What is Craigslist?

What is Craigslist?
Credit: Getty Images

Craigslist is one of the world's most popular online marketplaces, but did you know that you can find a house to buy or rent on Craigslist? Interact with people all over the world in a variety of forums? Barter your services for something else? That's just the tip of the Craigslist iceberg. Here are a few more things you can do with Craigslist.

Craigslist Forums

With forums for housing to self-employment, you're sure to find a Craigslist Forum that helps you in some way.

Post Free Classified Ads

You can post free classified ads for pretty much anything on Craigslist. People from all over the world have sold cars, used clothes, furniture, and much more on this forum. It's free to post and images can be included in the post for better marketing. 

Find a Job on Craigslist

There are all sorts of interesting jobs on Craigslist. Just find your city, look under Jobs, then look under your job category. Non-profit, systems, government, writing, etc. jobs are all represented here. In addition to full-time employment, part-time and freelance positions are also available. 

Craigslist Housing

Use Craigslist to find your next home, from apartment living to residential listings to vacation rentals; not only in your local region but anywhere in the world Craigslist exists. 

Subscribe to RSS Feeds

If you are looking for something specific, say a Queen Anne brocaded couch circa 1965, you can set up a Craigslist alert to be notified when something new pops up that fits your criteria. This is how you do it (note - this is an example case only; users should be able to do this for any search query):

  • Go to your city's Craigslist, and click on "Furniture."
  • Then enter your search term(s), what you're willing to pay, and whether you're looking for something from a furniture dealer or private seller.
  • When you're done, click "Enter."
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page.
  • You'll see an orange button with the letters RSS. Click on that button.
  • If you see a page of code in your browser window, don't worry, nothing is wrong - you're simply looking at the feed you just created. Copy that page's URL and paste it into your favorite feed reader.
  • Now you can be notified via your feed reader every time an item is posted on Craigslist that meets your criteria, without having to check the site every day to make sure you don't miss out. 

Useful Craigslist links to remember

Craigslist is one of the best sites on the web for finding something you need and selling something you don't. Here are some of the most useful links at Craigslist. 

Craigslist.org: this is the main starter page of Craigslist. Every city represented on Craigslist is here, including but not limited to:

Craigslist Jobs: The best jobs can be found easily on Craigslist. All searchers need to do is find your city, then click on the job category that most interests you. Many job specialties are represented here, including non-profit, technical support, education, and more.

Craigslist Real Estate: Again, all you need to do is click on the city that you're interested in and find the "real estate" link. Many, many homes are bought and sold here.

Craigslist For Sale: Searchers will find all sorts of things bought and sold here, anything from bird cages to garage sales to entire sets of furniture. 

Best of Craigslist: some of the most interesting Craigslist postings can be found here. However, some of these postings can be somewhat adult-oriented and therefore are not for sensitive or younger readers.

Craigslist Fact Sheet: get a quick overview of Craigslist and what it can do for you; includes interesting statistics and background information, for instance, did you know that "more than 10 million classified ads per month" are placed on Craigslist around the world? 

Searching Craigslist

You can definitely use your local Craigslist's search fields to search for what you're looking for, but if you're looking beyond local and need something that does a little bit more than you'll want to check out SearchTempest. 

SearchTempest lets you search as much or as little of Craigslist as you possibly would like, for any category, whether it be jobs, real estate, stuff for sale, etc. Here's how a basic search on SearchTempest works. 

Key your location into the "Where" search field. Using the drop-down menu right beneath the search field, decide how far or near you'd like your search to the range. You have the option of just a few miles to anywhere Craigslist roams within Canada, the United States, or Mexico.

Type what you're looking for, say, a new iPhone or a leather couch or a new car, into the "What" field. You can get as advanced or as vague as you want to be here (note: usually, starting out a little vague rather than exceedingly detailed will bring back better search results).

Click "Search" and you'll see your results, which will start at the Craigslist closest to you and fan out from there. SearchTempest gives you quite a few options for manipulating your search results: you can map something, get directions, delete a location you don't want, sort by date, best price, best match, state, distance, size; you can even get an RSS feed for results you'd like to keep track of.

Craigslist: Get familiar with this online marketplace

Craigslist has been around for quite a while now, and while the site itself looks quite "low tech", the amount of information, communication, and collaboration it offers to millions of users all around the world is anything but. Use this article to familiarize yourself with Craigslist and see if there's something there that could be useful for you.