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Jim Bell

Jim Bell National Sales Executive

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Craigslist - To Post or Not to Post

Craigslist has been around since 1996 with approximately 49 million unique page views.  The question is do you advertise there and what do you advertise? 

I have been dabbling with Craigslist for a couple of months with our used car inventory.  At one point, I was putting all 150 vehicles on there.  I was finding through analytics that the higher priced vehicles weren’t getting much action, but I had found a sweet spot with vehicles that are under $10,000.  If I have something that is a little higher up to $11,000, I may post it depending on what it is. 

You have to post effectively and be consistent with it.  I post every Thursday or Friday with about 30 vehicles.  I see my website traffic go up significantly when I post.  People are looking for that $10,000 vehicle that is a cherry.  We have a tool within our website provider that will generate code for us and all I have to do is cut and copy to the appropriate fields.  Click here to see an example of a Craigslist ad that we have. 

When you click on the vehicle presentation, it takes you to our dealership website.  Just by posting about 30 vehicles a week generated 348 unique visitors and 2312 page views in January.  We had some customers walking in with print outs of the ads.  We had 16 phone calls, and we had 12 email inquiries.  I know that I can account for 18 sales that we know of that they saw the vehicle on Craigslist in January.  Of those sales, that generated $42,966 of gross profit for the store.  Not a bad return on investment since all it cost was time. 

The question is are you posting there and how are you doing it?  Are you linking back to your dealership website?  Are you posting with pictures?  Do you have a tracking number within the ad so you can track the effectiveness?  Are you willing to step outside the box and post with personal ads, ads for ‘junk items’?  Maybe you will think it is a better idea to post there with that other stuff that is on there and dominate your market.  Good luck with your postings.

Jim Bell
In the first paragraph, it is supposed to be 49 million unique page views a month.
Ryan Thompson
Jim, This made my top 5 list: http://thedealergeek.com/five-alive-february-2011-must-read-articles

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