Don’t just browse Craigstlist from time to time – be notified every time something you want to buy is listed.
Sellers on Craigslist usually want to sell as quickly as possible, meaning if you find an item before anyone else you’re more likely to actually get it. Job searches, similarly, offer an advantage to the quick.
So be the quick. A variety of apps give you super powers when it comes to Craigslist, sending you notifications when something you’ve searched for is available – meaning you’ll be the first to call when a listing you’re interested in comes up.
If you love the things you find on Craigslist, but hate the process of actually finding them, these are the tools you’ve been looking for.
Get Notifications Anywhere With IFTTT
Get notifications about specific items on your email, IM or social networks of choice. You can even get a computer-read phone call, if you want.
Okay, I know: we talk about IFTTT a lot. But there’s a reason for that: this amazing web app makes every site it interacts with more useful by allowing you to combine apps to create new tools.
Craigslist is no exception. The channel for the online classified listings service in IFTTT offers one trigger: items you search for being listed.
Setting it up isn’t intuitive, but is also not hard once you know how. Just head to your local version of Craigslist, then search for what you want — an item to buy or a certain kind of job. You can simply type what you’re looking for, or you can narrow things down by adding a price/salary range:
Submit the search, then copy the URL. Create a new action in IFTTT, and paste the URL into the Craigslist trigger:
Now all you need to do is decide where you want the notification to go — that is, you have to pick an action. IFTTT’s many channels means the service can send you an email, an IM, or a text message — whatever you think you’ll notice the quickest. You could even opt to have a tweet sent your way, if you want; it’s entirely up to you. I went with IM.
Set up recipes for anything you’re looking for and you’ll be able to respond quickly when stuff you want is listed.
Get Email Notifications With NotiCraig
Not quite sure about signing up and setting up for IFTTT just for Craigslist? NotiCraig is a tool dedicated entirely to sending you an email when something you want shows up on Craigslist. There’s a simple form to fill out and you’re done — no service to sign up for.
Note that this only works if you want an email. NotiCraig can’t send an IM or a text message. Still, it’s simpler than IFTTT and works like a charm if email’s what you’re after. The point is, you’ll know about all new listings you’re interested in, giving you an edge.
Other Craigslist Search Engines
Not interested in notifications? Check out great Craigslist search engines like Search Tempest. These allow you to search the sites in ways Craigslist itself just doesn’t. And not just regional pages near your location. Some even allow you to search content from multiple classified sites, Craigslist being one of them.
All of these are good to have in your Craigslist arsenal, so keep them bookmarked if they look interesting.
Of course, you can also use a site-specific Google search. Simply search Google as you normally would, adding “site:craigslist.org”. You’ll see results only from Craigslist. Add the URL of your local Criagslist page if you’d prefer only local listings (ie, “site:boulder.craigslist.com”).
There are other tools out there. If you’re big on browser integration, check out CraigZilla, which lets you explore Craigslist from your browser’s status bar. It’s quite configurable. You should also check out mashups that make Craigslist more useful, if you want to learn about more ways to enhance your Craigslist experience.
Of course, we probably didn’t think of everything. What tools do you use to become a Craigslist master? Share your secrets in the comments below, unless of course you’d prefer to keep them hidden.
Image Credits: Microscope Via Shutterstock