It can be frustrating searching for cars on Craigslist. The search can be simplifies by using their standard filters. There are plenty of filters already available, such as filtering for dealer vs. owner, price ranges, mileage ranges, model year ranges, etc. However, sometimes the search results aren’t exactly what you are looking for or you want short cuts. Here are a few short cut symbols to use when using the keyword search function.
* The wildcard allows you to look for words that are shortened or misspelled. When searching for a convertible for example, you can use conv*. This captures any word that starts with conv, including conv, convrtble, covertible, and convertible.
| The pipe is used to signify OR. This can be used for example, when you want specific years, as in 2009|2010|2012|2013. This search is a search for model years 2009 or 2010 or 2012 or 2013 but does not search for 2011.
- The subtract symbol removes ads with the specified word. For example, -automatic will remove ads with automatic transmissions from your results. Or similar to the search above, a range search of years 2009 through 2013 but with -2011 will remove model year 2011 from the results.
“” The quotation marks allows you to search for full phrases such as “one owner” or “always garaged”.
( ) Parenthesis are used when grouping search words and follow basic math rules. For example, BMW (2009 | 2010) searches for BMWs that are 2009 OR 2010. To differentiate, BMW 2009 | 2010 would search for 2009 BMWs or any car that is 2010, i.e. not specifically BMWs.
Space You’ll have to give me a break here because it’s tough to show space as a symbol but a space between search words essentially means AND. So, Toyota 2008 red Tundra is a search for a Toyota AND is model year 2008 AND is red AND is a Tundra.
These are just a few tips that will make your search for your dream car a little bit easier. You can save your search criteria by bookmarking the results. Simply, go back to the page and press Search to get updated results. It also might help to search for keywords only in the title. Posters often add extraneous words in their ads to increase the chances of getting hits but they can’t do this in their titles due to limited space.