Lowcountry moms find marketplace for used kids' items on Facebook

abredeson@islandpacket.comMay 6, 2013 

Kristin Feldkamp was looking for a way to buy and sell children's items when she came up with a plan.

"I was frustrated with Craigslist," she said. "It's not very user-friendly, and it's kind of sketchy sometimes."

She said Craigslist had too many rules, and she wanted an easier way to buy and sell.

"I just wanted to be able to take a picture with my phone and upload it and be done," the Bluffton mom of two said. "I feel like it should just be easy."

Feldkamp had a friend in Canada who had started a Facebook group where people could purchase and sell items. She decided to follow in her friend's footsteps and start a local Facebook group. She called it My Peeps' Repeats.

Feldkamp said she thought her page would attract 100 friends and neighbors, but it ended up bringing a lot more. She started the group a little more than a year ago, and there are now more than 2,300 members. She said she gets about 10 new member requests a day. Hundreds of photos are uploaded daily.

"I think it's really cool," Feldkamp said. "I think it shows that there was a huge (need) for this."

Then things got a little out of control. Feldkamp said people started posting furniture and adult clothing in the group that was meant for kids' items. So she decided to start another group, which she called My Own Repeats. That group now has more than 1,800 members.

In addition to My Peeps' Repeats and My Own Repeats, a number of other local groups have popped up to help people buy and sell items online. Among them are My Peeps Repeats -- Kids Toys Only, My Peeps Plus-Size Repeats, My Baby's Repeats -- Clothing ONLY, From My House to Yours LC, Beaufort buy/sell/trade page and Low Country Man's Stuff.

Feldkamp said the best sellers in her groups are clothing, sandboxes, picnic tables and sports equipment. Ergobaby Carriers and double strollers are also big sellers. Crib bedding and newer baby items don't sell as well.

She urges people to price to sell, be flexible about meeting with people and keep it simple. The best way to sell clothing is in small lots of the same size. For example, she sold her son's swimsuits from last year in a lot for $6.

"If you're mixing up too many items, then people might not need all of them," Feldkamp said.

Jennifer Miotto of Bluffton has been selling items on My Peeps' Repeats for the past eight or nine months. She started posting her 2-year-old daughter's baby toys and clothes as she outgrew them.

"I got pretty addicted to it quick because it's so much faster than Craigslist," Miotto said. "On here it's instant. You post it, and within a second or two, you could have someone saying, 'I want this. Where's pickup?' You send them your phone number. They're at your house that day or the next day. And it's just like a streamlined way to sell your stuff a lot faster."

She said she made about $1,000 in the first two months. Then she discovered My Own Repeats and made $2,000 more in that same time frame.

Miotto said she's much more of a seller than a purchaser. She has bought a few pieces of clothing, but she mainly uses the sites to get rid of items and make a little extra money.

"Also, there is a little bit of anonymity that is involved in Craigslist that can make it a little creepy sometimes," Miotto said. "At least with this you have someone's page that you can look at. You can see, 'Do you have mutual friends?' If someone's stopping by your house that you can trust, you kind of feel a little more comfortable."

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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