Finding a good deal on materials online can be exhausting. Daily searches to get the best deals before they’re gone can be impossible to keep track of. Luckily, there’s a site called IFTTT that will do most of the work for you!
IFTTT.com (stands for IF This Then That) is a website where you can create “Recipes” to monitor keywords on sites like Craigslist, Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. Any time there is a match, you can have IFTTT send you an email alert. Best of all, setting up an alert is really simple!
Below I’ve outlined the steps to creating a basic monitoring of a Craigslist search term. It may seem like a lot of steps, but after you’ve done one, you’ll see how easy it is – the IFTTT website really does walk you completely through it.
I’ll use Craigslist as an example for this first one:
1. Go to IFTTT.com and click “Sign Up” to create your account. Once you’ve signed in, click “My Recipes” and then “Create a Recipe.” Your window should look like this:
2. Before you start creating your recipe, think about what it is you want to accomplish and fit it into the “if this then that” sentence. For example, in this case, our sentence would be “If a Craigslist post matches my search terms, then send me an email.”
“A Craigslist post matches my search terms” is the THIS, and “send me an email” is the THAT. Keep that in mind for the next couple of steps.
3. Click the blue word “this” and it will say “Choose trigger channel.”
Your trigger is the same as your THIS statement we just determined above, so you’ll want to either type “Craigslist” in the search box, or scroll down until you find the Craigslist logo. Click the logo.
4. It will automatically scroll down to the next step. Click “New post from search.”
5. Open up a new browser window and go to craigslist.org. Do a search for an item that you’re trying to find, and then stop at the results list (even if it’s empty). As you can see here, I’ve done a search on Craigslist for “mini fridge.”
See that URL at the top of the page? Highlight and copy that URL, as it contains the link to this specific search (note that it will also contain any filters you choose on the left if you choose to use them – these are helpful for limiting by cost, category, location, etc).
6. Go back to IFTTT and you should now see a field which is asking for a URL. Paste the URL that you just got from Craigslist into this field, like so:
Then press “Create Trigger.”
7. Now that you’ve created the THIS section, it’s time to create the THAT section. Remember THAT was, “send me an email.”
Click the blue THAT to continue.
8. From the “Choose Action Channel” screen, type in or scroll down to “Email.”
If you have Gmail, you can select that, or just click “Email.”
9. Under “Choose an Action” click “Send me an email”
10. Leave the next section as-is (unless it asks for your email address, in which case, you’ll need to provide it here) and click “Create Action.”
11. During the “Create and Connect” step, you can edit the title of the Recipe you just created to make it easy to find in your Recipes list later. I usually title it with the site it’s searching, and include the search terms. Click “Create Recipe” to save your recipe:
13. Now you should be able to see your Recipe in your My Recipes page. From here you can turn the Recipe on and off (if you want to stop delivery of notifications, edit the email address, delete the recipe, etc).
14. When you receive a notification, it’ll look something like this (this was from my “craigslist dallas – kitchen faucet” recipe). You can just follow the link for more information and it’ll take you directly to the Craigslist post.
You can make as many recipes with as many Craigslist searches as you’d like!
Stay tuned for a future blog post about using IFTTT to track price changes at places like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Amazon!
Feel free to comment here with any questions, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!