Craigslist.org is a website that at least in Atlanta is to me the best free version of classified ads around. I've been able to find a vehicle, temporary office workers, concert tickets, and a desk on it. In other cities I have found affordable by owner short term rentals, and even auto parts.
As useful as the site is, however, to me it was almost impossible to search all cities on Craigslist. From Lifehacker comes a solution (via wired.com):
Google's Advanced Search yields a way to limit results to domains, such as Craigslist.org. Advanced Search is the link located right next to the main search field on Google’s home page. Click on "Advanced Search" and follow the directions on the link posted above.
There is a shorthand method
* Type in the search field:
site:craigslist.org “antique coastal surveys ”
With or without quotes to broaden or narrow down the search.
* You can also use booleans to modify the range of your search:
site:craigslist.org antique|vintage coastal surveys