You’ve been watching Craigslist for a good deal on a hedge trimmer, but you just aren’t having any luck. By the time you find a good listing, it’s been up for an hour and the HedgeHog XR is long gone. You could sit and refresh the farm+garden category constantly, but that’s a waste of time. (Besides, what would your boss think?) Fortunately, there’s a better way.

Did you know it’s also possible to watch Craigslist searches via RSS feed?

RSS in Plain English

Instead of subscribing to entire categories (and then having to wade through countless irrelevant results), you can subscribe to specific searches. Let’s say, for example, that I wanted to buy a Mini Cooper. Because it’s such a huge expense, I might want to wait for exactly the right car to come along. Instead of navigating to the Craigslist site a dozen times per day, I could simply subscribe to a search that features all the results I’m interested in. It’s easy to do.

Step One: Search Craigslist
Simply search for the item you want. If you need to refine the search by category or by price, enter the additional parameters. The results page will list the current matches.

Step Two: Subscribe to Feed
The final step has a tiny trick to it: You have to find the RSS feed. You can’t just use the RSS icon in your browser’s address bar. (Well, I can’t anyhow.) Instead, scroll to the bottom right corner of the page. There, tucked out of sight, is the RSS feed for your search.

Right-click on the icon to grab your feed!

This is an efficient way to grab great deals on cheap hedge trimmers or sports cars. But it can also be a handy tool for finding a job or apartment. Last February, Tim at the Seattle Bubble blog shared a great tip about how to use Craigslist and RSS to find a great rental.

(And don’t forget: Last year I shared 24 of my top Craigslist tips, tricks, and resources gleaned from several years of experience.)

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