How to Write a Convincing Craigslist Ad (or You get out what you put in)

How to Write a Convincing Craigslist Ad (or You get out what you put in)

How was your weekend?

Before I tell you a bit about mine and my semi-viral Craiglist ad, I want to let you know that TODAY I am doing a live AMA from 11:30am EST to 1pm EST at inbound.org. If you've ever wanted to ask me a marketing question (or my favorite kind of taco?) head over and ask away.

Now about the weekend...

My brother asked me to help sell his wife's car on Saturday, so I did this...

I wrote a Craiglist ad written to sell it before the weekend was over.

(Note: Craiglist took down the original ad, so I reposted it on OkDork for your viewing pleasure.)

Here's the text of the ad:


While I was getting out of the shower today my brother asked me to post this Craigslist ad to sell his wife's car.

My normal salary is $120,000 so I don't really do a lot of tasks like this. Most of the times I'd ask my assistant Staci to take care of doing this but I figure I'll let her enjoy her Saturday.

Anywho, my brother's wife is pregnant and they bought a sick new 2013 Honda Civic (hello boring baby parents time). You can see it if you come by and buy this car. So this car has to go 🙁

She's owned this car since college. Some would say she's a rather "boring" driver so you know this car hasn't been lowered or in high speed pursuits.

In case you're wondering, my brother's wife is NOT included with this car.

Things that ARE included with this car:

1- power door locks
2- 4 doors
3- tinted windows
4- ONLY 109,000 miles on this baby and you know Koreans make reliable cars (right?)
5- car freshener (I have to confirm she's okay including this because it smells REALLY good)
6- Overall it drives well but it's not in mint condition.

If you include the color of my toe nails in your email we'll knock $10 off the car.

Yes, this is 100% legit and we'd love to sell this car this weekend. Please don't offer trades for your Ferrari, we'd prefer green CASH (not weed) and NOT bitcoin (whatever the hell that is).

Feel free to email questions and ideally come buy the car so my brother can be impressed with my Craigslist skills.


* * *

We ended up showing the car to a bunch of people and sold it Sunday afternoon.

Now if you're wondering, "What's the point of this email?"

Here's the point: You get out what you put into something.

We could have easily written another boring Craiglist ad like this one:

But we probably would still have the car sitting in the driveway and I wouldn't have a reason to send you a fun little email on Monday morning.

So this week stop and ask, "Am I putting in what I expect/want to get out of this?"

Put in a little more this week and see what you get out of it.

Love,
Noah

P.S. Don't forget about the Ask Me Anything at inbound.org happening in a couple hours.

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11 responses to “How to Write a Convincing Craigslist Ad (or You get out what you put in)”

Thomas dupont
February 13, 2015 at 11:38 am

Christian man in recovery seeking a good running car that is used to help others in recover

Reply
Topher
August 4, 2014 at 10:46 am

AWESOME post! I need this because my Craigslist skills are horrid.

Thanks for the example of a GOOD ad.

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Adolf R
June 30, 2014 at 5:30 am

Noah, you are awesome, not because you are a genius copywriter, but because you have zero shame to do the weirds things. Such an eye opener!

I'm just gonna sell shit around the house on craiglist to improve my writing skills 🙂

Reply
Rye
May 15, 2014 at 9:19 am

Awesome stuff, Noah! I hope you don't mind if I copy your style when I post my own ad 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

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Dennis J. Smtth
April 14, 2014 at 11:45 am

Brilliant! I'll remember this next time I'm looking for a Craigslist date. Maybe they still call that a hookup? Anyhow I hope they drive a nice car.

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Chris K
April 11, 2014 at 7:40 am

This is too funny. It reminds of an excerpt from Joe Sugarman's book "advertising secrets of the written word" when he sold his plane. The toe nail thing was hilarious.

Reply
SmartWatched
March 26, 2014 at 10:57 am

Noah,

You are very wise. You have great negotiating and writing skills and your command of the English language is very great. I will subscribe to your blog and if you have an e-book of how to use Craigslist I would like to purchase, money is no object.

Love,

Mahjmoudd

Reply
Luke Freeman
March 25, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Love it Noah! Another winner 🙂

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Joel Cerda
March 24, 2014 at 9:32 pm

So true! I've been recently experimenting in my groups with making my messages more personal and the level of participation I've been getting has been amazing. You truly get what you put in. Your content is very engaging. Thanks

Reply
LeslieZ
March 22, 2014 at 7:09 pm

I love this Noah! This goes right with the advice of telling stories. People love different and love stories. And by the way, the ad was pretty dang funny. Thanks for sharing!

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John Corcoran
March 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Great advice, Noah. No one wants to read another boring Craigslist ad. But if you inject a little humor, life and personality into what people expect to be boring, you get people who will want to buy if for no other reason than to meet the crazy person behind the funny ad. Well done.

Reply