Craigslist has come a long way since its inception in the mid-90s. What started out as a small email distribution list among friends has grown into a tour-de-force of classified ads that has arguably led to the demise of traditional newspapers across the country. The website is your first choice for finding that vintage Surly, a new one-of-a-kind apartment, or even what you believe to be your true love (you shared a moment on the bus ride home, remember?). Point being, Craigslist is quick, relatively cheap, and incredibly convenient. It can also be a pain. The site features no overarching search utility, forcing you to repeatedly click the back button again and again if you want to search for a particular item in multiple locations. Fortunately, there is an online surplus of websites that will help you scour the nether regions of Craigslist — whether you want to isolate your search to a particular city or open it up to the entire world. And while Craigslist has legal taken action against some of these search engines on the basis of copyright infringement, a good number of them are still up and running (at least for now). Here are our top picks for the best Craigslist search engines to aid you in your hunt.
This article was originally posted on Feb. 17, 2013 and has been updated to reflect recent changes. Aaron Liu contributed to this article.
Search Tempest is an extremely popular Craigslist search engine. Aside from the sleek interface and simple navigation, the site boasts a great search feature that allows users to search for whatever your looking for, wherever they’re looking for it. Users can restrict their search results by radius, Craigslist category, images, or even minimum and maximum price. All results are listed by city, based on the given search radius. There’s also an option to include eBay and Amazon search results if you want to expand your search beyond Craigslist and include other online resellers. Keep in mind ads are a plentiful and that occasionally the site turns up spotty results due to its use of Google’s search engine.
Search All Junk
Search All Junk is certainly not the best looking Craigslist search engine, but it’s as basic as it gets and works as intended. The site, formerly known as Search All Craig’s, features a custom Google search that will search all of Craigslist, Penny Saver, Recycler, and a few other sites. Users can further narrow their results by region — such as the West Coast, Midwest, and U.K. — and view their results in a simple list. While Search All Junk searches multiple sites, the bulk of the results tend to be Craigslist. Look no further if simplicity is what you’re looking for.
Ad Hunt’r is another great alternative to Craigslist powered by Google’s custom search. The site looks fairly sleek (it even dons Craigslist’s flagship colors) and does a nice job of sorting through Craigslist postings from around the globe. Just punch in what your looking for on the homepage and filter your results by location, post date, price range, category, wording, or website. You can even fine tune your results to omit any words or search exact phrasing to better pinpoint what you’re looking for. Like Search Tempest, you will be subjected to a fair share of sponsored ads.
Dailylister is a nationwide Craigslist search engine that also combs smaller classified sites such as Oodle and Geebo. The site does a decent job of searching classified sites, but the filtering options are limited to region, category, and post date. It’s not the most intuitive search engine, but it works.
Zoom the List
We’re not going to lie, Zoom the List looks a little bit sketchy at first glance. However, reservations aside, the site does a nice job of compiling and filtering a list of any item you may be looking for. Users can search all of Craigslist at once or merely their local area and results can be filtered by state, county, post date, and category. The quick access menu on the left-hand side is also surprisingly useful for selecting a specific state.
Have you had better luck using Craigslist search engines other than the ones we recommend? What are you using to search all of Craigslist for that dream item of yours? Let us know in the comments below.