Yes, but it works best when you want to avoid geographical restrictions. If you’re looking to post multiple ads or scrape Craigslist, proxies are a better choice.
The Main Uses of Craigslist Proxies
Craigslist Proxies to Avoid Geographical Restrictions
As you probably already know, Craigslist caters to local communities. It imposes geographical restrictions both on country and city level. As a result, you won’t be able to post anything on the New York board if you live, say, in the UK. If you try, you’ll find Craigslist blocking your IP address.
Does that mean your business should forgo Craigslist as a sales platform? Not necessarily. Simply use a Craigslist proxy server, and it will make you look like a local.
Proxies for Scraping Craigslist
Unlike many other online platforms, Craigslist does not have an API for data retrieval. In other words, you can’t collect data from it automatically – you’d effectively have to copy it by hand. Thankfully, you can use a Craigslist scraper to get the information you need. There are multiple tools you can use for the task, such as Scrapy, Phantom Buster, or Python Craigslist Scraper.
No matter which tool you use, you’re going to need proxies. Without them, Craigslist will quickly detect an unusual number of requests and block your IP from the website. This will mark the end of your Craigslist scraping. With good residential proxies, however, you’ll be able to scrape Craigslist en masse without getting blocked.
What data do people want from Craigslist, exactly? Some internet users scrape Craigslist to keep an eye on items that are being sold (tickets, for example). Others use scrapers to find something for personal use. Businesses use Craigslist proxies to retrieve website data so that they can generate leads. Usually, they go through the postings and collect email addresses.
Proxies for Craigslist Posting
Did you know that Craigslist actually allows bulk posting? There are only a few small details. To use the Craigslist API, you have to:
a) Be a high volume poster (post hundreds of ads every month)
b) Limit your posts to three categories: jobs (offered), apartment rentals (in the NYC only), for sale by dealer.
c) Be selected on a case-by-case basis by Craigslist itself.
Everyone else is limited to one advertisement in one category once every 48 hours. Pretty disappointing, right? Don’t worry, there’s a way around it. You’ll need a Craigslist proxy server to post multiple ads successfully.
However, even with proxies, you need to keep some things in mind. Use separate proxies for separate postings. Don’t make posts at the same time; they should be at least slightly different and without spammy words such as “free” or “weight loss.” Don’t use free proxies.
How to Choose a Craigslist Proxy
Here’s a few tips for getting your Craigslist proxies right the first time:
- Get residential IPs for scraping – they rotate automatically, so residential proxies will be much easier to work with. They are also harder to identify as proxies and consequently block.
- Prefer residential IPs for new listings – residential proxies usually include more locations to choose from, especially cities. If you don’t need that, dedicated datacenter proxies should do just fine – and cost less.
- Choose a provider with many locations (and make sure you can actually target them) – this is to ensure you’ll be able to access whichever Craigslist board you need. But finding a provider with high location coverage isn’t enough – you must also be able to target them.
- Don’t buy SOCKS5 proxies – they won’t bring you any benefits, only extra expenses.