Craigstlist is a service which took the web by storm in 1996 when creator, Craig Newmark took his local friend distribution list of events public. In 2000 the service expanded outside of San Francisco and serves in over 50 countries today. Craigslist allows individuals and businesses alike to post all kinds of listings including classifieds, for sale, item wanted, jobs, and much more. The website employs a minimalist interface which is really just a whole group of links and a search text field. This is not ideal for use on the iPad so naturally, the apps began to roll in. I have tested and used a number of them, but +Craigslist+ Pro is by far the best. In fact, I just purchased a pair of Bowflex Selecttech Dumbbells for half price this past weekend by using this app!
Right off the bat, the Initial screen allows you to do something you cannot from the craigslist.org website, search multiple locations. Normally Craigslist only allows searching of one region at a time (i.e. South Jersey). In +Craigslist+ you can select multiple locations. Then, you can choose the search category and other filters such as only showing postings with pictures, searching just titles, searching by recent, best match, and more. You can even filter by price from this app. Once your locations, categories, and filters are set, simply type what you are looking for. Let’s use the Bowflex Selecttech Dumbells as an example. Upon searching for these, I get very few results. It’s important to keep the search words down to a minimum in order to maximize results. When I then search for selecttech, I get a whole slew of results.
Looking at a Listing
Interested in a returned result? Simply click on it to see the description as well as any photos. If there is a preview photo, you can be assured the listing will have at least one photo. I usually stick to listings with photos or ask the poster to send me pictures if I am interested but there are no pictures as part of the listing. Once you are in a listing, you have a few options. First of all, you can email the poster by clicking on the temporary Craigslist assigned email for the person towards the top middle of the page. This should get the conversation flowing. On the bottom of a listing page there are a few more options. From left to right, you can see an original view of the posting (as it’s seen on the website), Look at a map, based on the location listed on the posting, add the post to favorites, post the listing to twitter, or click reply as another means to send an email. A red flag on the listing page will allow you to flag the listing should you find something inappropriate or malicious (spam).
After performing a search, there are a few things to click on other than a specific listing. A notepad hangs from the top of the app which says Home, Save Search, Map View, Photo View. Home will take you back to the first page described in the setup section. Save search will allow you to replicate the current search (a nice time saver). Map view will show the listings returned by your search plotted on a map based on the posters location input. Photoview will arrange returned listings in a gallery view in order to allow you to see more results in the same amount of space. After you click on a listing, a green checkmark will be added to the corner of the listing to indicate you have looked at it. This is nice to help you not look at the same listing over and over should the poster have reposted many times (showing the posting multiple times in the results view).
+Craigslist+ Pro is a clear winner over the web version and at only $1.99 is a steal for anyone who uses Craigslist and owns an iPad. It’s my favorite place to shop for sports tickets, concert tickets, and items which can only be bought online. It serves as a good way to create win-win situations for the seller and buyer by cutting out shipping costs and any other middle man looking to turn a profit. Please be careful dealing on Craigslist as there are many people looking to scam anyone naive enough to get scammed. Always meet up in public places during busy hours and bring a friend just in case. Be smart and remember if it sounds too good to be true – it not only might be, it definitely is! I rate this an app a 10/10!