

Sounds great, Russ. Thanks for letting me know.

Just a quick note to any of you who inquired or sent messages about the CL posting methods that seem to be working for me so far, I will definitely respond as soon as I get a little time to lay out the details. Cheers...

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