Is advertising on Craigslist for dealers still worth it?
FACT: Craigslist has more car shoppers monthly than Cars.com and Autotrader.com combined!
But the real question is: should you be spending $5 per post to advertise your vehicle inventory to Craigslist? Remember the days when it was free?
What is the difference between dealers who are selling like crazy and those who are just wasting money without getting on the first page of Craigslist?
Like in everything, there are two sides to a coin. So think about this before advertising on Craigslist.
One of the best-used car classifieds in the USA, and no — it’s not outdated.
On average, Craigslist car shoppers convert at around 10–15%, that’s huge!
When done right, serious car shopper leads can be 65% less expensive than the other top 4 car classified websites.
Lot’s of competition makes it hard for your cars to stand out
$5 is expensive if your posts are not optimized and if they don’t bring you hot leads
Craigslist itself doesn’t offer a CRM or automated posting & optimization options so it’s up to the dealer to get creative in order to stand out
Timing can be everything when posting to Craigslist
So back to the answer of why some dealers are selling cars like crazy through Craigslist and others are just wasting their money, and should you be advertising on your inventory on Craigslist…
If you plan on manually or even automatically posting your inventory to Craigslist, whichever market you are in — don’t waste your time or money. It’s not worth it.
Unless you’re ready to get creative… and if you are, there are HUGE payoffs as many dealers are experiencing.
By getting creative, this means:
Automating posting vehicles to Craigslist at certain times to make sure some of your inventory is always on top.
Optimizing your ads with keywords so when they’re no longer fresh and on-page one, they still show up on top when searched for. For example, if you’re selling a 2015 Ford F-150, and a shopper searches 2014 F150 — you will still show up. This is HUGE!
Advertising 13+ vehicles in one $5 post. Yes, it is possible and not against their terms and conditions.
Advertising MONTHLY PAYMENTS instead of full price if you offer to finance.
Having watermark overlays on your images that have a stronger call to action such as $499 down, financing available now, easy approvals, or many others.
And most importantly… having all your Craigslist calls and text messages go into a CRM that tracks everything so at the end of the month, you know exactly how much money you spend on Craigslist and how many cars you sold from it. This way you can compare it with different vendors and see which one is performing best.
If you’re not doing the above, you’re definitely wasting your money on Craigslist and losing leads to other dealers who may be spending even less on Craigslist posting.
So should you still advertise your vehicles on Craigslist? ABSOLUTELY… but only if you’re doing it the right way.
To top it off, this should all be automated, so that you don’t waste your time and money.
Regardless of which software you’re using, as we all know — the car sales game continues to get more competitive and as independent dealers, we need to stay creative and flexible in order to keep the doors open. This is more important now than ever. You must make sure your Craigslist vehicle post looks like this one:
And if you’re not utilizing all the technology to do so, know that there are dealers who are — and they’re the ones flipping cars fast.
If you need any help with creating perfect auto Craigslist post you can contact us, we are happy to give you advice: