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http://www.craigslist.org/about/help/email-relay describes the semi-anonymous email relay service Craigslist runs for its users. That page states:

Q: Can I continue to communicate with respondents after my ad has been removed?

A: Yes, existing reply email communication threads can continue for up to 6 months.

Users of the Craigslist forums report that the service sometimes allows a thread to continue for longer: e.g. eight months.

Still, what happens if you try to reply when it's too late?

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I did an exact-phrase search through the Craigslist help desk forum archives for the query [ "after 6 months" ].

I found that an anonymous forum poster reports:

Emails just vanished after 6 months, according to my correspondent (we had already exchanged alternate addresses). No bounce.

My own experimentation with replying to very old threads indicates that anonymous poster is probably correct.

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