UW Free & For Sale Facebook Page Bans the Sale of Anything Other than Absolutely Useless Shit

Published: July 8, 2018
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Isabel Campisteguy

On Saturday, a post in the UW Free & For Sale page incited controversy that lead to sweeping new regulations over the kinds of things people should be able to sell on the page.

“Hey, so this page should only be for selling stuff that absolutely no one could possibly want,” read one of the many comments on the post that has now been reported and deleted. The seller in question attempted to pawn his lightly used bike for a reasonable price.

The page was originally created to allow students to get rid of their old furniture and appliances, but it has now evolved to be mostly focused on items that actually belong in a landfill, or at least the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The posts that now gain the most traction on the page include half-empty bottles of Gold Bond lotion, miscellaneous cords that have been sitting in a bin under the seller’s desk for 15 years, incomplete sets of dishware, and boxes of, at most, three Ziplock bags.

“When I log into Facebook, I’m seriously only looking for the high that comes from a newsfeed clogged with posts selling a single, well-loved fork, or someone’s old VHS tape of Sleeping Beauty,” said frequent seller Jared Moore. “One time, I got into a bidding war over someone’s used bed sheets and a giant bag of the lint that comes from a vacuum cleaner. I’ll be chasing that feeling for the rest of my life.”

The post triggered a discussion on the group’s values, as well as the institution of a new “zero tolerance policy” for “shitposts like this” that “violate and intrude upon the creative space that this group has worked so hard to cultivate,”

“I’m pretty grateful for the Free & For Sale page. Got this from there,” Josh Barker, one of the group’s admins said, while triumphantly uncapping a glue stick, revealing the dried-out tip. “I pretty much never buy aluminum foil anymore, either, thanks to this page. I just drive all around Seattle on the weekends to various alleys and pick up free rolls that have about 10 inches left on them. But yeah, this dude was really the last straw, and I’m excited to see where the page can go now that we’ve sorted out the riff-raff.”

The seller, presumably too ashamed of his social media faux pas, was not available for comment.