I wanted to gather a few thoughts about the 1st week in Craig’s List for the dealers.
This is a near-perfect ad:
1) Up to 24 photos per vehicle.
2) No HTML (so no links, color text, etc)
3) Formatted text is available (lists, bold, larger font, etc)
What would make this ad perfect (which we are working on as we speak):
Adding the state disclaimer (DOC fee, etc).
Adding a URL (can’t hotlink, so I have doubts about the value of this)
Notice that in the inventory view Craig’s List now identifies your dealer with an unique ID, in this case 10808959
Be careful having 2 companies or even an employee postings ads if you already have the entire inventory posted. Several dealers have called stating that their ads got put on hold for having the same VIN posted several times. The accounts (you as a dealer since they have your tax ID number) will be on hold for one year (this is the time that they have always used in the past to put an account on hold).
Make sure you don’t have employees posting ads in the by owner section. Craig’s List could just delete those ads but they could also identify the VIN or the name of the dealership and put it on hold. So far we don’t have news of this happening but the ‘by owner’ section has an exponential larger number of postings so I think there is a backlash coming.
Some of the people at PGI believe that based on current policies you can post a vehicle and re-post it (pay again the $5) 48 hours after the first posting. The advantage of this is that your new posting will make it to the top of the listings. First of all we don’t know if this is correct, Craig’s List may see your cars posted 8 times for the month and chose to delete your account. But secondly and most important the volume of postings is much less than half of what it was before deeming-in my opinion-the extra posting useless. If someone wants to push the envelope a little bit I would renew the ads on the 15th day mark.
Craig’s List just added yesterday the “see my other postings” feature (see the add above again and look at the top right corner). This feature indicates that they now feel about your cars as an “account” while before each posting was its own. This also shows the they are not done with changes and more updates to the system could be coming soon.
Steven Warren went as far as saying “Craig’s List is looking more and more like Backpage and adding all its features”. Only if Backpage had the same traffic Craig’s List has.
The cost of this:
$5 per ad and we charge $395/month flat to take care of everything (postings, deleting ads, updating ads, etc).
If you have 100 cars remember that you need to load all of them at once making the first month a little bit more expensive. After that we just post new cars as they renew or a new units come to the system on a daily basis.
If I was the new car manager I would put a $500/month budget towards new (we don’t charge more for managing that) and I will have at 100 units as a presence at all times.
Dealing with the CL account:
We can take care of the Craig’s List account for you or you can open the account yourself, manage the money (pre-load the account) and we will take it from there.