Bye Bye Craigslist :-(

It’s with a heavy heart that I must announce that PadMapper is no longer including Craigslist rental listings – they’re currently being wiped from the search index. I recently received a Cease and Desist letter from Craigslist, and wasn’t able to get a meeting or convince Craigslist’s lawyer that PadMapper was beneficial to Craigslist and apartment hunters in general. They allow mobile apps to display their listings if you buy a license from them, but not websites.

If you or any of your friends that PadMapper has helped would like to weigh in and tell them how PadMapper has helped you search through Craigslist, you can contact them at:

jim@craigslist.org – Jim Buckmaster, CEO
craig@craigslist.org – Craig Newmark, Founder

If you do contact them, please, please keep it civil. Perhaps if they see how many people PadMapper has helped, they’ll be willing to consider changing their minds.

PadMapper still has a lot of other sources, I’ll be adding more, and I’ll keep mapping pads, but it’s a sad day for pad mapping and apartment hunting. Craigslist is a really important source of apartment listings, and I hope we can get it back someday.

Thanks everyone,
Eric ☮

UPDATE: Many of you have asked me how you can post to PadMapper now that Craigslist is gone. I just posted about PadLister, a completely free way to post directly to PadMapper. I still want to get Craigslist back on there, but in the meantime, it’d be great if you guys could encourage any landlords you know to post their vacancies on PadLister as well (they should, of course, continue to post on Craigslist). Alternately, you can post to Oodle, RentalHomesPlus, Rent.com, ApartmentFinder, or one of the more local sources PadMapper picks up. Of these, Oodle is also free.

UPDATE 2:
If your area is looking empty without CList, you may want to enable Rent.com’s listings to show up. Look under “Show More Filters” and check that on if it’s not.

UPDATE 3:
I’m bringing Craigslist listings back! Here’s the blog post.

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402 Comments

  1. Hannah
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Man, I understand your concern. I have utilized padmapper for a long time now. I’m in the middle of an apartment hunt currently and will really miss seeing craigslist on this awesome tool. Hopefully things change soon.

    Thanks for this great tool. It’s amazing.

    • BT
      Posted June 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      This is most certainly disappointing news. I am pleased to say that I have done my part and sent a very well-worded, polite, concise email to craigslist. I hope that others do likewise.

      You have my full support – I simply love your service.

  2. AliceM
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    No!! That’s very sad news! I’ve emailed them. I’m currently looking for an apartment to rent from September. I have MLS listing access, but my favorite part of the day was coming home after work and looking at Padmapper. The joy I got from all those little red flags was immense, and I loved nothing better than searching and choosing my favorites. Craigslists is almost useless without Padmapper. No map function, words in the listings that aren’t relevant to the area, waste of time. I wonder if they are going to do their own?

    I hope they reconsider, I really loved Padmapper with Craigslist on it!

    • Julia
      Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      That is nearly word for word what I just said in my email to Craigslist.

  3. Kim
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    E-mail sent.

    Padmapper is amazing. It helped me find the house I will be renting in a couple months. I definitely would have missed that listing if it wasn’t for this site.

  4. Garth
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    If your site starts out by scraping craigslist’s listings to make a map / image grid view to “fix” their site, as soon as you try and monetize it they will send you a cease and desist.

    As soon as you don’t have their data you won’t have enough listings for large numbers of people to use your site and everyone will move on to the next one, which will receive a cease and desist when it adds a business model.

    This has been happening for years, and since they are probably making several hundred million dollars a year with less super low fixed costs it seems to be a winning strategy. They are not in business to help you make money.

    • Ryan
      Posted June 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      In what way was PadMapper trying to “monetize it”?

      • Posted June 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

        If you look near the top, I sell credit checks to put in a rental profile that you can send to landlords to prequalify yourself in their eyes. Some listings also make some money when their links are clicked on, but that’s a pretty small percentage.

        • Amrit Sareen
          Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

          Maybe the longer term strategy is to wait until they develop a license agreement for letting you (and similar websites) display their listings. Hopefully the volume of click throughs CL would get would enable them to cut you a deal on a subscription or per-click model. Alternatively, you could start working on a mobile app that uses location data to display nearby CL listings on a smartphone/tablet

          Regardless, somehow, you have to figure out a way to bring this awesome service to the market since there’s a clear need for it. I love your website, found my place through it, and admire the countless hours you’ve put in Eric. Thank you.

        • Chelle
          Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink

          Thanks for being honest about that, Eric. I can see how a site that has always been free and makes no money from their service might be a little concerned. I hadn’t even noticed your ad for credit checks. Google makes a crapton of money on advertisements as well, and craigslist allows integration of googlemaps on their listings. Which is helpful but no where near as helpful as PadMapper. I’ve sent them an email as well outlining how PadMapper has been helping me in my very long distance search for a place (I live in MI and am looking in New Orleans), and asking that they consider making some sort of deal or something. The walk score feature in particular is super helpful to me because I can’t drive (seizure disorder), so finding a place that has pretty easy access to basics like grocery stores is especially challenging from a very long distance. Thanks for this. I suppose something else that might be possible is advertising your site to more of the smaller rental agencies so they send you the info themselves? I know integrating with Craigslist was way easier everyone involved. =/

  5. Posted June 22, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for providing such a wonderful service. Your website has helped my wife and I locate several properties. You hit the nail on the head – I want to search by seeing the listings on a map first, before I see any further details. I sent an email to Jim and Craig stating my interest in seeing your services continue. Hopefully it will make a difference.

  6. Jake
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Email sent. I really hope this gets figured out because your service has saved me unfathomable hours of sifting through craigslist ads.

  7. Nanda Kishore
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I really hope Craigslist gives pad mapper the permission. It really helped me a lot to find stuff on pad mapper. Most of the good deals i found were from craigslist. I really think its a WIN- WIN situation for both Craigslist and Padmapper and hope the former realize that soon..

  8. Sue
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    So sad! This seems like such a beautiful partnership. My fiance and I just rented a craigslist apartment that we found via this site. I emailed craigslist immediately. Good luck Pad Mapper!

  9. Nate
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Email sent! Moving to NYC internationally this year and you guys were really helping me out.

  10. Blackhat
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    It’s your fault for getting caught. You knew Craigslist’s ToS and didn’t invest in a safer solution like the many hugely popular sites that don’t get caught. You should have used a proxy framework to scrape results without parallelization to 0-day cheap hosting and postprocess.

    • Trevor
      Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink

      Waaaaay to late to be helpful.

    • dee diddy
      Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

      Ohhh you tech,IT infrastructure, know it all god.

    • Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink

      Sorry, but come on. I’m familiar with all of that stuff, of course. PadMapper saw way too much usage to stay hidden like that, and it would look seriously bad if caught. Better to be upfront.

  11. Roi
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    ZOMGWTFBBQ!! Just sent them a rather civil email. Probably another one after I calm down. I’m afraid we can’t fix stupid though.

    PadMapper FTW!

  12. Mina
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Bummer!! This is an awesome site, and the iPhone app is good too–thank you so much.

  13. Jen H
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    my letter to craigslist

    Craig, Jim,

    I’m writing to give you some solid honest feedback.

    I’ve been a SF resident and avid craigslist user for over 12 years now. I love craigstlist. I’ve found homes, roomies (turned best friends), cars, bikes, and more all on craigslist. I’m a dedicated customer.

    I’ve worked in Saas software for 8 years. We all know that the beauty of technology is that it evolves. It evolves, it re-invents itself and solves new problems, continuously.

    Padmapper solved something you guys haven’t solved. The pain of cut and paste into a map and clicks, and more clicks, for every listing that appears on craigslist. Their service is helping craigslist evolve.

    My request! Please allow them to continue their services with you. OR create your own mapping technology. Craigslist must evolve.

    Thank you!
    Jen

  14. Alexei the apthunter
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Instead of sending you evil letters, they should have made you an offer. PadMapper developed a very significantly more useful presentation of their data. Sent a civil email.

    • Tiffany
      Posted June 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      So true! It’s sad that CL has not really evolved AT ALL in years! This is a great evolution that they could integrate into the website. Nice work Eric!

  15. P.C.
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    If PadMapper really cared about their users at all, they would convert to a non-profit orginization, making just enough to keep the site up & pay staff; then, there would be no reason for Craigslist to be concerned. If PadMapper decides to just close down, you don’t mean a thing to them.

    • Posted June 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Please look at my team page – this is a one-man operation, I personally make way below market for someone with my skills. It might as well be a non-profit, the way I run it. I don’t think that makes a difference to them, though.

  16. Pete
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I wrote them urging them to find a way to work with Padmapper for the benefit of both. I hate craigslist without this interface. Padmapper has helped me find my past 3 homes, this site rocks!

    I would totally pay a small monthly fee if I had to, to continue to use padmapper + craigslist. I hope you guys can work something out.

    • John
      Posted June 23, 2012 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      I too would be willing to pay a fee to use PadMapper + craiglist. Having that available will save me about 20hrs or work this Fall, and 20hrs of my time is actual worth a pretty solid fee.

  17. anonymous
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    fuck Craigslist

  18. Gio
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Sent them an email bitching about Craiglist blocking padmapper. Lets hope they change their minds

  19. Yusuf
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I have used padmapper to find the right apartment that I would have easily missed using other services. I have recommended this to many of my friends as well. This is truly the best apartment search engine out there. Hope this issue with craigslist works out.

  20. Posted June 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Bummer. I’ve been using Craigslist forever, and I really appreciate your work on padmapper. I made sure to email Jim and Craig asking them to reconsider.

    Thanks again! Keep up the good work!

    …Now to find a reasonably priced two bedroom in Columbus :D

  21. Angela
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    How disappointing! This is my saving grace. We NEED to find a place to live and unfortunately, craigslist has the monopoly in Minneapolis, but it’s so damn hard to search the listings. Thank you for the service you provide. It’s awesome!

  22. Posted June 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Craigslist is a pain to browse, but I was able to find my very first apartment in San Francisco this spring by subscribing to alerts on PadMapper. Sad to see Craigslist turn their back on PadMapper like this.

  23. sandy
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    i sent them an email!
    one time I had to move out and find an apartment in one week! padmapper really helped with that hectic time in my life haha

  24. Posted June 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I recently wanted to get the attention of some business owners over the web, and I made a petition on change.org to gather my community together and get their attention. It definitely got their attention.

    padmapper is great and I used it to find my apartment just over 6 weeks ago. I would definitely sign an online petition to craiglist. Look into change.org man, it worked for me it should work for you!

  25. Posted June 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Man, that stinks. I have been using your website every day for weeks in order to map out the many craigslist posts I have been sorting through. I like craigslist, but I have a certain geographic area where I want to rent, and it is a total pain to map them out by hand. I was SO HAPPY when I found your website! I will definitely write them a (polite) letter.

  26. Some Guy
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Craig Newmark is an idiot, with all the business sense of a typical over-the-hill San Francisco hippie. He had a partner who put him on the map, who was responsible for making him rich, and he fought her every step of the way, and eventually she got tired of it and quit.

    • Posted June 22, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      I dunno, Craig seems like a pretty decent guy. I have no idea where this C&D order came from, and I wouldn’t speculate too hard.

  27. Posted June 22, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    I just sent an email. Padmapper helped me find my new apartment I’m moving into this coming August. I had tried Craigslist but found it nearly impossible to sift through all of the garbage. Thankfully, a friend mentioned Padmapper and the rest is history.

    -Ryan

  28. Posted June 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    wow, what a pity…:(
    I have been checking share house everyday on the PadMapper since my friend told me it, and it was really useful for me. I was also impressed by PadMapper system, so it made my dream that I will create new website with useful map like you, some day….
    I hope that PadMapper will be back soon for us!!

  29. AMP
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    This is sad. I sent them an email.

  30. chrp
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Email sent.

  31. Stephen D
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Sadtown :-(

  32. Michael Hsu
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Padmapper > Craigslist any time.

  33. Kenneth
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    I found my apartment on Craigslist through Padmapper. Would have never found it through the mass of spam otherwise. I sent an email to Craigslist and hope things work out. Best of luck!

  34. The Muphtey
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    You are not depended on Craigslist ,
    au contraire,

    take advantage of their act and start your own service to replace theirs.

    it is a present,

    good luck

  35. Jack
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    WHAT. THE. FAWK.

    No more CraigList for me. This is a clear barbaric action against open web and shall be dealt accordingly. With a pair of fists, that is.

    Email sent!

  36. HRA
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Sent an email. Fingers crossed.

  37. dee diddy
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Email sent..
    Eric,
    You have done it, you found a way to make something way better. Why can’t you start your own niche and site doing exactly what you were and are doing?? Forget CL.
    Do you need funding?? Do it, you dreamt big, now follow through please!!

    This is an awesome site..

    “Frustration is the manifestation of unrealistic expectations”

    • Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

      Thanks Dee! I’m looking at options. Hopefully Craigslist will decide it’s helpful/not a threat, but if they don’t, I might consider that. But PadMapper’s not shutting down, I’m going to make it bounce back.

      • Jones Lemack
        Posted June 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        Eric,

        I was thinking the same thing. Craigslist is foolish for turning an ally and traffic driver into a possible competitor. You clearly have brand appeal with “Padmapper.” Just start hosting your own free rental ads, but keep the front end that currently exists (and even extend the stringency of the front end right from the original ad placement). It could actually improve the website in the long run because you could better control for spam. There is obviously a market for what you’re doing here. But act quickly, it won’t take long for the market to forget about you.

  38. Evan L
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    I emailed both, and sincerely hope that they offer you the ability to continue this. You mentioned in the post that mobile apps can show the listings, (after a license fee) does that mean that padmapper for my phone will still show craigslist results, or is that fee prohibitively expensive?

    • Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      Hey Evan, not sure about that, probably not in the very near term, since the mobile app uses the same backend as the website. I’d like to have them all show the same listings.

  39. stumpyb
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    I sent them an email. I don’t like this decision, Padmapper absolutely rocks! My guess is that they are working on something similar. Either way I still like Padmapper more because of the aggregation between multiple data sources. Bleh @ craigslist.

    • Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Indeed! I was worried about that too. But in that case, wouldn’t they just try to acquire Padmapper, since it is already such a popular program? :/

  40. del07
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Entrepreneur and originally an advocate for open and non-censored online social hubs.Now a driving force in search engine censorship.Join and Like this page simply to send a message against search engine censorship and this type of action.

    https://www.facebook.com/fcraignewmark

  41. Dave
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Eric you provide a fantastic service, I sent an email to the CEO and Founder of Craigslist, expressing as much. I wish you the best and hope this issue can be resolved.

  42. Posted June 23, 2012 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    I hope they reconsider, I really loved Padmapper with Craigslist on it!

  43. Posted June 23, 2012 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    Craigslist should worry more about filtering out all the scams, instead of targeting sites that are an actual benefit!

  44. wut
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Oh for the love of…
    FOR THE LAST FUCKING TIME.
    IT IS CHEAPER TO SWITCH HOSTING TO ANOTHER JURISDICTION AND SETUP AN AMERICAN EC2 TRAFFIC SHAPPER WITH CACHING THAN IT IS TO HIRE A LAWYER!

    Why you people put yourselves through this I will never know. If they block your crawlers address, spawn another VM. They can’t block the entire amazon range.
    They won’t be able to c n d you, or sue you, and it will come at zero performance cost for your users.

    • Posted June 23, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Er, they know where I live and would just sue me? That kind of thing isn’t hard to prove when they start sending subpoenas.

  45. Mabbo
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Just sent this along. Hope it can help.

    ———- ——————————— ———-
    Subject: Padmapper
    To: jim@craigslist.org, craig@craigslist.org

    Hi there,

    I recently read that Craigslist was no longer supporting PadMapper:

    http://blog.padmapper.com/2012/06/22/bye-bye-craigslist/

    I just wanted to let you guys know that this means I, and many others like me, won’t be user of Craigslist for house hunting anymore. Not because of a desire to boycott it, but because frankly, PadMapper made it easy to *be* a user of Craigslist. In the last 3 years or so, I’ve wound up moving around a lot. Tech internships all over North America, back to school during the year, an international exchange program. The last few times, I’ve used PadMapper to find a place to live. Often, these linked me to ads on Craigslist.

    I don’t want to have to search 10 different websites. I want to search a single website, with a nice, map-based interface. If that means I can only get ads from 9/10 of the websites that have housing ads, that’s fine- I simply won’t be seeing any ads from Craigslist. I’ll be seeing the ads from Kijiji, Ebay, and others, and renting a property through them. And I also know that when I decide to move from my current place of residence, if I need to sell a house, I should be posting the ads somewhere other than Craigslist, because they don’t support the method I know works for buying, selling, and renting real estate.

    The only idea I can get as to why you might have chosen this is that you may be trying to push your own map-based Craigslist Search page. Which is fine- but I still won’t use it. Why would I when I can get everything else on the internet via PadMapper. If you want to compete, do so by innovating better than the competition, not by trying to stomp them out.

    I’m not sure how the decision was made to stop supporting PadMapper, but I really think you should reconsider it.

    [My name]

  46. Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Hi Jim —

    I’ve been using Craigslist since 1999, when I found my first job in San Francisco through it.

    Last year, the combination of Craigslist and PadMapper helped me find apartments in Toronto.

    Please let the PadMapper folks use your data. It’s a win for everyone who uses Craigslist.

    (In 2012, I can’t understand why you’re not shouting “Craigslist is a platform” from the rooftops and handing out API keys like candy.)

    Paul

  47. Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Why on earth do they want to disable something that benefits both them and their customers?

  48. Sarah
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    OH NO! Your site takes craigslist’s awful search functionality and gives me a simple, enjoyable (as enjoyable as it can be at least) way to find housing.

    Emailing craigslist immediately.

  49. Dan
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Sent both guys a passionate email. Padmapper has been an invaluable resource for me and I can’t imagine trying to find an apartment without it. It seems obvious Padmapper and Craigslist have a mutually beneficial relationship, and Craigslist should find a way to work with you – this was a terrible move on their part.

    Oh, and it’s on Reddit by the way – hopefully the cavalry is on the way! Hang in there.

  50. DonW
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Eric – I agree with the Murphtey. I think and hope Padmapper is strong enough to go out on its own – you have a huge edge with the good mapping technology in place. Whatever happens w/ CL, good luck!
    Will send a civil request to the Craigslist people.

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