An advertisement on Craigslist is more likely to be advertised for than for free, according to a new study.
Key points:The study of 3,000 Craigslist ads found that the average cost of an ad was $2.99The average cost for a free advertisement was $3.85The average ad was advertised for 3.6 hours and ran for about 3 minutesThe study looked at ad space on the site for both free and ads that charged for the duration of the advertisementThe average price for a non-free advertisement was nearly twice as much as a free oneThe study said that while the cost of advertising was increasing, it wasn’t due to advertising being more popular, but more people choosing to advertise.
“It’s certainly a good thing that we are seeing more people advertising on Craigslist because it is a good tool for consumers to advertise their time and their attention,” Associate Professor Nick Kipke said.
“But we also know that in many instances people are just using Craigslist for free.”
Professor Kipkel said there were more people using Craigslist because people were finding it more convenient to do so, rather than because they were advertising.
“We know that the people who are advertising are more likely than the people that are not to be aware of their costs, so they don’t realise that their advertising is going to be cheaper than it would be if it were free,” he said.
The study analysed the advertising of 2,500 Craigslist ads and found that most ads ran for just under 3 hours, but some advertised for up to 4 hours.
While advertisements were advertised for free on Craigslist, there was a “significant increase” in the cost for ads that were advertised by advertisers with more than 50 ads.
“This is probably due to the fact that people are finding it easier to advertise on Craigslist,” Associate Associate Professor Kipkes said.
Dr Chris White, who conducted the study, said the findings showed that advertisers were “significantly less careful” in their advertising.
The cost of advertisements were highest for advertisements that ran longer than the advertised time.
“That’s because they’re more likely the advertiser is trying to increase the quality of their ad, rather then simply trying to maximise their advertising budget,” Associate Prof White said.
He said it was likely that advertisers had a better idea of the costs they would be charging customers.
“People may think, ‘Oh, I can make $10 an hour with ads on Craigslist,’ and they may be more likely they’ll pay more for that ad than if they just paid for that,” Associate Lecturer White said .
“But you’re paying for a much longer time.”
The study also found that advertisements were more likely for ads for longer than advertised, which led to higher costs.
“The longer an advertisement is advertised for, the more you’re going to pay,” Associate professor Kipkis said.
In most cases, ads ran at least for 10 minutes, but an advertisement ran for less than 15 minutes and was only used on a limited number of ads.
The researchers said that Craigslist was a good place to advertise because it was “a great place to find cheap stuff” and had “an online marketplace” where advertisers could advertise for products.
“Consequently, it is more important than ever to make sure that you’re advertising your time to as many people as possible, so that you can reach as many of those people as efficiently as possible,” Associate Director of Communications Jennifer Tod said.
A similar study last year found that Craigslist ads had more than twice the cost as a typical ad, but that there was no difference in advertising quality.