Navigating the Free and For Sale Page

Too often we use our UC Berkeley Free and For Sale Facebook page for the wrong reasons. There are more than 37,000 members on the Free and For Sale page, and yet all I ever seem to see is absurd content that might be better suited on the new UC Berkeley Memes for Edgy Teens page.

As a massive online community at UC Berkeley, Free and For Sale has the potential to be one of the greatest resources for your gift purchases this holiday season. This “for sale by owner” page houses some of the best stuff for purchase between members of the larger UC Berkeley community. Instead of posting fake PSAs or funny sale posts, use Free and For Sale for its intended purpose: buying and selling!

Here are some tips for your Free and For Sale gift-buying to make sure you get the best deals and don’t get scammed this holiday season:

Make sure to input as many key buzzwords as possible

Searching for just the right gift on Free and For Sale is difficult. Often, you don’t even totally know what you’re looking for! For both buyers and sellers, using a healthy heaping of buzzwords in your posts or searches can be really helpful in making a successful transaction take place.

Regularly check your messages and your message requests

Often buyers and sellers that aren’t already Facebook friends miss each other’s messages entirely, because when you get a facebook message from someone you don’t know, the message goes to an entirely different region of the messages section.

Sometimes the message request section doesn’t even properly light up as a notification! Whether you’re buying or selling, regularly check your message requests in order to make sure you don’t miss critical Free and For Sale inquiries.

Keep in close contact with your potential buyer/seller

Once you’ve found a deal that piques your interest, it’s down to you to establish a proper relationship with your potential buyer or seller. Whether you’re selling something or buying something, you definitely want to make sure the other party is actually willing to engage in the transaction and is available for a meeting.

Plus, it is actually really important to ensure that the other party isn’t suspicious. There’s no need to put yourself at risk over some used sweater you’re trying to buy for your sister. Take at least a week or so to make sure the other party is friendly and worth meeting.

Do a little investigating of their Facebook timeline to make sure they’re a real person. Don’t let your guard down just because this Free and For Sale page seems safer than craigslist!

Have a price and a set of terms ready before you meet

Once you’re sure that you want to make a transaction happen, have a plan fully mapped out with the other party. Know exactly when to meet. Know exactly where you plan to make the exchange. Decide ahead of time whether you’d like to meet in public for safety reasons or closer to their home or yours to make the exchange easier.

Also, determine ahead of time how you want the exchange of money to occur and the method in which the money is exchanged. Decide on a price ahead of time and stick to it. Otherwise, one party or the other could try to swindle the transaction in person to get a better deal.

Make sure it works in person

No matter what you’re purchasing, make sure this gift you’re purchasing isn’t different from the way it appears online. If you’re buying clothes, make sure they’re the correct size and don’t have any unwanted stains or holes.

If you’re buying electronics, don’t go through with the purchase until you prove in person that the thing works properly. As long as you take the time to ensure your purchase won’t be a bad decision, you can rest assured your gift will be well worth the Venmo payment. Get out there and get to buying!

Contact Justin Knight at [email protected].