(O.T.) Craigslist

Posted by: daniokeeper

(O.T.) Craigslist - 10/25/12 08:28 PM

A while back, a tuner was criticized rather strongly on this forum who advertised on Craigslist. I have to admit, I didn't get it. Is there something inherently discrediting about CL? I'm wondering if there is some insider joke that I'm not privy to. (Which can certainly happen smile )

I'm not asking because I am trying to start controversy; I am asking because I am considering advertising on CL. This will be the first time I tried advertising for many years. In don't want to do something that will injure my business.

To make a long story short, I have been having some severe health problems for quite a while now. I developed edema so extreme that I could no longer fit behind the steering wheel of my S-10. I worked a greatly reduced schedule until ultimately I was unable to work at all for many months.

Eventually, I was hospitalized with heart failure, cor pulmonale, and I was in afib, which took many days to bring me out of.

Fortunately, I am very much on the mend. smile The heart seems to keep getting stronger and I keep developing more and more endurance. According to my MD. I have a very good Chance at a good outcome.

Since you've read this far, I am going to do what I always seem to do these days when discussing this...

I am going to get up on my soap box:

The root cause of all this was many years of undiagnosed sleep apnea. It damaged the heart almost to the point of not working at all. If you or a loved one suspects OSA, get checked out. You don't want to go through this; you don't want to watch them go through this.

Anyhow, as I became ill, though many people decided to wait for me, some did have to move on. I respect that and bear them no grudges. After all, they just wanted to get the piano tuned, not get pulled into some melodrama.

So now I want to increase somewhat my client list. Ironically, I want to be careful not to increase it by too much. I'm physically only capable of handling so much work at this time. It would be harmful to the business to over-promise or start sending folks away.

So... back to the original question...

Is there any specific reason or objection to a tuner advertising on Craigslist?

Thanks,
-Joe
Posted by: OperaTenor

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/25/12 09:33 PM

I think CL's a great place to advertise. Go for it.
Posted by: rysowers

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 12:45 AM

I've advertised on there for many years. Its free, and you can put lots of information. A no-brainer in my book!
Here's a link to my ad:
http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/sks/3365580971.html

I also try to keep pianos advertised on there too. That way, people who are looking for pianos will also be more likely to call me even if they buy a different piano.
http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/grq/3365582635.html
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 01:54 AM

As long as you put effort into your post, there's nothing wrong with it!
Posted by: James Carney

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 09:01 AM

Joe,

Wishing you a full recovery...

Ryan, it's fantastic that you are getting those fees, which would be considered very high in NYC. If I may ask, how many new customers do you think you get through CL each year? I'm also curious if you get price shoppers who don't bother to look at your rates before calling.
Posted by: Emmery

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 12:21 PM

I've occasionally put a listing up on kijiji and have had a few jobs come of it. Problem is that if you don't keep deleting and renewing it...it moves down the list out of immediate first page visibility really fast. Tends to bring out the bargain hunters also, so you have to deal with that issue also.
Posted by: rysowers

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 12:45 PM

Originally Posted By: James Carney
Joe,

Wishing you a full recovery...

Ryan, it's fantastic that you are getting those fees, which would be considered very high in NYC. If I may ask, how many new customers do you think you get through CL each year? I'm also curious if you get price shoppers who don't bother to look at your rates before calling.


I don't know, I have a friend who told me he is getting $175 for just a basic tuning in NYC. My $175 includes some amount of additional service work beyond basic tuning. That additional work is the key to higher rates.

As far as how many customers come from CL a year? I have no idea. Probably not many. However, I see it as reinforcement. The more avenues that your name gets into the public consciousness the better.
Posted by: bkw58

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 12:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Emmery
I've occasionally put a listing up on kijiji and have had a few jobs come of it. Problem is that if you don't keep deleting and renewing it...it moves down the list out of immediate first page visibility really fast. Tends to bring out the bargain hunters also, so you have to deal with that issue also.


Very true. CL, and such like, is very much like the classified section of a newspaper. Most go there hunting for bargains. If ones tuning fee is at bargain-basement level then it can produce business. On the other hand, if the fee is normal to high, then much time will be wasted on the phone (or puter)returning messages.
Posted by: Emmery

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 12:56 PM

Its best to have a fee structure that is very middle of the road for the free ads to work in both your favour and the customers. The people visiting those sites already have a good idea what most of the techs charge and are looking to see if there are other options. There isn't any long term sustainance in being the cheapest deal on the block.
Posted by: BDB

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 01:12 PM

My tunings are so sensual that since they changed their policy on adult oriented ads, Craigslist will no longer list them.
Posted by: Emmery

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 01:48 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
My tunings are so sensual that since they changed their policy on adult oriented ads, Craigslist will no longer list them.


Are you offering the EBVS temperament flavour of the month? (Equal Beating Victorias' Secret).
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 02:25 PM

Wow! A lot of folks do like CL. It's good to know.

Ryan, those are awesome ads.

Thanks for all the good wishes smile

-Joe
Posted by: Bob

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 08:23 PM

It's worth noting that Ryan's ad is under the category "services" in Craigslist which is allowed.

Advertising tuning services in the "for Sale" categories is a violation of the terms of service - especially when they low ball the market with a cheap price in the headline of the ad. If someone does that in your area, you can contact Craigslist with a complaint.
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/26/12 10:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Bob
It's worth noting that Ryan's ad is under the category "services" in Craigslist which is allowed.

Advertising tuning services in the "for Sale" categories is a violation of the terms of service - especially when they low ball the market with a cheap price in the headline of the ad. If someone does that in your area, you can contact Craigslist with a complaint.


Aha! I suspect I'm beginning to see. I wonder if some tuners out there have had to deal with a lot of mischief from fly-by-nighters running ads on Craigslist.

I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I still have a little bit of my edge wink smile
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/27/12 09:54 AM

You're right on there Joe as far as I'm concerned. I've seen many "tooners" advertising on CL for really, really cheap, that do horrible work. One person here has advertised for $45. You should see his work! Yipes!

In my experience, at least here, people looking on CL, are more often looking for "cheap" not "quality."
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/27/12 07:23 PM

Thank you, Jerry !

I understand, now. After this little experience recently, it's become very clear to me just how expensive it really is to live these days. If I do go the CL route, I'm not likely to be the low bidder.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/29/12 12:20 PM

Joe,

I just read your posting up top. Geez, I had no idea you were not well, those are very serious conditions you have at the moment. I hope things are getting better and remain so.

Any way you can get back to building your client base I would use including Craigslist, Kijijii, or your local town or city forum if there is one where you are.

Also make plans to have a web page designed for your business. You could begin with a one page static site or have a Google site or WordPress site. Web design is getting cheaper and easier ever day. Lots of places to design one on your own.

Best of luck on a speedy recovery.
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 10/29/12 08:35 PM

Hi Dan!

Thanks for the good wishes smile I do seem to keep getting stronger and stronger. I hope the storm is passing.

I have been contemplating a web-page. I've been searching for the cheapest way to build and host one. I can pinch a penny until poor Mr. Lincoln's eyes bleed.

The social media sites like FaceBook seem to be very time consuming to do them correctly. Either you need to be diligently involved, or it could probably make you lose credibility to present a site that seems stale and neglected.

Like you suggested, it would probably be best to start with a simple one-page site.


I hope all is well with you.

All the best!
-Joe
Posted by: CoolPianoStuff

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 11/02/12 05:41 PM

Social media has its advantages but it does take a time commitment which may or may not fit with your needs or situation. Beyond that I always highly recommend owning your own property.

Using social media and other resources to complement your own website is great but should not be used a replacement. Use them in addition to, not instead of, your own website. Lots of reasons but basically you have so much more control, which can be quite important.

Costs can range from virtually nothing to ludicrous depending not only on the type of site, features, etc. but on who is doing the work. The old adage “you get what you pay for” may be generally true but not always.

If you really, really just want to put up a simple static site with 1-5 pages and never want to look at it again, then you may want to hire a designer/developer to do that for you. Cost can be fairly reasonable.

But if you would like to start with something simple, be able to build out the site over time, and have an easy way to do that yourself as well as add new content on a somewhat regular basis then you will want to consider WordPress.

Please note: there are two “WordPress” sites. One is wordpress.com which does make things super easy - and free. But it has the same disadvantage as mentioned earlier. You lose a lot of control of what you can do with your site.

If you visit wordpress.org you can download the free software and find loads of themes, plugins etc. to help you build your site. There are also a huge amount of WordPress resources online generally.

What you would need to do is buy your domain name, buy hosting for the site, install WordPress (WP has a famous 5 minute install and some hosting companies have their own easy install feature) and then set up your site, modify, edit, whatever and add your content.

One thing about WP is they do release updates on a regular basis and it’s good practice to keep up with that. So it does require a little more oversight than a static HTML site but that’s a small price to pay for what you can do with it.

You can buy a domain name for under $10 and find hosting packages for $5-10/month. WordPress software is free.

Sorry for the long post, it’s hard for me to stop once I get started on this subject.
Posted by: showard

Re: (O.T.) Craigslist - 11/02/12 08:47 PM

I've been advertising my tuning and piano moving services on Craigslist for a few years now and I find it to be a very good source of referrals. The only thing it costs me is my time to make sure the listing is renewed every few days to keep it toward the top of the search category. I've always listed this in the musical instruments for sale category and haven't ever had a problem. I get several calls a month from the listing. It does bring a higher than average rate of older pianos that aren't in very good condition, but my philosophy is that these pianos should be serviced too even though there are some technicians who won't work on them. I am honest with the customers if there are things that could be done to improve the piano, but in most cases they are just happy that it sounds better once it is tuned and all the keys play.