Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Craigslist is now charging fees for Services ads as of March 15 2018

I went to repost an ad for Website development and found that Craigslist is now charging $5 for that ad. I was getting decent responses to the couple of ads that I had running. Here are what I think are some of the implications of that change and how my plans will adapt.

As a business owner trying to gain a critical mass of clients, the free services ads on Craigslist were a great way of advertising.  You could post almost any type of ad for services at no cost. This produced a fair amount of incoming business for Joomla, WordPress, Ruby on Rails and other consulting.   When I went to repost an ad on March 27, I saw that it required a $5 fee.

Craigslist is now charging fees for Service Ads
Craigslist is now charging fees for Service Ads

While I’m not happy about paying $5 for 30 days, that is still a reasonable cost. The revenue from one new client offsets that cost by a wide margin.


  • The fees will probably serve to greatly improve the signal to noise ratio.
  • I was previously running individual ads specifically for Joomla, WordPress, Networking, Ruby on Rails and SEO.  My plan is to combine those into one ad for web development.
  • My previous ads were simple HTML with bold, headers and bullets. The new ad(s) will make more use of CSS to stand out a bit.
  • At this point, we are a little over 10 days into the new model. I’m going to wait about a week before reposting. That gives me time to redo the ads. Also, I can evaluate if the new fees have had an impact on the quantity and quality of the services ads.
  • With the current rules of Craigslist, it is possible that you could pay the fee to post an ad and then have someone maliciously report the ad. That is not a current problem but it bears watching.
  • If I gain one client per posting, the Return on Investment is terrific. Even gaining one client for every 5 postings would work.

The new Craigslist fees for service ads might improve the signal to noise ratio for services ads.

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