Craigslist is a tricky animal. It's full of fabulous things as well as those that fall into the category of, "Why would anyone want that?" Either way, it's easy to go cross-eyed after your 30th Dora The Explorer item. We are BFF's with Craigslist and sift through multiple cities, multiple times a week and are here to share some of what makes our searching go a little quicker!
Craigslist is a life sucker. It can take a ridiculous amount of time to sort through the hundreds of thousands of listings that it holds. Sometimes it can feel like going to the grocery store without a list. You know you're hungry and require food, but you have no idea what form you would like it in. It's easy to get derailed as you sit down to look for a lamp and end up looking at power drills. It might not always be that extreme, but it's easy to float from one topic and category to another.
Here's a few of the tips we use to sort through the rift raft and find exactly what we are looking for (as long as it's listed in the first place.):
1. Start Out With A List Of Keywords: If you know you love a certain brand of stroller or clothing, write it down. It's easy to assume that we'll remember them when we finally get a chance to sit down and look, but with the whirlwinds of the day floating around, it's easy to forget.
2. Have A List Of Key Phrases: Sometimes people aren't as wordy as you'd like them to be in their listings. They might not know brand names, but they know it has a "vintage" feel or a "modern" vibe to it. More often than not we'll find the best deals when we are searching for key words as opposed to brand names.
3. Add Craigs Toolbox: For those who aren't using it, Craigs Toolbox is a simple add-on that installs easily and will make your Craigslist viewing 500% easier. Once installed it will show you a picture for any listing where the user originally uploaded a photo to the listing (which is roughly 75%). It won't show you pictures of those listings where Flickr was used, but will still tell you if there's a picture attached for you to click on. Not having to click on listings to see what a "cute fluffy pink thing" is will save you more time than you know!
4. Keep A List Of Products: Outside of brands and phrases, searching strictly by product type is a great way to save time. Searching simply for dressers, or chest of drawers, chandeliers or rugs is an easy way to navigate through the waves and waves of newborn clothing and sippy cups. At the end of our list we always add a few things that we know our family members are always on the lookout for as well!
5. Check It Everyday: Checking something that can be a time waster in the first place more often might sound silly, but in all reality, the early bird gets the worm and emailing someone for that perfect dresser first usually locks in your chances of acquiring the item in the end. It also means that it's easier to sit down for 5 minutes, see that there's nothing, or everything you want and then carry on about your day. It doesn't have to consume an entire hour if you keep up with the listings that fall into the categories of your key words and phrases.
Do you have a tip to add to our list? What makes your Craigslist searching easier? Leave us a comment below!