In October, an online thrift store business emerged at Seton Hall after four students created an Instagram account to sell secondhand items for students on campus.
The owners of the account, Jessica Haspel, a junior marketing major; Simran Patel, a senior marketing major; Benjamin Bakaletz, senior marketing and management major; and Ryan Simoneau, a senior marketing and management major, created this account for a semester-long project for their digital marketing class. Products are sold within the Seton Hall community, mainly for students.
“We had a couple of different options,” Haspel said. “But it’s about using social media marketing in order to either create our own brand, which is what we decided to do, or create our own business. There are other options too, like you could be given a brand by the professor and then work upon that or we could pick a brand that we wanted to improve their social media. So, we decided to go big and create our own company.”
Items that are being sold include textbooks, clothing, technology and other useful items for students.
Haspel spread the word on the account, sending follow requests to students on Instagram from the store’s account and posting on Instagram stories every other day. She said there is also a Facebook page to be more connected to the parents and to direct Facebook friends to the Instagram page. Other than digital advertising, Haspel also posted flyers around campus.
Haspel said this account will be a great way for students to connect. “People on campus are generally on a budget, so by buying second hand is better on the wallet as well,” she said.
Patel added that this account will create a stronger sense of community while buying and selling items. She said the account allows the buyer to feel reassured that their purchase is going to be worth the money, plus it helps the student easily find the things they want.
“Our page is similar to Poshmark or Craigslist, but you never know how sketchy the sellers on those sites can be or it takes too long to find the items you want,” Patel said. “By keeping SHU Thrifting to just the Seton Hall community, it allows buyers and sellers to be able to know the type of people they are selling to.”
Simoneau said, “I believe this account will help allow students to make a few extra dollars by selling their items that otherwise would just sit in their rooms. If enough students became familiar with the page and used it to its full potential, they all would be able to find something they were interested in selling and buying.”
Although the account was originally intended for student sales, the creators also want to open the opportunity for parents to sell items from home.
The owners are working on creating a Venmo page to receive payments. They are holding the earnings for the company until the Venmo page is officially set up.
The account is already reaching success for the owners and student sellers alike. Taylor Patnode, a freshman business major, found the idea to be great for college students.
“Many college students don’t have an abundance of money and buying books and supplies can be a huge burden,” Patnode said. “Having a platform that students can buy these things along with clothes and other items definitely takes some pressure off of us and how much of our savings we have to spend.
“I also think it’s great because alumni who might have thrown away used books, supplies, or clothes, now have a place that they can sell these items and keep them in use.”
Victoria Rossi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.