1. Always use the remailer option
Craig’s List has an option that for your advertisement, it will “re-mail” an email from an interested party to your actual email. This, by the way, completely rocks. As you probably get spam already, posting your email address in the plain on Craig’s List is just an invitation to get more spam. So use this option. It dovetails with other tips below, so don’t skip it, Chester.
2. Don’t post anything private
I feel like an idiot mentioning this, but people put their cell phone, their address, and all kinds of other things in their advertisements. Just the city, state, and what you’re selling. Sheesh. For those that aren’t connected always to email, a cell phone’s not a bad idea, as long as you don’t mind random calls at 3:00 AM. (Hawaii time … sorry!)
3. Set your “reply-to” to the remailer email address
This is the tricky one. If your “remailer” email is email@example.com, then you want to set this up as the “From” when you reply.
Why? Just for safety, I suppose.
Oh, and some people are idiots. I’ve received emails asking me to “Join my social network” from complete strangers, or people who used the online password safe program I helped develop. The support email address is in their address book, and they send it to everyone in their address book.
Even better, they don’t BCC and everyone in their address book knows my email address now! Whee!
To set up your “From:” for replies using Gmail, add the email address to your Gmail account once the advertisement is active. Then you can reply using this new email address.
For Mozilla Thunderbird (and other email clients), you can set up a personality which allows you to change the “From:” email address to be the remailer email address. This way you can reply to inquiries and remain anonymous. When the Craig’s List post expires, the remailer email address expires and your email remains safe.