Free, For Sale, For Students

The NYU Free & For Sale page has attracted students looking to buy and sell personal goods.

Facebook isn’t just for wishing your cousins happy birthday anymore. The “Free & For Sale” page inside NYU’s closed Facebook group  is quickly becoming a go-to for everything from clothing and textbooks to Bitcoin and pets.

For Tandon junior Prince Moses, the group is a better option than other online buying and selling platforms.

“I love Free & For Sale,” said Moses. “I feel it offers students a safer version of Craigslist; I know some people may be a little hesitant to meet some random stranger.”

Like Craigslist, some of the posts on the Free & For Sale page are eccentric. In the past week alone, there have been posts recruiting students to test out a local “Escape the Room” experience and offering to let people take all of the clothes they want from an apartment for an entrance fee of $15.

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The group isn’t just used for selling and buying — students have also used it as a lost and found. SPS freshman Sayed Saber Ibrahimi found a planner, MacBook charger and notebook belonging to an NYU student near Columbia University and tried to find the owner of the items via the Free and For Sale page.

“I made that post because a lot of people throw away things and waste them, so I thought Free and For Sale was a great idea,” Ibrahimi said. “Someone got in touch with me but it wasn’t her charger.”

Most users of the page are just trying to generate some extra cash using items they no longer want or need, like Moses attempted to do with his Surface Book.

“I found out about Free & For Sale through a friend of mine who said he bought something on there,” Moses said. “It was just an extra place to sell. I got a few decent offers, but wound up selling on eBay for more.”

Members of the page expect to get even oddball items at a deep discount, which has led roommates Regina Wright and Jill Xu to purchase everything from their TV to their pet on the page.

“The night before our last final in December, a post for a ‘free turtle and all the fixin’s’ post came up,”  Xu, a Stern freshman, said. “Turns out the guy was from my computer science class so we went with him to Jersey City to get the turtle the next day. I don’t know if it was the best decision.”

Wright, a freshman in Liberal Studies, agreed.

“Our turtle is evil, but I still think Free & For Sale kind of brings us together as a school,” Wright said. “Everyone is pretty reasonable and not trying to screw someone over.”

According to Ibrahimi, the “Free & For Sale” page’s most important contribution to the NYU community is its aim to make the best use of NYU’s resources.

“I think it’s good for not only NYU but for New York. We avoid wasting items,” Ibrahimi said.  Instead of throwing them away we can give them to someone else to use.”

A version of this article appeared in the Mar. 21 print edition. Email Taylor Nicole Rogers at [email protected] 

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