Ghosting on Craigslist

Why don’t my posts show up on Craigslist?

For those of you not familiar with the changes that have taken place on Craigslist over the years, you may not be familiar with this term. ‘Ghosting’ is the term applied to when you make a post on Craigslist, and the system tells you that your post has been published but your post never appears on the front page of Craigslist. The system gives you a post ID and a URL and you can see your post if you put the post’s URL in your browser, but unfortunately no one else will be able to see it because it will never appear on the front page. Your post becomes like a ghost wandering the back halls of Craigslist aimlessly looking for someone to look at it, but no one can see it. It’s a sneaky way they found to get rid of people they don’t want posting on Craigslist. So how do you keep your posts free from ghosting? Keep reading!

Before ghosting, every post you made would show up on the front page of Craigslist. Every time your post was flagged you would get a courtesy email telling you that they were sorry that your message got flagged. If your message was removed by the Craigslist staff, you would not get an email about it. Your post would simply disappear without any warning. People eventually got wise to what was happening and would keep an eye on their emails. Flagging became such a huge problem (and still is) that people would have to make multiple posts, or constantly check their emails just to keep their posts active. After a while Craigslist realized what was happening and instead of doing something productive or useful to solve the problem, they decided to so something sneaky and underhanded. They decided to just Ghost anybody that they had the slightest inkling would be trouble. Some of you might think this is perfectly fair. After all what’s wrong with getting rid of trouble makers? The problem is that this is applied indiscriminately to just about anyone. A 70 year old granny can make a post selling her delicious cookies and have her post ghosted for no reason at all. While a prostitute can make an elicit sexual offer and that post doesn’t get ghosted.

The staff at Craigslist operates with no rhyme or reason. Don’t bother trying to figure out why they do it, just accept that it will happen. Don’t bother asking them why your perfectly innocent post got ghosted because they will either not respond, or they will give you some BS answer about it has to do with bandwidth or some nonsense like that. They have ready made answers to pacify the gullible.

You can get on Craigslist any day of the week and you can find lots of spammers, people making multiple posts within the 48hour time period that the TOS says you have to allow between posts, and they don’t get ghosted. You go ahead and try making two posts in a row and you’ll be banned for life. No warnings, no review process, just BANNED!

Another way to get ghosted it to get flagged. Just like I discussed in another post, you can get fagged by a competitor just trying to beat out all the competition. So you get flagged, you MUST be a trouble maker, and EVERY post you make from that moment on will get ghosted.

So do we let Craigslist get away with this? Hell NO! I’ll tell you some tried and true methods I have found to get around their underhanded Nazi, fascist tactics. It will mean a bit of work, but for those of you that don’t like being pushed around and don’t appreciate some jerks in this world trampling all over your right to free speech, you’ll find it’s worth it.

First of all there are lots of free services on the internet, I suggest you use them. Free emails are especially useful. Get a free email account and use that to get your publishing email. There are many emails that self destruct after a few hours, use those. Don’t bother keeping an email account for too long or they’ll get wise to you.

If you advertise a phone number in your ad, use a cell phone. Many companies will allow you to change your number every so often. There are also disposable phone numbers that you can change frequently.

If you advertise a web site or have the post send customers to your website use free websites and change your address frequently. Use free subdomains, and use URL redirecting sites. That way you can have many different web addresses but they all go to the same place.

When you log in to make a post on Craigslist use a proxy server. Change your IP often. Change computers if you can. Clear all your cookies and Java script. Change the referrers in your browser to 1.

Keep checking on your posts and if they don’t show up you know you’ve been ghosted and it’s time to change any of the above. Change the name you use. Change the wording. Be creative. Copy what other people post.

You do all of these things and you will be able to keep posting on Craigslist and they will NEVER be able to ghost you. Every time one thing fails, move on to another. Keep them on their toes, and make them work at it. The problem is most people just give in, and that’s what they are counting on. If you all fight back, they won’t be able to play games like that with your posts. I’ll keep updating this information every time I learn something new.

I can tell you that I have been banned many times from Craigslist and I still am able to make posts there today by using these techniques. I wasn’t banned for being a trouble maker in the traditional sense of the word. I was banned because competitors didn’t like that I had lower prices than they did, and I was getting flagged. To make matters worse I actually wrote complaints to the Craigslist staff and to Craig Newmark himself. That pissed them off! So instead of helping me they banned me. Nice aren’t they! So I decided to share my secrets with everyone.


23 Responses to Ghosting on Craigslist

  1. Ed MAshmann says:

    It must be rough to have a legitimate sale ghosted or knocked off of Craiglist. However, I have been one of the victims of a scam on Craigslist pets in NY. I paid almost 800.00 to a “Ronald Waller” ostensibly from Colorado – the address he gave us goes to a Hyatt Hotel in Colorado Springs – well he has the money and I never got the kitten I paid for. So with all the scammers AKA liars on Craigslist it’s hard to know who to trust.

  2. David Procter says:

    if you can help tell me i have been posting for years and have heard this happens .but now to me ,,and i am single mother of 5 and this is how i feed my kids,,and now i can’t, what do i do ,,change my e mail ,i really don’t no what a ip is but can i use my same computer ,change picture numbers ,e-mail,different words and phases ,,but is there any thing else ,,,please help,,this is how i feed my family thanks

    • Since this website belongs to WordPress (I do not want to cause any problems for them), I cannot go into great detail about how to get around all the problems you are having with Craigslist. I only go into generalities here, but if you go to my web site you can read a lot more details there. If you register (registration is FREE) and join the Members area, you will get a LOT more information that Craigslist doesn’t want you to know and will really help you a LOT. The information is very detailed and easy to understand. Best of luck to you!

    • raleighboyz says:

      Try rebooting your modem to change your IP…clean your cookies and most of the time this will make you look like a new poster.

    • I am curious – how can I tell which post is ghosted.
      It just says 1 hidden post at the top of all my listings, when I click on it nothing appears.

  3. this is the next craigslist. Ive given up on those jerks at craigslist. I have a used car dealership and used to post my cars on there until they ghosted me….now none of my post show up anywhere. Really ticks me off. I was waiting 3-5 days between posting too. Try backpage,com people, lets make it rock and de-rate CL

    • I agree with you but with one caveat. Backpage can be difficult at times also. I have found that some of the people that troll around Craiglist and flag their competitors will do the same on Backpage. So I wouldn’t recommend you get too comfortable there just yet. Backpage also doesn’t get as much traffic, so while it is an alternative, it’s not a really great one.

  4. Jason Chu says:

    The worst part is when you get ghosted because some competitor is trying to keep you from renting your place and flags you. I even met this guy once… He came to an open house and he owns the place down the street. When I asked him when he could move in, he had the audacity to say he saw my ad on craigslist and wanted to check out the competition…

    Then you relist it and it just lies there in cyberspace. I tried to post on the forum, and some NON CL staffer was fairly rude and called my a BS’er, and other obscenities I wont list here.

    What happened to craigslist… It will certainly be devalued if this continues.

    And what if I have 2 units available in a multi unit building… there are 20 units guys? of course they have the same address and look. How about contacting the ad lister and confirming before you ghost?

  5. stacy1627 says:

    Thank you for this information.I have been flagged when posting things,and there is no reason to be flagged.I used to get an email telling me about the flagged post,but recently,I have not been being told and someone that had seen and answered my ad will try going back to it to look at a pic or something and they tell me it is gone.And I was not even emailed about the flag.I just figured it was some idiots deleting because of competition,but it is absolutely rediculous that people actually have that option.Craigslist should not have that as an option for just anybody out there to do what they want to your post.
    Like Drymartiniup had said,maybe people should get together and just start flagging all the posts,if the people using it and Craigslist want to play games,we should join the ball game.Craigslist seems like a nice place to go to post and look for things your looking for,but if this is what people and Craigslist wants to do using their website,then we should gather people and shut them down.We get about 30 people together,take certain topics and everyone does their part with flagging,we could have it down in no time.
    I’m sick of being flagged.And it seems if you are looking on there too long,I seem to get a cannot display page after awhile.Then I can’t get back on for some reason.This is rediculous.I have every right just as anyone else to be on there and post.And I am sure,as I have read above,you all feel the same way.I understand the tips you are giving us,but we should not have to do this,just to use a site that we all should be able to use in the first place.

  6. Shawn Henson says:

    I seemed to have noticed too that ads that get ghosted when you click on the link to renew the post that option is not available. A few of my ads still do go live particularly in the city that I originally posted in. I found it helpful to post only in one city per e-mail account that I have setup, as well as follow some of the advice here. I also found some of the advice on this website helpful for driving quality FREE traffic to your website.

  7. drymartiniup says:

    So what if everybody started flagging every post on craigslist making it unusable? Would that get them to change their method of operating?

    • It would be really hard to get that amount of consensus, but yes, I think it would make a big statement. Of coarse the staff and management at CL is so detached from the reality which the users deal with everyday, that they might just ignore it and not really care. They might just create a system where the staff would have to approve each flag to make it go through. It dumbfounds me every time I visit CL and look at the ads how much the staff is really out of touch. As an outsider reading through the ads I can tell that 8 out of 10 ads are fake and fraudulent yet they seem to not be able to see that. On the other hand the average Joe trying to sell a vehicle or product gets flagged, ghosted and kicked off repeatedly. They just don’t get it!

  8. aimith says:

    Thanks for this article…this just happened to me yesterday. I can post in the Rant & Rave section, but I can’t post ads in the for sale/wanted section. All I was trying to sell was some Christmas decor items–and they got ghosted. Now I can’t post anything there. Of course there was no response from CL at all.

    So now I guess I’ll be following some of your instructions here, and finding a new site. I did post a link to this article on CL’s rant & rave section, because there was another complaint by someone, and it looks like they were “ghosted” too.

  9. asmauction says:

    So can they ghost you in some categories and not others? That seems to be what is happening with me. I am able to list normal things for sale like a cell phone. But I am not able to list jobs or business opps? Why is that does anyone know? Does it sound normal? Wouldn’t they just ghost you in every category if they did not like you. Don’t get me wrong I am glad I am not. Just trying to find out what the deal is. Thanks

    • Yes they can. It is pretty much done manually so it is up to the discretion of the individual overlooking the site at the time. Unless they decide to block you out of an entire section permanently. Then I suggest you follow some of my strategies.

  10. pctsf says:

    Does the ghost status ever expire, or does the ghosting program forever block those ip addresses and accounts?

    • Once they start ghosting your posts, you are pretty much toast. That is why I suggest changing handles, accounts, phone #, IP, websites, etc. Anything to make yourself look different. Also be sure to change your style of posting. If you are not able to do that, have a friend write up your post for you then copy their words.

  11. Seb Brantigan says:

    Thanks very much for that. Really pissed off because I had to pay $5.25 for a phone verified account and from 14 of my posts I have only ever seen about 5 of them. Thinking about using alternatives, although your tips are pretty good.

    I’ll bookmark 🙂

  12. sknx1 says:

    I post a lot on Craigslist on behalf of and have started noticing even more aggressive tactics then simply ghosting.

    They now are requiring a phone verification to post into the services areas and they require you to only post there through an account, no longer as a guest.

    Many work-arounds will have to be developed.

  13. 444mooneye says:

    Hi !
    I m new on this site .
    And I was new on Craigslist three weeks ago. First, I posted a message on the strictly platonic site and got an answer . Then, as wanted more opportunities of exchanges ( I am looking for pen pals in order to find a nice man who could become more than that in the future } I went on the 11th April on the W4M page. And I got a few replies.
    Two days later, a message from Craigslist announced me that my posting had been flagged !? AND deleted !?
    As I never used any rude words or pictures, I thought it was a mistake; So, I re-posted the same message in the morning.
    Back from work , the same message and of course, my message removed .
    i couldn t believe my eyes ! Who has the right to kick away people s adds ? and why the Craigslist staff are not checking if the people deserve to be flagged and coldly eradicate them?
    i discovered the site after reading news about a man who had his house emptied by strangers after an add through the Craigslist.
    I also checked other services of Craigslist and confess I was horrified by some explicit offers and photos in casual encounters in Paris !!! Have you seen them ? Check, my friend, you won t be disappointed And could find great stuff for you next article !

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