What Happens if My Post Is Blocked on Craigslist?

By Dan Eash

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has declared war on spammers.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Selling can be a cutthroat business where marketers are willing to go to any lengths to get their message out. That's a hard lesson Craigslist has learned in their never-ending battle against determined spammers. Their response has been to increase posting restrictions and regulations and to block suspicious posts. Unfortunately, it's easy to get caught in the middle even if you haven't done anything wrong. Whether you've been naughty or nice, here's what to look out for.

Temporary Ban

The good news is it's temporary, the bad news is it can strike at any time without warning. That's what "AutoSuccess Magazine" told dealers in their July 2011 issue. You might have posted earlier in the day but when you try again in a few hours your account is blocked. Craigslist won't send you a courtesy email or call you before doing this and you can't appeal it, you just have to wait it out. Temporary bans are often the result of posting too many ads or posting ads too close together. They can also be triggered by the actions of others.

Flagged Post

Craigslist doesn't have the manpower to keep track of everything that happens on their site. That's why they've given users the ability to flag each others posts. It's a solution that relies on the honor system but not everyone is honorable. This means that any post you make can be flagged by other users for any or no reason. They might have caught you breaking a rule or they might want to eliminate their competition. According to Craigslist, most ads get flagged because they're miscategorized, prohibited or over-posted. If this happens enough, they can even be removed. Craigslist can also block you from posting more ads, but their ban will expire so keep on trying.

Minor Posting Violation

When you intentionally violate their posting terms, Craigslist has to reprimand you. You might be linking to commercial sites or running the same ad in more than one city. Whatever it is, you'll know your punishment is more serious than flagged posts or temporary bans if you're unable to post any ads, including personal ones. To confirm this, try posting an ad in the Craigslist "Free" category. Something like "My pet Llama died and it no longer needs its mattress. If you don't mind the smell, it's yours." If you can't even post a free ad, you need to tell [email protected] that you made a mistake and you promise to never do it again.

Major Posting Violation

If you're spamming Craigslist into the stone age, or using them illegally, the consequences are more severe. Spam and prohibited transactions are the bane of Craigslist's existence so instead of a reprimand, you'll get a banned. You'll know if this happened because their entire site will be blocked. If you ever want to use Craigslist again, bring your "A game" to [email protected]. Craigslist is understandably reluctant to give proven abusers a second chance, so it's in your best interest to describe your motives and change of heart as convincingly as you can. You just might get lucky.