Craigslist Now Charges $5 for Car Listings to Curb Scammers

Craigslist became a web-based service in 1996, initially featuring local events for the San Francisco area. It started expanding into different U.S. cities beginning in 2000, and it now offers classified listings in more than 70 countries.

When Craig Newmark started this venture, his goal was to help people get to know interesting social events. As the number of subscribers began to grow, the risk of scammers using the site for their benefit increased as well.

Starting on April 15, 2019, Craigslist began charging $5 for listings in its Cars and Trucks for Sale category. This fee applies to all cities in the United States, including Phoenix and Tucson, as well as listings from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Does Craigslist Charge Any Other Fees?

The fees for cars and truck listings sold by owners is the same as what dealers have been paying on Craigslist already.

Although most listings are still free on this site, there are some notable exceptions. Some job postings can be as much as $75 per listing in some areas. Brokered apartment rentals in New York City incur a $10 fee. Certain gigs have a $10 fee as well.

Most other categories that do charge fees have a minimum of $3 for the listing, which includes all “By Dealer” categories.

Craigslist accepts American Express, MasterCard, and Visa.

Scams to Avoid When Buying on Craigslist

There are several different ways that scammers can get your money without getting you that car you want. Here are the most common ways that they are doing it:

  1. The car doesn’t exist.

The scammer will copy and paste the content from an authentic posting. Then they will make fake listings in numerous cities to send you to a spoof page that takes your information. Some will even do this by making you think that you’re going to an escrow site.

  1. It provides the option to be “curbstoning.”

If you sell enough vehicles each year in Arizona and other states, then you’re supposed to be licensed for that activity. Selling through Craigslist as an individual allows them to avoid the guarantees that dealers must follow.

  1. There could be hidden damage.

If your seller refuses to allow your mechanic or trusted friend to take a look at a vehicle you are thinking about purchasing, then go somewhere else. Never trust the expert that the seller supposedly hired to create a report.

  1. Pulling on your heartstrings.

Scammers use emotional connections as a way to put pressure on a potential buyer. If you hesitate with the purchase, then you might get a hard-luck story. Claims of lost jobs, military service, or marital problems push for a quick payday.

You’ll also want to avoid some of the old tricks that are still in use today by auto scammers. Rolling back the odometer, rewriting the history of the vehicle, and short test rides should all be warning flags.

Will $5 stop all scammers from being on Craigslist? That depends on how lucrative the website is for them. It is up to all of us to recognize fake listings, report them, and move on to a legitimate seller.