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As I was looking through the various lowball contractors and numerous jobs wanting cheap labor I started to think.

I read that some guys have a lot of success advertising on craigslist and others dont want to because of the poor reputation that preceeds most contracts on craigslist.

I then remembered that in certain cities, you have to pay a fee to post in those certain sections of craigslist. My question being, are the guys who have to pay a fee able to have more success than the cities who dont have a paying system?

On Milwaukees craigslist, you dont have to pay a fee. I assume having to pay a fee would get rid of A LOT of these "contractors". Are you guys that are in paying areas finding that craigslist has postings from more reputable contractors than not?

I just read an ad here from a company who is offering 110 dollars per window installed any size.

Comments/Answers?
 

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Al Smith
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Do niot paint all CL leads with the same wide brush

That's not always true. If you can get in front of the potential customer and SELL the job and instill confidence you win and the customer wins. In fact I just got off the phone with a CL lead from a year ago to do my fifth job for him. An upgrade to replacement windows that qualify for a tax rebate. And he has other potential projects in the works including a sun room kit for his deck.

Here's another guy I did a roof replacement and siding repair for off of CL. He asked me to quote another roof job for a house they were bidding on. He had the decency to follow up on the status of the house via his blackberry.

Al,
We did not get the house on E 6th street. We are very happy with your work and service. You will hear from myself and Clark in the future for roof siding jobs that we need.
Thanks,
Ken
 

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That's not always true. If you can get in front of the potential customer and SELL the job and instill confidence you win and the customer wins. In fact I just got off the phone with a CL lead from a year ago to do my fifth job for him. An upgrade to replacement windows that qualify for a tax rebate. And he has other potential projects in the works including a sun room kit for his deck.

Here's another guy I did a roof replacement and siding repair for off of CL. He asked me to quote another roof job for a house they were bidding on. He had the decency to follow up on the status of the house via his blackberry.

I use craigslist at times to get work and have had success and am curious as to how to make your ads look better on craigslist. I've seen some great ones that look professional almost like a webpage. does anyone know how to get that look?
 

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Al Smith
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I use craigslist at times to get work and have had success and am curious as to how to make your ads look better on craigslist. I've seen some great ones that look professional almost like a webpage. does anyone know how to get that look?
If you know the basics of Hyper Text Markup Language it is very easy to create ads that stand out. Some advanced HTML has been disabled by craig's list though. If you are lost you can do a screen capture of your web site (assuming you have one) and use the image as an ad.
 

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it is what it is
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We've used it in the past, had some good luck with it. Also found out your going to get a lot of tire kickers, also people who want the job done for free. Over the past year we noticed the increase of D-bags using it for their extra side cash needs, or just hacks who can't even spell let alone fix your house.:eek: In turn we stopped using it so we don't become mixed in with them. Would be nice if you were going against a fellow contractor who had insurance, workmans comp, and real overhead to worry about.
 

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I use it to buy stuff. I did advertise there a couple times. I got one job of there, and have had people email and complain about my pricing. Also had a ton of tire kickers, mostly when selling personal items.
 

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there are definitely tire kickers out there especially the more people realize contractors are having a harder and harder time getting what they are worth. it just turns into a downward spiral. homeowners need to realize they end up getting exactly what they pay for, someone willing to give a lower price usually means someone willing to cut corners to make that profit margin.

I actually have had some great success with craigslist but with it always comes some bad customers and homeowners who are just looking to get the lowest price. You still can get the same with a paid advertisement but the good thing about craigslist is that is free.
 

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I have had mixed results with craigslist,for my rental properties it is great, for contracting I have gotten a couple decent jobs a few tire kickers and some just absolute cheapskates. The trick for me at least is being able to answer your phone when they call and selling yourself as the best person for the job, not the cheapest. In my area it is free so if I get a job or two great if not I am out nothing but a little time and still made a contact for possible future work.
 

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If you know the basics of Hyper Text Markup Language it is very easy to create ads that stand out. Some advanced HTML has been disabled by craig's list though. If you are lost you can do a screen capture of your web site (assuming you have one) and use the image as an ad.

So do you capture a single page of your webpage or do you get mulitples?
 

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I just read an ad here from a company who is offering 110 dollars per window installed any size.

Comments/Answers?

That is probably a "bait & switch" price. There is no way anyone could do that so I would assume it is a "labor only" price and the owner would pay window cost.... but... it nothing would surprise me coming from CL...

CL does not help the trade industry at all... 2% are legitimate and the rest are ignorant, unprofessional, unlicensed and SPAM!!!! That goes for people looking for tradesman on CL too........
 

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I use craigslist at times to get work and have had success and am curious as to how to make your ads look better on craigslist. I've seen some great ones that look professional almost like a webpage. does anyone know how to get that look?
I have made ads for people on Craig's List (I am also a graphic web/designer).

You need to find an image you like and upload it to a webpage. Then type in an "href" code at the bottom of your Craig's List post.

<div id="userbody">
<a href="name of your website" target="_blank"><img src="website name with location of your picture" border="0"></a><br>

Viewers will then see your picture, and be able to click on it and be taken to your website.


If anyone needs more help, or would like an ad designed for Craig's List, let me know.
 

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Craigs List got me a job within 2 hours and in.......

Los Angeles the Skilled Trade ads are free.

This past Saturday, I put an ad on Craigs List, for furnace repairs, for the first time. Two hours later, I got a call from a customer who was looking for a new furnace for his mother, and we closed the deal.

The competition on Craigs List is fierce, but it is free, and you have nothing to lose. I seriously think I had beginner's luck and don't expect many jobs.

I used Craigs List for hiring plumbers, canvassers, telemarketers and I think it is the best media in the world. I pay $25 to place a help wanted ad and start getting applicants within a few minutes. The applicants continue to call for several weeks. When I place an ad in the Los Angeles Times it cost $283, for only one day, with only two lines, and I get garbage applicants.
 

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Finishing Carpenter
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I run an ad in CL. in the past it has brought in a few jobs, about as many as the paper, and my web site. I've put up a few pics (googled html basic codes, they work!) it doesn't take very much to stand out from the average ad on CL.


I have to agree, there seems to be an above average amount of "tire kickers" on CL. but its free, and sometimes it works. I got hired last summer by a GC to do his crown work. I think he liked my web site, and also my proof of insurance, and proof of WCB. so sometimes good things happen!

I am qualifiying the calls by letting them know that I do not work "under the table"

I'm not risking an audit and potential fines from the tax people for giving some cheapskate a break for a few hundred bucks, (usually less) the best defense is the truth, so I play by the rules and I have no lies to remember :D

and yes, I lose some jobs to folks who will work under the table - oh well! my next life I'm gonna be born rich :D
 
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