Toronto Blackmarket (On Facebook)
Toronto Blackmarket, the rapidly growing Facebook Group that serves as an anti-Craigslist for hawking PSPs, 360s, jeans and anything else its members want to get rid of is getting some mainstream attention. GlobeTO (no relation to this site), the Saturday-only Toronto section of the Globe and Mail interviews founder Thad Jayaseelen who started the group back in August 07. After a slow start, the group (or marketplace, really) now boast more than 5,000 members and counting.
Members post the stuff they want to sell to the group's discussion board. Recent items include a used Sony Ericsson K850i for $200, a PS3 wireless steering wheel for $60 and an 11 inch hunting knife for $25. Sorting and categorization options are limited but the Facebook search tool makes it easy to find stuff by keyword if you know what you're looking for.
Like competitive offerings from Kijiji and Craigslist, it doesn't cost anything to list an item, but the group seems to be benefiting from some confusion among both its founder and core teen audience that you need a credit card to use the other sites. Says Jayaseelen:
"I think when you go on eBay, Kijiji or Craigslist, you need some sort of credit card or PayPal payment or what not. With this, all you need is cash or something to trade."
Well, not really (except for eBay). But, hey, I like blackmarkets as much as the next guy. In fact, I have an old fencing outfit (good condition), a Star Trek themed chess set (a real collector's item!) and a 17 inch TV (I'll throw in the stand) I'm trying to sell. Any takers?