Search Craiglist Using a Boolean OR

Reader Paul writes in with a handy Craiglist searching tip:

Contrary to popular belief, Craigslist does have an Boolean "OR" search method; it can be done by placing an apostrophe just before each search term. I discovered this by the trial and error method. By default, Craigslist uses a Boolean AND between search terms; for example, searching the Seattle Craigslist for an ad containing the words Blue AND Green AND Red AND Orange you would simply enter: Blue Green Red Orange in the search window, and get about 43 results, each containing all four words.

But if you place an apostrophe ( ' ) directly in front of the first letter of the search word you want as an option, the Boolean modifier changes to OR; for example, searching the Seattle Craigslist for an ad containing the words Blue OR Green OR Red OR Orange you would simply enter: 'Blue 'Green 'Red 'Orange in the search window and get about 13,169 results, each containing at least one of the four words.

My tests confirm Paul's conclusion—weirdly, that apostrophe acts like an OR. Know any other secret Craigslist search tips? Let us know in the comments. Thanks, Paul!


Comments

    Thanks so much for that post!!! You can combine "and," "or" and exclusion features:
    volvo ('rims 'tires 'wheels) -850 -740

    That search requires the term "volvo" and requires at least one of "rims," "tires," "wheels". Also, results are filtered to exclude "850" and "740"

    Wildcards at the end of a word are allowed by using a "*".

    ex. -toast*: will remove "toast", "toasting" and "toaster"

    Looks like the apostrophe method no longer works, but now the pipe symbol, |, seems to do the trick

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