by Leah Dwyer
The Purchase Market place has opened up shop on Instagram.
People taking the quarantine time to clean out their closets and practice their art skills has led to a trend in third-party seller-type websites, such as Etsy or Depop. According to a new SpendingPulse report, in May, U.S. e-commerce sales have increased 92.7%.
Purchase students are no exception; about a month ago the Instagram account @Purchasemarketplace was created. The account is a place where Purchase students’ small businesses and second-hand sellers can access a wider audience of buyers.
“I saw a lot of people trying to sell things on their [Instagram] stories,” said the creator of the marketplace, Esmee Johns, a sophomore painting and graphic design major. “I thought it would be easiest if there was one place you could see everyone who had things for sale.”
On the page, students have advertised things ranging from writing services to clothing items to bones—yes bones.
Elizabeth Cuminale, a freshman printmaking major, sells animal bones she finds in the woods or railroad tracks by her home.
“I enjoy collecting them but I can’t keep them all,” she says. “It’s something a lot of people don’t have that I get to share, and a little bit of extra cash is nice.”
Cuminale decided to sell through the marketplace account because she thought it would be more successful than selling through her own account.
She has found success in making sales through the marketplace account.
Marissa Woods, a junior graphic design major, is another successful seller on the account. She runs a small business selling custom crocheted tops and bags on her Instagram @m.woods.designs. Woods saw the marketplace as a way to spread the word about her shop.
In order to make a sales posting, according to Johns, one needs to just direct message the account with the product or advertisement for services, and include information on where customers can contact the seller.
Both Woods and Cuminale recalled sending a picture with information through a direct message to the account. The marketplace then posts the advertisement on their account, to be viewed by potential buyers.
Johns said, “The point of the marketplace Instagram is to serve as a bulletin where you can find products to purchase.”
Once the advertisement has been posted, the rest occurs between the buyer and the seller. People view a product on the marketplace and, using the information provided, contact the seller to proceed with their transaction.
Despite Johns claim that the pandemic has nothing to do with the marketplace’s creation, the timing couldn’t be better.
“It allows us to connect with each other and meet people that we probably wouldn’t usually see on campus during these times,” said Woods. “It is also a good stand-in replacement for The Stood flea markets that we used to have on campus.”
The Instagram has just been made and is still in its beginning stages. People who have already been involved in the marketplace, Woods, Cuminale and Johns, hope to see the outreach of the account spread to more students.
“There’s no item too small to sell,” said Johns. “Even if you’re just selling clothes on your Instagram story, purchase marketplace can post an advertisement to help you out.”