VIB Chronicles

Internets II: Craigslist

I love craigslist. It is very useful if you do not have copious amounts of money to spend on your house. We have gotten great things on craigslist, like a pair of matching city bikes made in Austria. or a pullout couch that has seen many guests and will see many, many more.

As anyone who has ever used Craigslist to search for something either really popular: for example, free couches tend to go within minutes of the initial post – or something really obscure: I am currently attempting to secure real wood doors to replace the plywood ones that we have in the house – it is really all about timing.

Timing is about luck, but with these sites, luck is greatly enhanced:

Feed My Inbox – This site allows you to save searches for up to 5 URL addresses; all matching entries are then sent to you in a daily email. So right now, I am looking for a dresser to replace the one we currently have that is literary falling apart. Once I entered all the parameters like price, location (only in DC), not ikea, I just copy the URL and paste it into ‘feed my inbox feed’. The major drawback is that often times, by the time you get your daily email, the items are already claimed. And you can only subscribe to 5 feeds at a time. So, you can either upgrade to a premium account, or, look elsewhere.

Hey Craig -This site makes up for where ‘feed my inbox’ falters, but it has drawbacks of its own. You can subscribe to a feed for a specific item from a specific city, and this search will be emailed to you as soon as new items are posted for sale. This works great if you are looking for a couch, but not so great if you only want a free couch, or if you only want a couch located inside the District and not in Arlington, VA as Hey Craig will notify you of all “for sale” items, as there is no refining mechanism.I found, therefore that its best to use this app for obscure things. Ceiling tile anyone?

I am sure there are more cites out there that have similar functions – these are the two that I use and love – if you have had great experiences with other ones, please let me know!

Happy Shopping! (I can’t believe I just gave this info away, use it well, and use it wisely)