22 July 2008

Craigslist search tools and "Why wake up so early?"

I missed my co-workers, but I didn't miss getting up so early! I'm getting jealous of the 4 day work week.

Now searching craigslist.org (CL) for housing or a car can be time consuming if you simply repeat the search over and over to find the newest posts. Also, it is not possible to directly search more than one region (i.e., search for a car in SF Bay Area, Sacramento, Modesto, and Monterey Bay). But there are several ways to get around these problems:

(1) CL offers RSS feeds - these are little subscriptions that can be sent to a simple program on your desktop which update like news headlines everytime a new result matching your search comes up.

(2) Crazedlist.org - searches multiple cities/regions at the same time and provides the results on a single page. It has a little bugginess for firefox users, but it's easy to work around.

(3) Craigshelper.com - very similar to crazed list but with ads for other services, forced to initially also get eBay results, promotes the author's other programs (which may be useful, such as Hankshelper.com which searches multiple car sale sites simultaneously).

(4) Craigspal.com - comes in a "free" (which is VERY limited) and "paid" version that will notify you by cell phone SMS or email. Can do multi-city searches. Requires a download though. Honestly, I wasn't too impressed.

(5) Craigslist Search - easy multi-city search, some minor bugginess with removing cities from results in tabbed view, but great interface/tabs compared with others.

There's no one solution to both (1) notify you of recent posts AND (2) search multiple cities
UNLESS you create your own RSS feeds for separate cities and searches.

Maybe these attempts will get somewhere or CL itself will make the feature available in their efforts to remain at the top as they get pressure from eBay, google, and others similar free classified sites. Hear that folks at 9th & Judah? Have a slice of Milano's or Arizmendi and think about it, eh?


Craig's Helper Nathan said...


Nathan here - author of CraigsHelper. Just wanted to thank you for the shout-out, and to mention that CraigsHelper.com is always growing and evolving.

Changes are underway right now to add several more useful features to the site, as well as to pare down some of the less vital messages and advertisements.

Hope you'll check it out again soon!

Anonymous said...

Found a cool tool for finding out right away if the CL posting you're looking for comes up. Saves your searches, runs them every five minutes, and emails you any new ones. Got my welder that way!


Anonymous said...

Thought you might be interested in these guys stealing your content: http://911forkids.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/craigslist-search-tools-and-why-wake-up-so-aboriginal/

Abe said...

Thanks for the heads-up Anon@1:53am - I filed a complaint with Wordpress at this address:

What a weird thing to have happen - looks like they had a program that simply took the text I created and then inserted relatively similar words that seem pulled at random from a thesaurus. Makes little to no sense that way, but it is clearly the same:

For example, in my post, I wrote:
"Also, it is not possible to directly search more than one region (i.e., search for a car in SF Bay Area, Sacramento, Modesto, and Monterey Bay). But there are several ways to get around these problems:"

In the 911forkids post that content was altered to read:
"Also, it is naryt accomplishable to directly search more than united region (i.e., search for a car in SF Colored Area, Sacramento, Modesto, and Monterey Colored). But there are individual ways to get around these problems:"

Again, thanks for looking out!

Abe said...

Sent an email to Wordpress at the above link, got a reply within 4 hours:

The 911forkids blog is suspended."

That was FAST!