Oh how I love my Craigslist. I’ve used it to remodel my kitchen. I used it to save 50% off a set of snow tires. I’ve used it to create an exercise room.
Ok, so maybe I actually have just an exercise corner – not a room. Indulge me.
The point here is, Craigslist can save you a bundle of money and makes it not only easy to “upcycle” but to “upgrade.”
Before you go hunting down your own Craigslist treasure, you’ll want to read these 9 tips to search Craigslist like a pro.
Tip 1. USE KEYWORDS
This is where you need to think about exactly what you want.
Let’s say you need a set of adjustable weight dumbbells. That’s what you’ll want to search first.
Next, you’ll want to look up just dumbbells. Then, you’ll want to look up weights. Keep going and try exercise equipment.
To search Craigslist like a pro you need to think of taking your very specific search and working out to a general search. You might know that you want a Herman Miller Aeron C for your desk, so that would be your first keyword search. The seller might know they have a desk chair but have no idea people are really excited by a Herman Miller chair. So your next search might be desk chair.
Tip 2. USE MISSPELLINGS
I’m of the opinion you never 100% learn to spell. There are always those words that present a challenge.
For example, avocado always trips me up. Shouldn’t it be avacado? That’s how I say it.
When you are searching Craigslist like a pro, you’ll want to search as many misspellings for your keyword as you can possibly imagine.
Here are some examples of common Craigslist misspellings:
Need an armoire? Try armoir, armwore, armiore. Searching for a dresser? You’ll also need to look for a dressor. Or, you might find a great table when you search tabel. Is it a dining room table? Or is it a dinning room table?
You get the picture.
Tip 3. SEARCH BY GALLERY
The default search on Craigslist takes you to a classified style list. It has the title but no picture. Craigslist pros want to see the photo listings – not have to click on each one.
That’s where gallery view comes in.
Type in your keyword. When your results pull up, click on the Gallery View button to be able to see at a glance if the listing is something you want to investigate further.
Tip 4. SEARCH BY MAP
The awesomeness doesn’t end with gallery view. Now you can also search Craigslist by map.
This view makes me giddy. You can see exactly where the listing is located!
Again, you’ll want to enter your keyword into the search bar. Then, when the search results are returned, you’ll want to click on the “MAP” button.
Once it pulls up the map, hover over the number. If there are multiple listings, Craigslist will drill down to that particular area and show you a new, more detailed map of those listings.
Listings may be more appealing based on their proximity to you. Or, they might be more appealing based on their proximity to the more ritzy parts of town.
Tip 5. USE THE | IN YOUR SEARCH
Let’s say you are looking for furniture for your kiddo’s room. And you know you need either a bunk bed or a trundle bed.
Take a little looksy at your keyboard. See the key above the enter key? That’s where you will find the | key.
Into the Craigslist search bar enter bunk bed | trundle bed. Your search results will now show you all the bunk bed and trundle bed listings all at once.
Tip 6. USE THE – (MINUS SIGN) IN YOUR SEARCH
Now let’s say you’re a Pottery Barn fan. And you just want to see what Pottery Barn items are out there.
Except you just bought a Pottery Barn bed. So you know you don’t need one of those.
In the search bar enter Pottery Barn -bed. Craigslist will filter out any results that include the word “bed”.
Tip 7. USE QUOTATION MARKS
So a curious thing happened when you searched for bunk beds. You learned there is a RV/trailer/5th wheel known as a bunk.
To make sure those trailers don’t show up in your search results, you’ll want to search for “bunk beds” using the quotation marks around your search term. That tells Craigslist you just want to see bunk beds.
Tip 8. SET A MINIMUM AMOUNT ABOVE $1
Dealers and scammers post their listings at $1. They do this so if you set your view to show from the lowest price to the highest, you will automatically be shown their listings first.
Make it a habit to set your minimum price to 2 to filter those listings out.
Tip 9. USE AN APP
There was a time when I was obsessed with finding a dual fuel range. (other search terms: duel fuel range, dual fuel stove, duel fuel stove, “dual fuel”, “dual fuel” -truck)
Instead of spending every free moment popping onto the computer to see if a new listing was up, I used the cPro app for my iPhone.
While the free functionality of the cPro app is good, I did spend the $2.99 for the notifications.
For $2.99 I found the perfect range and saved $2,000. I’d say it was worth the investment, wouldn’t you?
So tell me fellow Craigslist pros, what did I miss?