Monday, February 18, 2008

One Reason Why Newspapers Are Going Out Of Business

After listing my house on Craig's List I decided to investigate a classified ad. The online classified ads with my local newspaper did not mention any ad prices but there was a form to fill out for new ads. I thought if I filled out the form maybe the screen at the end would tell me how much it was going to cost. Instead, it said 'thank you for your submission and a representative will be contacting you shortly'. So today someone from the newspaper called me regarding my ad. She told me the ad would run for one week in both of the local papers plus it would run for a month online. Then I asked for the price. Let's see, she said, that will be $248.70. Oh, I said, hoping I had heard wrong. Then she said, well, if we take out these extra words about the utilities, it will only be $205. Oh great, I heard correctly. It cost over $200!!! Well, I said, how about if we take out some more words like the washer and dryer and fridge. Now it was down to $163. That's better but still a LOT more than I expected. Advertising online with Home Away only cost $300 for a whole year (and I thought that was expensive). The newspaper is more than half that price for only one week in print and one month online!

I'm going to have to think about this. For $300 Home Away will get me a few short term out of town rental guests but not enough to cover the rest of the mortgage payments (I need 6 more months for this year). If I am lucky I will get 2 more mortgage payments covered. The newspaper could potentially get me a long term renter but it seems like such a gamble. I might not get anything for my $163. Also, if my current guests want to come back next year, I can't have any permanent renters. I'll have to kick them out in January. So what are the chances that I will attract someone through the newspaper who only wants to stay until January?

Ah, decisions, decisions. I feel like I should pick either Home Away or the newspaper, not both. I don't really have an extra $463 for advertising anyway. That's half of a mortgage payment. I am leaning toward Home Away with Craig's List covering the local advertising since it is free. I need to decide soon. The house will be vacant on Friday! I'm not stressing...noooo.

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