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The Black Market in Lower Moreland ... On Facebook

Two students in middle school are at the helm of a Facebook group where kids from the school district are buying and selling anything from iPods to pocket knives. And in some cases, the transactions are happening at school.

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
Sweater included
Message me for details

The possibilities are endless at Phre$h Stuff of Lower Moreland.

Anne Houser May 18, 2012 at 01:19 PM
This is a very scrary world we live in now! I can't believe that these young kids are involved in such activities. I hope their parents have been notified and appropriate measures taken to stop their entrepreneurship endeavors! What ever happened to kids mowing lawns and delivering newspapers for extra cash? 14 year old kids should be out skateboarding and riding bikes and having good, clean fun instead of stuck on computers selling dangerous items to each other. Very sad and scary world we are raising children in these days! Sigh!
Josh May 18, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Blame Zuckerberg...not the kids
Tom Sofield May 18, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Do you blame gun makers for killing people? Facebook is just the platform the kids are using, not the problem.
Jen May 18, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Or blame the parents who aren't keeping an eye on their kids
Atam May 18, 2012 at 08:40 PM
the post that says that - I'm selling my virginity. 7,000$ for a hug 10,000$ for a kiss. End of offer. - Cat for sale Sweater included Message me for details is sarcastic, honestly why would you think a 7th or 8th grader would post that just to loose their virginity? and it's just a way to get rid of things people don't want anymore..
Robert Smith May 18, 2012 at 09:10 PM
its funny cause its not actually taken down
mark camper May 18, 2012 at 09:13 PM
or maybe its not the parents fault but all u people who say its so bad when u dont realize no trans actions were made in school dont judge on something u dont know half aboutthe author of this article has nothing better to do than to follow kids on faceboook some life
mark camper May 18, 2012 at 09:17 PM
and to @tom soefield they are not real guns see what imean by no one knos what is going on this author is trying to make us look bad when we are trying to make money and how is this considered a black market .... people these days
VS May 18, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I have to wonder if the ipod that was STOLEN from my son's locker is one of the items that is/was up for sale!!!!
VS May 18, 2012 at 09:30 PM
@Mark Camper....You can't tell me that some of these items aren't stolen. My son is in 8th grade, and I hear many times that "electronics items" are taken out of lockers. I'm not saying that everything on the site was stolen, but I'd bet that there are items that were. 7th/8th graders shouldn't be doing this .... if they have items to sell, let their parents do it on Ebay.
Tom Sofield May 18, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I was not actually referring to "guns" listed for sale on the site, but using a metaphor in response to the commenter who blamed "Zuckerberg" (from Facebook, I assume) for the problem. I was saying Facebook is just the platform for posting the items and not the problem. These kids could have "sold" these objects anywhere, whether on the internet or in person.
mark camper May 18, 2012 at 10:10 PM
VS well there was only 1 incident of stolen electronics so therefore your son is mistaken thi sit was origanlly for lower moreland kids hese weapons are being sold to people who dont go to lower moreland but are close to he kids they sell two evey item sold is not ment for violence and is not use ither this author is making it seem like were trying to distibute weapons to kill or injure and only 4 weapons are posted on here which is totally legal by the way
VS May 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Mark, that's fine...I appreciate that feedback. However, I never said that my son said that his was one of the items on the for sale listing...I stated that I "wondered". My major point of this is, is that 7th/8th graders should not be using this forum in order to sell goods. You're under age and while it may be innocent enough, if you want to earn money by selling items, have your parent do it for you on their own and give you the $ that is earned. That is the point of the matter. And as far as the comments about weapons...a gun is a gun...I don't care if it's an air gun or a bullet gun...children should NOT be involved in their sale.
mark camper May 18, 2012 at 10:22 PM
well first of all we may be underage but it is perfectly legal so there is no problem with them doing this if they are trying to make money let them be if it was illegal then i se were you are coming from
VS May 18, 2012 at 10:26 PM
I think we have to agree to disagree. Children shouldn't be promoting the sale of such items...while I applaud your wanting to earn money, and while I don't know if your parents were involved with the administration of the FB page, I believe that is where the issue at hand lies. Perhaps with a little adult guidance, oversight and thought this could have been handled better.
Anon Noone May 18, 2012 at 10:48 PM
This whole post is propaganda and is an utmost atrocity, now that may seem harsh but blatantly this author made this article without even knowing the concept of the group. This is a local version of the page which the authors of the page made after Buy/Sell Phresh Kicks; Philly which there is a marketplace mostly for shoes, shirts, electronics, ect. now with the exception of the rule no weapons this article is garbage.This is an out of school issue and it is not breaking any laws! You can say whatever you please to under our first amendment right Mr.Chakler so leave kids be kids and leave pedophile stalkers out of our children's page. Isn't that what were supposed to be worrying about? A 30 year old man stalking and searching through children's facebook profiles, isn't that a bit strange? Have a nice day! - Love 9th Grader at LM Highschool
John Paul May 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM
To the above comment. You must not know Lower Moreland very well.There is not a single kid in Lower Moreland that delivers newpapers. Also there are multiple landscaping businesses that do work in this township which does not give kids much of a chance at that. Kids have been selling these items and much worse for a long time. Just because it is more public now does not mean a thing. This will always go on and it will never come to an end. It is a world we live in today. So next time you comment you shoud really think about what you are saying.
Perry Liss May 19, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Kids just trying to make some money, none of you are capitalists? Chill out.
Eric S May 19, 2012 at 04:24 PM
This headline is very misleading. It comes across as if there is some secret black market among grade schoolers for assualt weapons. Paintball and Airsofts? And aren't these items supposed to be under the supervision of the parents? Kids are going to be kids and they're going to attempt anything they think they can get away with. Just like ALL of us back when we were kids. This is where parental responsibility comes in. If Little Johnnie is selling stolen electronics or knives over the internet Mommy and Daddy should have some clue....or when discovered take appropriate action. Not watching what and where your kids are going/doing on the internet is akin to having no idea where they disappeared to for the weekend. No reasonable parent would allow their 8th grader to roam free for a weekend, why would they think not monitoring internet activities is any different? Anyone not aware of the content available online is just plain stupid, lazy or completely uncaring. Myself, I'd have no issue with my kids selling these items online. What is an issue to me is my premission to do so and parental consent from the buyer. I'm not letting my 13y.o. sell a paintball/airsoft/airgun to another kid till I hear from the parents they are agreeing to the purchase. Then deliver it to those parents.
Lizzie Bennet May 19, 2012 at 05:48 PM
There is absolutely nothing wrong with kids wanting to sell their electronics to their classmates on the internet.This is the 21st century and riding on your bike selling newspapers is pointless, seeing that we have this thing called the internet that people get their information from. Honestly I don't think these kids should get in trouble for creating this page- they just wanted to have a place where people who have things to sell can sell them. Nothing wrong with that. The people who should be punished here and the kids, and their parents, who were stupid enough to post weapons on the site. These are the people who ruined it for everyone and who should be to blame. Not the kids who created the page itself The title as well as the article itself is really misleading. Not only does Mr. Chakler have wrong information, but he sensationalized this story to the extreme. I guess it was a slow week in the news of Lower Moreland because why else would a grown man be looking at kids facebook pages and writing bad articles about them at 5am?
Josh Cobert May 19, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Not sure what the wrong info is. Pretty clear in the posts at least some of the kids were selling knives band other weapons. Story seems accurate, and the critics just seem like parents trying to protect their kids. Kids screw up sometimes, the parents realize this. Were this not an issue the wouldn't be involved and the group would not have been taken down. The kids were clearly wrong.
Josh Cobert May 19, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Meant the police wouldn't be involved sorry for typo to all
Gabe Tkach May 19, 2012 at 11:41 PM
The kids are not wrong. The kids who made this group are actually probably smarter than you were when you were 14. It wasn't their fault kids posted knives on the site and they even made a "No Weapon" rule. I go to Murray Ave MS and I can assure you that no one was selling any weapons.
pat g May 20, 2012 at 12:07 AM
the kids are not to blame. the two ones who started it were really smart and should not get in trouble at all. i mean they made a no weapon rule and only 6-8 things were acctualy weapons then like 200 clothes,elctronics,hats,etc. then this weird dude creeps on these kids profiles to make a story saying that we sold stuff in school. first off nothing was sold in school, and even if there was how would this guy know??? its not the kids fault that acouple other kids ruined it whil the other ones were trying to make a honest buck. but no one freaks out that some RAPIST STALKS MIDDLE SCHOOLERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!! its an outrage and about 100% of all these comments that these people wrote are clearly jokes.
pat g May 20, 2012 at 12:13 AM
police got involved cause this idiot said we were selling stuff at school so they thought we were bringing knifes,and tasers to school, Rob Chalker is so stupid and makes propaganda just so he can make a hot story.
boobsack May 23, 2012 at 11:40 PM
this is not the kids faults just leave them alone .. they are all just kidding around dont u see.. y does your district have to but in to all the situations outside of school like fights and sales.. it is none of ur business of what they chose to do, there parents can take care of them themselves. just stop and mind your own business. thank you.
boobsack May 23, 2012 at 11:44 PM
these are obviously not stolen items because these are the kiids items that they have at home so stop complaining
boobsack May 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM
the school is just trying to make some money out of this story because they have nothing better to do in there lives then to just pick on the students and destroy their lives

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