Best Free Classified Ad Websites*
Gone are the days when you had to pay a king’s ransom to put a classified ad in the local paper. Thanks to free internet classifieds, you can advertise most goods and services locally for next to nothing, and reach a worldwide audience as well. If you don’t want to confine your advertisement to the local geographic parameters, you are welcome to use other platforms for modest listing, transaction, and checkout fees.
All Postings Are Not Free
Despite the prevailing notion that classified ads are free, it is erroneous to believe that is the case for all adverts. For instance, on Craigslist, job posting fees can range from $25 to $150, depending on the geographic area it is posted in. Brokered apartment rentals (NY), therapeutic services and car/truck publicity in the U.S. incur posting fees as well.
What Can You Post About?
You can post in different categories and sub-categories: Jobs (Accounting, Construction, education and Training, etc.), For Sale (Bicycle, Clothing, Jewelry, etc.) , Housing (Apartments, Homes For Rent, Homes For Sale, etc.) Cars & Vehicles (Boats, Motorcycles, Antiques Cars, etc.), Electronics (Cell Phones, Computers, Shredders, etc.), Home and Garden (Appliances, Furniture, Tools, etc.), Pets (Birds, Cats, Dogs, etc.) Wanted (Automotive, Mechanics, Technicians, etc.), Resumes (Write and Publish), Services (Computer Repair, Cleaning, Moving, etc.).
How To Post Tutorials
One needs not be a rocket scientist to post a free ad on those platforms. You just need to follow the basic steps outlined in their tutorials. To further simplify the posting process, most classifieds offer free video tutorials, in addition to written tutorials.
Case and point, Classifiedads.com provides free video tutorial as to “How to post an ad”, “How to edit and ad”, “How to delete an ad”, and written tutorials as well.
Craigslist.org provides written and screenshot tutorials as well.
You can also post in Text (HTML – allowed by most websites) or in Visual (WYSIWYG) mode. Since bad HTML can be ground for ad ghosting, use Visual or WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) mode instead to post your content.
What Do You Need To Post An Ad?
You don’t even need an account to post an ad on most platforms, unless you plan on using the service on a regular basis, and need to manage multiple ads, then it is recommended to have an account.
To post an ad, you need: internet access, computer (desktop or laptop), smart phone or tablet. Free internet access can be had at the public library or at a public hotspot (free unsecured Wi-Fi) at restaurants, cafes, etc., and content (text and optional images), specific region or location, email address, and phone number for verification purposes. Be careful about sending sensitive information over a public hotspot network, which can be captured by eavesdroppers and nefarious characters.
Steps To follow To Post A Free Ad
- Pick a geographic area (State & City)
- Select a posting category (For sale, Housing, Jobs, Cars & Vehicles, Electronics, etc.)
- Choose a catchy title and a reasonable price/compensation
- Describe accurately the object/subject of the post
- Provide an email address and phone number, whose displays are optional. The platforms recommend mail relay (The interested party emails the platform, which, in turn, conveys the content of the email to you.). In so doing, the privacy of your email address and phone number is preserved.
- Upload images (a picture is worth a thousand words, and sells better), if any. The number of uploaded pictures is limited. Read the platform’s policy for details. The best picture formats are jpeg, png and gif (fewer bytes).
Before your post goes live, you’ll receive a clickable confirmation email and a phone verification call. Enter the code as prompted, to finish the process. Bear in mind that some VOIP and Toll Free Numbers are disallowed.
All those hoops are put in place to keep people from abusing the system. You can review and edit your post before you publish it, and renew or delete it subsequently.
Some free classified ad websites will not publish your post immediately, unless it has been reviewed for quality control and TOS compliance. Allow some time for the ad to be displayed.
The erroneous information is intentionally left in the ad to draw your attention to the need for truth in advertising.
While the unrealistic price of the Lamborghini definitely throws you for a loop, here is an item whose realistic price won’t; and you can buy it right now: The Brand New 15-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder
Advertising’s Dirty Little Secrets
The secrets of advertising lie in the constant repetition, the ubiquitous presence, and the embedding of the advertised message in the consumer’s sub-conscience. If car X is advertised to be the best on TV, Radio, Newspapers, Billboards, and Internet, chances are you are psychologically programmed to buy brand X when you are ready to buy a car. Do the same in your ad posting. Not only is the textual content of the post extols the virtue of any given product or service you are respectively trying to sell or offer, but the content of the photo gently reminds the potential client/customer of what the post is all about as well.
How To Write An Ad
An ad should be concise, accurate, informative, and to the point. The ad, your products’ spokesperson, should portray the goods and services you are trying to sell in a positive and truthful light. A well written ad will do just that.
Title.- The title of the ad should say it all. In our example, the title of our ad (Lovely 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder For Sale $100) states: year, make, model, and sale price.
Price.- If your price is firm or negotiable, say so. For instance, $100 or best offer (best offer does not always mean a lower price) indicates that you are flexible. Price your items competitively.
Body Of Ad.- The content of the body should contain as much relevant information as possible with respect to features and specifications, conditions (new or used), benefits, etc, of the relative goods/services your are promoting/selling. In our case, the content reveals a ton of information about the Features & Specifications of our gorgeous car.
Pictures.- You already know that a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to selling products, it is worth thousands of dollars. Why not upload and embed in your ad the beautiful pictures of the products you are trying to sell, turning them (pictures), in so doing, into a money-making machine. A gorgeous picture is like sex: it sells.
Terms Of Sale.- State clearly the terms of the sale: Cash and carry only, all sales are final (no exchange, no return, no refund), provided you state truthfully the conditions of the goods/services in your ad, and you are not trying to deceive your buyers to part with their money.
Urgency.- Create a sense of urgency with phrases such as must-sell, won’t last, hurry, first come first served, one-of-a- kind (if true), etc. to compel the buyer to act promptly.
Location.- Since it’s a local ad, its geographic limitation is already implied. Reiterate it in your ad. Unless you are a brick-and-mortar enterprise, you are not in the business of broadcasting your home address, so give a nearby zip code and/or crossroad, where buyer and seller will meet to transact business.
Buyer and seller should meet in a public venue (fast food restaurants, coffee shops, shopping malls, etc.) for safety reasons.
Method Of Payment.- Paypal is a great platform for honest buyers and sellers to exchange goods/services for payment. However, there is one drawback: If you are dealing with an unscrupulous buyer, he/she will pay via Paypal, using a credit/debit card, then claim to be dissatisfied after receipt of your goods/services, and call up the credit/debit card issuer to launch a complaint. Depending on the outcome of the dispute, you may be subject to charge-backs. Simply put, you are left holding the bag.
In light of the foregoing scenario, (unless some mutually agreed upon arrangements are made for payment and to protect your interest), to avoid any misunderstanding, state clearly in your ad: Cash and Carry Only. When you do get paid, examine closely the bills (currency) for authenticity, because you don’t want to be saddled with counterfeit bills.
How Long Does Your Ad Remain Published?
The lifespan of your free post depends on the platform’s policy. Each platform has a different policy. For instance, a craigslist ad can expire within 7-45 days, depending on the posting type and the cities it is posted in (Cities A vs Cities B).
At the other end of the posting’s lifespan spectrum, a post can remain published indefinitely, as long you renew your ad before the expiration date. That is the case at ebayclassifieds.com.
Somewhere in between lies classifiedads.com’s policy with respect to the lifetime of a post: 6-9 months. Regardless of post lifespan policy, you are free to delete your post when an item is sold or your objective has been reached.
You’ve read and watched the posting tutorials, you’ve got yourself acquainted with the Terms Of Service policy, you abide by them, and yet, when you post an ad, unless you have the link to that ad (which gives you the illusion that your ad has been successfully posted), you can’t see it on the classifieds’ website homepage (category page), while, in the meantime, the other competing posts are prominently displayed. What has happened, you wonder?
Your post has been ghosted! For some unbeknown reason, your post is a victim of filters, algorithm, etc., policies. You’ve wasted all that precious time preparing and posting an ad that is virtually invisible, unless the interested party has the clickable link to the ad.
Several conjectured attempts have been made to explain the reasons behind ad ghosting:
- Posts are not local,
- Multiple postings from the same internet connection (I.P. address),
- Frequency of posts,
- Unrefreshed/uncleaned browser,
- Links in ads,
- Email address and phone number associated with an account, etc.
The corresponding proposed remedies are:
- Post locally, in your geographic area,
- Avoid multiple postings from the same I.P. address, use a different I.P address,
- Reduce the frequency with which you post ads,
- Refresh and Clean your browser to removes cookies (mini e-spies, in the form of text files, embedded in your browser during internet sessions to track your activities on a website),
- Remove links in ads,
- Edit the titles of your posts from time to time,
- Change your email address and phone number, etc.
There are several ways to remove cookies from your internet sessions: you can do it manually or install a free software to do the job for you. To find out which free software, read How To Speed Up A Slow Computer: Free ways to Troubleshoot and Fix your Virus-infected PC.
Put Your Time & Energy To Good Use
If, on one hand, time is on your side and you care to experiment, go ahead: jump through all the filtered and algorithmic hoops possible to just un-ghost a ghosted ad, and keep us apprised of the outcome of your experiment.
If, on the other hand, time is of the essence, just ignore the ghosting platform and post your ad on a platform that will gladly display your ad as soon as it is posted. To that end, an almost exhaustive list of free alternative classified ad platforms is provided to you to bypass the phantom platform(s).
Flagging is drawing attention to your ads, by users and/or competitors (unnecessarily so sometimes), for being inappropriate. Flagged ads are subject to review, deletion/removal, if deemed inappropriate and non-compliant with TOS.
A sucker is born every minute. Bad actors/actresses are lurking around, looking for that unsuspecting internet user/shopper to take advantage of. Most of the classified platforms have FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)/ Help Forums about frauds, and a wealth of information as to what precautionary steps to take to avoid being taken for a ride by swindlers, and what to do if you fall prey to a scam. If you are victim of a scam, there are governmental institutions you can file a complaint with to seek redress.
Having covered practically almost all aspects of posting a free ad online, here is the list of free classified websites:
- Adleaf, Add-Your-Biz, Classifiedads (a fine platform), eBay Classifieds (Udate: eBay Classifieds is now close5.com, an app), formerly Kijiji (Users of this platform has nothing but praises for its ease of use, professionalism, and tangible results. Read the testimonials.),
- BackPage, Craigslist (high traffic but controversial platform), Geebo, Hoobly, HotPads (real estate), iNetGiant, and
- Kudzu (free and paid classifieds), ListHub (free and paid posts for real estate professionals: brokers, agents, sellers, etc.), Oodle, OLX, Quikr, and Yakaz.
Postlets (a zillow company for posting real estate for sale and rentals). Posts are syndicated to about 26 partner websites such as: AOL Rental, BackPage, ByOwnersMLS, Campus Avenue, CraigsList, Enormo, Facebook, FrontDoor, Geebo, HotPads, LiveLovely, MapLiv, MSN Real Estate, Military.com, Oodle, RentBits, RentJungle, RentMatch, Trulia, Vast, Walkscore, Walmart, Yahoo! Homes, Yakaz, Zillow, and Zumper, according to Postlets.
There is also a Postlets On -The- Go App to manage rental listings on a smart phone or tablet.
- AbleWise, AdLandPro, AdPost, BeatYourPrice, BuySellCommunity, CityNews, ClassifiedsForFree, DomesticSale, EPage, FreeAds,
- FreeAdsCity, FreeGarageSales, InterKing, Kedna, iPost360 Beta (“How to Create Your Free Account” and “How to Create Your First Free Classified Ad” video tutorials)
- ThatRentalSite (for posting free Rental Homes, Condos, and Apartments ads), TheAdNet (free and paid ads), and
- Trovit (for Real Estate, Cars, Jobs, and Vacation Rentals ads), USFreeAds, USNetAds, WantedWants, WebClassifieds.us, UpFeet, SeeksLook, WebPost.Flyerus (similar to postlets: real estate posts syndication), shlgreencab (post free green taxi ads), shltaxi, ubernycmarketplace (taxi rentals), etc.
You’ve been provided with all the necessary tools and information you need to post your first free ad. Go ahead, post your first nicely and convincingly worded ad with pictures, and keep us posted as to the outcome. To your success!