For millions of users around the globe, Craigslist is the easiest way to browse, access, share, and post classified advertisements for all sorts of job opportunities, housing, goods and services, and items for sale. Craigslist basically functions as a local list of everything for sale or wanted posted around your area. Whether you’re trying to purchase used furniture from someone in your city, or you’re looking to find a job online, Craigslist can be one of the best sites to access in order to browse the market. The site is great at finding deals located in your area, based on how far geographically each item or offering is from your location. With specific Craigslist listings in each market, it’s easy to shop for items that are actually available in your area without having to fly across the country to, say, pick up your brand new bed (good luck getting it back on the plane!).
Also see our article How to Cancel Amazon Prime
Still, there is something about searching the entirety of the Craigslist marketplace, being able to see what’s available in Arizona when you’re in New Mexico or Buffalo when you’re in Toronto. These search results help you cast a far wider net across the country or globe, searching for brand new items for sale without having to pinpoint the specific location you want to search. Typically, Craigslist is perfect for this kind of localized searching, since you typically have to show up in person to collect your Craigslist good, like with any other classified listing offering in your local newspaper. But sometimes searching your entire state or region makes a bit more sense than limiting your search to just the closest city to you, particularly if you don’t mind traveling to a location to collect your goods.
If you’re interested in diving into a wider variety of listings on Craigslist, you’re in luck. There are several services that allow you to search through the entirety of offerings on Craigslist without limiting yourself to a single city. By casting a larger net, you’re more likely to find the item you’re looking for, especially if you don’t mind driving for it. We’ve got a wide variety of sites here to choose from, complete with some recommendations on which sites are great for which services. Take a look below and let us know what your favorite is in the comments section!
Searching Craigslist Quickly and Easily
Let’s say you’re on the hunt for a rare stamp or coin to add to your collection, or possibly a specific brand of action figure. Or maybe you’re looking for a sold-out Super NES Classic Edition, but you can’t seem to find one in your area. Craigslist is typically the best place to go to look for these types of collectors items, often at far cheaper prices than you’ll see on eBay. Unfortunately, as we detailed above, Craigslist itself doesn’t have a built-in method to automatically search through the entire sites catalogue, but luckily for us, with the use of a third-party Craigslist search site, it’s easy to browse through out-of-area listings to find exactly what you’re looking for online. While you’ll still have to head out of your area to pick up the item of your choice, being able to simply travel to an area to pick up your item is often a far simpler exercise than paying for shipping through an auction site like eBay.
What service you use to search through Craigslist really depends on your platform. There are a ton of web-based search engines for Craigslist that allow you to search state or country-wide regions, making it easy to search through listings whenever you’re on the go or at home. We’ll cover some suggestions for all three major platforms—the web, iOS, and Android—and give our recommendations on what makes every platform worth using, along with a top winner at the bottom of our list. Check it out below, and if you’ve found a service you prefer over our suggestions, be sure to comment with your favorite service!
Web-based Craigslist Search Engines
It goes without saying that much of the browsing done on Craigslist takes place on a good, old-fashioned computer. While browsing on the go can be handy—and Craigslist has a mobile site just for that—there are plenty of reasons why you’d want to browse at home over browsing on your mobile device. For one, it’s far easier to navigate through Craigslist with a mouse and keyboard than with a touchscreen, especially if you’re looking for specific items or looking to browse through a lot of listings at once. For that very reason, we kick this list off with some web-based Craigslist search engines that make it easy to browse through listings outside of your general Craigslist area. Some of these sites can even help you find listings on lesser-known Craigslist alternatives, making it easy to find that special item you’re on the hunt for.
- Search Craigslist: This site accomplishes exactly what most users looking to search the entirety of Craigslist want. It has a simple interface and an even simpler premise: searching every Craigslist listing regardless of your location. Using a custom Google search engine, Search Craigslist loads every result from the site based on your search terms, with sorting options for relevancy (by default) and date posted. Since the site is searching active Craigslist offers, everything is up to date and active on the site. Clicking on each listing simply retrieves the information for you, making it easy to load the links inside your web browser. The site does a good job in giving you exactly the content you’re looking for, but remember that, without being able to limit the location to even a state-level setting, you might be traveling for that special item you’re looking for.
- Statewidelist: We’re big fans of Statewidelist, because it makes the process of searching the entirety of your state for a specific item far easier than the traditional Craigslist site. The site’s homepage has you enter your search term, select a category of your choosing (by default, this setting is left to search all categories), and then you select the state you’re searching. You can also select a Canadian province, making it easy to search for locations in Canada as well. Below the option to select your state is an area to choose between searching the title of the post only or the entirety of the post, as well as a selection for showing all results in one long list. Statewidelist also shows you relevant search results from eBay below your Craigslist returns. For example, a search for the SNES Classic in New York only shows six active results, but there are dozens of results on eBay for the classic virtual console. If Search Craigslist gave you too wide of a net, Statewidelist is definitely worth a shot.
- SearchTempest: This site narrows your search results a bit more than what you may expect from something like Statewidelist, but for many users, SearchTempest may be the most usable site of all. Instead of searching the entirety of Craigslist regardless of location, or limiting your returns to one single state or province, SearchTempest allows you to search by a general distance from your zip code or city name. That means that shoppers who live near the border of states or Canada can easily search content close to them instead of searching by a general state area, similar to the Buffalo-Toronto connection we pointed out above. You can exclude or include US and Canadian city listings, search by category and sub-category, and even include search requests like filtering listings without photos or limiting a price request. SearchTempest also has options to search by state and worldwide, making it truly one of the most powerful sites on this list. Once you search your listing, SearchTempest will group your results by location, making it easy to browse based on mileage and the distance you’ll have to cover to pick up your gift.
Those three options are our top three web-based search sites, but if you’re still looking for some more listings, here are some of the honorable mentions that are worth checking out as well.
- Search All Junk: This search engine allows you to consolidate your results from Craigslist with results from other classified offerings, including Pennysaver, Recycler, and more.
- ZoomTheList: The interface isn’t pretty, to say the least, but ZoomTheList can make searching through Craigslist a breeze with its advanced filtering.
- DailyLister: This site’s pretty similar to Search Craigslist, with a full list of options using a Google Custom Search offering. Definitely check this one out if Search Craigslist isn’t doing it for you.
- Onecraigs: Another “Search All Cities” Craigslist site, this one seemed more focused on major cities throughout the United States like LA and New York City. If you live in a major metropolitan area or you travel quite a bit.
iOS Craigslist Search Engines
Much of the smartphone-owning population in the United States have chosen to use iOS as their main form of interaction with the outside world, and while browsing through Craigslist on the web is a great way to search through content while you’re at home, using a mobile app on your iPhone or iPad can often be a much better way of browsing through Craigslist to find that special item you’re looking for. If you’d rather do your classified browsing while on the move, using a mobile app for iOS is the best way to do it. But while Craigslist hasn’t offered users an app of their own, there’s no shortage of applications on Apple’s App Store that make it easy to browse through your favorite content. Let’s take a look at the apps you should be using on your iPhone.
- CPlus: In many ways, CPlus is the must-have app for iPhone users looking to browse through Craigslist. The app looks good, especially when compared to most other Craigslist services on the market today, with a color-based interface that makes everything feel a little more simplified while browsing through listings. CPlus has a ton of features, including, most importantly, the ability to search through multiple cities at once within the app. CPlus can even show your listings within a map view built right into your phone, making it easy to find out just where your item is located in comparison to the rest of your searches. And of course, CPlus also offers the ability to post and editing your own listings, so it’s easy to make it this app the main interface for dealing with Craigslist on a day-to-day routine. Our favorite feature: CPlus will grey out listings you’ve already viewed, making it simple to pick up your searches later on in your day.
- Qwilo: This app is trusted by millions of users on iOS to make it easy to search through the cities and neighborhoods near you all at once, all while offering a modern iOS-based UI that looks great on your brand new iPhone or iPad. Qwilo got even better this year thanks to the exclusion of ads from the app, though you’ll need to upgrade in-app to the Pro version in order to save your searches or to get alerts to new listings on your mobile devices. Qwilo allows you to search through multiple regions at once, which means it earns its place on this list as one of the must-have iOS apps for searching through Craigslist. Don’t sleep on this one, especially if you’re looking for a powerful, all-in-one mobile Craigslist experience.
Android Craigslist Search Engines
Just because you’ve chosen to use Android over iOS doesn’t mean you’re left out of the Craigslist fun. The Play Store on Android has dozens of listings for Craigslist apps, with some quality listings making the top cut. If you’re looking to search multiple cities or regions for your items on Craigslist, starting with a quick search on your Android device might be the best way to go about it. You might even see some of the same iOS apps available for both platforms, starting with our top pick.
- CPlus (again): Yes, CPlus ranks at the top of our list for Android as well as iOS, largely due to its powerful search engine features that we outlined in our iOS guide above. CPlus’s interface on Android is largely the same compared to what we’ve seen from the likes of the iOS version of the app, with options for easily browsing different markets all within one search. Overall, CPlus on Android does lack in some of the visual polish of the iOS version—which wasn’t exactly the best-looking app to begin with—but you’re likely to find the utility here works all the same, complete with the map ability we loved on iOS. Definitely grab this one today.
- Postings: In terms of visual design, everything about Postings works for us. It’s a gorgeous application that matches much of the graphical interface we’ve come to expect and appreciate on Android, making it one of our favorite ways to search through Craigslist on a regular basis. Seriously, this app looks great, with curved edges and a material design that makes it easy to browse the service while also using the powerful search engine provided by Postings, which allows you to search multiple cities at once. Just note that you can’t search the Personals section of Craigslist on this app, due to issues with the app being pulled off of Google Play.
There’s a lot to love about shopping for items on Craigslist, even if you aren’t looking for something specific. Really, the major problem with Craigslist is that its search functionality is largely limited to what you can find in your area. While that works well for broad searches, plenty of Craigslist users have the means to travel to find the items they really want—and sometimes, you can even put together a way to ship items without having to rely on Craigslist or eBay, making distance between locations a non-issue for most users. These websites and apps make it quick and easy to search all of Craigslist from a single page. While it may still take a little effort to find exactly what you want, these sites help you use Craigslist to its full potential to help you find that special item you’ve been looking for online. It’s simply the smartest way to browse the site, no matter whether you’re using your mobile phone or a desktop or laptop computer.