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. chris
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Sent them both an email. This is weak. Thanks for running padmapper, it’s a great service.

    Maybe this is the beginning of the end for craigslist.

  2. Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Eric,

    Here’s my letter:

    Dear Mr. Buckmaster & Mr. Newmark,

    I am writing you today in regards to a recent blog post by Eric of PadMapper. I have been using Padmapper for the last couple years in order to find a place to live as I’ve moved around in the state of Michigan. From Port Huron, MI to Grand Rapids, MI – I’ve turned to Padmapper every time I wanted to find a place to live.

    In the fall of 2011 I turned to Padmapper to find a sub-lease near Grand Valley State University where my fiancé was attending college for her Bachelor’s degree. Our wedding date was set for May 27th, 2012 and I was in need short-term housing until we were married since my current lease was up in December of 2011.

    I spent roughly three days ( literally 72 hours ) looking across the web trying to find a place in the area. After looking through PadMapper for a few minutes I was able to quickly map subleases available around the university. Three phone calls to a few of the results shown got me two meetings and a week later I signed on a sublease. Each and every one of the results I used was from Craigslist.

    Had I not found those results – I wouldn’t have found such a perfect lease to sign and therefore would have continued spending more than $400 per month in gasoline to drive 3 hours each way across the state to see my fiancé.

    I don’t know the details or reason why you decided to pull your results from PadMapper – but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious. In my personal opinion – dropping the aggregation by PadMapper is a bad idea. It both lowers the usefulness of your results ( I personally can not stand the lack of filtering options available to the average craigslist searcher, the poor photo integration and the “almost” accurate search results). I know that without Craigslist – I won’t be able to furnish my wife and I’s new home (nor would I have been able to buy a couch and loveseat in perfect condition for $200 for my last home in Port Huron).

    Craigslist plays an integral part of changing the way we digitalize our traditional garage sales. On the flip-side – PadMapper does the exact same thing for apartment searching. Trying to search for real estate without being able to see where the apartment/house/condo etc. is like trying to find a quarter in 6 inches of snow. You know it’s there – but you have no idea within five to ten feet of where it could be.

    Just last week Sarah (my wife) and I found the place we’re going to call home. Had it not been for the PadMapper/Craigslist search – we would not have found it. On behalf of every other person out there using PadMapper to find the next place to live – please reverse your decision.

    Thank you,

    Bob Orchard

  3. Mike VanZant
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Eric,

    You have a fantastic site. I have found it very useful. I sent emails to both Mr. Buckmaster and Mr. Newmark asking them to reconsider. Good luck. In the future, when I develop an apartment listing site of my own, I’ll be sure and provide an API for easy data sharing with PadMapper and others!!!

  4. Diana
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Love your site! Especially as a GIS professional myself, I recognize how important and great it is to be able to see potential properties on a map, adding layers of interest, calculate distance between a property and a specific address etc. It is a shame that CL has chosen to discontinue having padmapper as its partner. If you are interested, I’d like to help you build a even better padmapper without CL.

  5. Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I, like a lot of other people on here, sent an e-mail to the gentlemen you indicated. I have been looking for an apartment in the insanely expensive DC metro area. I have not found a place (yet) but Padmapper has been my “go-to” during my search.

    Craigslist is full of fake listings (at least in the DC area) and I now have spam coming to my gmail because I mistakenly contacted one of them. Thank goodness gmail has a good spam blocker.

    I even recommeneded your website to a friend looking for a place in Urbana, IL and she just found the most beautiful townhouse. Your web service is amazing. I hope people take note and continue to utilize Padmapper or the other websites that support your growth. God bless you Eric!

  6. Jason
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Jim and Craig:

    Today I was disappointed to learn that I will no longer be able to use PadMapper to visualize and organize rental listings posted originally on Craigslist.
    Over the past 5 years I have moved to different cities and apartments 9 times. Invariably the process has been to target a geographic area, begin applying filters on PadMapper, and contact a multitude of posters through Craigslist. PadMapper helped save both my time and that of the lister by already matching the proper supply and demand criteria. The result is PadMapper with happy seekers, and Craigslist with happy posters.

    I cannot think of a better combination than Craigslist and PadMapper for tenants/landlords and hope you will reconsider your decision and allow PadMapper to display Craigslist posts.

    Sincerely,
    Jason

  7. Posted June 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Craigslist has always lacked in search features across the board. Whether searching for a specific vehicle or anything related to real estate. It’s their loss! I have pretty much given up on Craigslist now.

  8. Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    This is not right. Craigslist should not do that. This service helped me a lot when I was looking for a apt a few months ago. I’m contacting craigslist now and tell them.

  9. Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi Eric,

    This is such sad news. My girlfriend and I just discovered your website as we are looking for a place to live in a new city and CL is just so filled with spams and it is so hard to keep the apartments you are interested in organized. Your website is so helpful in filtering everything and giving locations – wow! We sent emails and really hope Craigslist realizes the potential of the combined resources for the general population. Too many people on CL looking to scam you. Thanks for your great app and website – we are using both. The website is a bit handier than the app as we can filter apts. that we don’t like etc. (but, you already know that!)

    Keep up the good work and good ideas!

  10. Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    You deserve a break today. Best of success with your fine service.

  11. Jake
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I sent them an email. What a terrible business model.

  12. Alex
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    sent

  13. ~
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Hey. Sorry to hear CL is punking you. It would be best, I think, if you took down all the CL pins asap to make it easier for those of us who want to keep using your service. Unfortunately it’s annoying to keep clicking the CL pins (since we can’t tell the difference) and coming up with blank pages. I’ll come back in a few days.

    They’re just hurting themselves. Dumbasses didn’t even try to negotiate a fee first. Lame. Whatever, you’re still a valuable resource. No abandonment this end. Cheers!

  14. Shannon
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I find Pad Mapper extremely helpful looking for a rental…ridiculous decision by Craigslist as their site is completely useless and frustrating…I need to find a home in a particular area and will continue to use PadMapper and ta ta Craigslist. You’ve lost me as a customer Craigslist.

  15. Cory
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    A very sad day, indeed. I’ve been moving around the past several years and rejoiced upon stumbling across your service. Finding a place through Craigslist was extremely tedious when location is a prime concern and you shaved down the hunting time to probably 1/10 of what it originally took me, if not more. I really hope you get a massive in-flood of listings because you had created a wonderful site that had eased the laborious task of house/apt/ room hunting. In the meantime, I will let Jim and Craig respectfully know how wonderful your site is.

  16. Posted June 24, 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I keep checking this page again, in the vain hope that craigslist has relented. Yes, I know it’s almost certainly not going to happen. But I have to move in a couple months, and this site was my best hope for avoiding hours and hours of work with craigslist, a spreadsheet, and google maps. -sigh-

  17. Valerie
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    I’ve been hunting for an apartment for the last few months. In San Francisco. In the Marina/Cow Hollow area.

    (You can now pick yourself up off the floor from laughing so hard).

    It has been an unequivocally miserable experience. Then I happened upon PadMapper. Genius! Now, as I move further and further away from my desired location, I can at least see that the 500 sq. ft. studio for $4200/month is on the west side of Russian Hill, and not in the Tenderloin.

    PadMapper is heads and tails above craigslist as a service that helps renters find what they are looking for. Forgive my lack of understanding, but can’t we all just by-pass craigslist, and go directly to PadMapper to place for-rent ads and to look for them?

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to grab my ankles and resume the position…back to craigslist to answer fake ads and then to delete the spam that follows, view “cottages” that wouldn’t pass the most basic safety requirements (like, exposed wiring might be a no-no), follow-up with leasing agents who never respond, visit sh**holes that haven’t been cleaned (let alone upgraded) in 30 years, be told by 20-somethings to not bother applying if I’m not in my 20s, show up for open houses (with 15 other hopefuls) only to be told by the landlord that 2 guys showed up 15 minutes early and paid him cash (and, well, gosh, what was he to do?). True stories. Good times. (sigh)

  18. Ian
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    Very sad. Your site is hugely helpful in helping me find properties in the right locations on Craig’s List.

  19. Posted June 24, 2012 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Email sent, though I’m unable to control my snark. Craig & Jim should read up on the spirit of the law and realize that the line between apps & websites is kinda blurry.

  20. Melinda
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    This is so not cool!!! This obliterates the usefulness of both sites. I have written my e-mail to the Craigslist folks, and I hope they will listen.
    Good luck, Eric.

  21. Hillary
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I just sent them both an email. I used padmapper, my boyfriend used padmapper, and I refer it to all of my friends that are looking for apartments. I love the options on craigslist, but it’s so difficult to find the ones that match my needs! Padmapper takes the perfect organization system for apartment hunting and brings in the selection of great sites. Why wouldn’t craigslist want to be a part of it?!

  22. Laura
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    First I want to THANK YOU for your fantastic service!! I have used Padmapper to find my past few rentals. Also, I have sent and email to Craigslist asking them to reconsider and see you as a valuable complementary tool to there service. I will keep my hopes up thqat they will do the right thing.

  23. Arielle
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Just sent an email to the CEO asking him to reconsider. PadMapper + Craigslist = perfect union for finding an apartment.

  24. TT of Danville
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    THIS IS THE SECOND TIME in the past several months that craigslist has shut down a great 3rd party app that ONLY augments and provides easier access to CRAIGSLIST data.
    I DON’T UNDERSTAND why they spend some much time CHOKING their own product. CRAIGSLIST NEEDS TO STOP SPENDING $ on Lawyers and start spending on R&D or playing nice with other 3rd party developers like PadMapper.

    Here’s my letter to Jim & Craig:

    Gentlemen,

    I have been one MANY very loyal users of craigslist since it’s inception. I like many “live” and “work” on craigslist, and always search for 3rd party apps that enhance and augment the great services of craigslist. As a licensed real estate broker (and former PR/Marketing exec) I not only recognize the value of craigslist on buying/selling and renting homes, but WILLING TO PAY FOR THIS.

    I was VERY VERY VERY excited when I recently discovered PadMapper and how it filled a MAJOR void in the usefulness of searching for rentals and listings of real estate, especially since craigslist does NOT do a good job filtering out damn realtors (Keller Williams) who violate the rules and posts 100s of generic ads in each category with links to their website. PadMapper created a EASY to use interface to search by geographic areas and in 90% found a craigslist ad. In the 10% of time it picked up rent.com ad etc. – does NOT hurt craigslist and is a good public service for craigslist members.

    As a heavy user of craigslist for business (and personal) I would rather PAY craigslist or a third party like PadMapper for this feature. Same thing as with other aggregator sites that help search and organize inquiries on Craigslist, I would like to PAY craigslist of 3rd party vendor to aid me in my search so I can FIND/BUY/SELL/TRADE more items on Craigslist.

    I am trying to understand why these services impact craigslist and why the craigslist org is trying to minimize these tools that only extend the usefulness and reach of craigslist, but can find absolutely no more compelling reason that would offset the benefits of these.

    Many users that I spoke with (maybe improperly) feel that craigslist will or does not have resources to build these features, but will not allow others to develop and license access, and rather punish or inhibit the maturity of craigslist market. Craigslist doesn’t need to sell out to exclusive commercial focus, but should not stifle it’s evolution which is part of the Internet.

    This is the 2nd blow to a very loyal craigslist user!

    Hope you guys will reconsider.

  25. bob
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    They’re even blocking through the referrer now so things like old bookmarks and favorites don’t work. Craigslist is so lame it’s unreal. Their site is a perfect example of how not to design web pages.

  26. Posted June 24, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Wrote them both. Fingers crossed that they come to their senses. Either way, your site rocks and has been a HUUUGE help! Thanks for what you do!

  27. Steven C.
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    So will the mobile version of pad mapper still have craigslist then?

  28. Michael Ryan
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Eric,

    I love padmapper, like many people. It’s a much better way to search. And while it may seem daunting, right now, I think padmapper can be even better without craigslist. I have two very good reasons for believing this:

    First, Craigslist rental ads are being over-run by scam artists, here and abroad. A savvy user can usually detect which ads are real, and which ones are scams.. but the very lack of effort on craigslist part to do much about it is a HUGE turn-off from my former love.

    Second, if CL is more interested in sending cease and desist orders than in protecting users from abusive scam artists (I mean seriously.. how hard would it be for them to block the IP addresses from posting new ads?) then who needs them anyway?

    Lots of people are turning away from Craigslist, owners and renters, sellers and buyers, now that it has been over-run by scams. With a better format and better search tools, you have an opportunity now to draw in the users who are leaving them.. in droves.

    You’ve got me. Thanks!

  29. Vaughn
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I wrote to Craig and Jim. This is a really sad day, because your website was a viable solution to finding affordable housing.

  30. Linda Fujimoto
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Sorry to learn why Craigslist’s posting are not popping up on Padmapper. You have created an indispensable tool for those of us on housing searches. I sent my email to Craigslist voicing my concerns along with the many others who have sent emails since your announcemnt.

  31. James
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    You should start a petition on http://www.change.org, perhaps it would belong in the Economic Justice section. It seems to be a really effective way to make companies listen.

  32. Jeannette
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I have also sent them an email. I wish you the best. They couldn’t have taken away CL at a worse time for me. I’m in the middle of an apartment search!

  33. Hanna
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    tried to be civil….but my anger got the best of me. How selfish of craiglist. I hope you get ur site back to the old ways or this site just might be seeing it last few days :/

  34. Joanna
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Paddmapper has been a wonderful service throughout my apartment search. The services offered by your site made sifting through Craigslist postings logical and organized. I do not think I would have found a place to live 3,000 miles away without using Padmapper.

  35. Sean
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I also emailed them. Hopefully they’ll get a lot of negative responses and maybe some bad press, too. PadMapper is the only reason I’ve ever found housing on craigslist.

  36. Cal Schafer
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    sent

  37. Leon
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    sent a very friendly email asking them to reconsider! (keep it friendly guys)

  38. Sara
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    So sad. Here’s the letter I sent:

    Dear Mr. Buckmaster & Mr. Newark,

    I have been an avid user of Craigslist for many years, and I’m a huge fan. From jobs to pets to furniture to event tickets, Craigslist has always been there to help me find what I needed. One of the things that I have most used Craigslist for over the last 8 years – through College and moving on to starting my life as a young professional- is house hunting. In the last 8 years, I’ve lived in 7 or 8 different houses, in 4 cities. All of these places found through craigslist, via the oh so handy search aggregation tool, Padmapper. As it so happens, I’m on the house hunt again, looking for a place to move in with my boyfriend. Last week, I was happily perusing Craigslist housing adds, handily displayed by location, through PadMapper. Then this week, *POOF* all those listings have been removed. As I learned via Erik’s PadMapper blog, Craigslist has asked to be removed from Padmapper. http://blog.padmapper.com/2012/06/22/bye-bye-craigslist/. I LOVE padmapper. Although, all of the listings I have ever found, and contacted through Padmapper, are craigslist listings, Padmapper makes it so easy to filter listings by accurate location, and allows me to quickly browse the craigslist listings that are applicable to me. I actually spend more time on craigslist, via padmapper, because craigslist limited search capabilities quickly frustrate me when I browse directly through the housing section. Please, please consider allowing padmapper to continue to aggregate craigslist listings. Alternatively, please create a similar browse by mapping feature (this will help to eliminate all of those spam adds, that just list a general city, and those spam rent to own adds, which no matter how many times I flag, never seem to go away).

    Craigslist has always been a favorite of mine because of the community sense that I get through it. A free service to posters and users, it allows all of us craigslisters to buy, sell, trade, rent, etc in our community. Sending a cease & desist letter to another free service aimed to help the community feels like such a violation of the intent of the nature of craigslist. Please, please reconsider.

    - A deeply saddened, long time user of craigslist,

  39. LaToya
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Done and done. I really hope they reconsider, because padmapper has been a godsend as far as not having to weed through the spam found solely on craigslist. Good luck!!

  40. Phil
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Erik – Love your site, it’s very helpful and that is a sad move by craigslist. Is the problem that you are essentially syndicating the content by displaying info from the listing from their site? Could you not still read the listing on your end, show the pin, and then just provide a link to craigslist rather than rendering it in your frame? Don’t think they have any legal rights if you’re not masking it to look like your listing and providing search results via a map interface instead? Either way, I send an email to them. Good luck!

  41. Posted June 24, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Looks like we’ve got to Craig

    So lets leave Craig alone, he’s a good guy, focus your efforts on Jim, the CEO.

  42. shawn
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    what the… paddmapper is an awsome tool… im depending on paddmapper to help me find a place this fall when i move… graiglist sucks… paddmapper is the only only reason i am using craglist to find a place to live…

  43. shawn
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    what craigslist is doing is only pushing people away from using there webpage… i guess it is bye bye craiglist… tell all craiglist renters to post on paddmapper instead…

  44. shawn
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    paddmapper its time to have your own listings… this it the chance to it it even better then craigslist.

  45. Emily
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Here’s what I sent. Good luck!

    Hi Jim and Craig,

    I was so sorry to see that you’ve blocked Padmapper from using Craigslist ads without even trying to talk to the developer.

    I recently relocated from NYC to Seattle and finding an appropriate place to live near my company’s shuttle service would have been nearly impossible without Padmapper, because of misleading ads and my own limited knowledge of the city. I love the Walkscore map overlay, and Eric, the developer of Padmapper, even added feature I requested, which was to create my own map pins for local amenities I wanted to be near.

    I’m sad to be losing the service Padmapper provides–even though I just signed a lease for 7/1 and don’t really need it anymore–but mostly I’m disappointed at the rude way you’re treating a good developer with a great labor-of-love project. That doesn’t help anyone and seriously damages my respect for Craigslist.

    Emily

  46. deb
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I sent a note to Craig — it’s really a shame that they’ve done this, as Padmapper is an incredibly useful service. I hope it’s reversible. Good luck!

  47. Lisa G.
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for Padmapper! It has been so convenient in locating rentals in Albuquerque as there are only certain neighborhoods we are wanting to live in! I sent an e-mail to the CEO and founder and hopefully they are willing to bring back their listings to your wonderful app!

  48. Michael Arndt
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I just emailed Craig and Jim.

  49. Posted June 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Why not make pad-mapper a downloadable app of some sort? Or open-source the code? Craigslist has feeds, that anyone can use, but the issues I’m assuming is that they don’t want someone else making money off their content. If it were possible for us all to run padmapper on our local machines they wouldn’t be able to block us. Either that, or make it fully client-side so the user’s browser must fetch the feeds and then populate pins on the map from the client-side. I’d be willing to help with the effort if something like this would really help people. Worst case if PadMapper peeps don’t like this idea I can always just do it myself. :) Let me know if there is interest…

  50. Par
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    To Jim and Craig,

    hey guys I think it’s pretty terrible that you guys just sent PadMapper a cease and desist.

    Obviously CL doesn’t provide any UX improvements for us, so I don’t see what the big deal is for a third party to do it for you.

    Couldn’t you guys have worked out some kind of partnership?

    thx

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