Has your kid come home from school with a different iPhone case or pair of sneakers? What about a pellet gun or a switchblade? Well it probably came from Facebook.
These items can be found regularly at Phre$h Stuff of Lower Moreland, the social media group created by two students. It's an exclusive online marketplace filled with kids of all ages from the Lower Moreland School District that are taking part in auction style and buy-it-now transactions. And some of these transactions are being conducted at the middle school by one of the group's creators.
Phre$h Stuff of Lower Moreland first started granting members access to the page on Tuesday. And within days there were hundreds of listings from its 117 members as of Thursday night. The big concern isn't the rapid growth of the group, but rather the items being listed and the informal style of business these teenagers are getting involved in.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The Phre$h Stuff of Lower Moreland page has since been made unavailable on Facebook. Teachers at the school are working with students to find out everyone who was involved. Check back with LM Patch for an update.]
Regardless of their age, these kids know what they're doing. There's a fresh-faced, 14-year-old offering a pellet gun with the comment, "she shoots like a charm," while two others are striking a deal on a pocket knife within minutes using the Facebook group. One person is selling a jailbroken iPhone 3 with 'breached internet' while another kid is trying to bargain a $20 Golden State Warriors hat down to $10. So is this a way for kids to make some extra cash for the summer, or an idea undoubtedly asking for trouble?
Asking for trouble would be something like leaving the group as a public page on Facebook. Now any random person who is viewing the page can see who the group members are and their profile picture, the items for sale, who wants what, comments on each listing etc. There was only one rule when the group first started: no spam.
Sell shoes, electronic, electronic accessories, anything
you want and to anyone you want in the Lower Moreland area!
If there is any spamming of stupid things you will be automatically kicked from the group.
That was the entire description of Phre$h Stuff of Lower Moreland.
With such few limitations on the phrase, 'anything you want,' these teens wasted no time posting weapons like air soft guns and knives to Facebook where they waited for the highest offer. One student didn't provide a picture, but wrote the following:
swichblades knives tazers any kind any color inbox me for prices
One other person 'liked' that post.
Most of the group members don't even look old enough to possess a driver's license let alone sell off weapons to their peers. After a number of weapons popped up on the site over a period of time, the eighth-grade admins decided to make a 'NO WEAPON' rule. But that warning didn't stop one student who sold his paintball gun in 23 minutes shortly after the new "NO WEAPON' rule was listed on the site (some posts have been taken down by the admin).
The majority of the stuff for sale is anything you would find on eBay or at a normal yard sale. Photos of sneakers, headphones, jerseys and watches litter the Facebook page with asking prices.
The process is simple. Students take a picture of what they want to sell. Then they post it to Facebook and write 'make an offer' or actually list an asking price. Then they wait for someone to reply saying they want it. The buyer and seller will then set up a way to make the exchange. Transaction complete.
In order to post something, however, you must be a member of Phre$h Stuff of Lower Moreland. The two eighth graders are the only ones who can grant other students access to the group. Once they approve it, it's happy bidding, buyer beware.
Inevitably there were a number of faux listings and comments from some group members.
- I need 120 dollars so Ask for something worth the amount I'll see if I got
- I'm selling my virginity. 7,000$ for a hug 10,000$ for a kiss. End of offer.
- Cat for sale
Message me for details
The possibilities are endless at Phre$h Stuff of Lower Moreland.