Most of us have used Craigslist a few times in our lives particularly if you’re based in a big city. The site is an exception in that it’s initial design hasn’t changed much over the years, however it has got much, much bigger. People use Craigslist for all sorts of things, indeed some people even run entire businesses based on the back of the classified site.
However it’s just a site to buy and sell on. So why would you need proxies for Craigslist? There’s a few reasons which we will list below and why private ones are worth investing in.
ome of the Reasons People Use Private Proxies for Craigslist
Do you know there are people, usually more in the US who spend much of the working day on Craigslist. They are actually making money from it searching for opportunities for digital arbitrage. If you have the ability to scrape the data across all of Craigslist you can search for things to buy and sell for a guaranteed profit.
For example – imagine a big concert, somewhere on Craigslist there will probably be a bunch of people selling tickets which they no longer want for whatever reason. At the same time there’s probably a bunch of people offering to buy tickets for the same concert. There’s obviously an opportunity there to buy from one and sell to the others. Indeed for particular ‘ hot items’ like this you don’t need a buyer straight away, a quick advert will get the buyer you want.
Knowledge is the key, hidden across the thousands of local sites in Craigslist are huge opportunities. Yet the way the site works it’s difficult to access them manually. However you can use software or tools to automate the process, and scrape the data for you. Imagine a program that can scan 24/7 searching for items you know you can sell, it’s a digital traders dream. Even for people looking for items for personal use, being able to scrape through all the markets is invaluable.
Others scare this data looking for leads, if you run a business or offer a service there’s a chance that people are posting on Craigslist looking for that service. Obviously it works better in some areas than others, but it’s an amazing way to build up a potential sales or contact list for leads.
Needless to say because of the huge potential of making money from scraping Craigslist adverts it’s not that easy to do. If you have some technical skills you can try Scrapy which is a cool open source, framework for extracting data from websites. It does work with Craigslist and gives you the ability to create web spiders which search the site.
If you don’t have the time, skills or motivation for using the Scarpy framework then there are some awesome tools which can do it for you. There’s one called Visual Web Ripper which is completely automated and does everything for you – it’s a little pricey (from $350) but if you use it properly you can certainly earn that back.
Remember there’s huge potential for using these tools. People use them for hundreds of different tasks, here’s just a few of them:
- Sales Lead generation
- Price and Product Comparisons
- Real Estate Price Monitoring
- Recruitment – search for jobs and employees
- Social Media Sites – recruitment searching for skills.
- Reputation Management – Searching for company mentions.
Of course, not all these are suitable for a classified site but the majority of the best scraping software work across different platforms. It’s worth having a quick look at the Web Ripper Demonstration video to see some of the possibilities.
There is a problem with these tools though, although they are packed with commercial possibilities – Craigslist hates them. Indeed it spends a lot of time trying to block and stop them working. One of the main ways it does this is by detecting and flagging IP addresses. If you run any sort of scraping software from a single US IP address without using some sort of proxy then you’ll get blocked very quickly. Plus if it links you to adverts and responses all those will get deleted and removed too.
Multiple Posts on Craigslist
Obviously many of the commercial opportunities on the site require the ability to make multiple posts across multiple regions. However yet again, Craigslist doesn’t like this and will certainly block you if it spots one individual (i.e. IP address) making multiple posts very quickly. This is of course fine if you just want to sell your car locally. Yet if you want to sell an opportunity, or a digital product or something similar then volume is important. You need to spread your adverts far and wide to maximise your return – it needs lots of posts.
The solution to this is again to use proxies, the ability to switch between IP addresses for each post is how this works. If you use proxies properly then you can post as many times as you like. The cheapest and simplest way to switch between IP addresses is normally to use rotating proxies as they can utilise thousands of IP addresses. However for Craigslist you also need the IP address to be geo-located to the same area i.e. it won’t let a Mexican IP address post to New York Craigslist. Make sure any proxy service allows the ability to switch location as well as IP address – a good provider of Craiglist Proxies is Rotating Proxies.
Remember though, just switching IP addresses doesn’t give you carte blanche to spam across the platform with the same text. I’m afraid Craigslist will spot that too, you have to vary your text slightly – look up spun text. Plus you need to vary your posting times, if you use software to post they should allow you to both schedule your posts and use multiple versions. It’s not actually difficult to put multiple posts and adverts up but you do need to watch these specifics.
Not Just Commercial Reasons
Generally people use proxies for commercial reasons in posting on Craigslist. Indeed there’s a huge amount of money to be made if you get the right set up. Certainly there are setup costs of the scraping software, multiple accounts, posting software and proxies but they’re easily covered if you have a decent product to sell. However many people use proxies for other reasons too.
Firstly lots of people want some anonymity online. If you’re posting for a hookup in the classified section perhaps you don’t want anyone to know this. Avoiding a digital trail that leads right back to your computer or phone is important to many people and proxies will help you do this. Posting through a proxy will hide your location and give you a high level of anonymity.
Craigslist is one of the companies that actually spends quite a lot of money blocking multiple posters and scrapers and so unfortunately a cheap proxy service is not likely to be enough. One of the most specific requirements for commercial users is the ability to post across different regions. In this case the best proxy for craigslist is one that will allow you to both control and switch regions, many providers simply don’t bother with this as it’s a limited market.
All things considered, this company is worth checking out for affordable residential proxies which you can rotate to support multiple postings. Give their trial a go and you’ll see how well they work.
Get your Craigslist Proxy Service Here