Beyond conversational exchange and friend tracking activities, Facebook groups have sprung up where members will post goods and services for sale. Those looking to buy can also post requests, if what they’re looking for isn’t already on the page.
One of the largest and most active of these pages is the Free & For Sale group. This page, and all the others, are under the umbrella “Groups at Davis,” meaning that all members have to have a UC Davis email address.
On Free & For Sale, it is often difficult to say what students will find, as the group is in constant flux. In the course of 24 hours, a member might see postings for anything from bikes to appliances, furniture, video game consoles and iPhones.
A seller might list a price and promise an item to the first person that meets it. He or she might also post a starting bid and sell to the highest bidder.
Every now and then, a member might even spot the coveted “Free” item that is the page’s namesake. With good timing, I was able to get a free pizza someone had posted that afternoon.
“The Free and For Sale page works like an online yard sale,” Beatriz Aguilar said.
Aguilar is a UC Davis graduate who majored in microbiology, and is currently one of the admins for the Free & For Sale group.
“I think what keeps this page active is the variety of things that you can find, from furniture to electronics, basically everything college students need when moving into apartments. [It] also gives students a way to sell their items when moving out,” Aguilar said.
As the months get colder, the group has seen an increase in postings and sales of personal heaters.
For those who can’t find what they want on Free & For Sale, there are several groups devoted to individual categories, like furniture, textbooks, bikes and food.
Michelle Fernandes, a fourth-year communications major, is the founder and admin for Clothing and Accessories, as well as an equivalent group geared toward men. She said she decided to create the groups after seeing, and finding some success with, a similar group specifically for her hometown.
“I think these pages have been so popular because people love to bargain. People love to make extra money on the side while getting rid of things they really don’t need or use,” Fernandes said.
Clothing and Accessories recently exemplified the way these exchange groups keep things from going to waste. Halloween costumes, items generally used very little, dominated the group in the weeks leading up to the holiday.
Other groups can be helpful to students looking to free up space in their homes, earn money or just help out fellow students.
Anyone looking for a desk, a table or a dresser might try out Furniture: Free & For Sale. All manner of bikes and bike supplies can probably be found on Bikes For Sale. A student might be lucky enough to grab tickets to an upcoming show or sporting event on Tickets for Sale.
For those with extra food or those in need of dinner, Food Trading facilitates the exchange of food, while a good meal may only be a swipe away on Sell/Buy DC Swipes.
Textbook Exchange and UC Davis Textbook Marketplace can help students skip the bookstore, depending on the popularity of the title they’re looking for. Oftentimes, the books listed on the group are cheaper than the Memorial Union bookstore’s, but it becomes more important to pay attention to the condition of the book and whether it is the correct edition.
Of course, not everyone is selling goods. Students with cars might be looking for extra gas money, and may turn to UC Davis Ride Sharing to offer rides to anyone with a similar destination, for a fee.
Kiha Lee, a recently graduated economics major, created the Ride Sharing group to make coordination easier.
“Most members of the group use it to go home or to visit other campuses. I think everyone likes the idea of having someone to talk to on their drives, and saving money is always great,” Lee said.
Facebook could be a valuable resource to those willing to put in the effort. Diligence is rewarded, as keeping track of particular pages could mean the difference between a free pizza from someone who didn’t want theirs and having to buy your own.