July 2, 2021

How To Create An Army Of Robots To Find Craigslist Deals For You

By AJ Hakimi (The Flipping Ninja)

Everyone wants to have more time. We’re all busy. In fact, we’re the busiest humans in all of human history. But being busy doesn’t necessarily mean being effective. Busy-ness can mean doing anything as long as it occupies your attention and sucks your time. As a flipper, you probably spend a lot of time doing menial stuff like looking for deals on Craigslist.

Fortunately, I have a solution for you.

Imagine: instead of scrolling through Craigslist for an hour everyday, you had an army of robots working 24/7 to bring you the deals you’re looking for. 

You don’t have to spend precious hours typing and scrolling through item listings every day just to find awesome deals. All you gotta do is wait for a notification to come then choose which deals to pursue. 

What kind of change will that bring to your life? How much time will you get back in your hands? An hour or two every day? It may seem trivial, but if you compound that over the course of a year, you’re getting back up to a whole month of your life. A. Single. Month. That’s thirty days of time better spent doing other things!

Curious? The solution is this: Craigslist’s Save Search feature.

Why Use Save Search?

Simple. Instead of spending time looking for items to flip, you can use that time on more important things by getting Craigslist’s automation to hand you the deals. 

As a flipper, it’s helped me offload precious time and energy allowing me to earn more money in less time. 

It’s not the perfect system though, but it’s an incredibly efficient alternative to the usual grind of manual searching. 


  • Saves precious time on searching for specific items.
  • Targets keywords. The more specific it is, the more often you get alerted when that keyword pops up.
  • The deals come to you. Off-loads effort on your part, preserving brain power better spent on other things.
  • It takes a few seconds to set up.
  • It’s free.


  • Keyword specific. Broad keywords like cars, electronics, and furniture will waste your time and will have less frequent alerts.
  • If you solely rely on it, you’ll miss items outside of your saved searches.  

The pros heavily outweigh the cons. And the cons I listed can be corrected by 1) being specific on your keywords, and by 2) checking Craigslist every now and then for serendipitous deals.

How to Set It Up

Craigslist uses email to alert you on your saved searches. It’ll be using the email linked to your Craigslist account, so you have to have an account first before you can proceed. Fortunately, just like using CL, the email notifications are free. Here’s how to do it:

Before you get your email notifications, you first have to do a search. Simply type and enter whatever item you want, then click “Save Search” on the right side of the search button.

Tip: The more specific your search is, the more often Craigslist will run your alert. Therefore you’ll have more notifications. 

In other words, Craigslist will do more searches on a “2008 Ford Escape” saved search than if you searched “Ford Car”. You can check the official Craigslist Saved Search and Search Alerts FAQ for more details.

After you’ve clicked the “Save Search” button, you’ll then arrive at the Saved Searches page on your Craigslist account. There you’ll see a table of all your saved searches. To activate the email alert for a search, simply click the “alert” check box located on the leftmost column of the table.

To check, edit, delete, or deactivate your saved searches, simply click “Searches” on your account and you’ll be redirected back to this page. 

How To Use For Flipping

Optimize what works for you. We all have different preferences on which items we’re more comfortable flipping. 

In my experience, it’s better to have alerts on the ones that have given you reliable profits in the past. But if you’re new, start with the items you’re familiar with that have a relatively low depreciation when used.

When I started, I focused on flipping digital pianos. Simply because I am familiar with them. I grew up learning to play the piano and I’ve owned a few of them in the past. So I have a knowledge base of their value and worth.

So what I did for keyboards is I set up a series of saved search alerts, and I tried to hit every possible keyword variation. So for example, here’s a list of a few of my saved search alerts I have set up just for keyboards alone:

  • yamaha keyboard
  • digital piano
  • casio keyboard
  • electric piano
  • casio piano
  • clavinova (this is a popular line of digital pianos made by Yamaha)

This way, as soon as someone posts for sale a keyboard, regardless of brand or make, I will usually be alerted immediately. So I’ll get an email alert on my phone from Craigslist basically saying “Yo! This keyboard was just posted up for sale, check it out.” I’ll take a look and immediately determine if it’s something I can flip and make money on (and they usually are).

As you can see, you can set this up for so many different niches and categories of items and products — it’s as if you are creating an ARMY of robots that you send out to go and bring you DEALS!!!


So start where you’re comfortable with, or get to know an item’s estimated used market value. Then expand. Try something new every now and then, because there’s no single item that will bring all the profits. Broaden your horizons.  

Start Your Flipping Journey

Flipping has virtually zero barriers for entry. Anyone can start it. But there’s always a learning curve to any new skill we wish to master. So if you are a beginner, it might be wise to start small. This is not an insult. That first step is already a step away from your comfort zone. To go too far might be overwhelming. 

We see this happen all the time. The person who wishes to lose weight attempts to do it as fast as possible. They follow an extreme diet, plan an extremely big goal in so short a time, and then end up crashing because of the pressure and the lack of results—reverting to their old ways, more discouraged, and less likely to do it again. This is not smart.

You can take it too far with flipping as well. You might be tempted to buy a big bulk of random items. Sure, you’ll probably get your money back and more, but the process might take you months to complete, wasting time and energy. The cost of time and effort outweighing the profit made, or worse—having made nothing at all. 

But you can also take it too far by doing nothing. Planning is a good thing, but it must be paired with execution. Letting your fear of failure dictate your actions all the time will cripple your progression. Failure is feedback; a lesson.

So now you’re stuck between two extremes: crippling anxiety from failure and an utter lack of restraint in execution.

What do you do now? 

Start small. Small will mean different things for different people. A good indication that it’s just right for you is that doing it is slightly uncomfortable, but not too much that failing means a big financial loss.

Make sure the money you spend is something you’re willing to lose. Because chances are, you’ll lose it if you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re not buying low and buying smart. But there are plenty of ways you can lessen this likelihood. 

One is you can do your research. There are plenty of resources on the internet—this blog, for example. There are plenty of tips and useful information here. However, if you’ve ever tried researching before, you’ll know that it takes a lot of time.

The best option, then, is to have a mentor. A guide to show you the neat tips and tricks of the craft. But mentors are rare, and they’re usually expensive. However, there is one option that is as close to a mentor as you can get—and more affordable.

In there you’ll learn the process that took an IT professional away from his 9 to 5 job to become a full-time flipper. He’s written down and codified all he’s learned about flipping down to a science. From his mindset to the systems he’s used, and still uses, that allowed him to be efficient; working less than 25 hours a week and earning $1,000 to $5,000 a month.

If you want to invest in your future and do it in a much shorter time than doing it without guidance, then this is definitely for you. But if you’re hesitant about the investment, there is a 120-day money-back guarantee that will refund your money in full if you have any qualms about the course. That’s four months of full access without risk to you.

What’s stopping you? Go get the course now. You deserve your own investment. One of my favorite quotes is from Grant Cardone, he says, “Pay the price today so you can pay any price tomorrow.” Check it out, give it an honest shot, and I’ll see you on the other side!


AJ Hakimi (The Flipping Ninja)

Hey there, I'm AJ, also known as 'The Flipping Ninja'. My flipping journey has been transformative, allowing me to buy sleek cars, indulge in exotic vacations, and even purchase my first house at 24, which I turned into a passive income source. With over 3,000+ items flipped and sales surpassing $300k, it's not just about the numbers. It's about the freedom and empowerment flipping brings.

After years of experience, my mission is to share this life-changing skill. I believe flipping is a powerful side hustle for anyone, from college students to working professionals. Ready to transform your life with flipping? Let's embark on this journey together.

Interested in my full journey? Read More about how I became 'The Flipping Ninja'.

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