how to set up Craigslist alerts using IFTTT

I’m not a constant Craigslist peruser like some. It’s hard to find good stuff, and if I’m constantly looking, I’m constantly thinking I need something new.

Craigslist alerts take out the time of searching so often. We’ve used Craigslist alerts for a lot of things… For a long time, we just had them set up for Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel and IKEA stuff. We got a super cute fruit basket and really nice TV stand by doing that.

Lately, we’ve been using them for kiddo stuff. After I found a pair of Tiny Toms on Craigslist, Dan set up an alert for more Toms. (No hits on that one yet.) As I mentioned, we set up alerts for the baby products I had decided on, and we’ve already had really good luck. We use IFTTT (If This, Then That) for our alerts. It looks really snazzy, and it’s been easy to use.

Here’s how:

  1. Make an account on IFTTT.
  2. Create a recipe by clicking “my recipes” then “create a recipe.”
  3. Choose a trigger channel by clicking on Craigslist.
  4. Click “new post from search.”
  5. Go to your city’s Craigslist in a separate tab, and do the search for what you want. (Example: Ergo performance)
  6. Copy + paste the URL from your Craigslist search back into IFTTT and “create trigger.”
  7. Choose an action channel. We do SMS (so we can jump on those deals quickly!). Email or even calls could be good options for this, too.
  8. Activate the channel.
  9. Choose the action again.
  10. Edit how you want the message/call/etc. to appear when you receive an alert.
  11. Describe/name your recipe.

IFTTT can obviously do even more than this, though this is all I use it for right now. Let me know if you have any questions when creating your recipes! Have fun! 

  • That is a crazy clever service, and use of it. I vaguely recall seeing an article about IFTTT a while back, but had no idea what I could use it for. And when I read your recent updates about your Craigslist successes from setting up alerts I actually said to someone, I didn’t know you could set up Craigslist alerts! Thanks for the information!

    • natalie

      I hope you find it to be helpful! this is all we use it for so far, but it’s been well worth it!

  • Justin

    Thanks a ton for posting this Nat! I was really curious after I saw your 1/2 price ergo and you mentioned craigslist alerts, sounds like it would save a TON of time! This is awesome 🙂

    • natalie

      try it out for the baby stuff you still need, Justin! maybe harder in your area… but the alerts do help!

  • I never knew such a thing existed! I’m so excited to try this out. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    • natalie

      yay! let me know how it goes 🙂

  • I set up a iftt account to auto post my cl ads to my blog. However its not pulling over the whole ad just parts. Any suggestions?

    • danseitz

      Stephen, you’re pretty much limited to the options IFTTT lists here. If adding [[PostContent]] to your output doesn’t work, you might have to find something else to get the job done.

  • So Cool!! Thanks for illuminating such a simple and useful site. I’m hoping to get a XtraCycle cargo bike, so I can ride my little boys all around NYC!!

  • Daniel Chambers

    I know this is way after the original post, but thank you for this great tutorial! May the Lord bless your family as you show His heart through adoption.

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  • John

    Very nice tip – many thanks and best of luck with the expanding family.

  • PM

    Even easier, just choose Craigslist in ‘Channels’ and there is a pre-built option there already for you. 🙂