Monday, January 2, 2012

Important answers: Posting in multiple cities, aka How can I post duplicate ads?

It's a question many Kijiji advertisers consider when they're first getting into free online classifieds: How can I reach the biggest audience by posting my ad in multiple locations?

It may seem obvious to you that running your ad in more than one city would expose your product or service to a wider audience. After all, if you were buying space in a newspaper or time on television or radio, you'd run duplicate or similar advertising in more than one market.

Are you still not clear about this?
What you're not considering in this case is that Kijiji is free, and it's designed to be local. When users see ads in their local Kijiji city site that are from other places, it feels like a bad neighbourhood where people from out of town are crashing the party and putting their stuff in the mix alongside people who are actually their neighbours.

Kijiji readers want to see ads from their town or city, not from elsewhere, even if you're selling something that you think people should really hear about. Even if you offer shipping. Even if you'll drive to where they are.

"But I'm a special case!"

Oh, you're special all right. NO! No exceptions for you. If people want what you have, they'll find you. Users have the option of widening their search radius to find you. Kijiji is for face-to-face transactions with cash, not for mail-order or web-site promotion. If you're not selling someone can get from you in person, consider advertising through some other means than Kijiji. I'd say eBay if it's a physical thing, or buying Google AdWords if you're promoting a web site.

If I can sum it up thusly: Kijiji is not obliged to give you a free ride just so you can promote your product. And before you get hung up on the "free ride" thing, yes, they can take your money and then delete your ads if you're breaking the rules. In that case, you are NOT entitled to a refund. You can't buy your way around the rules.

How to post duplicate ads on Kijiji

I'm not going to say it's impossible, but I will tell you that it's against the rules. Because it's against the rules, your potential customers may consider you an unethical shady operator. Because it's against the rules, you may lose your account. You may have your IP banned forever from Kijiji. Your attempt to sneak around the rules could prevent you from ever using the service again. Is it worth it? That's up to you.

If you're trying to post and you see "Sorry, this ad is too similar to one of your other ads. Duplicate ads are not allowed on Kijiji," ask yourself: Is my ad similar? If you're posting a pile of action figures for sale, and the only difference between your ads is the name of the action figure -- the rest is the same -- Kijiji's algorithms will consider the ads duplicates. You're not who I'm worried about. Just write better ads and you'll be fine.

Now, if Kijiji says your ads are duplicates because they are, and you're trying to post them in more than one location, you know by this point that you're in the wrong. Kijiji won't catch you every time, but your odds of getting through the filters are very slim unless you take some drastic measures.

Am I making myself clear? I'm saying don't do this -- but if you're going to do it anyway, here's how to post duplicate ads on Kijiji: Hire a professional.

I don't mean "professional" in the sense that they have ethics, standards or acceptable personal hygiene. I mean they'll take your money to do something. Perhaps mercenary would be a better term. In fact, you can call them Black Hat Hackers For Hire.

In the shady nooks of the internet, in the Mos Eisley equivalents of the web, you'll find black hat hackers. These are the folks who'll set you up with a make-money-quick web site that'll make money until Google catches you and shuts down your advertising income forever. You're getting into this kind of territory.

What you want is someone with experience posting ads against the rules of sites like Kijiji, Craigslist, Backpage and so on. These kinds of scumburgers have cloaking devices, tractor beams, farmloads of IP addresses and proxy systems. They fool the Kijiji servers into thinking they're IN the city where you want to post. The post goes up with the text you asked for, and you move on. Somehow they're even able to have the ad read that you're in Toronto, Ontario even if the ad's going up in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Expect to pay anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars per ad to hire these cowardly dirtbags. You can specify the terms of payment to indicate that they'll only get their money if the ads stay up for, say, a few days, and that they can prove the ads weren't deleted or 'ghosted'.

Would you like a link to the sites where you can get these services? I bet you would. I'm not going to give them to you, because I don't want you doing this. But, if you follow me on twitter, @yousuckatkijiji, once in a while you'll see me retweet an ad from one of these black hack nogoodniks, with a snarky comment about a "spammer for hire". If you really want to be seen as a bad actor on Kijiji, that's what I'd suggest.

And if I was not clear -- if you post duplicate ads on Kijiji, YOU SUCK AT KIJIJI. No doubt.

9 Responses to “Important answers: Posting in multiple cities, aka How can I post duplicate ads?”

Anonymous said...
January 13, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I frustrates me to no end that I go to school in London and live in Niagara, and can't try and make money to pay for my textbooks by posting in my hometown AND my schooltown. how does that make me suck at kijiji ? it just makes me broke, because now I have to wait for the ad to go down for me to try and sell it in St Catharines.

Unknown said...
January 13, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Well, you could try this ...
For a week, run the ad in Niagara.
Delete the ad, then run it for a week in London.

Or, realize that the students are more likely to be in London than Niagara, and focus your efforts there.

Brooke said...
January 31, 2012 at 2:32 PM

I live in Moncton and Saint John/Fredericton are within my scope. I sell Wind turbines and off grid power stuff, mostly in the out-of-town areas between these 3 cities. The duplication BS means I can't hire 2 guys to handle the business from the other cities and make them money. Its hardly a matter of sucking. I would guess that more than 90% of users, and potential customers don't use the 'widen search area' option and it really doesn't work that well anyway. According to Kijiji, Sussex (half way between Saint John and Moncton) is not within the area for Moncton.

Before you choose to preach about the 'scum' that uses their service that way, remember that there can be legit reasons to do things that way. I agree that duplicates within a city are not cool, but in situations where the cities are close, it makes sense. Besides, the more ads they have, the more search hits, and therefore the more money they rake in from their ads.

Anonymous said...
June 15, 2012 at 11:42 PM

I'm not sure if this still works, but one way to easily get around the too similar error used to be to post a completely different ad and then just edit it to be exactly the same.

Anonymous said...
March 8, 2013 at 10:07 PM

I live in Brantford. Would anyone come for a book from woodstock, hamilton or cambridge? If yes I am all for doing what you suggested to the other guy.

Anonymous said...
September 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM

KIJIJI sucks!
I live almost equal distance between two cities, so I need to post in both categories, but of course it won't let me.

1. You can use two different accounts with two separate email addresses.
2. Post the ad in one city, then post another ad in the other city with a different name & description (just type "bla bla" or something) Go back to "My Kijiji" and edit your "bla bla" ad and make it the same as the first ad. Tada, you have duplicate ads.

Anonymous said...
February 22, 2014 at 8:07 PM

What drives ME crazy is this - I work in graphic design, an industry routinely done over the internet. The JOBS section for Graphic Ddesign is visible on the main page, and easy to see, while the RESUME section is NOT visible, you need to click MORE CATEGORIES to see someone like me advertising my service. Okay, that's not the problem. The problem is *multiple* graphic designers post their services under JOBS and I have been reporting them for months. They still remain. I tried to beat them, but their ads are getting multiple hits while mine down in resumes gets a few. So then I joined them and placed my own ad and got jobs and huge hits. But then tonight mine was deleted for infraction. EVERY OTHER ad I reported is still up, and some are almost the same as mine down to the listing of services provided, only the photos differ.

Anonymous said...
August 7, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Try this new advertising site, it is much like kijiji but will be better once it gets known

Apoorva said...
September 24, 2021 at 8:16 AM

I recently posted an ad for something I had for sale on Craigslist, but was blocked for posting duplicate ads across multiple cities. If this has happened to you before, this guide shows the easiest way to post again.
Posting in multiple cities can be confusing, but it's actually not that hard once you know what to do. This article covers all the different methods for posting in multiple cities when selling or buying an item online. craigslist posting blocked

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