Buy-and-sell CU Facebook page to host first community sale event

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Buy-and-sell CU Facebook page to host first community sale event

By Alice Smelyansky

The summer before her senior year, 2013 University alumna Taylor Miranda became inspired by a Facebook group her roommate was in. It was a Facebook swap-and-sell community where people posted items they no longer wanted — a virtual garage sale of sorts. After realizing that many college students were in need of making money as well as updating their wardrobes, Miranda created the Facebook group “Champaign Closet Recycle.”

“All of the first members were my Facebook friends, and I expected it to grow, but I had no idea that the group would reach almost 3,000 members in one year,” Miranda said. “I wasn’t sure if many people would even be interested in the idea of recycling clothes when I first made the page, so it’s great to see that so many people are getting use out of the page.”

The “Champaign Closet Recycle” is open to all members of the C-U community to sell retail items, such as clothing, accessories and shoes. To sell a piece, a member posts a photo of the item with information on size, condition and asking price.

On Saturday, the virtual group will go beyond the walls of Facebook and hold its first official event called “Illini Closet Recycle” at the ARC in Multipurpose Room Six from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Financial Wellness Program, a University of Illinois Extension program that offers free financial advice and hosts finance-related events.

About 40 sellers have registered for the event, and registration closes on Friday, said Sophia Mohammed, peer educator for the Financial Wellness Program and senior in ACES. There are two shifts, 1 to 3 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m., and 25 tables will be displayed during each shift. The price range is decided between the sellers and buyers, and there is no price limit for available items.

Marsella Lopez and Andi Nault are co-administrators of the Champaign Closet Recycle Facebook page. Before graduating, Miranda sent out a Facebook message to find administrators who would take over the page. Lopez, senior in LAS, and Nault, sophomore in LAS, were chosen because they were frequent posters in the group.

Lopez said that she looks forward to the event.

“I personally sold a lot of clothes on here, too, and sometimes it’s difficult to find a good time to meet because everyone has these crazy schedules,” Lopez said. “I think this event is going to be awesome because it’s just one day, and the event goes on for multiple hours, so people can just swing by whenever they have time in one location.”

The idea to hold the “Illini Closet Recycle” came up when Mohammed noticed the popularity of the Facebook group. Since its creation, the “Champaign Closet Recycle” Facebook group has grown to 2,714 members as of press time — one member being Champaign Mayor Don Gerard — and has at least 20 new members requesting to join each day, according to Lopez.

“I figured (the event) would be a nice way to get everyone out to the same place so they could actually take a look at the clothes and be able to try them on and make sure that they fit,” Mohammed said.

Mohammed brought the idea up with her program coordinator and contacted Nault about partnering with Champaign Closet Recycle. Once they realized it would be feasible, they went about finding a venue and organizing the event.

Jessica Langer, Champaign Closet Recycle group member and sophomore in Applied and Health Sciences, said she plans on attending the event.

“(Champaign Closet Recycle) is convenient because it allows girls and guys to be able to sell their items without having to pay for a listing and being able to view the item before committing to purchasing it,” Langer said.

Miranda said she is glad the Facebook group continued to function after she graduated and that it has led to the creation of the “Illini Closet Recycle” event.

“It’s nice to see that they are organizing big swap events where everyone can bring their clothes to lay out and set up a mini-store of sorts. Hopefully the success with the page continues,” Miranda said.

Alice can be reached at [email protected]