For years, Facebook — and its groups, in particular — has been a great place to buy and sell goods and services in your local community.
Now, the social networking app is making it even easier, with the launch of a built-in Marketplace this week.
As this is clearly a new opportunity for Penny Hoarders to both score deals and make extra money, I had to check it out.
My first impression is no surprise: It looks like a smart place to find used furniture, cheap baby clothes and toys, car parts, tools, antiques and other things you might find on Craigslist.
Selling through Facebook means people can’t hide in anonymity as easily, which boosts my confidence as a buyer.
Facebook already came under fire this week for apparent technical issues allowing sellers to post illegal goods and services. It has since issued an apology and is in the process of fixing the issue.
Meanwhile, you don’t have to look for illegal services or contraband to find some just plain strange things for sale.
As Craigslist has been for years, this mostly unfiltered peer-to-peer marketplace is a haven for the unusual. Its modern interface and placement within the Facebook mobile app makes these oddities all the more accessible.
Here are some of the strangest things I found for sale today in our home state of Florida:
1. This Baby: $175
After a moment, you might realize this is not a real baby. But it takes a moment.
I commend the craftsmanship on this doll, but OH MY GOD. You can’t shake the feeling that you’re buying an actual baby on Facebook.
I’m trying to imagine the use for this doll. It’s awfully pricy for a child’s toy. It could make a great film prop, but that’s conspicuously absent from the sales copy.
Conspicuously present in the description is this line: “I do not take orders or custom make dolls to look like your child.”
2. This Doll With No Head and Panda With No Body: $180
Speaking of dolls… These are for crafters, I believe.
The juxtaposition is a bit alarming, moreso because of this line in the panda’s description: “He has a magnet so he can attach to your doll’s head.”
So if you’re in the market for a creature with a woman’s body and a panda’s head, look no further.
3. Hurricane Dissipation Meditations: $1,000
Listen. I’m all about good vibes. I love that these people once attempted to levitate the Pentagon.
And if we’re taking votes, I’m no fan of hurricanes.
Still, I can’t really get behind this seller hawking what they call hurricane dissipation meditation — even if they claim 88 successes since 2005.
According to this Marketplace listing, the seller has donated more than 20 hours to “focused hurricane dissipation meditations” and “simply cannot donate an additional 100+ hours to tame this monster — and not have income coming in for my own household.”
They seek a sponsor to make up for lost income while they dedicate the next two weeks to dissipating Hurricane Matthew.
In exchange, the seller will “be doing Focused Hurricane Dissipations 30 minutes on, 20 minutes off for 10 hours a day until we are all safe on the entire east coast — not just Florida.”
4. Hurricane Supplies: Price Varies
Despite dissipation efforts, Hurricane Matthew is in fact bearing down on the East Coast. Atlantic-side Floridians are using Marketplace both to seek and sell hurricane supplies.
If you’re stocking up at the last minute, this might be one place that can tell you where to find what you need. However, we recommend preparing well in advance of the next storm, so you don’t have to rely on the social network for your family’s well-being.
5. To-Go Food: $1
I can’t tell whether this is an attempt to usurp Yelp, or you can actually pick up someone’s uneaten meal for $1.
Either way, I don’t think I’ll bite.
6. Lingerie: $55
This is a pretty good deal for Victoria’s Secret lingerie — new, not used, mind you. I’m just wondering… why the emojis?
Your Turn: Are you using the new Facebook Marketplace to make or save money?
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).