Create the 'Ultimate Craigslist Notification Tool'

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Introduction: Create the 'Ultimate Craigslist Notification Tool'

About: Guess.

Warning: this project is for mac users.

Okay. All craigslist users have had it happen once or twice.

You're pumped about that new USB coffee cup warmer for $10 and you find out your next door neighbor bought it first.

"If only," you wish "I could have been warned EXACTLY when that was posted! Then I could have called the seller and the deal would be done!"

Well. You can, with this handy little trick involving a piece of software called FeedPopper, RSS and a little free time.

For mac users who use safari, you might have tried to use Craigslist's RSS feeds to search for new posts about a certain item.

But, although this is very handy, it only puts a modest little number next to the bookmark name. That doesn't exactly scream at you.

FeedPopper (Freeware at http://rsspopper.blogspot.com/ ) is an RSS reader with style.

FeedPopper has a unique and very effective way of letting you know when a feed is updated. It creates a stylish popup window which expands into view, and makes a handy little jingly noise while it's at it.

So, when I found out about FeedPopper, I wired it into the ULTIMATE CRAIGSLIST NOTIFICATION TOOL.

As an example in this project, I'll pretend I am looking for a PSP.

Heres what the finished product will do:

1) Bob in Wisconsin is cleaning out a drawer when he finds his old dusty PSP. He thinks 'HMMMMM, maybe some kid wants this' and decides to put it up for sale on craigslist.

2) Little does he know that you have been searching craigslist for a month, hoping to find a PSP in your price range (not very likely, but stick with me).

3) With your handy ULTIMATE CRAIGSLIST NOTIFICATION TOOL, the moment he hits 'POST' a little pop-up window on your mac goes JINGLE JINGLE JINGLE and expands into view. It displays Bob's PSP with a link to the craigslist post.

Heres how to do it:

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Step 1: Download FeedPopper

FeedPopper is the sole of the project. It's available here for free:

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/internet_utilities/feedpopper.html

FeedPopper is also cool because it sits in the menu bar, up with the volume control, time, airport reception ect.

It is operates from there, so you don't have to open and close it, or have another icon on the doc.

Once downloaded, click on the FeedPopper icon ( A dead looking fish wrapped around the world) and it will appear in the menu bar.

Step 2: Set the Preferences

Drag down the FeedPopper icon's menu and select 'Preferences'.

I believe the default preferences are fine, but just in case, they should look like the picture.

For instance, we want the pop up to come to the front and we want the sound.

Step 3: Get Feeds

I'm in seattle, and the URL for PSP in seattle's craigslist is:

feed://seattle.craigslist.org/cgi-bin/search?areaID=2&subAreaID=0&query=PSP&catAbbreviation=sss&minAsk=min&maxAsk=max&format=rss

I got this by searching craigslist for PSP and hitting the RSS icon at the end of the address bar.

Step 4: Install Feeds

When you have the feed(s) you want/need you have to let FeedPopper know what they are.

Drag the FeedPopper icon (in the menu bar) down and select Feeds.

You will then see a window that asks you to give a name and URL.

Put 'em in.

Step 5: Finished.

At this point, you are more or less done, other than any customization you might want.

FeedPopper checks a max of once every 5 minutes, that is usually enough to get a bid in before anyone else. Especially on weekdays.

You can manually check it by selecting 'Refresh Now' in the menu.

So, the next time someone posts about an item you have FeedPopper checking for, a magical pop up will appear on top of everything, give a nice Jingle Jingle, and Let you know that someone is selling a hot pink electric dog collar for $15.

Cheers,

Rcran.

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    20 Discussions

    0
    avanlaningham

    Yes this article is focused on buyer notifications, but sellers too benefit from fast notifications. As I am sure you are aware the faster the seller responds to their ads the more likely they will get the sale. This site

    www.totxt.com

    makes it really easy to set up receiving text messages from Craig's list without giving out your cell number.

    Just forward your Craigslist emails so you receive text messages on your phone.

    0
    SaveOurSkills

    Hello... i made a free website that does this... has facebook connect or register

    http://www.grabthedeals.com

    0
    ksafez
    ksafez

    8 years ago on Introduction

    There is also a free Android app called Craigslist Seller Tool for people who sell on Craigslist to get notified when their listing expires. Notifications are equally useful for buyers as sellers. I never have to check my Craigslist account again. I just wait for notifications on my phone, then relist the item directly inside the app without having to login or anything.

    0
    grigory
    grigory

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Hi!
    I've created a website that sends you SMS messages whenever craigslist searches are updated. No signups or downloads, just specify your phone number and what you want to track on Craigslist.
    It also works with any other classifieds website, or just any RSS feed.

    Here's a link: Greg's Pulse

    cheers :) let me know what you think!
    grigory.

    0
    liquid885
    liquid885

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice one! I made my own, but it's a bit beyond the scope of an instructable. www.notifinder.com Notifinder makes it even easier than this to get automatic updates of craigslist searches via email. Try it out. Its easy, fun, and free!

    0
    lgcalex
    lgcalex

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Super useful! When i clicked the rss icon in firefox i got a 404 on craigslist. To fix it i added "&format=rss" to the url and was all set.

    Thanks again!

    0
    teosal
    teosal

    10 years ago on Step 5

    Hello again, One last step (if you enjoy receiving SMS text on you mobile phone) could be to add a rule on your Outlook 'Rules & Alerts' drop down menu so you can automatically forward this RSS email directly to your mobile phone. Just make sure you have an email assigned to your mobile phone number. Regards, TeoSal

    0
    teosal
    teosal

    10 years ago on Step 3

    Hello, I use Firefox 3.0.8. and I do not have an RSS icon like yours in the address bar. However, there is an RSS icon at the bottom of the Craigslist page. After clicking on it, it does give you the correct rss feed on the address bar. Regards, TeoSal

    0
    ryanjustus
    ryanjustus

    11 years ago on Introduction

    I wrote a little webapp for my brother that does a similar things, sends thumbnails with link for your craigslist searches. I only have it set up to run searches once an hour but I could change that to more often if anybody wants to use it. <a href='http://www.ryanjustus.com/craigslistmailer'>http://www.ryanjustus.com/craigslistmailer/</a>

    0
    cas8180
    cas8180

    12 years ago on Introduction

    I have used Craigslist Notifer (www.craigslistnotifier.net) his is NOT rss based like most of the others out there and what I really like about it is that I can view multiple search critieria at the same time.

    0
    venik
    venik

    12 years ago on Introduction

    Here's another great rss reader just for craigslist:

    http://craigslistwatch.com

    You put in what you're looking for, and it sends you an
    email or
    text message
    whenever that stuff gets posted.

    0
    brian m
    brian m

    12 years ago on Introduction

    I found this application, it really does the job for me. Just found a new job with it, entered my major in the search. Few weeks after job position was listed. www.CraigsPal.com Enter your search....Once....

    0
    robertjohnson129
    robertjohnson129

    13 years ago

    I found a great craigslist notification tool called CL Buddy that sends SMS text messages to your cellphone and emails as well. You can adjust how often it checks for new items so it's near realtime updates. I got a great surfboard using it.

    here's the site:
    http://admin.clbuddy.googlepages.com/home

    0
    Craig2Mail.com
    Craig2Mail.com

    13 years ago

    I put together a craigslist notification service online at: http://craigslist.craig2mail.com/ It is as simple as entering a search and your email. You will get the matching posts sent to you as they appear. I've snagged a computer monitor, MotoGP tickets and a bunch of other stuff.

    Craig (No not that Craig)

    0
    w00zy
    w00zy

    13 years ago

    i do the same but use bloglines. i search craigslist for the item, then scroll to the bottom, right click on the feed path, open bloglines and add that path. i create a section in bloglines for 'craigslist stuff' when an item that matches the search string is added i am notified by bloglines in my systray.

    i got a danish dining table and 6 chairs for $90 for being quick on the draw =]

    0
    leevonk
    leevonk

    13 years ago

    wow, I was actually in the process of using Perl to do exactly this for the PC. It got sidetracked with something called work though.