This is a very important page. It may, in fact, be the most important page on our entire website. The reason for this is because it may make or break the ads you place with us.
We’re going to offer some very important tips in the space below. You can read them and then place your ads or you can place your ads, read the tips and then edit your ads (if you agree with the tips). The choice is yours, but we suggest you at least give this page a once over so you can see what’s good and what might need some attention.
How To Write a Great Classified Ad Title
The title of a classified ad is very important. It’s the part of the ad that says, “Hey, check me out!” It’s what tells people, in 70 characters or fewer, what the ad is all about. So, with this in mind, you know you need to spend some time on it.
First, I am going to write a poor title. This title would solicit very few clicks, if any at all. Also, this title wouldn’t be very appealing to search engines as they crawl our website deciding which pages to show in their index.
Okay, let’s add another one.
“This is Really Great!”
Let me ask you a question – if those two titles above are supposed to describe what the ad is about, can you figure out what the member is trying to promote? Neither can I.
So, what does a good classified ad title consist of? Well, it’s less than you think and it’s really easy to write one. I’m going to give you an example of a good title:
“For Sale: 2009 Harley Davidson Chopper That Will Make Your Head Spin”
Now that’s going to get some clicks. The title above has two parts, an “action” and a “statement.” The action for the above title is the “For Sale” part. It says to the buyer, “Come on over and buy me.” The statement above is the “2009 Harley Davidson Chopper That Will Make Your Head Spin.” This states what the item is and what the owner of it thinks about it. It’s a pretty great title. Also, the “That Will Make Your Head Spin” adds a bit of excitement and uniqueness to it as well. If you do a search in Google for that exact title, I’m pretty certain that you won’t find anything. If you were to search for “2009 Harley Davidson Chopper” by itself, you’d find a whole bunch. If you just wrote “For Sale,” forget about it. You’ll never see the ad in search results.
So, what I’m trying to say here is that if you spend some time to craft a well written classified ad title, you not only increase the chances of someone clicking on your ad while browsing our website, you also increase the visibility of it in the search engines. And that’s important.
How To Write a Captivating Classified Ad Description
Now, this is a bit different than writing a great ad title. The title is meant to grab a visitor and pull them into your ad, but the description is meant to really sell them on your ideas.
Like I did above, I’m going to offer you a poorly written classified ad description:
“2009, hardly ridden, must sell – wife had baby.”
If you were to read this description without seeing the title, would you know what the ad is about? Can this description stand by itself? I didn’t think so. What is it even about? Is it a horse? Who knows.
Let me show you what a good description for a 2009 Harley Davidson might look like:
“For sale is my 2009 Harley Davidson Chopper. It’s glittery black, shiny and only has 2,000 miles on it’s original engine. If you like immaculate condition, look no further because this baby has never seen a drop of rain. No one other than myself has ridden this motorcycle, so you can be sure it’s pristine.
I am selling the bike for only $20,000, so be sure to call 123-456-7891 today before it’s gone!”
If you notice, I covered four bases in this ad description. They were Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. If you read the description again, I’m pretty sure you can match the bases up to what I wrote in the description.
But wait, that’s not all – and this is what separates me from many other classified ad posters out there. Many people like to keep things short and sweet. They would leave the description just like it is above. And that may have worked years ago, but the internet has changed. There is so much commonality and duplication out there now, whatever you do, you need to be different. That’s why I suggest that after you write your captivating introduction, keep doing. Here’s what I mean:
“Okay, here’s the back story to why I’m selling my bike. Ever since I was a kid, I treasured and valued nice things. I only purchased quality and gave everything else a pass. Even my first matchbox car was the best money can buy. It’s no wonder I went with a Harley…
…and then we decided to start a family and that’s why this motorcycle that quickly became the love of my life, must be replaced by another.”
You see, by continuing on with your description (only after you gave all the valuable information up front), you can really build trust and sell what you’re selling. People who read classified ads don’t just scan them – they study them. Think about how you act when you’re online looking to purchase something. Do you just scan something quickly and pull out your wallet. No way! If you’re anything like me, you browse through way too many things and then make a choice – days later. If you spend good time writing your ad, someone who is interested may even bookmark the page to come back to later. It’s really important, so don’t skimp on this one.
What Duration Should You Place Your Ads For & How Often Should You Renew/Edit Them?
This is an easy one. The more frequently you renew your ad, the more the ad is considered “new” by our system. And new ads show first. So if you want to keep your ad as close to the top of the list as possible, as opposed to being buried on page 200, you should really “work” your ad. This means, use the shortest duration we offer and edit your ad often. We have members who edit their ads every single day because they know that their ads are considered “new” again after every single edit.
What Are Our Most Valuable Features?
This is not an easy question to answer so what I think we’ll do here is simply show each feature and then lay out its pros and cons. You’ll then have to make the decision as to which best fits your situation.
Featured Ad On the Homepage – This is a very popular feature. It displays your ad photo, title and price on our homepage. Your ad will continue to show everywhere else it normally would, but it will also rotate among other ads with the same upgrade on the most popular page of our website.
Pros: Ad will rotate among other featured ads on the most popular page of our website (and the one most people land on from search engines).
Cons: Once someone clicks into other pages of our site, they only occasionally return to the homepage to view more information.
Featured Ad On Category Page – Category pages are where the work gets done. Visitors to our websites want one thing besides landing on the perfect ad page and that’s to view big, long lists of things they love. And at the moment they’re browsing our website, they love the category page they’re on. So, if you feature your ad to rotate among other featured ads on our category pages, you’re sure to get some traffic (if you follow the title and description tips we wrote about above).
Pros: Ad will rotate on some very heavily trafficked pages that are targeted towards what visitors are searching for at that very moment.
Cons: Only shows in the category you place your ad in, while the homepage feature shows all categories. But this is our most popular feature.
Bolded and Colored Category Ad Box – This is a popular upgrade, but I think it’s often overlooked because so many people want to “feature” their ads. This upgrade makes the title of your ad bold as well as colors the box it’s in on the category page. Your ad stands out quite a bit more than other, more traditional “free” ads.
Now, here’s the deal with this upgrade – it sticks with your ad. It doesn’t rotate among others with the same upgrade and it doesn’t go anywhere. It follows your ad no matter where it is. If someone finds your ad on page 50 of the category it’s in, the same attributes apply – bolding and coloring. If someone searches for something and your ad shows in our internal search results, your ad is still bolded and colored. So I think you can see the possibilities with this one.
Pros: The upgrade will follow your ad no matter where it goes.
Cons: Your ad can flow throughout our website and may end up in deeper pages.
Ad Better Placement – If you look at the “Con” of the previous described upgrade, you’ll notice that the negative aspect of bolding and coloring your ad is that your ad may fall to deeper pages in our sites. That’s a concern because as search engines crawl our pages, they’re trips to page 75 are few and far between. They really like page 1, 2 and 3 of each category. That’s not to say that page 75 isn’t visited, it’s just saying that the love given by search engines certainly isn’t as lovely for the deeper pages. This is where the better placement upgrade can really shine.
If you are concerned about your ad showing in search engines (where we get the majority of our visitors from), it may be beneficial to upgrade your ad with better placement. This upgrade basically rotates your ad among other ads with this same upgrade. So, if there are three category pages full of ads that have added this upgrade, your ads (if upgraded) will rotate among all the ads on the first three pages of that category. If there are 500 category pages, this can make a real difference. If there are only 5 ads that have upgraded to better placement, your ads will stay on page one for the duration. That’s pretty huge.
Pros: Better placement is great for keeping your ads at the top of the list and the top of the list is where both search engines and visitors like to be.
Cons: If there are many other ads that have upgraded to better placement and you haven’t bolded and colored or featured your ad, yours may get lost in the shuffle.
Attention Getters – Please read the “Bolded and Colored Category Ad Box” description above. This upgrade is basically the same as that, but you’ll need to switch out the “bolded and colored” words and switch in the “attention getter” graphic. It’s a nice upgrade because attention getters are very visual, as so are people.
Should I Add Photos & Videos To my Ad?
This question is such a no-brainer it’s difficult to write about. I can’t tell you how many times I have been looking to purchase items online and skipped right over the listings with no photos as if they were not even there. If you want to do real business on our websites, please, please, please upload photos. Nothing is worse for an ad than having no photos to look at. We currently allow 12 photos to be uploaded. It’s my personal preference to use all the slots. It’s not a lot of extra money and the benefit can really outweigh the cost. Remember though, you do get one free photo with each ad.
Now, let’s talk about videos. We allow 4 video slots to be filled for each ad. You get one of those for free. You’re welcome to use one or use all, it’s up to you. There are no length limits on the video, so if you can include your entire message in only one video, the more power to you. If you have multiple messages, it might be a good idea to include more videos.
But, let’s be clear here – videos can add a tremendous amount of information to your ad. If there’s a video available, I can tell you right now that the chances of someone watching it are great.
I hope you were able to read all we’ve written above about our optional upgrades. While there are some pros and cons to each, the good news is that you are free to purchase each and every upgrade for each and every ad you place. The sky really is the limit on our websites.
Do Not Ship
Always meet face to face to buy or sell. Did you know there might be a rule or regulation that prohibits you from shipping what you’d like to ship? Do you know every rule there is to know? If not, please heed our advice and simply meet face to face to buy and sell. There is much less chance for fraud and by meeting locally in a safe location, shipping will be unnecessary.
Protect Yourself From Scams
Please read this section very carefully. It is your responsibility to remain safe on the internet. If you suspect that someone is trying to scam you, please report them to us. While we make every effort to stop fraud in its tracks, it’s up to you to deal with caution.
1. We do not guarantee the validity of businesses or individuals that choose to use our websites. We do not offer a Payment Protection Service or any other type of buyer or seller protection. If you contact a seller and they send you some sort of a buyer protection agreement with our name all over it, you can be sure it’s fraudulent. We did not authorize this and it’s definitely a fake.
2. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. A shiny new item costs what you would expect a shiny new item to cost. Don’t think you are going to get a “great deal” by paying less than half of what it’s worth. A low price is one of the tactics scammers use.
3. Try to make all purchases and sales in person. If you absolutely must have something shipped, use a reputable escrow company such as Escrow.com. If the seller accepts credit cards, use one. Never use cash or cash equivalents with any online transactions. Beware of fake escrow services that have been set up to take your money. If the seller recommends “their” escrow service, consider it a scam.
4. Don’t buy or sell something when the buyer or seller is from overseas. Chances are, you’ll never see your money again. Many internet scams come from overseas. Scammers like to say they are on a “trip” or have “recently moved” overseas and must conduct business from there.
5. Never pay with Western Union, Moneygram or other anonymous payment services. Scammers love to use these services because there is no way to trace your money. There is also no way to recover it once payment is made. Once the money is gone, it’s gone.
6. Don’t fall for the classic cashier’s check or money order scam. Here’s how it works – The scammer offers to pay by check (cashier’s check/money order) for more than the item is worth, then they will ask you to send them back the difference (usually by Western Union). A couple weeks later you find out the check was fake and the bank will take it out of your account. This scam can be set up several ways. Some scammers have even gone as far as setting up their own websites.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Obtain legitimate contact information. Get phone numbers. Get addresses. Ask for references with phone numbers. Legitimate buyers and sellers will offer these things.
- Ask for a photo of the seller holding the item. Ask for a photo of the seller holding a piece of paper with your name written on it.
- Remember, there is no rush. Take precautions and pay with a method that offers protection.
These are only tips. They don’t guarantee a good transaction. That is up to you.
Place The Right Kind Of Ads
If you are unable to log in to your account, even when you are sure you entered your information correctly, your account may have been suspended or removed for one or more of the following reasons:
- Spamming (placing the same or similar ads over and over in the same category or across categories)
- Miscategorized ads (repeatedly placing ads in incorrect categories)
- Fraudulent ads (this speaks for itself)
We strive for an enjoyable environment for our website visitors. If the ads you place get in the way of that enjoyment, we may suspend or remove your account without warning.