Scrape Craigslist

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How to Scrape Data from Craigslist | Octoparse

How to Scrape Data from Craigslist | Octoparse

Table of Contents
1. Why do people scrape Craigslist
2. Is scraping Craigslist illegal
3. How to scrape data from Craigslist
4. Craigslist data scraping with Octoparse
5. Closing thoughts
Why do people scrape Craigslist?
Craigslist gathers expansive information. Some may not be satisfied just browsing it, they scrape data from Craigslist for a variety of reasons. Below are the typical 4 of them.
1> Individuals can extract first-hand information regarding houses, cars, computers and many more. When exported into excel sheets, it is much easier for them to look through and compare the data.
2> Craigslist, similar to Yellowpages and Yelp, is full of potential business leads for revenue generation. No doubt that leads are important, especially qualified ones. This is probably the reason why Craigslist appeals to so many people.
3> Gain profits by reselling goods. With scraped data in a well structure, people can better analyze prices and set a new one for reselling. However, reselling is rather in the gray area, thus this might not be a good try. It’s profitable sometimes, but the consequences may not be delightful.
4> Monitor competitors. Craigslist is full of precious information covering an array of industries where people can keep track of their competitors. Being informed of their strategies in real-time will help businesses gain an edge in competition.
Is scraping Craigslist illegal?
As one of the most popular websites out there to scrape, Craigslist has proved to be one of the toughest ones. The reason is simple: unlike websites that provide users with APIs to get data, Craigslist API is not aimed at pulling data off. Quite on the contrary, it is used for posting data on Craigslist.
Just like Facebook and LinkedIn, Craigslist’s terms clearly state that all sorts of robots, spiders, scripts, scrapers, crawlers are prohibited. And they won’t allow people to steal their users’ personal information on the site.
Craigslist has used various technological and legal methods to prevent being scraped for commercial purposes. In fact, in April 2017, Craigslist obtained a $60. 5 million judgment against 3 Taps Inc, a company that is accused of scraping real estate listings. A few months later, Craigslist reached another $31 million judgment with Instamotor, claiming that Instamotor’s car listing service was scraped from Craigslist, and they sent unsolicited emails to craigslist users for promotional purposes.
Nevertheless, as said in an article entitled 10 Myths about Web Scraping, it is illegal if you scrape confidential information for profit, but if you scrape public data discreetly for personal use, you should be fine.
How to scrape data from Craigslist?
If you are a coder, you can follow this Python tutorial on scraping East Bay Area Craigslist for apartments. The code in this tutorial can be modified to pull from any region, category, property type, etc. Or you can check out this Scrapy tutorial to learn to crawl Craigslist’s “Architecture & Engineering” jobs in New York and store the data to a CSV file.
But the problem with the above tutorials are obvious: they are way too complicated for non-coders. If you have zero coding experience and want a simple and quick method, here’s a catch – use an automated data scraping tool like Octoparse.
With the power of data scraping, we can extract all the info we want from Craigslist listings within clicks and export them into Excel, CSV, HTML, and/or databases easily. I will walk you through how to extract Craigslist real estate listings within 3 steps.
Real estate listing extracted from Craigslist
Craigslist data scraping with Octoparse
In this case, let’s scrape the housing/real estate for sale in Chicago. First thing first, install Octoparse and launch it on your computer.
Step 1: Enter the target Craigslist URL to build a crawler
Enter the listing URL into the box, and Octoparse will start detecting the page data automatically. As you can see, the data to be extracted is highlighted in red, and the preview section below allows you to pre-edit the data fields.
Step 2: Save the extraction setting
After making sure that the data fields are what we want, click “Save settings” and Octoparse will auto-generate a scraping workflow on the left-hand side.
Step 3: Run the extraction to get data
Finally, you only need to save the crawler and hit “Run” to start extraction. The scraping process can be done within 5 minutes.
Closing thoughts
Please note that even though this article guides you through extracting Craigslist data, you should always respect its Terms of Service and scrape at a moderate frequency.
Data scraping tools can not only scrape all Craigslist listings, but also they are used in many scenarios, including Marketing, E-commerce and Retail, Data Science, Equity and Financial Research, Data Journalism, Academic, Risk management, Insurance and many more. You can read about web scraping uses in business in this article: 25 Hacks to Grow Your Business With Web Data Extraction.
Author: Milly
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How to Scrape Data from Craigslist | Octoparse

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How to Scrape Data from Craigslist | Octoparse

Table of Contents
1. Why do people scrape Craigslist
2. Is scraping Craigslist illegal
3. How to scrape data from Craigslist
4. Craigslist data scraping with Octoparse
5. Closing thoughts
Why do people scrape Craigslist?
Craigslist gathers expansive information. Some may not be satisfied just browsing it, they scrape data from Craigslist for a variety of reasons. Below are the typical 4 of them.
1> Individuals can extract first-hand information regarding houses, cars, computers and many more. When exported into excel sheets, it is much easier for them to look through and compare the data.
2> Craigslist, similar to Yellowpages and Yelp, is full of potential business leads for revenue generation. No doubt that leads are important, especially qualified ones. This is probably the reason why Craigslist appeals to so many people.
3> Gain profits by reselling goods. With scraped data in a well structure, people can better analyze prices and set a new one for reselling. However, reselling is rather in the gray area, thus this might not be a good try. It’s profitable sometimes, but the consequences may not be delightful.
4> Monitor competitors. Craigslist is full of precious information covering an array of industries where people can keep track of their competitors. Being informed of their strategies in real-time will help businesses gain an edge in competition.
Is scraping Craigslist illegal?
As one of the most popular websites out there to scrape, Craigslist has proved to be one of the toughest ones. The reason is simple: unlike websites that provide users with APIs to get data, Craigslist API is not aimed at pulling data off. Quite on the contrary, it is used for posting data on Craigslist.
Just like Facebook and LinkedIn, Craigslist’s terms clearly state that all sorts of robots, spiders, scripts, scrapers, crawlers are prohibited. And they won’t allow people to steal their users’ personal information on the site.
Craigslist has used various technological and legal methods to prevent being scraped for commercial purposes. In fact, in April 2017, Craigslist obtained a $60. 5 million judgment against 3 Taps Inc, a company that is accused of scraping real estate listings. A few months later, Craigslist reached another $31 million judgment with Instamotor, claiming that Instamotor’s car listing service was scraped from Craigslist, and they sent unsolicited emails to craigslist users for promotional purposes.
Nevertheless, as said in an article entitled 10 Myths about Web Scraping, it is illegal if you scrape confidential information for profit, but if you scrape public data discreetly for personal use, you should be fine.
How to scrape data from Craigslist?
If you are a coder, you can follow this Python tutorial on scraping East Bay Area Craigslist for apartments. The code in this tutorial can be modified to pull from any region, category, property type, etc. Or you can check out this Scrapy tutorial to learn to crawl Craigslist’s “Architecture & Engineering” jobs in New York and store the data to a CSV file.
But the problem with the above tutorials are obvious: they are way too complicated for non-coders. If you have zero coding experience and want a simple and quick method, here’s a catch – use an automated data scraping tool like Octoparse.
With the power of data scraping, we can extract all the info we want from Craigslist listings within clicks and export them into Excel, CSV, HTML, and/or databases easily. I will walk you through how to extract Craigslist real estate listings within 3 steps.
Real estate listing extracted from Craigslist
Craigslist data scraping with Octoparse
In this case, let’s scrape the housing/real estate for sale in Chicago. First thing first, install Octoparse and launch it on your computer.
Step 1: Enter the target Craigslist URL to build a crawler
Enter the listing URL into the box, and Octoparse will start detecting the page data automatically. As you can see, the data to be extracted is highlighted in red, and the preview section below allows you to pre-edit the data fields.
Step 2: Save the extraction setting
After making sure that the data fields are what we want, click “Save settings” and Octoparse will auto-generate a scraping workflow on the left-hand side.
Step 3: Run the extraction to get data
Finally, you only need to save the crawler and hit “Run” to start extraction. The scraping process can be done within 5 minutes.
Closing thoughts
Please note that even though this article guides you through extracting Craigslist data, you should always respect its Terms of Service and scrape at a moderate frequency.
Data scraping tools can not only scrape all Craigslist listings, but also they are used in many scenarios, including Marketing, E-commerce and Retail, Data Science, Equity and Financial Research, Data Journalism, Academic, Risk management, Insurance and many more. You can read about web scraping uses in business in this article: 25 Hacks to Grow Your Business With Web Data Extraction.
Author: Milly
How to Extract Data from Twitter Without Coding
Top 5 Social Media Scraping Tools for 2020
Scrape video information from YouTube
Scrape public posts from Facebook
Ending Data Scraping Dispute, Craigslist Reaches $31M ...

Ending Data Scraping Dispute, Craigslist Reaches $31M …

Craigslist has used a variety of technological and legal methods to prevent unauthorized parties from violating its terms of use by scraping, linking to, or accessing user postings for their own commercial purposes. For example, in April, craigslist obtained a $60. 5 million judgment against a real estate listings site that had allegedly received scraped craigslist data from another entity. And craigslist recently reached a $31 million settlement and stipulated judgment with Instamotor, an online and app-based used car listing service, over claims that Instamotor scraped craigslist content to create listings on its own service and sent unsolicited emails to craigslist users for promotional purposes. (Craigslist, Inc. v. Instamotor, Inc., No. 17-02449 (Stipulated Judgment and Permanent Injunction Aug. 3, 2017)).
In its complaint, craigslist alleged that Instamotor violated craigslist’s terms of use by scraping user content from craigslist’s site to populate used car listings on its own service. Craigslist alleged that this caused complaints from craigslist users who listed their vehicles for sale exclusively on craigslist, only to later discover that their listings and contact information were being posted on Instamotor without their consent.
Craigslist also alleged that Instamotor sent unsolicited commercial emails to promote its services through craigslist’s system to users whose listings were scraped (Instamotor purportedly used a “white-listed mail service…disguising the messages’ true origin” to bypass craigslist spam prevention tools). In fact, craigslist alleged that defendant hired a team based in the Philippines to extract content, send emails to craigslist users to seek additional information about their user car listings without disclosing their affiliation with Instamotor.
The complaint further alleged that Instamotor had posted at least fifty ads to craigslist, thereby affirmatively agreeing to craigslist’s terms of use. Craigslist’s terms of use, among other things, prohibits “robots, spiders, scripts, scrapers, crawlers, etc., ” along with “misleading, unsolicited, unlawful, and/or spam postings/email. ”
Based on the foregoing, craigslist brought multiple claims including breach of contract and CAN-SPAM (and related claims under state anti-spam law), and sought an injunction prohibiting Instamotor from scraping craigslist’s site and sending its users spam. Craigslist did not allege a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (the “CFAA”). The timing is interesting, as shortly after this stipulated judgment was entered, the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction against LinkedIn, finding that LinkedIn was unlikely to prevail against a data scraper on a CFAA claim. (See hiQ Labs, Inc. LinkedIn, Corp., 2017 WL 3473663 (N. D. Cal. Aug. 14, 2017)).
As part of the stipulated judgment, Instamotor agreed to a $31 million monetary judgment for breach of craigslist’s terms of use and violations of CAN-SPAM. It also agreed to a permanent injunction barring it, or a third party on its behalf, from accessing, scraping or harvesting craigslist content via automated means and thereafter distributing craigslist content and user information. Interestingly, the stipulation expressly states there are no exceptions for prohibited access and use of craigslist data, including any claims of fair use or implied license. The injunction also bars defendant from “directly or indirectly circumventing technological measures that control access to any craigslist website, ” including IP address blocks and sets of instructions communicated via files. In addition, the defendant, or a third party acting on its behalf, is prohibited from sending or paying others to send spam emails to any craigslist email addresses, user, member or poster in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. Lastly, the defendant agreed to delete any craigslist data in its possession.
With this latest litigation victory by craigslist, particularly in view of the decision in LinkedIn, the law surrounding data scraping continues to evolve. As articulated in LinkedIn, many advocate that content on publicly-available websites is implicitly free to harvest and exploit, while web services hosting valuable user-generated content or other data typically wish to exercise control over which parties can access and use it for commercial purposes. Moreover, hedge fund managers and other investors are increasingly collecting and analyzing big data to discover usable investment insights, including such data obtained from web scraping. If anything, this latest settlement should inform entities involved in scraping activities of the importance of understanding the range of prohibitions contained in a website or app’s terms of use, the effect of opening an account and agreeing to a site’s terms, and the possible legal issues that can arise when a site’s technical protective measures are bypassed.
Tags: injunction, judgment, mobile app, screen scraping, spam, web scraping

Frequently Asked Questions about scrape craigslist

Does Craigslist allow scraping?

Just like Facebook and LinkedIn, Craigslist’s terms clearly state that all sorts of robots, spiders, scripts, scrapers, crawlers are prohibited. And they won’t allow people to steal their users’ personal information on the site.Jan 16, 2021

What is Craigslist scraper?

Craigslist has used a variety of technological and legal methods to prevent unauthorized parties from violating its terms of use by scraping, linking to, or accessing user postings for their own commercial purposes.Aug 24, 2017

Is it legal to scrape?

Web scraping and crawling aren’t illegal by themselves. After all, you could scrape or crawl your own website, without a hitch. … Big companies use web scrapers for their own gain but also don’t want others to use bots against them.

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