Posted over 3 years ago

"Hack" of the Week - Sept. 22: Avoid Getting Flagged by Craigslist

Craigslist is a great marketing tool to sell real estate. We've sold and continue to sell real estate through Craigslist ads. However, one of the things we've encountered is that our ads are sometimes flagged. In one case, one of my ads was flagged just 5 minutes after I posted it. My Virtual Assistant from the Philippines joked one time that the color of her CL Account is pink because that's what happens when your ads get flagged. Oh...and when the color is pink, your ads got deleted without your permission.

Normal 1411401283 Cl Ads Flagged

Why Your Ads Got Flagged and Deleted Without Your Permission

Before I reveal HOW your ads will not be flagged and deleted, let me first explain WHY this happens. When you post an ad on Craigslist, sometimes you get competitors who will flag your ad. When CL determines that enough people flag your ad (say 5-10 specially in the first 5 minutes your ad is up), CL will delete your ad. It is all "algorithm" - meaning there's no human person checking all the ads. It all depends on the ratio of "flags" to the number of ad views. So if your ad is viewed 20 times and you get 8 flags, that ratio is 0.4 and your ad will likely be deleted. However, if your ad is viewed 100 times and it got flagged 8 times, your ratio is 0.08 and most likely, your ad won't get deleted. I really don't know the exact ratio but suffice it to say...the lower it is, the higher your chances that your ad won't get flagged.

Here's Your Hack of the Week

Since it's all about the ratio, then you can lower your chances of your ad getting flagged and deleted by increasing the ad views. How do you do that? Here's an actual example of an ad that I've decided to renew. Remember the title of the ad.

Normal 1411401964 Cl Ad Sample 11 Units

Craigslist will then tell you the link to your ad. See below:

Normal 1411402070 Cl Ad Sample 11 Units

Then what you do is click on the link to your ad at least 20 times.

You're creating an "ad view" every time you click on your ad. By clicking your ad 20 times, you've created 20 ad views. Yes you will have a bunch of tabs opened. The top of your Mozzila Firefox tabs will look like this:

Normal 1411402463 Cl Clicked Windows

That's it. By clicking your ad many times, your ad views go up and even if some people flag your ad, your ad will stay up and won't be deleted without your permission.

Here's the Proof: (color is GREEN no longer pink!)

Normal 1411402673 Cl No More Flagged Ads

NOTE: depending on how big your market is, you may need to click on your ad 40 times to have a high ad views. Also, Craiglist might change their algorithm so there's no guarantee the above "hack" will work forever. So while it away (LOL)!

Comments (27)

  1. No avatar
    My AD was honest and I helped people make money and had lots of people calling but due to Craigslist not allowing any of my posts which my post stopped working after the first 5 days out of no where, even tried asking in the help forums in Craigslist but just got a dummy answer with a laugh (person had no clue even what up or down is). This forum is filled with more people who are victims then professional hackers or higher people in charge that know how to combat this which is where I am heading next, good luck to everyone here.

  2. No avatar

    No Matter what IP network I am in when try to post does not work and no changing the words in the title or in the ad does not work. I even tried different email account which did not work either.

  3. No avatar
    thats sounds nice to the person who knows nothing about how the internet or a pc workx and has no or little knowledge of hacking or anythings about proxy servers or how to change your ip address ect but let me just inform you that that dont work at all. its all based upon your internet provider (your computer address and the internet provider network has the same network address associated to that particular pc. You cannot use your own adress to flag or save yourself from being flagged so thats why you posted the preview cus you didnt have much to say .Its pretty much worthless info. sounds better than it is. only way it can work is if you have 40 friends willing to waste their time and you probably dont so ?and even then if you get flagged its because of a bad wrap. (maybe the rap is false but thats how it gos.

  4. Tiny 1463763552 avatar janelleg

    Interesting.  I will keep this tip in mind.

  5. Tiny 1441483713 avatar barrym4

    Steve G. just wanted to know if you have tried the URL and what it does

  6. No avatar

    Sam Sha is your tool still working doesn't seem to be!

  7. Tiny 1417036212 avatar momsbasement

    WoW competitors do that? DIRTYGAMEYALL. Definitely throwing this into my manual, thanks!

  8. Tiny 1448397807 avatar stevieg

    @Sam Shah did you have any further feedback from other investors using your URL. 

    The idea is excellent!

  9. Tiny 1399528747 avatar wholesales4u

    Great post!

  10. Tiny 1413824425 avatar sam2681980

    Great. Let me know how that works for you. It should basically cycle through all the links you add and visit them one after the other. This should remove the need for you to visit each link manually. At least that's the intention. If there's a bug or for some reason it doesn't work then let me know and I'll fix. I love solving problems with technology so would be happy to help :)

  11. Tiny 1413824425 avatar sam2681980

    This is a great hack. I wanted to help out the community here so I tried to automate this. Check this out and let me know if this helps and works for you. Rather than clicking on your links manually, enter your craigslist URL on the website below and it will automatically do that for you. You can enter as many URLs as you want.

    Let me know if that helps.


    1. Tiny 1448387184 avatar mister4closure

      Sam, awesome. Let me try that.

    2. No avatar

      Does this link still work. Also can you please explain what it does. thanks

  12. Tiny 1399757500 avatar jiorio86

    Awesome stuff!! Just like @Karen Margrave I've been flagged waaaaay more than I'd like to be.  Looking forward to using this on the next wholesale deal!

  13. Tiny 1439497932 avatar americanpsycho

    hmm as a tech i find it hard to believe CL would not only count views by unique IPs.

    but hey cudos if it works!

  14. Tiny 1412209793 avatar brighterdays

    WOW!! THANK YOU! I've been flagged so many times, and never could figure out why! 

  15. Tiny 1412908339 avatar bradbo

    Great tip and excellent article! Another thing I notice from many landlords, slightly off topic from your own craigslists ads looking to sell property, is posting discriminatory things in rental ads. I hear many folks complain that their ads get flagged "for no reason" but they post things like "not a good rental for kids" or "$XXXX for deposit"(where XXXX is higher than the legal limit for your area) or something else that doesn't pass muster. I'm not saying don't go with your strategy for finding good tenants, but don't post technically illegal things on your craigslist ads. 

    1. Tiny 1433372698 avatar goose5815

      This does not work....I did it and got flagged immediately,  Don't waste your time!  Don Once I opened over 30 tabs and the other over 50 tabs.... and these were just renewals! (Seattle Craigslist......)  Craigslist must be on to this..... I have been so careful not to post wrong and have not been flagged in almost a year....and have been posting on craigslist for over 5 yrs. and  now even if I renew it is immediately flagged and deleted! ....just started on Tuesday....This is so wrong..... I see the some ads posted up to 48 time or more in a row....I just post one....I get most of my work/ income from Craigslist...This is going to cost me.

      Craigslist should at least have the decency  give you some information as to why the same ad in the same method I have used without getting flagged and deleted, is now being deleted?   

      We should not have to waste precious time trying to track this down.

      The flagging forums on Craigslist are worthless...... and their TOS are too vague and general....According to their TOS,  I should not be getting flagged.


      1. No avatar

        I may have discovered the main reason for these quick removals.

        Please, we have to band together and stop these greedy assholes!!! This isn't competing, this is tranquilizing the other horses in the race. If it isn't acceptable behavior in any other area of life, it isn't acceptable here. Let's get the word out about these dirty losers!!