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Toronto Blackmarket (On Facebook)

Posted by Tim / March 7, 2009

Toronto BlackmarketToronto 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?



Jen Ford / March 7, 2009 at 09:54 am
A Star Trek chess set? for real? ;)

(uh, original or Next Gen?)
Tim replying to a comment from Jen Ford / March 7, 2009 at 10:05 am
Original - 25th Anniversary edition from the Franklin Mint
Jerrold / March 7, 2009 at 10:51 am
Doesn't FB max out groups at 5000 members? Or is that just friend max?
Khuffie / March 7, 2009 at 11:09 am
Wow. It's funny when the mainstream media attempt to report on technology when they really don't understand it. How can they call someone who created a facebook group an entrepeneur? Why would I limit my market by using a limited group when craigslist is free and just as easy to use, or heck, the facebook marketplace is right there for people to use?
Parkdalian / March 7, 2009 at 11:24 am
Do we really need more reason's to waste time on Facebook? Isn't randomly viewing contacts info and pictures you rarely ever see in person wasteful enough?

What's Thad trying to achieve on Facebook? Worlds biggest "friends" list?

Craigslist gets me off of Facebook at least. It does just fine on it's own. Thanks.
Sheryl / March 7, 2009 at 03:26 pm
Since when do you have to pay to list something on Craigslist?
Justin / March 8, 2009 at 07:35 am
Sounds neat, and potentially useful in that it's got a more concentrated populous for the kind of stuff mentioned above.
Part of the overall User Experience of a website is that it can create an atmosphere that dictates how people act and relate to each other. Craigslist has a certain feel that, while mainly positive and 'community-esque', the growing number of scams, spam, and off-topic posts has distanced me from that feeling.
The Facebook marketplace has been much more effective for when I've had items for sale, and having a specific group of identifiable members further pushes the honour code envelope.
So I'm all for it.
rapi / March 8, 2009 at 09:40 am
are the names of the "officers" for real or is it just a list of ikea furniture pieces....??
tristan / March 9, 2009 at 03:05 pm
apparently mr.jayaseelan (toronto blackmarket) has a couple of businesses going for him....maybe thats why they call him an entrepeneur.
THadshiga Jayaseelan / December 8, 2010 at 08:35 am
The next best thing: Before: Facebook's Toronto Blackmarket AFTER: TRADESHIP
TreyThelwell / February 4, 2012 at 12:44 am
how do i sell something on this site???
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