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Craigslist, the widely-used and surprisingly litigious classified site started by Craig Newmark, is still the web’s best resource for just about anything that can be bought, sold, or bartered. Don’t forget the guy that used it to trade a paperclip for – eventually – a house:

Unfortunately, Craigslist hasn’t updated their user interface in about 600 years to keep up with modern web standards, so finding what you’re looking for or reaching potential buyers can be a hassle. But with a couple free tools, you can quickly post your stuff for sale on Craigslist and get an instant email alert when an item you’re looking for is listed.

Note that to use these, you’ll need to create a Craigslist account.


Use Yardsale To Sell Your Stuff

iphone-photo-180x350Yardsale is the best Craigslist-ready app I’ve used on the iPhone, and unlike other apps in this category, it’s well-designed and free. Its main selling point is using your iPhone’s GPS antenna to find stuff for sale nearby, but we’re going to use its excellent selling tool instead.

Once you’ve downloaded it, tap the Selling button at the bottom. Pick a category, and it’ll fire up your camera to take 4 shots of the item you’re selling.

With most items, especially electronics, it’s a good idea to include a photo of the sticker showing serial and model numbers. This will help buyers look up specs and make sure they’re getting the right thing.

On the next screen, add a description for the item, set your price and Yardsale will walk you through the final steps to post it to your Craigslist account. Doesn’t get any easier than that.


Use IFTTT To Automate Your Craigslist Shopping

Add this to the list of awesome things you can do with IFTTT. Armed with Craigslist and IFTTT accounts, you can create a wishlist of items you’re looking for and just wait until they get posted – no more scrounging through pages of blue links. When an item you’re looking for is listed, you’ll get an email with a link to the post.

Setting up an alert is easy:

  1. Create an account on IFTTT
  2. Add your Craigslist account to the available Channels.
  3. Use this recipe to set up your alert, or create your own from scratch by clicking Create at the top of the page.
  4. Open a new browser tab, and browse to Craigslist. Search for an item you’re looking for, and set any parameters like price range, etc.
  5. Highlight the entire URL in the address bar, and copy it.
  6. Switch back to your IFTTT tab, and paste the address in the box labeled ‘Search results URL’.
  7. Set the subject to anything you want, and leave the body as-is
  8. Click Use Recipe, and you’re done!


You can create as many of these recipes as you want, for any items you want to be alerted to. Just search for them on Craigslist and repeat these steps, pasting the new search URL each time. Now when someone listsyour dream car, you’ll be the first to know.

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