Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Search Craigslist Like a Rockstar

I've received a few comments/emails suggesting that I do a post with tips on how to find items on Craigslist. I'm not sure this post will be much help, but I'm at least going to try!  I spent some time thinking about how I go about searching for items on Craigslist, and I've come up with a list of "best practices". Here goes:

1. Be organized and consistent. Have a list of items you are looking for. Search for these items everyday (at least once a day). My list includes: 

-Cane (as in cane chair)
-Persian Rug
-Mid Century Modern
-Hollywood Regency
-Queen Ann
-Secretary (as in desk)
-Cart (as in bar/serving cart)
-Restoration Hardware

2. This goes along with #1: Be as "generic" with your searches as possible. The more basic your searches are, the more you'll find. The tradeoff to this is that you'll have to invest more time. 

3. Remember, it's Craigslist. When I first started using Craigslist I ended up very frustrated because I would search for things like "faux bamboo brass bar cart" or "vintage campaign dresser" and find NOTHING. When you stop and think about it though, the majority of people don't know exactly what they're selling or how to describe it. When I started simplifying my searches (i.e. LAYMAN'S TERMS), I was shocked with everything I found. 

4. Email the person right away to see if the items are available (before you get really excited); ask for measurements if they're not listed already with the item description. 

5. Be patient!!! 

6. You can always narrow your search by "furniture" or other categories. I never do though, but I always search items that have pictures with them. 

When I searched the items on my list here's what I came up with: 

Let me know if I missed anything that I should add to my list! I hope you found this semi-helpful!! 


  1. Great tips! I often spend hours just searching away and my favourites are the google craigslist searches that open the scan up to the whole country- so fun to see what you can find!

  2. This is very helpful and would defintely help to save time-- I usually end up on craigslist for hours and my eyes get glossed over.

  3. Yay! I am so excited about this post and can't wait to use your tips. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great pointers...I just adore Craigslist...there are some fabulous treasures to be had!!!

  5. Thanks for the helpful pointers. I use generic terms, but still limit my search using the "furniture" category. I'll definitely expand out of that category and see what happens.


  6. Great tips, thanks for sharing. I haven't had much luck with Craigslist. I am going to try these and see if it helps. Can't wait to read more of your blog, I just found it.

  7. Great advice Kelly!! I'll have to stake out some search items in my area!

  8. How about using Craigseasy? Amazing website that allows you to see pictures only of the term you search for. You can scroll through them and then click on the picture you like to get more details.

    Also, I like to use the term "pair" for a search. Amazing what you will find.

    I like your tips -- especially about using laymens terms.

  9. Der. I feel so dumb because I'm totally guilty of searching with terms that are waaaaay too specific ("Kartell ghost chair" and "brass bar cart" come to mind). Now I know what I've been doing wrong!!!! :) But you're right, it's so obvious as to why that wasn't working. Thanks so much for putting this post together!


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