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How To Monitor Craigslist and Receive New Post Notifications

Posted by Sydney on September 19, 2017

Maybe you’re looking to buy a new sofa after your cat scratched up your old one. Maybe you’re trying to make some extra cash doing odd jobs on the weekends. Whatever your reasons, you want to keep abreast of new Craigslist posts. Unfortunately, you don’t have the time to be checking the Craigslist listings every few hours, and when a new listing does catch your eye, you’re always too late. If only there were a way for you to get notified whenever a new listing that matches your needs pops up. As it turns out, there is.

How to Get Craigslist Notifications

Get notified about new listings in an RSS feed of your design. Like many similar sites, Craigslist is RSS friendly and makes it easy to setup a feed for any given search criteria.

  1. Go to craigslist.com for your city.
  2. Run your desired search.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  3. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the results page.
  4. Click RSS in the bottom right hand corner.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  5. The next page will look very confusing. Don’t worry about what it says. Just copy the URL from the top of your browser. 
  6. Paste the URL into an RSS reader of your choice.

Now, when viewing your reader, you’ll receive notifications whenever a new post pops up matching this specific search criteria.

Wait, What is an RSS Feed?

RSS stands for Rich Site Summary. It’s a format that delivers web content to you that may change over time. In other words, it can be used to keep on top of budding news stories, posts on popular forums, and more. In order to read an RSS feed, you need an RSS reader. There are numerous readers out there, many of them free. A few of the most popular and highly rated include:

  • NetNewWire (Macintosh)
  • SharpReader (Windows)
  • AmphetaDesk (Windows and Mac)
  • FeedReader (Windows and Web-based)
  • News is Free (Web-based)

Of course, this is only a sampling. If these feeds aren’t to your liking, a quick Google search will reveal dozens more to choose from.

How to Set Up an RSS Feed

Each of the aforementioned programs operates a little differently, but the principle is largely the same. We’ll use FeedReader’s web-based application as an example.

  1. Go to https://feedreader.com.
  2. Click Start reading feeds on the left.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  3. Click Create Account at the top of the fields on the right.
  4. Choose a username and password.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  5. Click the large button underneath reading Create Account.
  6. Click Add a new feed on the left hand side.                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  7. Paste the Craigslist URL into the address space provided in the pop-up.                                                                                                                             
  8. Click Add the feed.
  9. Click Refresh to refresh the feed and view new postings.

Do this for as many Craigslist searches as you want. Remember that you need to copy a new RSS URL for each search criteria. Then, you can view them individually or all together via FeedReader.

Some of the available readers also include features that will text you or email you when postings arise. Many of these features require paid memberships.

There’s Always an App

If this all sounds way too high maintenance, you can always just get a Craigslist app. There are dozens of such apps available for iPhone and Android, many of which include features to make searching and being notified of new postings easy as pie. Then again, you can always just keep checking and try your luck on the next sofa that you happen to notice.

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