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  1. #1
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    January 19th, 2005
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    Classifieds on site...
    Building a site that I hope will be the "phillyburbs" of our target area (eventually!)...I am inspired and awed by Karls site, it is great...

    question on classifieds, we are planning to go live sometime this month and we want to put classifieds on the site...should we offer free listings to get the ball rolling or start right off with paid ads? What is a fair ad price? Anyone else offering classifieds and can give some insight from personal experience?

  2. #2
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    I've been working on something similar & have been leaning towards free non-commercial ads (garage sales, people selling personal items) and paid commercial ads (real estate agents, etc.). Still working out the pricing model.
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  3. #3
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I say start with free ads but the option to have a top ad for maybe 5 dollars

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I think you should start off by offering free ads for a time. It's difficult to encourage people to pay for ads when there aren't any other ads on the page! Offer it for free until the ads section begins to fill up, then start charging.

    You can always say the ads are free until the software is up and running, and extend the free ad period if you need to so that section looks established...

    Andy

  5. #5
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    free ads = free content in my book. after the site is on its way I would change the $$$ but thats me.

  6. #6
    The Beer Hunter LearnAbout's Avatar
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    I had classifieds on one of my niche sites for many years, they proved to be very popular. The initial idea was to drive traffic, and not to make money from it. It cost me quite some bandwidth, but it brought in the crowd.

    Then came the Viagra/Casino/add-5-inches-to-you-know-what peddlers and abused them, and I decided to charge a nominal fee of $1 via PayPal just to weed them out. The genuine ppl were trading expensive sports equipment, usually >$150 a pop, so I figured a lousy $1 won't make a difference.

    You won't believe the outrage that caused. All of the sudden I received a flood of emails asking/begging/threatening to bring the FREE classifieds back. Some ppl traded professionally, making good money - and they were the loudest. How on earth could I dare to charge for something that as free before?

    In the end I gave in, but put Adsense on each page. The pages received several thousand hits per day, but nobody clicked on the Adsense. The classifieds traffic also did not generate any sales, so they were basically 'community service'.

    Fed up, about two month ago I put up dominant notices that the classifieds will be removed during a re-design of the site. I gave 6 weeks notice, so ppl could adapt. They are gone now for about two weeks, and only a few emails came.

    Looking back I'm still not sure what I could have done better:
    - charge from the beginning? - nobody would use them as there is no community.
    - keep it free? - lets all the cr@@ks in, and it's too much work to clean them out by hand every day.

    ADesertRose: Maybe a good way is to keep them free for a limited period of time, say six month, just to build a crowd. This will need to be posted clearly right from the beginning, so ppl can't send tons of email saying "How could you..." - this I think is very important. Then, if there is a critical mass, you start charging a little just to get ppl used to it. After that play by ear...

    Good luck, Frank
    [URL=http://www.golfbeginnerguide.com/]Golf Beginner Guide[/URL] ; [URL=http://www.ladygolfersguide.com/]Lady Golfers Guide[/URL]

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I think offering them for free to start is a great way to build traffic and a member base.

    To avoid the problems LearnAbout had, there are several things you could do:

    1) Make it clear what the normal prices are (will be) and that they're only free during the introductory period.

    2) Once you start charging, give the "charter members" a special price, perhaps half of the normal price.

    Both of those will help create the feeling that they're getting a great value and establish a mindset that they will only be free for a while.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  9. #9
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the input...I really appreciate all the ideas. I see several great ideas that I am going to adopt for the sites ad section. Always good to look ahead to prevent problems down the line. I don't expect to make a killing in classifieds or google on those pages, but am hoping to build a large community of repeat visitors who will hopefully start spending money elsewhere on the site, or encourage advertisers to buy space based on our traffic volume... (BIG plans!)

    Thanks again all...

  10. #10
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    www.epage.com


    Hmmm, I am going to read further on their affiliate program...I just don't see right off how you can make affiliate money from a FREE ad site. Thanks for the link though, I will investigate at my earliest opportunity!

  11. #11
    Full Member suzie250's Avatar
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    I started with all ads being free. Now I am at text only ads free and picture ads for $$. If I encounter problems with the text ads, I'll create a coupon code that must be entered in order for the ad to be free.

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