Posting On Craigslist?...really?

Business By gr8cakemaker Updated 5 Feb 2010 , 3:32pm by sweetlayers

gr8cakemaker Posted 16 Dec 2008 , 2:53pm
post #1 of 64

Is it a good idea to post your cake business on craigslist? Its free advertising but is it professional? If so, where exactly do I post? Baby/kid stuff maybe? How do I word my post so that it is not flagged/deleted? Does anyone else out there on CC post in craigslist? icon_redface.gif

63 replies
CakeMakar Posted 16 Dec 2008 , 4:57pm
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If you're a licensed legitimate business, I'd stay away from it. It looks tacky. There are other ways to drum up business. I personally would make a mental note of any bakery I saw on Craiglist not to go there. It just reads "subpar" to me, like you can't afford "real" advertising.
Yeah, I get that it's free and it doesn't necessarily mean the bakery is inferior, but it just sticks that way in my mind. I go to Craigslist when I'm looking for a discount or freebie - probably not something you want to associate your business with.
And have you seen some of the threads trashing Craiglist ads here on CC? Oh my!

MacsMom Posted 16 Dec 2008 , 5:11pm
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I agree. It looks tacky and I wouldn't want to be associated with that kind of stigma.

IloveEmmaCakes Posted 16 Dec 2008 , 5:11pm
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I get about 85% of my costumers from CL. But I don't post in the baby/kid stuff section because it's not the right section and WILL get flagged.. If you're going to post it there, post it in the creative section..

Jayde Posted 16 Dec 2008 , 5:15pm
post #5 of 64

I agree with PP that posting on Craig's List is tacky.

Instead, try a free website design site that helps you create your own website. You can use it as a temporary business website.

Print up some business cards, you can go to your local Office Max or Office Depot-like store and get 100 business cards for like $20. Business cards go a long way if given to the right people. Also, you can advertise on the back for a 10% discount if they bring in the card, another way to get people in to see what you can offer.

Tastefully done fliers posted at the grocery store or on the church bulletin board are also a good way to drum up some business.

Once you get a small clientele going, advertising in the phone book is also not a bad idea. Even a small box with a slogan wont break the bank, and always gets more phone inquires than a line in the book.

Further down the road, and more expensive ideas are: Bridal Shows and Bridal magazines.

I am not sure if you are legal or not, and I dont advise you to answer the question because no matter what you say you will invite the flame wars to start erupting. Just consider this a piece of advice, and nothing more. Be careful about advertising heavily if you are not legal. Advertising draws attention to health inspectors, and the people out there just looking for someone to sue in order to 'get rich quick.' Just be careful, and be sure to protect yourself.

alvarezmom Posted 16 Dec 2008 , 5:16pm
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I have seen some cake business' on CL. Some look decent enough thumbs_up.gif and some dont thumbsdown.gif . Some have their personal website linked to the add and some dont.

I would be cautious icon_confused.gif of buying any food off of CL, but I might make an exception if they had a decent website.

It's really up to you....if you are looking for FREE advertising I would check with the local church's in my area. Talk to parents at your kids school. Go to some of the daycare's and talk to the Directors. THINK WHERE ARE THE KIDS???!!!

If you would like a website but dont want to pay allot of the fees try

Moniquea Posted 16 Dec 2008 , 5:25pm
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Thanks icon_smile.gif

I know it looks tacky and I wouldn't want to do it myself but must admit, I feel cornered. I attempted to get a license but found my city dropped residential licenses 5 years ago or so and I'd have to have a store front now.

The town 500 feet from my home does residential kitchens and its fustrating to see others advertising illegally anyway and getting away with it. I also tried churches but they are booked with events and some even charge.

I might try CL soon to get more experience and $ to someday soon rent the storefront near my home so I can be legal. I love what I do and who doesn't want to do what they feel passionate about, follow your bliss...

diane706 Posted 16 Dec 2008 , 5:32pm
post #8 of 64

I advertised on CL. I REALLY wish I didn't now because I get alot of unwanted spam (people asking me to advertise with their "company" etc.). And I agree in hind site that it really is tacky to advertise my upper end cakes there. Guess I was desperate when I did it!! icon_wink.gif Now I'm advertising in a local magazine that costs big $$ but WELL worth it!

indydebi Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 12:06am
post #9 of 64

"Compare yourself to the company you WANT to keep."

What that means to me is if I want to be viewed as being in the same league as the top bakeries and top caterers in town, then I'm going to compare myself to them NOW .... I'm not going to advertise on CL because I dont' see the Big Boys Catering Co. in town feeling the need to advertise on CL. I'm not putting fliers on windshields or on laundry mat bulletin boards, next to the palm reader and the chinese take out menu, because Big Boys Catering Co. doesnt' do that either. They conduct themselves in a "high class" advertising market .... and so will I.

You've gotten some great suggestions that are big steps above a CL ad.

diane706 Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 12:14am
post #10 of 64

Amen Sister!!! Indydebi, you crack me up! icon_lol.gif

KeltoKel Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 12:27am
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If you have a really nice web site, I believe the smart thing to do is to direct your CL posting to your business web site. There are many women who are planning weddings who look for photographers, DJ's, caterers on CL. I hear about it all the time.

I look on craigslist often, and I consider myself an educated and upper middle class person. CL does not draw losers! I have sold things to craigslist to very normal people. We had our kitchen remodeled and we sold a microwave. The lady who bought it lives in an incredible development with expensive homes. She was buying it for her college son, who was moving into an apartment.

I have seen decent companies and even universities post jobs on CL. It's free, why not?

Again, it is all how you portray yourself. I think of when my church used to tell us young girls not to wear a two piece bathing suit b/c it sends the wrong message. I disagreed, my message was how I carried myself. I think you can "carry" yourself well on craiglist - depending on how you post. JMHO -


By the way, you would want to post under "Services".

meganmo27 Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 12:45am
post #12 of 64

I love Craigslist! You could say that I'm addicted to it icon_lol.gif That being said...I would agree with the other posters in saying that "think about what kind of company you want to keep" Yes, there are alot of people that use CL however, the downside to it is that you invite scammers and spammers (is that a word?).
My suggestion to you is to sign up for a free website. I use very user friendly for those of us who aren't that savvy with the computer stuff. The other thing you can do is go to Vistaprints and get yourself some free business cards, stamps etc.. I also advertise on it's a great resource for business.
Good luck to you!

loriemoms Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 12:49am
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I agree with last post. I use CL all the time and have gotten a lot of weddings there. One of the things I put is that I am an inspected, licensed and insuranced home bakery. It seems to make people think twice about who to call, and they have told me they actually ask the other bakeries if they are licensed and inspected! I do put the link to my web site. Craigs list is very popular for the smaller weddings, and second marriages to check out..which I dont mind doing!! So I guess if you are looking for people who want to spend a lot of money then yeah, Craigs list isnt for you. I have had much better luck with CL then The Knot!

CakeForte Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 1:24am
post #14 of 64

I think most of the posts are just ignorant elitist viewpoints. Flame me if you want. If you post a professional ad with correct English, spelling, grammar, and punctuation, a link to your web site, and a few could get a few decent clients from CraigsList.

Yes a lot of people post ads selling cake for $1/ slice...but they also are not really in business. They are just people try to make some extra change.

I used CL and got some of my biggest wedding cake clients from there. I also gotten job off of CL, and hired a company to do my plumbing for my kitchen.

If you are serious about use several different avenues to bring in revenue...not just one. Yes there is a lot of junk on CL...but the right client who is looking for savings, but still willing to pay for your service will find you.

cakesdivine Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 1:52am
post #15 of 64

Couldn't have said it better myself CakeForte!

KeltoKel Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 2:49am
post #16 of 64

Cake Forte said it better than how I could explain it. Again, it is all in how you carry yourself.

PieceofCakeAZ Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 3:35am
post #17 of 64
Originally Posted by indydebi

"Compare yourself to the company you WANT to keep."

What that means to me is if I want to be viewed as being in the same league as the top bakeries and top caterers in town, then I'm going to compare myself to them NOW .... I'm not going to advertise on CL because I dont' see the Big Boys Catering Co. in town feeling the need to advertise on CL. I'm not putting fliers on windshields or on laundry mat bulletin boards, next to the palm reader and the chinese take out menu, because Big Boys Catering Co. doesnt' do that either. They conduct themselves in a "high class" advertising market .... and so will I.

You've gotten some great suggestions that are big steps above a CL ad.

I couldn't have said it better Debi! (But of course I am ignorant and elitist, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.) icon_wink.gif

maryjsgirl Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 3:55am
post #18 of 64

If you do decide to go with CL watch out for scam artists. The Nigerian scammers have infested that place and pretty much ruined it IMO. I placed an ad for my daycare and was bombarded by them. icon_rolleyes.gif

littlecake Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 5:08am
post #19 of 64

i don't advertise on CL...but i use it all the time to buy things, i found the best handyman i ever had off of there....and i've bought a lot of stuff on there...i check it every day.

as far as LOW of my best friends sold her candle company from an ad she placed on craigslist business section for 200 thousand dollars....

what would it hurt to try?

IMHO you might do better to prime the pump by giving away a bunch of cakes to the schools and local businesses

we gave away a couple dozen cakes...ans did 90K in sales the first 9 months.

if they taste it (and it's good)...they will come...i never did any advertising other than that.

Carolynlovescake Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 7:06am
post #20 of 64

I avoid craig's list for two reasons for advertising my classes

a) I have found 90% of them don't want to invest. They want to know what they can substitue for tips from home instead of buying a .99 tip, brought canned frosting because it was 10/$1.00 to decorate with and didn't get "it" when they couldn't even make a smoooth frost job or simple border.

b) Scammers! I got hit up with so many of them it wasn't funny. As soon as I started advertising on Craig's list I started getting all kinds of scam e-mails.

I will say that I got a few great students from it. They took all 5 courses with me, a few have come by home for additional flowers that Wilton doesn't teach and paid me for a mini class/instruction period.

Unfortunately the good were about 5%, the indifferent about 5% and the horrible were 90%.

Craig's list has it's purposes but I've learned it's not the place to advertise for me. To many kooky people and situations have taken place with me on there for me to even want to read there let alone post.

lkoenig07 Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 3:20pm
post #21 of 64

I think its fine. I do it, and I've gotten about half of my orders from it. Also check it for people looking for cake services

Mencked Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 3:48pm
post #22 of 64

CakeForte, loriemoms and cakesdivine, what category would you place an ad under. I'm a new legal business and am very curious!

DefyGravity Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 4:01pm
post #23 of 64

I would definitely get a real domain and stay away from Craigslist. Most of the people trolling around CL are looking for something for nothing, and you might as well save yourself the headache.

__Jamie__ Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 4:22pm
post #24 of 64

Tacky tacky tacky.....I don't care if Sylvia Weinstock herself had an ad directing peeps to her website. It invariably will be listed next to something like this:

"I make cake for calle me to get ur quote. $50 weeding cake and i make flowers"

Ugh! I don't think so!

cakesdivine Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 4:36pm
post #25 of 64

I actually stopped using CL because as most have stated, you get brides who want something for nothing.

Mensch Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 4:40pm
post #26 of 64


(Jamie.... LMAO!)

__Jamie__ Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 4:43pm
post #27 of 64

Right? Some of those ads make we want to kick a puppy. Joking, I would never kick a puppy, I love puppies, but throw something at my computer screen? Almost! It's like, how degrading to the elegant business of wedding cakes can one advertisement be, I ask ya?!?

veronica720 Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 5:56pm
post #28 of 64

If you do, just beware of all the crap on there. I would definatley have a link to a real website so it looks more appealing.

In my area there is a listing on CL for a bride wanting a cake and her ad is "trading lawn services for a great wedding cake"......seriously??
As much as I would love to not have to mow my own yard, that just seems crazy (for a cake anyway).
There was also an ad for a home baker and she had pics of her cakes and in the background you could see a dog running around.

CakeForte Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 8:19pm
post #29 of 64

I only used CL as a portfolio builder a few years ago, and I placed the ad under event services, or something like that.

diane Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 8:29pm
post #30 of 64

i'd stay away from craiglist. a lot of unwanted characters search that sight. there was something on the news in our local area about someone getting hurt from a "so called" customer who advertised there just to inflict harm of potential buyers.

get a freewebs account. you can showcase your cakes online for free. icon_lol.gif

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