Craigslist starts charging dealers for posting car listings

Starting December 3, 2013 Craigslist will start charging auto dealers $5.00 per listing. This is official and will affect many dealerships, big or small.

Starting December 3d Craigslist will start charging $5.00 per car listing

 We have seen many changes from Craigslist lately. First disallowing HTML tags and external images, then striping any external links and now $5.00 per car listing. This will probably have most effect on free online advertising for car sales. So, is it good or bad? It depends. Not so long time ago we have seen a lot of abusing of Craigslist policies.

Auto posting.

Even though Craigslist never allowed automatic postings, or posting tools of any kind, many leading car dealership website providers advertised Craigslist auto postings as one of most attractive features of their services. While it provided ease of use for dealers, any new listings were buried deep down pages within minutes. Craigslist does not allow posting in multiple location. However, we have seen many same postings in multiple location. It created even more mess and less exposure to local car dealers.

 Craigslist posting services.

Craigslist posting services

There is a lot of posting services for Craigslist. Basically you could pay someone to post your listings multiple times a day in multiple areas, which clearly violates multiple policies and makes Craigslist a junk yard with many of same listings showing up every couple of hours. 

Was there any other way for Craigslist to eliminate all these problems? I don't really see any solutions that would really work better than charging per individual listing. Is $5.00 per car price too high? If you compare with Autotrader.com or Cars.com $5.00 per car for a month is still a very good price.

Is there any way to avoid paying?

Is there going to be any way to avoid paying $5.00 per car listings? What if dealers can post in “By owner” and avoid paying any fees. I am sure some will be tempted to do that. However I don't think it will work, at least not for long.

Here is what Craigslist saying about this:

Q. What happens if a dealer posts in "by owner" to avoid the fee.
A. They will be subject to ad removal and other remedial actions. Please flag dealer ads you see in "by owner."

What's next?

While some dealers may just say "I'm done with Craigslist, I'm not paying them.",  we still need to consider amount of potential leads coming from Craigslist. Yes, we have to spend money. However, with reduced amount of competition, especially from those abusers, maybe we are going to see a lot more traffic coming from Craigslist. 

Here is Craigslist official Questions and Answer regarding latest change:

$5 fee for "Cars/Trucks by Dealer" ads starting 12/3 - FAQ

Q. What is happening on 12/3?
A. Ads posted to "cars/trucks by dealer" for CL sites in the US will be charged $5 per ad.
Q. How long will paid car/truck ads last? Can they be edited? Renewed? Reposted?
A. 30 days. Live ads can be edited. No renewals. Reposts are $5.
Q. What forms of payments will be accepted?
A. VISA, Mastercard, Amex will be accepted as part of the posting process for car/truck ads.
Q. Are volume discounts, flat rate, or monthly "all you can eat" plans available?
span style="color: #000000; font-size: small;">A. No. $5 per posting. One vehicle per ad.
Q. Can I purchase a block of postings in advance, e.g. 10 postings for $50?
A. Yes - blocks can be purchased by paid account holders. Sign up here
Q. Is monthly invoicing available?A. Not at this time.
Q. Will a bulk posting interface be available for high volume posters?
A. Yes. If you will be posting 500 or more ads per month ($5 per ad), please request bulk access at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (include name and phone number)
Q. Is a paid posting account required?
A. No, but they can be helpful for volume posters. Sign up here.
Q. Can ads include hyper links, templates, and external images?
A. No. Please include all relevant information for the specific vehicle being sold in your craigslist ad.
Q. Will paid ads be subject to flagging?
A. Yes, but ads will be reviewed before any removals take place. TOU violations will not be refunded.
Q. What happens if a dealer posts in "by owner" to avoid the fee.
A. They will be subject to ad removal and other remedial actions. Please flag dealer ads you see in "by owner."
Q. What will happen to ads in this category posted before 12/3?
A. Ads posted prior to 12/3 won't be renewable (and will be subject to removal) after 12/3. Reposts will cost $5.
Q. What if I have additional questions or want to comment?
A. Please send questions and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.