Should car dealers still advertise on craigslist?

So should you still advertise your vehicles of Craigslist? ABSOLUTELY… but only if you’re doing it the right way.

Craigslist is one of the largest classified websites with over 20 billion page views per month and more than 49 million unique monthly visitors in the United States alone.

More importantly, Craigslist has more car shoppers monthly than and 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?

Some dealers are selling like crazy while others are just wasting their money, why is this?

But first, a bit more about craigslist.. Craigslist’s entire philosophy since the beginning has been to offer simple easy-to-use classified ads. They continue to experience rapid growth with more cities going online every year, buyers can be more specific in searching their local community to find deals that are great buys and move fast – making their average car shopper a more actionable buyer.

However, like with all other marketing channels, there is always good and bad. Take this into consideration before making the decision to advertise on Craigslist.

The Good:

  • One of the best used car classifieds in the USA, and no – it’s not outdated.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%, thats huge!
  • When done right, serious car shopper leads can be 65% less expensive than the other top 4 car classified websites.

The Bad:

  • Lot’s of competition make it hard for your cars to stand out
  • $5 is expensive if it’s not optimized or if you don’t know that it’s working for you
  • 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 on, 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 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 just price if you offer financing.
  • 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.

So should you still advertise your vehicles of Craigslist? ABSOLUTELY… but only if you’re doing it the right way.

To top it off, this should all be automated, without wasting time or energy and the only way to do so is with a software such as Goxee Dealer.

Regardless which software you’re using though, 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. Make sure your Craigslist vehicle post look 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.

We invite you to try our Craigslist Posting software for Free and compare it with what you have right now, you’ll see massive results within the first week. No need to change anything else, just compare it.

It’s the most powerful Craigslist Posting software on the market, here’s a quick peek: