Aren't There Drawbacks By Advertising On Craigslist??

Business By Twizzles Updated 1 Nov 2010 , 12:37pm by BethLS

Twizzles Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 4:44am
post #1 of 23

I truly am wondering how many people use Craigslist for advertisement.
When I think of my own business I am starting, I invision professionalism and class. I am having brochures and business cards made up to drop off at local Bridal shops, etc. I am in the process of an attractive website.
I feel that we make our business become with how we advertise and I personally believe that the 'Susie down the street' could make cakes slightly better than I, but if I built my business on class and quality of impression than that is what would sell if it was me buying.

It's like drinking Folgers coffee or Starbucks, who says it's really any better.
It is the way it's presented and than we believe it is better, so the majority of us buy into iticon_smile.gif

Would love any inputicon_smile.gif)))

22 replies
Rachel5370 Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 5:07am
post #2 of 23

Craigslist is crazy popular. I wouldn't call it "classy", but it's effective. I have seen many classy and professional looking ads on there. And others... not so much. But it's free, I don't see that it would harm your business or give you a bad reputation for being on there. You should use all your options out there to get the word out. thumbs_up.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 6:26am
post #3 of 23

Why don't you just look at your local Craigslist and type "cake" into the search box? It will tell you how many people in your area are advertising on Craigslist.

I don't sell cakes, but I do a lot of other buying and selling on Craigslist, and there are all types of people who use it. I have seen some really professional ads for cakes there, and I have seen others that aren't. I do think it's funny when people try to sound like a big business, and give their address in the ad, and then when I mapquest it, it's just their house (you can't have a home bakery where I live).

I've talked to other people who do sell cakes on Craigslist, and because it's notorious for people changing their minds without notice, they all said they get a deposit before any baking takes place.

There's a bakery here in town that prides itself on being the most upscale bakery in town, because they're in an expensive part of town. They have a horrible reputation though...obviously others don't see them the way they envision themselves, and I heard recently that they were trying to sell their bakery (Ironically, they're trying to sell it on craigslist). I think someone's cake decorating skills and customer service skills will speak for themselves...if you do a good job and you take good care of your customers, then advertising on Craigslist is not going to damage your reputation.

leah_s Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 10:32am
post #4 of 23

IDK, there have been previous threads on here about the dangers of Craigslist. I listed a place for rent and now I'm getting all kinds of spam. (Sometimes it is possible for the spammers to identify your business from a location, find your website and spam you.)

Others have noted that Craigslist shoppers are notorious bargain hunters and it may not be your target market. It's not mine.

Doug Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 11:16am
post #5 of 23

as an avid Craigslist browser:

it's the yard/garage/tag/rummage sale of the internet.

almost everything USED, second hand.

now -- is that the class of product you want to be associated with?


it MIGHT be a place to get a start, but I'd rather put up a web page and do free samples and other forms of advertising.

----

and ditto to spam problems.

---

do NOT put your real phone number or email on there, use their blind box email function.

thatslifeca Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 11:59am
post #6 of 23

I live in Canada and we have something out here called kijjii (same as craigslist I believe). A friend of my niece's from her work came to me just yesterday with another sad story. Hired a girl to do her cake (was quoted the cake can be done for $200 and wedding July 23), now she can't find the girl. She gave a $100 deposit and the caker is not answering emails or phone calls(I believe the phone # has been disconnected). I've decided to help her out and do her cake. 12", 10", 8", 6" rectengular, and I'm going to do it for $200. Yes, you heard correctly LOL. I wouldn't do that for everyone, and you would be amazed how many people come to me with that problem. When they started Kijji, I thought about put an ad out there, but then I changed my mind. It's not the forum for me. The way I see it is like this, because of all the other wrong kind of cakers, I won't allow my name or my work to be associated with that. You know what they say "word of mouth is the best advert out there".

Twizzles Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 12:09pm
post #7 of 23

Doug,
my thoughts exactly. I have sold and bought many things by using craigslist, but it's like what you said, second hand quality stuff.
I think I will try my website, advertising in the local paper, giving away samples, etc and if all else fails I will try craigslist.
I truly believe first impressions count and I would much rather someone find my brochure in a Bridal shop than the 'classified ads'icon_smile.gif))
I do k ow where I live people are not so snobbish as to order from my 'home based business', I don't think anyhow, lol. I live in the south in farm country where everybody knows everybody and our local town has 2 grocery stores and a Walmart and none have a bakery and the town does not have a bakery.
I would love to open a Bakery in town, but I have six children to tend to and it just wouldn't work out right now

Leah_s,
I agree about Craigslist for bargain hunters, that's why we shop on thereicon_smile.gif and like Texas_rose said, customer service and building a over the top quality reputation is vital.

I started this post because I know there are alot of people like me that are starting cake decorating as a business, but haven't thought through about their marketing and I don't want them to sell themselves cheap. If they do quality workicon_smile.gif


...

Chasey Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 12:17pm
post #8 of 23

I use craigslist to bargain shop items like jogging strollers, etc. I wouldn't hire a baker from there.

But.....out of curiosity I have searched bakers on craigslist and the ONLY ones I would have chosen are those that have professional websites in their ads. Spelling and grammar have to be exceptional as well. If the ad is full of partial sentences and has a couple of cake pics taken on their kitchen counter or table, no thank you. icon_smile.gif

My point is, use craigslist to direct traffic to your professional website.

jennbrownrigg Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 12:34pm
post #9 of 23

I live in Canada and have posted an ad on our equivalent to craigs list. BUT, as mentioned here, it has a photo of my logo and directs people to my website.

I have gotten numerous orders through this. I once in conversation with a client asked what made her choose my ad over the others and she told me it was because everything was spelled correctly and proper. I then browsed other ads on there, and was shocked at what people are trying to sell. "I'm just starting and if you don't mind your cake is not perfect, I will do it for $30"...SERIOUSLY?

I find pros & cons, like I said, I've gotten business, many are now loyal customers, but then I also find you get A LOT of last minute requests, and of course the bargain hunters who freak when you say $60. LOL..

SO, I think it's all a matter of preference. It definitely helped me when I was just starting, and I now have a decent loyal client base BUT, I used it as a means to get my website out.

Twizzles Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 12:36pm
post #10 of 23

I agree Chasey. I have thought of linking my website through Craigslist and I have also searched for cake decorators on there too and not to be mean but they do market themselves as second hand. I completely hope they stay busy, but I would like to grab them by the shoulders and shake them a bit and tell them if you change this, this and this in your marketing and minor changes at that, than you could double your business.

That's the whole point in this post, Newbies pay attention to the small details because they will pay off in the end!!

That's just like Etsy, the hottest sellers on there sell by the quality of their pictures and the customer service of courseicon_smile.gif

icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 12:37pm
post #11 of 23

Ditto Doug and leah.

You measure yourself by the company you WANT to keep.

I just never wanted to be known as the "garage sale cake lady".

Eisskween Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 12:41pm
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by thatslifeca

I live in Canada and we have something out here called kijjii (same as craigslist I believe). A friend of my niece's from her work came to me just yesterday with another sad story. Hired a girl to do her cake (was quoted the cake can be done for $200 and wedding July 23), now she can't find the girl. She gave a $100 deposit and the caker is not answering emails or phone calls(I believe the phone # has been disconnected). I've decided to help her out and do her cake. 12", 10", 8", 6" rectengular, and I'm going to do it for $200. Yes, you heard correctly LOL. I wouldn't do that for everyone, and you would be amazed how many people come to me with that problem. When they started Kijji, I thought about put an ad out there, but then I changed my mind. It's not the forum for me. The way I see it is like this, because of all the other wrong kind of cakers, I won't allow my name or my work to be associated with that. You know what they say "word of mouth is the best advert out there".




I remember one last year, where the girl paid in full. Came time for her wedding, NO CAKE! The excuse the caker gave: "I went on vacation, and I forgot."

I find that appalling and is there a better more intense word than unacceptable? To ruin a bride's day over your ignorance is disgusting. And if you're reading this (addressing "forgetful" one), you should be ashamed of yourself and I truly hope no one else was unfortunate enough to book you.

Twizzles Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 1:02pm
post #13 of 23

Thank you Indydebi, you hit the nail on the head!!!!

Word of mouth for sure and samples and donations.
I know when I lived in Alaska theres a bakery there that donates pink and blue, 2 serving baby bootie cakes to the local hospitals for the parents of the newborns. I had the pleasure of getting my ownicon_smile.gif, and I always thought how nice. I want to do the same here if they will let me.

I am also donating jungle themed sugar cookies and cupcakes to the local church for their VBS program next month, and I will be sure to have my business cards readyicon_razz.gif
I truly believe we have to give to receive and not just do it for that reason but because we do careicon_smile.gif)))

thatslifeca Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 4:52pm
post #14 of 23

You know eisskween, you would be amazed at how many sad stories I hear on a weekly bases about this one topic. I will sometimes try to help the bride out, and sometimes I just can't. I do have advice for brides out there thou regarding finding what you want. I understand that wedding cakes can be expensive, but in the end you'll get what you paid for.

Jeep_girl816 Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 5:21pm
post #15 of 23

We sold a car on CL this past year and man it sure drew out the weirdos! We had calls all hours of the day and night with random questions and people wanting something for nothing, there was even one guy who just wanted to but the tires! I would think you'd get a lot of "we're really on a tight budget" people who want to feed 150 for less than $100. Maybe your area's different but our list seems a bit shady.

malene541 Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 5:30pm
post #16 of 23

I like the quote "you get what you pay for". It represents a lot in life!

Twizzles Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 5:42pm
post #17 of 23

I think it is that way about everywhere.
Granted I do use it to buy stuff at a 'bargain' like others will be expecting, but it can get shady as you said, I know too, we bought a vehicle that turned into a nightmare, the ban was fine it was just the owner who was the troubleicon_sad.gif

costumeczar Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 2:01pm
post #18 of 23

Craigslist, no.

ColinLeger Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 3:36am
post #19 of 23

We were Kijiji users but did find that people were trying to get a cheap cakes. We had 'that one' that tried and bargain their way down for a wedding cake by 40-50$. Do these people also bargain with McDo and WalMart.....nevermind.
We've been off Kijiji since but we are now seing our competitors on there selling their cakes...non registered competitors at that (NB, Canada)! Shoud we go back on? Can we afford NOT advertise for free? We've only been in business for 1 year but we would like more recognition for our brand...
Your thoughts?

Chances are that we won't be agressive if we get back on, if at all. We have other plans right now for somewhat free advertisment by sending, as you call it, the network some business cards. Hey if your customers are going to 'the network' who better to pass the 'word of mouth' for you.

costumeczar Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 12:40pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinLeger

We were Kijiji users but did find that people were trying to get a cheap cakes. We had 'that one' that tried and bargain their way down for a wedding cake by 40-50$. Do these people also bargain with McDo and WalMart.....nevermind.
We've been off Kijiji since but we are now seing our competitors on there selling their cakes...non registered competitors at that (NB, Canada)! Shoud we go back on? Can we afford NOT advertise for free? We've only been in business for 1 year but we would like more recognition for our brand...
Your thoughts?

Chances are that we won't be agressive if we get back on, if at all. We have other plans right now for somewhat free advertisment by sending, as you call it, the network some business cards. Hey if your customers are going to 'the network' who better to pass the 'word of mouth' for you.




If you find that people who want cheap cakes go to a certain spot to find sources for cheap cakes, then you shouldn't advertise there unless you want to make cheap cakes. That isn't your customer (unless it is, that's up to you to decide whether you want to work for less than minimum wage). If something doesn't work then don't waste your time on it. Networking with other professionals is always a good idea,though. Just make sure that you're networking with people who will be able to refer business to you. I see a lot of people wasting time networking the wrong way, so think about who you want your customer to be, who can send those customers to you, then focus your efforts on networking with that group.

scp1127 Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 7:23pm
post #21 of 23

Twizzles, you are already on the right track with your new baby and VBS ideas. Keep trying to get your product TASTED! Meeting people and talking about your cake with samples in hand is great for areas like yours. And all of this sampling is advertising expense.

sweetonyouzz Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 8:48pm
post #22 of 23

I have got many customers that were ripped off from these sites...eg, the cake decorator they hired off of Kijiji disappeared, she wont reply to emails...etc, etc...

When I first started, I had some advertising so I could draw them to my website but once I got going I took it off...just attracted people who wanted complicated cakes with no notice and to pay nothing for them.

Interesting fact though, when I was meeting with the health inspector with my blueprints she said that in our area they were going to bust all the unlicensed decorators on those websites. I went on just kijiji and a local "used" website later that day and counted 18.

A nice website with some nice pics brings in a lot of business as well as doing a great cake for someone...they tell their friends and so on.,,,that is what makes a business boom.

Jo

BethLS Posted 1 Nov 2010 , 12:37pm
post #23 of 23

I have an add posted within the event listings on my local craigslist. (Its not in the "general" and will NOT show up if you type in "cake" in the search engine)

I have gotten many brides from my listing, and several more tastings yet to be done (this month). I do not get the "cheap cake" people, for the most part. (Hey, we all get them! Craigslist or not)

I'm from Michigan, and I was contacted by a bride in LAS VEGAS to do her cake. (the small three tier with fondant and the little green flowers in my cake photos) Her wedding was being held in a town a few hours from where I live. But it worked out great! Not all experiences are bad on craigslist...it is entirely what you make it!

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