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. Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    That is a MAJOR bummer- without padmapper I wouldn’t have found my apartment in the thousands of postings on Craigslist every day. Padmapper makes it easier to find what you are looking for and is a more comprehensive program. I emailed them briefly about the benefits of Craigslist ads being made available on Padmapper- hopefully they’ll be included again sometime soon.

  2. aras
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I sent them a email. Your service is excellent- hopefully you can figure out a way to continue.

    • Adam
      Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Will padmapper mobile app include the craigslist listings?

    • Renan
      Posted June 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      The same, just sent the an email.

      Your service is really awesome and I hope you can get them back. But I believe that you can continue the site with other great sources!

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

    Craigslist sent me a cease and desist for my iPhone app as well. (www.craigupload.com)

    All it was, is a simple photo uploading app, that would give you a html IMG tag for you to paste in your craigslist post.

    It did not have any connection with craigslist.org, but lawyers came after me anyway.

    I took it down, just because it wasnt making me any money, and i did not want to go to court.

    They are notorious for sending cease and desist’s.

  4. Geoff
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Eric-

    Take this moment and embrace it. Forget their letter, forget trying to make it work. Take the next few days or weeks to build the emotional power to make them obsolete. Craigslist has been going downhill for years and is now is full of frauds and lame-o real estate agents that post bait and switch listings trying to earn your business.

    Your service is a service. Monetize it. Landlords will PAY just like job posters PAY craigslist $75 for a one month posting. Even if you monetize it for $1 or $5 per listing, the level of quality postings and customers will soon exceed Craigslist.

    Continue to enhance your site, make it the best and forget about the rest. As a CEO and entrepreneur myself whom has failed and learned, take your experience here and use it as fuel and knowledge for the future.

    THIS WILL BE THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO YOU, if you allow it to be.

    • Mo
      Posted June 23, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      This. Hundred times this.

      All things work together for good. Just keep doing the excellent work you are doing. You are already a winner and a hero.

    • Joe
      Posted June 23, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      i agree. the padmapper company as a brand has built it’s own reputation. start a marketing camping for listers to use the site. make it easy and friendly and they will come. pull them in.

    • Shanna
      Posted June 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      I agree, well said! Sometimes the best is yet to come from the pieces of what once was.

    • Ryan
      Posted June 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Hi Eric, I’ve emailed with you before about Padmapper and asking your advice in general with web startups, and I think you’re great. I don’t know your stats / how many users you’ve had, but I’d be surprised if you haven’t already built a big enough brand to just do this on your own and blow CL out of the water (eventually). They are so awful, and it is only a matter of time that they get beat, and it could be you who finally does it. Most people I talk to about apartment searching not only have heard of Padmapper but use it / prefer it to Craigslist. It may be time for a big Kickstarter campaign to raise some money to pay for ads to generate enough buzz for Padmapper that you can get the threshold number of landlords to post directly with you. I think you probably have enough loyal fans that lots of people would be willing to volunteer their time and talent to help the cause. I would.

      Take a deep breath and then get pumped. I hope this galvanizes you to be the best ever.

      Ryan

  5. Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    craigslist sucks anyways, they give every idiot the authority to flag any AD they want. I know craigslist probably only does this for legal reasons, but still, it’s retarded. Every AD you post (rather it violates any tos or not) has a 50/50 chance of being removed by some idiot.

    Good Luck, PadMapper, on getting CL to reverse their decision. You’ll do fine without CL though.

    Cheers.

  6. Destiny Martini
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Hi Eric,

    My fiancĂ© and I love your website!! We have found some great listings not to mention this is the easiest apt hunting has ever been. I sent an email to CL just now and I cc’d both guys in my email. It sucks that they didn’t think it thru more. I will forever come to this site when I am apartment hunting and hopefully all other sites will recognize that you have so,etching good going and hop on the bandwagon :) ))) good luck!!

    Keep up the GREAT work!

    Destiny

    P.s I am a little bummed cause we are actually apt searching now so this makes it just that much more difficult!!

  7. Tiffany
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I sent off an email to Craiglist as I am extremely sad to see them go! I love Craigslist but Padmapper makes Craigslist easier to navigate! I hope a good relationship can form between these two companies which will benefit both!

  8. Lauren
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    This is really frustrating. I sent them an email.

    Dear Mr. Buckmaster, Mr. Newmark,

    I am writing to express my disappointment at learning that Craigslist has barred the website PadMapper.com from showing Craigslist rental ads in their search tool. PadMapper has been a convenient way to familiarize myself with the New York City rental market and get to know the layout of the city before I move while I still live in Oklahoma. It has enabled me to take greater advantage of the listings offered through Craigslist where before I barely new where to begin. I cannot imagine that PadMapper could be anything but good for Craigslist’s business by drawing in searchers from another source. It makes Craigslist accessible and user friendly. I hope that you reconsider your cease and desist and allow PadMapper to continue to be a valuable business partner to Craigslist.

    Sincerely,
    Lauren

  9. Andrea
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    My email:

    Dear Mr. Buckmaster and Mr. Newmark,

    I am extremely disappointed in your decision to send a cease & desist letter to stop PadMapper from referencing your listings. I am currently looking for an apartment and your decision has greatly hindered my search.

    It is all but impossible to use your website to search for apartments. You have no function to accurately filter listings by neighborhood. Searching the listings is not sufficient because so many people list all the neighborhoods surrounding the apartment or inaccurately tag the neighborhood in their post.

    Also, there are so many repeat and “junk” listings on Craigslist, which is a huge waste of time for someone seriously searching for an apartment.

    Please, improve your site or allow innovative and smart people like Eric to help the world sift through your listings and find what they want! He is not detracting from your site in any way, he is making your site better.

    Best,

    Andrea

  10. Matt C
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Stinks. Keep at it. Either you’ll work something out. Or savvy folks will start listing with you directly.

    I certainly appreciate not having to weed through all they spammy broker posts on your interface.

    Don’t give up.

  11. anon
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    It was really a good service, too bad that craigslist sends a cease and desist letter to everyone who use the listings that people post on their website. They don’t even innovate themselves. Did you checked 3taps ?

  12. Dave
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Eric,

    Is there an interface for me as an apartment owner to provide listings to you? Craigslist is great and all, but I’d be happy to add listings to your site. I’m much smaller than they are, but you could also talk to Greystar and the other guys that own 50K+ units nationwide as well as say rent.com and others.

    • Posted June 23, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Thanks Dave, there is a place to add them directly – http://www.padlister.com, or hit “Add a Pad” on PadMapper. Small landlords are the hardest to get on the site, so your comment makes me especially happy. Tell your friends!

  13. Mike
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    This sucks! Having Craigslist be part of padmapper was extremely helpful. It took out many additional steps that made my searching easier. Bummer. I’m still really happy to use padmapper and will continue.

    Bring back CL!

  14. boethius
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Wow… that really is too bad however Craigslist is well-known for shutting down data scrapers in fairly short order. Some years back I was developing a site scraper for multi-site job search and organization but the more I dug into it I started to realize how quickly I would get shut down. Kind of a shame – I had written a lot of code for it! It’s really too bad that CL hasn’t decided to write an API that it can either sell access to (hopefully for cheap) or offer as a community service. I’m sure it’s been on their radar for many years now but they’ve stubbornly refused access to their raw data. They’re on their perch and for all their warm-fuzzy community activist feel-good blah-blah-blah they’re hugely profitable and happy to stay there and keep their data locked down tight.

  15. T
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Eric,

    Grab a lawyer and squash the old timers that don’t know how to adapt and abuse our legal system to maintain a so called edge in their market.

    Craig–
    You just signed your site’s death certificate. About time in my opinion. Thing is circa 1990 and needs someone to sudo rm -rf / it.

  16. David K
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I feel that if you create your own apartment listing service and incorporate it into your existing Google Maps infrastructure, you will quickly outcompete Craigslist. Is there anything preventing you from doing this?

    • Jarrett
      Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Check padlister.com, David. They already have, it’s just that no one has as much exposure as Craigslist.

      If they could grant a license or an api or something to padmapper, that would be so great. As it is, this is pretty terrible timing. I haven’t moved once in four years, but I found out TODAY that I have to look for a new place, now. One day after craigslist does this!

  17. nyle
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I think you have an opportunity here to be better than craigslist, though it wouldn’t even take much. Craigs is overrun with scammers, and there is no accountability for a user to post a thousand scam ads a day. All the best to you.

  18. Edddgy
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    In a way, CL is doing a dis-service to their own paying customers. If I were a realtor advertising on CL, I’d want my property to be seen by as many potential renters as possible. This is why they pay good money to place the ad. The impact on seekers is obvious. But it’s not like you’re attempting to hide the fact that the data comes from CL. This bullish behavior didn’t work in the music industry so well. The mobile market has far more momentum than the desktop. Seems CL would know this and either innovate or embrace partners like yourself rather than become the next blockbuster. They’d be fools not to see this. You’re in a great position to succeed, you’ll do fine!! Btw, excellent app.

  19. Posted June 23, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Padmapper is a wounderful site to help find a place to live. I use this site and craigslist daily. padmapper shows more than craigslist does. I can’t always find the things I want on craigslist. I wish that you would allow padmapper to continue to post craiglist rentals. Padmappers always shows new housing when craiglist does not. most of the rental houses have been from padmappers that has be posted from craiglist but doesn’t show on craigslist.org. Please,Please work something out so that not only for myself but all the other’s looking for a home came do this much easier with padmappers/craigslist. Thank you.

  20. Posted June 23, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Wow your site works great. Good thing I downloaded the Alexa toolbar and your headline Bye Bye Craigslist drew me in. Would you be able to incorporate it with the MLS Listings?

  21. Mom
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I’ve used padmapper many times over the years as my kids have moved around the country and needed to find places to live. Your service would qualify as one of the top discoveries for me on the internet. You’ve saved me so much time I can’t begin to count it.

    I sent an email, and I would also say that I’d be more than willing to pay for your site if that would be helpful. I think alot of people would. All of our time is valuable.

    I’m so disappointed about this and hope they change course.

  22. MIke W
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you for Padmapper, it’s how I found my current apartment!
    Here’s what I sent them, in case anyone else would like to use something similar.

    Hello Jim and Craig,

    Thank you for Craigslist, it’s a wonderful resource.
    I hope you recognize the benefit of geo-spatial mapping of room/apartment/home listings.
    I found my current SF apartment with Padmapper, and I’ve recommended the site to many friends.

    I would encourage you to keep Craigslist data open to 3rd party sites, even via licencing if necessary.
    Unencumbered sharing of data (given free to Craiglist by users!) supports innovation like Padmapper.
    Products like Padmapper can add tremendous utility to Craigslist users, and should not be disregarded.

    Thank you for your consideration,

  23. Seth
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Well, this is really disappointing. Your website is the only thing that made Craigslist even half-usable when trying to find an apartment. I’m definitely going to send emails to the two provided addresses.

  24. Helen
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I just signed a lease two days ago in NY, after facing the toughest real estate market I’ve ever encountered, and it would not have happened without your site. I am so glad I missed the shut-down by two days, but it makes me sad to think of the people who will miss out because of this. I definitely would have. I sent them an email. Keep fighting the good fight!

  25. Makenna
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    You’re far better off anyhow. 99% of apartment ads I’ve responded to from CL have been spammers and now my email is constantly plagued with spam. CL needs to clean up its act and instill better security features for its posters!

  26. Ian Turner
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Just set off the following letter:

    Hello Craigslist folks,

    I am writing to express my disappointment with your decision to disallow PadMapper from utilizing craigslist apartment listings in its aggregator. PadMapper significantly enhanced the value of craigslist apartment listings, giving them a structure and filtering power that Craigslist never did. It’s not clear to me how their work negatively affects craigslist in any way; if anything, it enhances the value of your apartment listing product by increasing the visibility received by your customers.

    I strongly urge you to reconsider; this choice has made it much less likely that I will find my next apartment through craigslist, reducing the value of your service to owners, brokers, and renters alike.

    Sincerely,

    –Ian Turner

  27. Dana
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    What a shame! I just moved myself and have been using your website religiously to help me find an apartment. I love it! I just sent craigslist an email, but also I wanted to let you know what a gem you have here! I agree with the other comments that your website has a lot of potential for overtaking craigslist in the apartment-posting/hunting realm, and I hope it does!

  28. Posted June 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Craigslist has let child molestors and rapist continue posting there under the assumption that they didn’t want to censor free speech. Isn’t sharing their content free speech?

  29. Aakil
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I love this service and I wrote them an email asking to reconsider. Thanks for a great site, and as a subleaser it helps me immensely. Thanks, and I hope everything turns out okay.

  30. Eba
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Good luck Eric!

    I e-mail jim/craig, however I’m really just crossing my fingers that this gives you enough publicity that you can get critical mass of people using padlister!

  31. Casino Gambler
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    It makes me wonder why on earth Craigslist would send a cease and desist order as it is clear that Padmapper has been doing them more good than harm.
    It can only be a case of them worrying about the competition.
    Judging by all the positive comments here – I would not even bother with Craigslist if I were you guys. You clearly don’t need em!

  32. Chris
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    This is really disappointing. I’m currently looking for an apartment in nyc and this site is the only thing that makes it bearable. Otherwise craigslist is just spam filled and pretty much unusable.

  33. Joel
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Eric,

    Your site is amazing! I love CL, but apartment hunting is so difficult on their site! I’ve always “double tabbed”, having CL open on one and Google maps on the other. Weeding through the listings, then googling to find the street and area is so complicated! Your site and app revolutionized the search!

    I hope CL will see the benefit of their results being listed on your site and app.

  34. Peg
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Not a good business decision on their part. I sent JB a message to that effect. BTW, is it something I am doing – I cannot get the link to open to a pic of the listing?
    Love your site, Pad!

  35. K
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I sent an email… I hope it helps! PadMapper has been there for me for over 6 rental properties, and all of those were Craigslist houses. Good luck, y’all.

  36. Don
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I thought Craigslist was perpetually cool until this happened in the middle of my apartment search. I just tried to resume my search directly on CL and was dismayed to discover it has gotten worse since the last time I tried searching on it (prior to my discovery of PadMapper last year). The miscategorized items and over-posting force us users to deal with at least ten times as many posts as we ought to have to, and probably something like a hundred times more info than we want to deal with–especially if we’re trying to focus on a specific neighborhood. Whatever the flagging protocol is these days, posters have either found a way around it or the dedicated CL monitors have decided CL is no longer worth the effort. At this point, I’d have to agree. I’m going to look for other sources of info before I spend any more time with the mess on Craigslist.

  37. Jeff
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I’ve used this service to find my last >> 5 << places to live. Sent an email to Craig asking him to reconsider or at least offer a license.

    Craigslist is practically worthless without padmapper – hell I was hoping you were going to add office space to the system.

  38. Caroline
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Such a shame! I love receiving the listings for all rented accommodation from pad mapper.
    It takes hours to sift through the listings on Craiglist for specific accommodation.

  39. zach mandt
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Sent an email. Hopefully these guys can see the light.

  40. Meg Griffith
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I sent them an email. CL is just not a good format to find apartments and Padmapper is the only thing I use.

  41. Emad
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    How about all the ipad apps that access craigslist data? how do they get away with that???

  42. JJ E
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    The e-mail I just sent:

    Dear Mr. Buckmaster and Mr. Newmark,

    I am writing this short message simply to express my disappointment that Craigslist is forcing Padmapper to remove all Craigslist rental postings from Padmapper. Without both of your wonderful websites working together, I never would have found the apartment I am living in now. I ask you to please reconsider, as Padmapper and Craigslist together have helped numerous people I know find places to live and, your relationship, from an outsider’s perspective, is quite clearly mutually beneficial.

    Thank you for your time. Sincerely,
    JJ [ ]

    Apart from that e-mail, I do hope that Padmapper can forge a working relationship with Craigslist. It might taking a little money flowing one way or another, but hopefully it can be worked out. Thanks for everything.

  43. padmapperuser
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I’m a big fan of padmapper. I’ve been living in apartments for 15 years since college. I don’t understand why Craigslist doesn’t embrace this exact type of enhancement which makes their site 100x more functional than to scroll through endless crappy listings, clicking them one by one until my fingernails crack and rip off and eyeballs bleed in the search for a reasonable apartment.

  44. Posted June 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    This sucks. Terrible timing for me. I’d love to use Craigslist for my apartment hunt, but it’s simply not a usable website! PadMapper fixed this problem. And yet for all the good it does, now it’s been culled.

    “No good deed goes unpunished” indeed.

  45. Anon
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Eric,

    I just wanted to compliment you on what I think is a brilliantly designed and very useful site. I have recommended padmapper to countless friends and they all love it. The Craigslist’s cease and desist letter is an unfortunate turn of events but I agree with some of the other posters that you should seriously consider figuring out the best way to monetize this site. There are a lot of resources online that you can use to research business and revenue models. You might also consider reaching out to a few business model experts, putting together an advisory board / committee and putting something in place to capture user ideas (this blog is obviously a good start).

    I wish you well!

  46. Jennifer Mathis
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Email sent. I’ve used PadMapper for my last several moves, and I always turn off the “big guy” apartment listers in favor of the CL stuff, but I guess I won’t be able to anymore. Sorry to hear it.

  47. Usiel
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I sent off an email and really hope Craigslist changes its mind on this. In the meantime, is there any possibility of putting out a licensed version of the Padmapper mobile app? I’d happily pay a few dollars for that if it meant being able to keep using Padmapper to browse Craigslist listings.

  48. lisa
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Good. You were STEALING!!!

  49. beka
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    You have the very best house or apt search service on the web. It is a great design. I am sorry to hear about this cease and desist; sounds like others already know CL is notorious for doing this. I sent my polite email. I wish they would just work with sites like yours and charge something if they have to. Sadly, while it is difficult to use craigslist has ended up the place to post and search anywhere in the country. This is especially great for housing. So you now have to reach out – get angel funding or find programming and advertising wizards to bring in if you have to – and contact realtors and individual landlords thru outreach and ask them to post at your website too. Start one city at a time like zip cars did…you are the future, craigslist is not.

  50. Michelle
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Eric,
    I’m a mother in the middle of a divorce looking for an acceptable place near San Jose, Saratoga, & Los Gatos, CA. It’s a challenging area to look in because of school district boundaries and affordability. In the last few weeks your tool has made it so easy for me to see what fits my needs and desires. I sent emails Craigslist expressing what a great tool this is and how it streamlines what I need from the ads. I need simplicity more than ever. Thank you. Best wishes.

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