Have you heard of Mountain Brook Trading (MBT)? This Facebook page, started by Laura Silsbee, set up to allow friends to buy and sell their gently used wares has taken on a life of it’s own. Created in mid-November with roughly 200 members, Mountain Brook Trading has now grown to over 7,000! In order to keep up with the approval process, as new members and all items posted must be approved and conduct must be overseen (anyone else remember the Singing Santa incident?), Laura enlisted the help of a friend, Jennifer Ware, and the two are now up to their eyeballs working over time to keep MBT running smoothly. As a testament to its popularity, similar sites have since popped up in surrounding areas, such as Homewood and Vestavia.
If you’re new to Facebook or just not that familiar with the pages aspect, MBT can be a bit confusing. The site owner has created a guidelines file (found under FILES at the top right section of the page) to explain how the site works and help answer any questions. The guidelines file is quite long and detailed, so for all of the visual learners like me out there, I thought I’d give you a little tutorial here.
This is a members only page, so you must be invited by a friend or request to be added. Then, once you are approved as a member, you can buy and sell to your heart’s desire. You can browse items by category simply by clicking the “photos” tab at the top of the site. There you will find all the categories. Click on any category and you will see all the items listed. See something you like? Click on that item and post a comment indicating to the seller that you are interested. From there you will communicate with the seller via private message (pm) and arrange to see and purchase the item.
Select the category you want to browse.
Then once you find something you like, just make a comment (not a “like”) indicating that you are interested.
The first person to comment has first dibs – there is no bidding, just first come, first served.
Now it’s time to pm (private message) where you and the seller will arrange to meet, and since this is Mountain Brook Trading, those who live outside the area are expected to come to Mountain Brook to meet up.
When you meet up, you can either buy the item or pass, in which case it goes to the next in line who then meets and decides. It can be a bit tedious and time consuming, so one should only comment “interested” if he/she really does intend to buy.
Selling is much the same as buying. It is best to post your item directly to the photo album and add the details in a comment. This ensures that your item is in an album and shows up in the news feed. (If you just post a photo to the news feed, you will then have to go back and add it to an album if it doesn’t sell immediately.) Here’s how to list an item for sale:
If this is your first time to post to albums you must write in the MBT status update “Please remove my approval status so I can post to albums.” Then wait to be approved. Next, choose your album.
Now select “Add Photos” from the upper right and upload your image.
Upload your photo and hit “Post Photos” located at the bottom right. You’re not done yet! Now you must scroll to the end of the album to find your photo. Click on it and make a comment. This is what will prompt your photo to show up in the news feed and not just the album.
When someone makes a comment on your post, you will receive a notification.
Respond back and seal the deal…
So that’s it. Easy, right? No wonder there are over 7,000 members buying and selling, and everywhere I go people are checking their phones for updates, passes, new listings, meet ups and sold items.
If you decide to take the leap and join the MBT frenzy, just know that it can be very addictive for both buyers and sellers. You will find items of all kinds on the site and, in my opinion, some things which might be better suited for donation or, dare I say, even the rubbish bin…
Read on for a snapshot of what you can expect to find.
After much browsing, I discovered these lovelies…
But I also ran across an abundance of items, similar to the ones pictured below, that make you go hhmmm…
Seriously, anything goes.
With over 7,000 members you can find just about anything and everything on the site. Laura tells me she has plans to streamline in the future and she and Jennifer are already actively monitoring what items get approved for posting. I’m looking forward to seeing her vision for the site move forward. Kudos to you, Laura, and happy trading to the rest of you!
To see the Mountain Brook Trading FB page, and request membership, click here.