Online classified ads can be a bit of a jungle, featuring offers for many different categories from cars to clothing. When it comes to vacation rentals, they also have a bad reputation for fraud – among both owners and renters.

However, some of these sites are very popular, particularly in specific locations. With minimal investment of time or money, as long as you keep an eye out for suspicious requests there’s little to lose by adding your own listing to the mix. From my experience, aside from the major listing sites, classified sites have driven the most inquiries and bookings over any other channel.  They can be particularly helpful for filling last-minute inventory if you find yourself approaching an unfilled period on your calendar.

A few basics about online classified ads:

  • Basic classified ads tend to be free, although there may be an optional fee for more prominent placement.
  • Your ad may have a limited lifespan before it disappears, so you’ll need to plan to renew it regularly.
  • Most sites don’t require you to have an account to place an ad. However, registering may make it easier for you to renew your ad without recreating it.

Also, on sites like Craigslist where you need to post your ad to an area-specific local site, find the site closest to your vacation rental to post your listing, rather than the site that’s closest to where you live.

You may want to selectively post your ad to a few other targeted local sites to draw attention to your rental, but with so many different sites – Craigslist, for example, has 700 local sites – it’s hard to maintain too many additional ads. Be sure to read the site’s terms of use as well, since some prohibit posting your ad in multiple locations.

There are literally hundreds of classified ad sites available; don’t forget to ask around and find out what sites are popular in the area around your vacation rental.

A few of the more popular sites to consider:

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