A while back I posted a nifty trick to combine an RSS feed for a Craigslist aquarium search with Google alerts to get notified when a new deal showed up. If you’re not sure why you’d want to, read that article to find out why that’s a good idea.
It seemed like a good idea, but I noticed at times the Google alerts were coming out days after the deal showed up which might result in losing out on the deal of a life time. After implementing this new setup, I even found out Google was often missing deals altogether.
The new method is much faster and doesn’t miss a thing. It works similarly using the search RSS feed from Craigslist plus a service called If This Then That (IfTTT.com). If you’re not familiar, IFTTT is a really cool service, it lets you setup actions based on certain events. These are called recipes.
Getting into the recipes is a little beyond the scope of this site, but you can check out the link above for more info. I’ll just outline the steps below on how to set up your alert. You’ll need to sign up for a free account to get started, then follow the steps below to get rocking.
- First locate the RSS link for your craigslist search. You can do this by going to (yourcity.craigslist.org) and then search for “aquarium”. Scroll to the bottom of the page until you see the orange RSS button in the lower right corner. Click that button and then copy the URL of the page that pops up.
- Click this link which leads to the recipe we’ll be editing to create our custom aquarium deals e-mail alert: https://ifttt.com/recipes/99479-rss-to-email-formatted
- Click on the big blue “Use this Recipe” button to get started.
- You’ll get a message saying the recipe was created along with a random number. Click the My Recipes link at the top of the page.
- Your new recipe should be the first item in the list, click it to go into edit mode.
- Rename it if you like, then scroll down to the “ingredients” section and change the URL in the triggers option to the Craigslist link you copied in step 1. You can leave the e-mail step alone, or mess with the formatting if you really want to. Click update and you’ll be ready to go.
- As new items get added to Craigslist, you’ll get an e-mail for each item like in the screen shot below. I’ve found that there tends to be a delay of an hour or two in most cases, but it’s still much faster than Google.
Happy bargain hunting!