Craiglist can be a useful place to post you lost pet ad. However, it is best to follow some simple guidelines to save yourself grief later. There are a lot of strange people on craigslist (granted some people probably think you and I are strange too), so it is best to protect your privacy.
- Do not include your address or phone number (unless this is the only way people can reach you). An alternative is to use a Google Voice number to protect your own phone number.
- Use the option to make your email address anonymous. This way people can respond to your ad, but won’t know your email address unless you reply to them.
- If you want to be extra safe, set up your craigslist account under a new email address. This will prevent your primary email from getting filled with spam. Of course, if you do this, you need to remember to either check this alternate email address or get it to forward to your primary email.
- You should expect to get a lot of phishing attempts regarding craigslist to your email account. Do not respond to any emails requesting personal information or asking you to click on links.
- Understand that the way people search ads on craigslist is either by scrolling through recent postings or by searching by keyword. Therefore, it is important to re-post your ad at least once a week. I also recommend creating a line of “keywords” at the bottom of my posting and include any words that I think people might use to look up my lost pet including misspellings of the breed and variations in town name. For example, include both Chihuahua and Chiwawa. Also, if I lived in South Hadley, I would also include S. Hadley and So. Hadley.
- Craigslist does have rules against posting similar ads in multiple categories. However, it is important to post in both Lost & Found and in the Pets sections. Vary your ads enough or alternate posting in the two sections every 3-4 days to avoid violating this rule.