Best way to search Craigslist nationwide

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If you’re looking to buy something from an individual, one of the best places to find a bargain is on Craigslist. But what if you want to shop on Craigslist outside of your local area? You have another option!



I have made a LOT of purchases over the years on Craigslist ( It was the original online classified ads site, and it’s still going strong (even though there are some other good options such as OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace).

If you’re looking for something like a lawnmower, a used car, a bedroom set, a bike – Craigslist will have lots of listings. These are things that are common enough that you can almost always find someone selling it within 5-10 miles of where you live. If you don’t mind shopping around for a bit, you can get a bargain. For some items, I do a search on Craigslist using my criteria (location, price, etc) and then I save that search and set an alert. So when something that matches is listed, I get an email within 20-30 minutes of when it goes live, so I have often been the first call on an item and gotten a deal just by being quick.

But what about if you’re searching for something that’s not quite as common? Maybe you’re a collector of first edition books. Or perhaps you’re shopping for a particular model Rolex watch. Yes, you might find what you’re looking for within a 20-mile radius of where you live, but your chances are much better if you expand your geographic area much farther than that – like the entire country.

But Craigslist itself doesn’t offer that option. You can pick and choose other cities to do your search one at a time, but that could get very tedious. Instead, there is another site that allows you to do this.

It’s called Search Tempest –



Right there on the home page, you just enter the item you want to find, the category, your local zip code, and the farthest distance the search should include.

So let’s say I’m looking for a John Grisham first edition book. I enter the relevant information:



And when I click the Search button, it shows me what’s available. And guess what – there’s a first edition John Grisham book available for just $5. And it’s at the other end of the country, in the Sacramento, California area. I certainly never would have found that just searching the traditional way on Craigslist.

Of course, at this point, it’s up to me to contact the seller and explain that I’m not in their local area. Usually when you list something for sale on Craigslist, you either get local calls from prospective buyers, or you get emails from scammers. So this seller might be a bit hesitant when my email says I’m in Florida and I want to purchase that book. Most likely, I would need to send the money first, and I would need to cover the cost of shipping.

In addition to showing you what’s available on Craigslist, you’ll also see the search results for your item in eBay. You could do that directly in eBay obviously, but it’s definitely convenient being able to do both in one place.

And if you want to try out another universal Craigslist search engine, check All Craigslist Search ( I haven’t tried that one yet but it looks like it would work as well.

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