The active Facebook group ‘Commodity Market Rotterdam’ provides students with a convenient platform to sell and buy products. “I even saw someone sell a gold fish once”, Meral Akkurt (20), a German/Turkish IBA student and frequent user, says.
A large community
Lately, the ‘Commodity Market Rotterdam’ group has gotten more attention online. Within four months, the group has gained over a thousand active members. Baris Yildirim (21), a German/Turkisch IBA student and founder of ‘Commodity Market Rotterdam,’ gets around 10 requests a day of new members who want to join. Now, friends can also easily be added by members themselves. Furniture for student rooms, cutlery, bikes and even laptops are offered and sold through this group on a daily basis.
The idea evolved during Yildirim’s Bachelor Exchange program. Yildirim himself wanted to sell some of his belongings. “I found websites such as Marktplaats not helpful, since they are not checked that often. Therefore, I invited all my friends to the group because I knew some would be interested in my stuff and they check their Facebook often.”
Not just another Facebook-page
‘Commodity Market Rotterdam’ is integrated into Facebook as a group and not a page. Therefore, posts of members will not show in newsfeeds. So, the member decides when to check the group and not. “The main advantage of it being a group is that while checking Facebook, you can easily have a quick look at the market the same way you would check pages of friends”, Akkurt says.
In addition to the products being offered, there are sometimes members who promote for instance, student parties through the group. Qian Bian (18), a Chinese IBA student, is overall positive about the ‘Commodity Market Rotterdam’ group but critically says, “those who spam should be banned from the group.”
There is still the risk that people will not be honest about their products. However, the buying and selling process is very personal. Buyers and selling often communicate through personal messages and even phone numbers are posted with the items for sale. Once having established contact, the members can check each other’s Facebook-page and see who they are buying from or selling to.
Ever since the success of ‘Commodity Market Rotterdam’, many other proxy groups started. Yildirim explains that there was no other group before he started his. “I think it makes not much sense to have more groups. So, I would suggest we invite all members of the smaller groups to ‘Commodity Market Rotterdam’ and have a bigger buyer/seller base to sell more easily.” NdB