Alison Grant is a girl after my own heart. Like me, she scours Craigslist daily for deals, steals, and treasures. While giving me the tour of her charming two-bedroom apartment in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, the phrase ". . . and I found that on Craigslist" was repeated so many times I started to wonder if she picked up her husband on Craigslist. Actually, that's exactly what she did.
Grant, a sales rep for Aesthetic Movement who also runs an Etsy store called the Big Heist, met her husband, Mark DeLozier, an accountant, while combing the singles ads for a friend who complained that she couldn't find a good dude. Grant jokingly sent her some of the supercreepy posts ("I'm in jail now, but will be out in 4 to 6," "420 in my garden apartment?"). But when she happened upon a cute gent who just wanted some new friends to join him for a free movie in Grant Park, she thought "Why not? It's not like I'm going to marry the guy." As Grant tells it, her wedding included a heartfelt toast to Craig Newmark.
While many scan Craigslist with no luck, Grant attributes her good fortune to "Craigslist karma" and offers this sage advice to other C-listers: be on time, bring the right amount of money, and don't be a flake. Additionally, she notes that she "always makes sure to include my phone number and times I'm available to pick something up—anything to make it easier for the seller to choose me if it's a hot-ticket item."
Among the items she's picked up on Craigslist: a stunning, Norwegian-made media unit that's identical on both sides and thus the perfect room divider ($125) and a pair of leather-upholstered chairs that looked as if they jumped off the set of Mad Men ($100). Grant also frequents estate sales (which she finds out about on—you guessed it—Craigslist), where she's picked up decorative items like an oilcan collection and wooden milk crates.
I get e-mails all the time from readers asking, "How do you find stuff on Craigslist?" The answer is pretty simple. Know what you're looking for, search daily, and take Grant's above-mentioned advice. I promise you'll start finding your big-ticket items—whether it's a husband or a highboy.