Craigslist is an increasingly popular site to search for and sell old bookcases, cars, you name it. It also allows businesses to advertise their services. All for free!

When posting your listing is free, what is the downside? Craigslist, while easy to like because its free, it is for this very reason also plagued with spammers and other trouble-makers. If you exercise caution in your postings and other dealings with Craigslist, you can reap the benefits of what this site has to offer, while also avoiding its shortfalls. Here are a few tips:

1. Be choosy in what information you give out in your listing. Craigslist will require you to provide your email address in order to post a listing. However, you have the option of not displaying your address for users to see, and instead displaying an email address generated by the site that will forward messages to your account. In this way, you can control who has your contact information. Frequently spam will get sent to email addresses when they are posted on the web-keep this in mind in choosing whether you are prepared to list your personal email.
2. Simple is better. Make sure that your posting is simple and to the point-this will draw the best result. List prices, if applicable, with the posting and make your title for the posting as straight-forward for what you are offering as possible. Because it is free, this site receives countless postings per day which push yours to the bottom of the list-make yours turn up in searches by carefully choosing the words people may search for.
3. Exercise caution when responding and receiving responses. If you are sent any links or asked to provide any personal information, this is likely a scam. Be weary of any message you receive that strikes you as out of the ordinary.

Want to post an ad on craigslist? It’s easy. St. Louis users, get started here: They will lead you through the steps.

Not from St. Louis? Many other cities have their own site. Find yours here: