Search Craigslist Classified Ads – 7 Tools for Faster Searching

by Mike McEvoy on November 16, 2009


Performing a Craigslist search can be challenging. The Craigslist web site receives billions of page views per month yet still has limited capabilities for searching its numerous locations and categories. To help people search Craigslist more efficiently a number of web-based search tools have sprung up.

New Tools for A Craigslist Search

Over the last few years the number of tools for searching Craigslist has grown significantly. Whether you want to do a Craigslist search for a garage sale, wants ads, jobs, services, personals or an apartment here are six tools for monitoring and searching Craigslist classified ads more efficiently.

1.  CraigsPal features a robust set of searching tools and consists of two versions: CraigsPal Free also known as Craigslist Reader Pro and CraigsPal. Both versions allow for personally selected search parameters and create custom multi-city, multi-state, multi-country Craiglist searches with an advanced keyword interface. The difference between the two versions is that the free version is a search screen only while the paid version includes fully automatic Craigslist search (autopilot), instant notifications of new search results, backup of user defined searches and free updates. The paid for version is $30.

2.  Search Tempest is a web based service from SearchTempest Online that allows user to search Craigslist results based on distance from a specific city or zip code. The distance is user controlled from 25 miles to any distance. SearchTempest has a single page interface that, in addition to variable distance, utilizes categories, sub-categories and keywords. A main departure from other services is that SearchTempset can also search EBay, Backpage, and Kijiji in addition to Craigslist. The service is free. A separate product “Ad Notifier for Craigslist” is available for $10.


3. is an interesting tool that consists of a large grid of check boxes for all US cities that are served by This service allows you to check the appropriate Cities and geographic areas, enter keywords, select a category and then preform a Craigslist search. It isn’t fancy but does deliver results quickly and in a clean, easy to read interface. There is also a smaller grid on a second tab for searching worldwide. One twist is that this only works with Firefox or Chrome browsers, but not Internet Explorer, and requires a minor tweak to a low level browser setting for referrer data. This is a free service.

4. is a much more Spartan search mechanism for Craigslist online classifieds. Craiglook is strictly a web based tool with a single page interface that consists of two search boxes for keywords and city or zip code along with a wide range of category checkboxes. All searches in CraigLook are for a 250 mile radius. The service is free.

5. is a plugins for the Firefox browser that enhances the Craigslist Search results. CraigsToolbox is a simple tool that works in conjunction with the Craigslist website and provides additional features such as the Image Preview Tool, an Alerts Listing tool and a Save Listing tool. A free trial version is available and the cost for the paid version is $9.95 per year.

6.  Search All Craigs consists of a basic search box interface that returns Google-type results. These results fro a Craigslist search can be confined to one of seven specific geographic areas within the US or the UK. There is very little filtering capabilities with the Search All Craigslist tool. This site is essentially a stylized custom Google search with limited functionality.

CraigsList Reader from Motion Technologies is no longer available. The web site has a message that starts, “At this time, we are no longer able to offer our valued customers the Craigslist Reader Searching Tool.” And then includes a list of some questionable links. “

Craiglist Classified Ad Search Tools – Take Your Pick

These are some very useful tools for searching the vast amount of classified ads data on The levels of features and functionality vary widely among these search tools. If you search Craigslist online classifieds (or criagslist, or craglist, or craig list or cregslist or graigslist or craigslsit or graiglist – lots of common misspellings) with any frequency one or more of these tools should help streamline your Craigslist search processes depending on your needs and budget.

Craigslist is the number one source of free classified ads on the web and is known to just about anyone using the Internet. Here are some other interesting facts about Craigslist (or criagslist, or gregslist, or craigs list, or graigslist…) from Craigslist Fact Sheet:

  • More than 50 million people use Craigslist in the US alone
  • is #7 worldwide in terms of English-language page views
  • receives more than 1 million new job listings each month
  • Craigslist users self-publish about 50 million new classified ads each month
  • Craigslist has expanded to more than 700 local sites in 70 countries
  • The Craigslist discussion forums feature more than 120 million user postings in 100 topical forums.
  • CraigsList currently employs a whopping 30 people to run this enterprise.

Plenty of options and tools for you to use when you search Craigslist classified ads. Plus a range of tools for different budgets and needs. Happy searching.



Extreme John November 16, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I was just on Craigslist I was actually consdiering placing one of my business’s up for sale there to see what type of leads come in, I haven’t committed yet though.
.-= Extreme John´s last blog ..NFL Week 11 Predictions =-.

mostwanted November 19, 2009 at 2:11 am

I don’t see Craigslist Ultimate Reader here. I have used CraigsList Reader, Craigspal and Craigslist Ultimate Reader and find Craigslist Ultimate Reader the most mature and professional tool among those three. It even has a map preview of the results. I’m quite disappointed with Craigspal – many bugs.. can’t rely on it. CraigsList Reader is bug free but needs much RAM and is a bit slow. Also there is adware in it.

Pat Roberts November 23, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Anyone know of a free alternative to CraigsPal?


Mike McEvoy December 1, 2009 at 9:23 pm

@Pat Roberts — I haven’t heard of a free alternative that has the same level of functionality as CraigsPal. At one time there used to be a free version of CraigsList Reader, but has evolved into a 7-day trial version that times out and you then need to purchase.

Mical Johnson December 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm

I’ve been using the search function on the site for the location I want to target. Then I add the RSS feed to my Google reader. It’s been pretty effective so far.
.-= Mical Johnson´s last blog ..Fortune 500 company or Online Scammer? =-.

Mike McEvoy December 17, 2009 at 1:48 pm

@Mical — Yes, there are some different approaches for getting a handle on Craigslist searching. One of the benefits of some of these tools is the ability to search and monitor multiple locations at the same time. However if your solution meets your needs then it sounds like you have things solved.

If you do a lot of searching or ongoing monitoring of your searches on Craigslist it might be worth taking a look at a couple of these tools as they may save you some time and effort in the long run. Thanks for stopping by.

Saleem February 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I am pretty disappointed with version of CraigsList Reader. It just keeps hanging up. Despite the fact that I purchased it for a year there is no technical support and don’t know if the issue will be fixed. I think Free CraigsList Reader version worked much better.

Nathan March 12, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Hi Mike,

Nathan here – founder of First, thanks for the mention! Just wanted to let you know I’m working on a huge overhaul of the site. Planning to roll it out around May 15. It should greatly improve the site’s user-friendliness, without sacrificing any options (in fact, it will be more powerful). If you wanted to do a review when the beta version comes out that be awesome, but regardless, hope you like it!

notifinder July 14, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I love craigslist, too! A friend and I didn’t find a tool to search craigslist for us and send an email of exactly what I want, exactly when I wanted it. That’s why we made last year. It is a bit different than the ones listed above, but is easy to use and extremely useful, check it out!

irish17020 September 25, 2010 at 10:09 am

Is there any information available as to which day would be the most benificial for Realtors like us on which to post homes for sale? Is there a higher search day for home searchers?
Thanks so much and may you all have a wonderful day.

Karen November 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm is free and lets you search across craigslist categories and locations. You see results in time order, and can also compare with eBay, Indeed and other sources if you like.

Ahamed Piyas December 11, 2010 at 7:35 am

How can i add post in craigslist? I want to know but i don’t how can i do it.
Please help me and waiting for your answer.

Beset wishes for everybody.

Ray Anderson December 17, 2010 at 1:55 pm

My wife and I own a double bungalow and want to rent the now vacant side and are seeking advice on how to do it. I have never used Craigs List and we belirve it’s worth a try. Sincerely, Ray & Liz Anderson.

Electricians Minneapolis January 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Found your site on Yahoo. Pinged it to my checklist of subscribers.

Jesse April 20, 2011 at 9:32 am

I prefer for doing my craigslist searching, it’s really easy to use and never fails.

Mike McEvoy April 20, 2011 at 9:38 am

@Jesse, Thanks for stopping by. looks very interesting. I will definitely explore the tool further.

I’ve been considering updating my “Search Craigslist” post recently to explore how the various tools have changed and I think you just provided the additional motivation to get this done. Thanks for the “heads-up” on AdRavage.

Craigstlistchecker May 2, 2011 at 7:25 am

Also see , a simpler one for automated searches.

Nick Davidson January 4, 2012 at 11:27 am

Do you have recommended Craigslist apps as well as desktop services?

Mike McEvoy January 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Hi Nick, Thanks for stopping by. Here are a couple apps for Craigslist: On Apple, CraigsPro+ and Craigslist Mobile Ultimate, On Android, Craigslist Notification. I have not tried any of these so can’t really speak to the quality or functionality. Fyi, I also replied to your Twitter question.

BTW when does your app become available?

Nick Davidson January 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Thanks for the fast reply Mike! We hope to launch in the first couple weeks of February. We are really excited because we are bringing features to the Craigslist app market that have never been done before and I think they have the potential to make some big waves. Would you be interested in having an insider look/download at or near the release?

Either way,
Thanks and peace!

Nathan January 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Hi Nick, Nathan from SearchTempest. If you want, feel free to give me a heads-up when your app’s ready to check out. If it’s as good as you expect, maybe we could work out an arrangement to promote it on SearchTempest. Any plans for Android?

Nick Davidson January 5, 2012 at 6:15 am

Hello Nathan, I’d love to give you an early scoop about the Craigslist Premier app. Please advise on the best contact method to keep you posted. And to answer your question, yes we plan to do an Android version at phase II launch. Timing for phase II depends on the success of this first launch. Phase II will have some very exciting feature as well but logistically and legally the Phase II features take a lot longer to work out.

I’m also interested in some details about what you may be able to offer us through www dot searchtempest dotcom. Can you provide me a media kit and some traffic details please.

You can e-mail me direct too. craigslistpremier at gmail_dot_com

Thanks Nathan!

DSAdmin January 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Check out Craigslist Crawler and Far better than what’s mentioned above and offers some very advanced features.

Charles February 10, 2012 at 1:19 am

I would have to agree with Mike McEvoy on the list provided and their order of effectiveness. If anyone has anything close to as good as CraigPal, I would like to try it. Although the notification system needs a better server to keep it running without much interruption…it is still the best craigslist auto search engine out there.


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