Updated 1/7/2008: Note that Squeet appears to be non functional at this time.  Craig2Mail.com still appears to work.  Please let me know (via the comments) if there are other sites that provide this valuable service.

craigslist is an online classified ad service, with everything from personals to real estate to bartering offered online. I’ve bought a table from Denver’s craigslist and I know a number of folks who have found roommates via craigslist.

If you have a need that isn’t available right now, you can subscribe to a search of section of craigslist. Suppose you’re looking for a used cruiser bike in Denver, you can search for cruisers and check out the current selection. If you don’t like what you see but don’t want to keep coming back, you can use the RSS feed link for the search, which is at the lower right corner. Put this link into your favorite RSS reader (this is a simple application that manages RSS feeds, which are essentially lists of links. I’d recommend Bloglines but there are many others out there) and you can be automatically apprised of any new cruisers which are posted.

(You find tons of stuff via RSS–stock quotes, job listings, paparazzi photos… The list is endless.)

If you don’t want to deal with yet another application, or you’re not always in your RSS reader (like me), you can set up an RSS to email gateway. That way, if your cruiser bike search is so urgent you don’t want to let a good deal get away, you receive notification of a new posting relatively quickly. If you want, you can even email it to your mobile phone.

The basic steps:

  1. Go to the Squeet signup page. Sign up for a free account. Don’t forget to verify it–they’ll send an email to the address you give them.
  2. Open up a new browser window and go to craigslist, choose the city/section you are interested in, and do a search. The example up above was ‘cruiser’, in the bike section of the Denver CL.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the search results and right click on the RSS link. Choose either ‘Copy Shortcut’ or ‘Copy Link Location’, depending on your browser.
  4. Switch back to the Squeet window, and click in the ‘FEED URL’ box. Paste in the link you just copied. Choose your notification time period–I’d recommend a frequency of ‘live’, since cruiser bikes in the Denver area tend to move pretty quick. Then click the subscribe button.

That’s it. Just wait for the emails to roll in and soon enough you’ll find the cruiser bike of your dreams. Just be aware that it’s not real time–I’ve seen lags from 30 minutes to 2 hours from post to email. Still, it’s a lot easier that clicking ‘Refresh’ on your browser all day and night.

28 thoughts on “How to receive craigslist searches via email

  1. nick says:

    I tried to follow your instructions and I have a couple of questions.

    I signed up at squeet.com and now have a photo drop account. Is that the same thing?

    next question. Where can I find ‘FEED URL’ looked all over and can not find it. Its not a very difficult sight so I must be missing something.

    I really want to use this function.
    Thanks Nick

  2. Pete Saunders says:

    ListListener.com will do this now. Subscriptions supported for both Craigslist and Kijiji.

    Supports both keyword AND price filtering with the advanced subscriptions.

  3. Sarah says:

    Squeet is dead.

    listlistener.com is a lot more advanced anyway. I buy and sell cars on Craigslist and listlistener totally changed by business.

    Advanced accounts can filter by keywords and price. So if you were looking for a “blue beachcruiser” under $800, it would find that for you and email it to you.

    No software to install so your computer doesn’t have to run 24/7 (unlike the CLbuddy thing).

    Also does Kijiji filtering as well.

  4. Ray says:

    Try out this site that my son built. It will send email alerts avery 15 minutes and is totally web based. I use it for finding antiques in my city. Hope it helps someone else out. Ray

  5. ryan justus says:

    I recently wrote a web app to do this for my personal use. In the email I made it also include a thumbnail of the image if available, the date the item was added, and a link to the item. I sent a message to craigslist asking if they minded if I make it public so as long as they don’t reply saying no within a couple of days I will post the link.

  6. trent says:

    Use Google Alerts:

    http://www.google.com/alerts

    I’m looking for some Bose speakers for my stereo. Google Alerts sends the results to my GMail account. Here’s the search string I use:

    site:http://houston.craigslist.org/ bose

    Why don’t more people already know this?

    Plus, ITS FREE!!!

  7. ryan justus says:

    So here is my solution to receiving craigslist search results in your email. http://www.ryanjustus.com/craigslistmailer. It does not require a username/password to sign up for a search and unsubscribe links are included in each emaiil. The email’s you receive include a thumbnails of the items(if pictures are posted), the time the item was posted, and the title/link of the the items so you can quickly glance at your email to see if the item is what you are looking for.

  8. max says:

    A new notification site for Craigslist ads – will feature notifications for other sites shortly.

    http://AdRavage.com

  9. James says:

    trent- that suggestion is brilliant and simple. thanks.

  10. mark says:

    trent… great idea, thanks…how about looking for a hard to find item in ANY city? Without having to enter muliple searches….

    Thx
    mark

  11. moore says:

    Hey Mark,

    It looks like this works, at least for searches:

    site:craigslist.org elephant beanie baby

    This returns back results from more than one craigslist site.

    You might want to play around with that search string in combination with google alerts.

    Another option might be Filtrbox: http://www.filtrbox.com/

  12. fatlava says:

    fatlava.com will do this for cars today, and electronics and tickets in the very near future.

  13. Dan Moore says:

    A friend ran into this post and commented

    “I ran into your blog randomly the other day when I was searching for a way to get email alerts when certain items on Craigslist were posted. I ended up doing the Google Alerts, which is definitely not up to the minute, but sort of works.”

    If you’re looking for something obscure so that timeliness is not of the essence, google alerts (or similar services like filtrbox) are a good option.

    Thanks Trent, for the suggestion!

  14. Jeremy says:

    Just a note to Canadian users, ListListener.com will NOT WORK with the Canadian craigslist sites. I just signed up to try it out, tried it in IE, FF and Chrome, all with no luck. Once you get to the ‘Add a new subscription’ section, you are unable to properly choose your state (provice) and city.

  15. Notifinder says:

    http://www.notifinder.com provides this service. It also predicts how often a new posting is posted so you can set up the perfect search for notifications!

  16. Tim says:

    I found that http://www.craigslistnotify.com/ works great is free and your computer doesn’t need to be on. So if I am looking for a free office chair in Philadelphia it sends me a message to my blackberry every 5 minutes (or you can select frequency) so when I am on the road I still get notified of free stuff.

    Hope this helps.

    Tim.

  17. Rondell Randall says:

    I’ a real estate investor, So I dont have a clue as to what folks are talking about here,(way over my head) However I REALLY need to know if there is a alternative to http://www.craig2mail.com/craigs.html for my business. Could someone help me by pointing me in the right direction? If thats no longer available, then whats the next best thing?

  18. John Reed says:

    I know of a new service called Craignotifier ( http://www.craignotifier.com ). It is a paid service at $1.99 a month but seems interesting. I don’t know if it is worth a try. They claim to have a trial service for 30 days or something

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