Afterthoughts: The Most Interesting Things I Found on Facebook Marketplace
Let’s make a deal.
Over the holidays, more and more ads for items in the Facebook Marketplace started to pop up on my feed. I’ve never bought anything through Marketplace before, which has been around since 2016—when it comes to strangers on the internet, you never know what you’re going to get. But I was curious about who is selling what in the Islands, so I started poking around. You can get everything from furniture to child care to a home and other, uh, more confusing items. Here are some of the most interesting finds, for better or for worse:
Hot Tamales: Three vendors are selling homemade tamales, all based at Schofield (and they don’t know each other, by the way). One told me that this is her third year making and selling them for the holidays. “It’s what I’m accustomed to having this time of year and not many people know how to make them,” she said over Messenger. “This year I was only going to make some for our family but I noticed a few people asking if anyone was selling so I decided to make extra for sale.” She says Marketplace is easy to use and reaches a wide audience and that she’s sold out “within minutes of posting.” Plenty of other vendors sell lumpia, coffee cake, mochi, ube treats, longanisa, laulau and custom desserts.
Deflation Rate: A balloon garland for a party backdrop is only a dollar … but was posted more than a week ago.
Hairy Situation: “Do you wash your hair? Do you have social media? Do you want an extra source of income? If you answered yes to any of these questions I have the perfect opportunity for you! We wash our hair, share our thoughts, & get paid! If you join my team today you can earn 1% shares in this growing billion dollar company.” This type of listing is against the rules (it’s not a physical item) but who can say no?
Random Tats of Kindness: A “lucky tattoo jar” contains assorted designs, some valued at $200. Feel free to sort through the entire jar until you find one you like. Only $75!
Slam Dunk: Many users are just trying to find homes for their unwanted items, from old bed frames to giant rolls of bubble wrap. A 6-pound bag of POGs sold for $20. No word on if there were any slammers.
Lock Star: Asian and American car keys that a man will reprogram for your car, starting at $49. Look for the “BIG ORANGE VAN” in various parking lots.
Sweet Deal: A room in a Hawai‘i Kai house for $675 a month.
Freebies: A broken ProForm treadmill that the seller swears was working when she bought it (must pick up from Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i); a week of CrossFit for beginners; an unused wedding checklist; an upright Weber piano; a box of sweet and spicy panko; used cloth diapers.
While there are definitely some scams out there, it’s good to see there are also real gems that help local people and keep things out of the rubbish. And, finally, now I know where to get custom tatted shoes and a piece of mangrove wood shaped like a pig.