In the spirit of finding great stuff for cheap–I’m posting some tips from Apartment Therapy detailing how to use Google Alerts to maximize craigslist searches. Basically–you just automate it so that Google Alerts tells you when an awesome Eames chair pops up on craigslist rather than having to pour through the listings all day.
Basically: “If you want to be notified immediately if, say, someone posts a vintage dresser on craigslist, you can create a google news alert for it. Just click here, enter your search term (i.e. “vintage dresser”) followed by site:your local craigslist site (i.e. “site:losangeles.craigslist.org”), choose your delivery options, and click “Create Alert”. Be sure to enter your local craigslist web address. Google will now handily notify you if someone in your area posts a vintage dresser, or whatever you’re looking for, for sale or free.”
and even more tips are below:
- Keywords: I use a lot of general keywords to browse such as “retro” vintage” “1970s” as well as color descriptions because I am generally a fan of “pink” “gold” and “white” for example. Try to think of any words that might be in the description, rather than in the title. If there are particular materials you like, search those. For example “porcelain” “brass” “linen” “glass” or “velvet.” Another option is to search for the brand or designer such as “IKEA” “Eames” or “DWR” but keep in mind that a lot of people may not know what they have. Always start with one keyword to get the broadest results and add more to narrow your results.
- Alternate Spelling: If you are looking for a farmhouse table, search “farmhouse” and in a separate search, search “farm house.” Each set will yield different results. If you search them together you will only get results in which both spellings are used.
- Software: Download free software that can search across multiple Craigslist sites such as Free CraigsList Reader Pro 4.2.3 from CraigsPal. It stores your locations (in my case NH and Boston) and allows you to type in any combination of key words. Within the software, the results appear in the top half of the screen and as you click an item it opens in the lower half of the screen. So much time is saved not having to comb through numerous sites or click on individual links!
- Automate: Use Google Alerts to search Cragslist for you! Type “site:boston.craigslist.org keyword” in the Search Terms box and select the option to be alerted to new content as-it-happens. In this case you want to be alerted immediately since the hot items go fast.