Can You Make Numerous Craigslist Accounts?

by Elizabeth Mott

If you're drowning in usernames and passwords for website accounts, you'll find a change of pace on Craigslist. You can post in its forums and advertise on your localized version of the Craigslist website with nothing more than an email address through which to finalize your ads. Accounts make it easier to pay fees for ads that require them and to manage listings on a unified activity page. You can use Craiglist without an account, but you're limited to one per person.

Community Monitoring

Craigslist considers itself a community resource and structures many of its policies and practices accordingly. Although listings for therapeutic services undergo manual ad-by-ad pre-posting approval by Craigslist staff, most of the ads you read on the site go through volunteer monitoring by site visitors. If an ad or advertiser breaks the Craigslist rules, any visitor can click on an ad page link to report the infraction through a practice that Craigslist calls flagging. An ad that accrues too many flags faces automatic deletion. The flagging standards constitute proprietary information, so you won't find posted statistics about how many flags add up to too many. The totals vary depending on factors that include the community site on which the ad appears and the ad category in question. Along with fraud, miscategorization and other infractions, flaggers look for any other signs of rules violation. If you post in the Craigslist help forums, mentioning the use of multiple posting accounts will draw a swift citation of the terms of use.

Terms of Use

The Craigslist Terms of Use govern your conduct on the site and in the ads you post. They explicitly forbid any subscriber from opening more than one account and from listing ads on anyone else's behalf. Just because you know someone who claims to have two separate Craigslist accounts or find a blog post that discusses how to sign up multiple times doesn't make the practice viable or acceptable under the Craigslist rules and regulations. If the content of your ads somehow betrays a shared source between listings associated with different accounts, you face flagging or worse.

Liquidated Damages

Along with the potential loss of posting privileges and involuntary closure of Craigslist accounts, people who violate the terms of use also face the prospect of liquidated damages. The rules that spell out these monetary penalties enable Craigslist to impose fines that range from $25 up to $25,000 for a wide variety of infringements. Maintaining more than one account can carry a $100 penalty for each account and each instance in which you use it to post.

Other Considerations

If you're considering opening more than one account to separate your personal from your business activity on Craigslist, don't risk losing your posting privileges. You can accomplish your objectives and still follow the rules. To keep your identity confidential, take advantage of Craigslist's anonymization feature. When you use it, Craigslist generates a randomized email address to which prospective buyers reply and forward messages to you, keeping your real email address private until you reply. To minimize or even eliminate the consequences of that disclosure, open a throwaway address through a free email provider.

About the Author

Elizabeth Mott has been a writer since 1983. Mott has extensive experience writing advertising copy for everything from kitchen appliances and financial services to education and tourism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from Indiana State University.

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