Most error messages that you get from websites when something happens are very little use. Behind the scenes though there will be a lot more information and it will be usually quite straight forward. In many situations, the error message are deliberately vague especially when the problems are not really problems at all!
Craigslist is one of the world’s biggest classified directories, loved by many and used by millions of people every day. As such it’s a fantastic place to sell goods and service in remote markets that would normally be completely inaccessible. A friend of mine sells some very specialised computer software from his bedroom in North Manchester, United Kingdom on Craigslist. His biggest market this year were from two cities in the United States – New York and Chicago, reaching customers here would be impossible without Craigslist to help him.
If you’re looking for a place to make your living online then you could definitely do worse than start here. It’s a gold mine if you know how to use it properly and of course have something that can sell to a global market. Yet there are challenges, especially if you want to utilize more than just your local directory.
The challenge is that to make real money you have to unlock all these remote directories and place adverts on them too. My friend wouldn’t get very far just placing adverts on the Manchester directory, but Craigslist doesn’t want you to do this. It’s a local directory and they want to limit the scope for global marketing and sales.
The Craigslist Sorry Something Went Wrong Error Message
Many marketers and entrepreneurs will see this message and be completely unaware of what’s happening. It’s largely designed to be that way, as often there’s actually no error but the site has simply decided to block access. Craigslist has an extremely sophisticated security system which looks for patterns of behavior which contravenes their Terms of Service.
Here’s the sort of things that can cause you to be flagged by the Craigslist detection systems –
- Placing too many adverts in a short period of time
- Placing the same adverts on multiple directory sites.
- Placing adverts on directories which are not local to you.
- Obvious commercial behavior primarily when placing adverts.
- Illegal behavior
Unfortunately they’re all the sorts of things that you need to do to reach customers for your product or services at least in any volume. Any of these will result in both your IP address and account being flagged and eventually banned.
If you have been flagged then initially it doesn’t always look like anything is wrong but you’ll get frequent errors like this and related ones like ‘something went wrong’ or ‘an error has occurred’. Eventually you’ll probably get one which mentions your IP address too. What is happening is that your IP address has probably been banned and likely your account too. In order to continue to use Craigslist you are going to have to do two things (and it’s not ringing the Craigslist error phone number!)
- Change your IP address.
- Create a new account
However it’s important to do this in that order, if your address has been banned then any subsequent account created using it will suffer the same fate. Don’t try and recover your account, it’s almost impossible and not worth the effort.
How to Unblock Your IP Address on Craigslist
In reality this is not really possible, at least the only real solution is time and eventually your address will drop off the lists if it’s left unused. What you need to do is ensure you use a new IP address whenever you access the site, which can be done by using a proxy server. This is a server which you can use to act as an intermediary whenever you access Craigslist, the site will only see the IP address of the proxy and not your real address.
This has huge potential especially when you realise that many proxy services allow you to access thousands of different IP addresses all over the world. Here’s one of my favorites that works extremely well with Craigslist for reasons detailed below.
Now there are many proxy services available online but unfortunately 99% of them are not suitable for use with Craigslist. Their security system has several key indicators it looks for which will block the use of most them.
One of the key requirements is to ensure that each IP address you use is from the correct location – i.e. you must use an address from the same location as the directory. Trying to place adverts on the Chicago directory using a Canadian IP address is going to result in another ban very quickly. Secondly the IP address must be clean and not detectable as a proxy or VPN server. Unfortunately most proxies use IP addresses registered in datacenters which will often be flagged as potential proxies. You need to ensure they are classified as residential IP addresses registered to normal home users.
It is these requirements which narrow the field down considerably especially as residential IP addresses are very hard to find. Basically you want the ability to switch to a residential IP address that matches the directory you are posting to. So a Californian proxy server for a Californian directory, then perhaps a New York one and so on. There’s only small number of companies who have access to sufficient residential addresses to enable this sort of activity.
Which is why my friend uses a SmartProxy subscription to sell his software all over the world !