Craigslist Ghosting is simply the term coined for the system Craigslist uses to weed out internet marketers. Craigslist does not like internet marketers clogging up their listings and bogging down their servers, so they have come up with a system that very effectively limits the ability of internet marketers to utilize Craigslist as a viable source of marketing.
What Does Ghosting Do?
The system that Craigslist uses is intended to keep people from over posting. Generally you can post an average of three unique adds every forty-eight hours or so. If you try to break the rules, that is when the ghosting system kicks in.
When you try to post an ad that is identical or too similar to one that has already been posted within approximately a three to four day period, your ad will either be rejected or ghosted. If it is rejected then you get a notice right away telling you that you are trying to post a similar ad and that you cannot. If it is ghosted however, it will look like the ad is posted but in fact it will never show up on the site. Even if you look for it by following the confirmation links sent to you by the company it will look like it is up. But if you log on to Craigslist and look for it the way a prospective buyer would, it simply won’t be there.
The ghosting system also kicks in if you try to post too many ads. Even if the ads are unique, the ghosting system tracks your computer’s IP address and knows that it is you trying posting more than you are supposed to. This means that even if you try to fool Craigslist by setting up multiple accounts thinking that you can just post the limit with each account and get tons of ads out there, Craigslist will still know it is you if you are using the same computer.
What Does This Mean For You?
Well basically it means that you need to follow the rules and that Craigslist should be a part of your marketing strategy, but not the main part. There are techie ways of trying to beat the system like software that rotates your IP address, etc. I have never tried these methods out myself and so I cannot vouch for their validity.
My advice however is to just stick to the rules. Adhere to the posting limits, make your ads unique (title and body) and just work on writing that perfect ad that gets people’s attention. Even at three ads a day, Craigslist is still by far the most effective free classifieds site to market with because it gets so much traffic. More often than not three ads on Craigslist will yield you more results that twenty on competing sites. Just remember to always go back and check your ads about twenty minutes after posting to make sure they are actually showing up and not being ghosted by the system.