These are projects posted by the students of Dr. Gove Allen at Brigham Young University. These students have taken one semester-long course on VBA and generally have had no prior programming experience

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

buyCheap (Craigslist)

One of my hobbies is searching for “stuff” on Craigslist. Like many people I noticed that I search for primarily the same stuff looking to see if anything new has been added. I also found that I do this on a pretty regular basis (sometimes multiple times a night). “buyCheap” is an excel workbook with a vba program that aims to automate that process.

Specifically buyCheap was designed to fulfill the following requirements:
• Allow the user to search Craigslist for anything in housing & for sale including sub categories
(including min/max price, has image, No. of bedrooms)
• Allow the user to select how frequently buyCheap will search for results
• buyCheap will send an email to the user when new “stuff” is added
• The program would only run while excel was open

In completing this project I initially divided the program into a few basic functions: user interface, search, email, and updating. In general the concept was easy to think about, reasonable to design, hard to implement, and difficult to get to work in the way intended.

I plan on using buyCheap primarily to search for cars and apartments. (The search for cars will be for a specific car likely at a wide range of price updating daily. On the other hand in looking at houses it will be a very narrow search updating multiple times during the day). The program could be used or modified in a number of ways to fulfill specific user need when searching Craigslist.

Key words: Craigslist, gmail, search, automatic updating, nested loop, awesome

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