Why your Craigslist ad got flagged

So your ad got flagged. Sorry to hear that. I’ve been there myself so I know how that feels.

When you signed up with CL, you agreed to “community flagging”. This means that anyone can flag your ad for any reason — or none at all. Here are some of the commonest reasons that people flag CL ads.

  • Business ads are not allowed. If you are selling for a business, you should not be advertising on CL. If your ad links to something that looks, feels or smells like a business (and that includes Flea Markets and Peddlars’ Malls), it will be flagged. That may sound unfair, but if every small business  advertised on CL, it would soon become useless — and no, you are not the “one special exception” to the rule.
  • Wrong Category: If you want something, post it in “Wanted”. If you want to trade, try “barter”. It’s not that hard.
  • Begging post: So you want a cheap laptop/iPod/iPad/iPhone. Me too. But if you had one, would you let it go for that? No? Bye then…
  • Clueless: If you obviously don’t know what you are talking about, you will get flagged.
  • Priceless: Some ads don’t have an asking price, hoping to take the best offer. This is not an eBay auction! Put in a price and work down from there.
  • Overpriced: If you are asking for more than retail — or even too close to it — you will get flagged. If I wanted to pay full retail price for a new item I will go to the store. Used item that are priced too high will probably get flagged as well.
  • Holding out for da sukka: An item that is repeatedly posted at the same price will get flagged. Here’s a hint: if it doesn’t get any interest, the price is probably too high.
  • Subject line abuse: If the subject line doesn’t tell doesn’t tell me *exactly* what is on sale (such as “You just gotta see this!“), or contains “attention-getting” character graphics, you will get flagged.
  • “No e-mails please”: If you don’t have time to for the web, you shouldn’t be posting ads here.
  • Overposting: Don’t repost an same item multiple times without deleting the old ones.
  • it just smells wrong: If the picture comes from the manufacturer’s website, it will probably be flagged. If your phone number is hidden from searches by “hookerizing” it (six-1-four-o’nine thr33-ate) or putting it on a graphic, it will be flagged. If you come across as a idiot it will probably get flagged. If it doesn’t pass the “sniff test” it will probably get flagged.

There. Now you know.

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Comments

  • Andrew McIntyre  On December 15, 2012 at 5:01 AM

    I was surprised that you didn’t mention jealousy or envy as a reason why a lot of posts get flagged. Especially in the dating sections of craigslist, and if 2 people are trying to sell the same thing, but the other one is cheaper, wouldn’t be easier and more cost-effective to just eliminate the competition?

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