Those who know me have heard the phrase, “We’re out picking something up I found on Craigslist,” quite often. Needless to say, I shop on Craigslist A LOT. Why, might you ask? I can find almost ANYTHING I want at a killer price, and I can search vintage finds without the all-day, shop to shop antiquing. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I love stepping away from my loud crazy kids to go shopping by M Y S E L F, but I can’t afford that much babysitting, so Craigslist it is! I’ve been at the Craigslist game so long, I have some Craigslist search secrets I want to share with you!
Let’s be lazy! We are already in leggings shopping from the comfort of our couch, so why type the whole word C.R.A.I.G.S.L.I.S.T. Uhh I’m too tired for that. Google is scary smart and if you just type “cl.com” Google knows you want Craigslist! (it’s the same for any search engine) Also, Craigslist will keep your last searched location, so you don’t have to set it each time. Notice my Craigslist location already pops up as Houston, cause that’s where I always shop. (pssst cause that’s where I live)
Want to change the location before searching? Look on the right side bar on the main page.
You can still change the location after you search, by using the menu bar at the top of the page.
Make an account! It’s actually required if you sell something, but most people don’t know that it’s beneficial for searching too. On the home page left side bar, above the search button, click “my account” to sign up.
Ok you’re signed up and logged in, now start searching! I’m going to use the example of searching for a bench, type “bench” in the search bar. After the results pop up, click save search, as seen on the right side of this page.
Now Craigslist will send you an email each time a seller posts something with this description. You can manage your saved searches, delete searches, or turn off email notifications under your account settings. Click on the Searches tab at the top and there you will find your active searches.
Going back to the bench search, that is a very broad term and you might get just a few emails a day! (sarcasm) To change this, get more specific and save a search for rustic bench, vintage bench, or bedroom bench, etc… For more Craigslist search tricks see 5 East Tips How to Shop Craigslist.
Want a cheat sheet?? Get a FREE list of Craigslist Keywords, to help your Craigslist search!
Next, try searching in different categories! Let’s go back to the bench search again, you might try searching different categories besides just furniture. A fun weathered farmhouse bench may be listed by the seller under farm + garden. If you’re interested in searching local garage sales for a bench, check out garage sale category. Maybe you’re interested in an heirloom piece, try antiques. And never forget to search for free items!! Who doesn’t like free?? Remember, the seller sets the category. Sometimes the category is not furniture, even though they are selling furniture.
One more category suggestion. Using the bench example once again, maybe you’re looking for a very small bench… aka vanity stool for the bathroom. Try looking under beauty + hlth (health) or household. Items for bathrooms are often categorized by sellers as household.
Narrow your search further!! After you search, you will see a menu on the left hand side. You can weed out spammy sellers by choosing for sale by owner. Also, make sure “has image” is checked. NEVER search for furniture or home decor without an image. Waste of time if you ask me, I would never drive to pick something up without seeing it first! If you’re on a budget, set your max price! All the items that show will match or be under your max price. There are other options too, as you can see. Mix and play with them a little.
P.S. Always search in gallery mode, that way you can see all the images without clicking on the ad.
Take a break from shopping and have fun! Did you know on the home page screen in the left side menu, towards the bottom, you will find best-of-craigslist? It’s hilarious, and I’ll just leave this right here!
Hahahaha had to show you this one!
I hope you find all these Craigslist secrets helpful!! Knowing your way around Craigslist will make a better, faster, and easier shopping experience.