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A big reason Gen Z is still on Facebook: to save money| GuyWhoKnowsThings

In December, Ellicia Chiu and Cher Su carried only a few boxes when they moved into a walk-up apartment in New York's Lower East Side neighborhood. Before moving from Los Angeles, the two friends knew they would need to furnish their new apartment with small appliances, decor, and kitchen furniture. But instead of buying new items, they knew it would be more affordable to find second-hand items on Facebook Marketplace, the social network's buying and selling service.

“I only use Facebook for Marketplace,” said Chiu, 24, who added that he spent most of his social time on TikTok and Instagram, which are owned by Meta, Facebook's parent company.

For many people in their twenties who don't have much disposable income, Marketplace is a place to get deals on items they normally couldn't afford.

“As someone who is in her 20s, I want to have better things, but I don't have the financial means to achieve it yet,” said Ms. Chiu, who added that she preferred Marketplace to other sites because its interface was easy to use. use, making it easy to find deals on furniture.

Over the past decade, Facebook has declined in popularity among Generation Z as a social site, a Pew Research Center Survey 2022 found. On the other hand, younger people spend more social time on Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat.

“Facebook Marketplace is often referred to as 'the garage sale of the Internet' and is a modern counterpart to eBay and Craigslist,” he said. Yoo-Kyoung Seockprofessor of textiles, merchandising and interiors at the University of Georgia, who studies Consumer behavior among generation Z and millennials. and environmental sustainability in the textile industry. “The platform's remarkable success is largely due to the trust that users place in it, which is the result of its unique connection to the social network Facebook.”

For a generation that is environmentally conscious and prefer to buy second handMarketplace has become popular.

“Young people, including students and young professionals, are increasingly attracted to used products,” said Dr. Seock saying. Faster inflation has also made secondhand shopping a practical option, he added.

Launched in 2016, Marketplace has more than billion monthly active users and is the second most popular online site for secondhand items, behind eBay, according to a 2022 survey by Statista, a company that provides market data. Meta doesn't say much about Marketplace as a business, how its demographics may differ from Facebook in general, and whether it has a vision for growing the platform in its annual reports. Meta did not respond to questions about whether it has long-term business goals for Marketplace or whether it was aware of the platform's popularity among Generation Z.

Some buyers say that I prefer market about Craigslist, which was popular with older generations looking for used goods, because unlike Craigslist, Marketplace buyers and sellers have profiles with ratings that make them more trustworthy, and messages are integrated into Facebook, making communication easier.

Marketplace is free to use for buyers. Although sellers can be found transaction fees, many of them avoid this by selling locally and asking buyers to bring cash when picking up their purchase. Chiu said he usually paid with Venmo, although he would carry cash if a seller insisted.

Ms. Chiu and Ms. Sue said their favorite Marketplace purchase was a West Elm sofa, which the seller had had for less than a year. The couch retailed for $1,200 and they bought it for $145. Ms. Chiu said the seller had warned her that the sofa had cat scratch marks, but when she and Ms. La hers went to look at it, they didn't see many marks.

Some of her other favorite Marketplace finds include a Zojirushi rice cooker (retail price: $150; purchased on Marketplace for $50), a Dyson vacuum cleaner (retail price: $470; purchased on Marketplace for $135), and a table IKEA NORDEN extendable (retail price: $350; purchased on Marketplace for $150).

In total, Ms. Chiu and Ms. Su said they spent approximately $1,400 on more than 30 items purchased on Marketplace and estimated they saved more than $3,000.

Not all of Ms. Chiu and Ms. Su's purchases have been successful: Ms. Chiu once bought a plant from a seller and discovered that its roots were rotten when she tried to transplant it. Buyers have to negotiate returns with sellers on Marketplace, and Ms. Chiu's plant seller later offered her a 50 percent refund of the price she had paid, which she accepted. Mrs. Su said that she once bought a bookshelf that collapsed once she was home. She was unable to get a refund.

Ms. Su said she was aware of Marketplace scams and tried to avoid them. “There are a lot of scammers who try to ask for personal information when messaging about items, so be careful with that too!” she warned. (Meta provides users with guides on recognizing and avoiding scams.)

Sebastian Ramos, a junior at DePaul University in Chicago, also uses Marketplace to buy and sell items, and once even got a free couch (estimated retail price: $1,300). He also purchased acrylic vinyl record racks (estimated retail price: $45; purchased on Marketplace for $10) and sold his used Nintendo 3DS (retail price: $200; sold on Marketplace for $150).

Ramos, 21, said she didn't use Facebook as a social network, but she enjoyed shopping secondhand on Marketplace to save money and also because she liked shopping at secondhand stores.

“You don't need to pay more for something new when you can find something used, or even lightly used, for much cheaper,” he said.

Sarah Williams, who lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is an executive assistant and new mother. Shortly after she and her husband found out they were expecting a baby last year, Williams said Marketplace was the first place she started looking for baby items.

The first item on her list was a light-colored wooden crib. But the cribs he found online were listed for $1,200 and were out of his budget.

“The prices were absolutely ridiculous,” Williams, 24, said.

After a rigorous two-week online search, she found a crib she liked that a woman who lived near her had listed on Marketplace. After exchanging messages via Facebook Messenger with the seller, Ms. Williams and her husband drove to the woman's home to inspect the crib. She bought it for $300 (75 percent less than the original price) after seeing that it was in good condition.

“It was a very pleasant and pleasant exchange,” Ms. Williams said.

Ms. Williams said she hoped to find other mothers on Marketplace who had items they no longer needed because their children had outgrown them.

Like Ms. Williams, Ms. Chiu and Ms. Su said that being able to network and meet new people by picking up their purchases at Marketplace had been an enjoyable part of their moving experience and settling into their new home.

“That's how Facebook started, and it's great that Marketplace is encouraging it too,” Ms. Su said.

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