San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

SDSU students seek secure college-centered marketplace

Challenges of buying second-hand items from popular platforms prompt a shifting interest toward college marketplaces
Gabrielle Houser

During the academic year, college students resort to purchasing what’s most affordable and accessible. Whether they’re buying furniture, school materials or resold concert tickets, students are taking advantage of the best offers on popular platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and Nextdoor.

Despite looking for low-cost options, San Diego State University students may be vulnerable to encountering scams and suspicious sellers, regardless of their familiarity with navigating the online marketplace.

Ramses Rivera, a senior business administration marketing major and transfer student, dealt with questionable interactions on Facebook Marketplace while searching for tickets to this year’s Baja Beach Fest.

“It’s kind of crazy because their profiles look very legit with pictures all the way from 2017. It would be super misleading (because) when we get to the actual deal, (handlers) would be super shady, and be like, ‘Oh yeah, I could send you an email,’ but I don’t need the email, I need the confirmation,” Rivera said. 

“I would even try to get on call with them and they would always be like, ‘Sorry I’m busy with work.’ Or ‘Sorry, I can’t talk to you but I could text you.’” 

Despite hopping on a call with a potential seller and sending a $20 security deposit to verify his identity, Rivera was immediately blocked on Facebook Messenger.

“That’s probably the first and last time I’m buying tickets off of Facebook Marketplace,” Rivera said.

For first and second-year students, purchasing items online can become challenging due to limited transportation.

Jaslean Bhangoo, a second-year accounting major, has been unable to purchase a much-needed desk chair on Facebook Marketplace.

“All of the desk chairs that I’m finding are too far, and then I have no way of transporting them over here and if you ask them to deliver, they charge a fee,” Bhanghoo said.

The desk chairs that Bhanghoo is searching for come within a 15 to 20-minute radius of her residence. Beyond the distance, Bhanghoo voices concern about interacting with unknown individuals online.

“You never know who’s on the other end,” Bhanghoo said.I’m a college student (and) a female. It can get dangerous buying stuff online like that.”

Between student challenges and scam concerns, a pressing question arises: Are there any marketplaces specifically designed for college students? 

Improving the convenience of selling items among the college community is not a new topic of conversation.

Students like Bhangoo are open to utilizing a college-centered marketplace. She believes the process of selling to college students is safer and more convenient.

Tanner McCraney, a former student from the University of Mississippi, resonates with individuals currently navigating the current online marketplace. His experience inspired him to co-found the college marketplace app rumie.

On college move-in day, McCraney was left with a couple of lamps in his dorm room that he needed to get rid of. Ultimately, he decided to use Facebook Marketplace.

“I tried to sell on Facebook Marketplace, and I basically got robbed in a Walmart parking lot over five lamps,” McCraney said.  

After this encounter, McCraney began to ask students about their online buying and selling habits. He found that most students rely on various social media and marketplace platforms, prompting him to move forward with the creation of one accessible college marketplace application.

In 2021, the rumie app was developed to help simplify the process of buying, selling and renting items among college students, ranging from furniture, textbooks, tickets and more.

The fourth version of the rumie app — which was released on Aug. 28 — introduces new features, including nationwide shipping for users, saved addresses to streamline the buying and selling process, a rental system to simplify item renting durations and the integration of Stripe payment for secure payment processing. 

The rumie app also requires students to verify their identity by signing up with their university email address, binding users to their school’s code of conduct.    

“If anything happens, it’s super easy to report it because you know exactly who they are,” McCraney said. 

The emergence of college marketplaces has the potential to revolutionize the buying, selling and renting experience for not only SDSU students, but for college students across the United States. 

“Our goal is that (rumie) will become the key to everyone’s college experience,” McCraney said. “From the second you get on campus, you can find deals to outfit your dorm to the second you leave and you sell all your stuff.”

About the Contributors
Jazlyn Dieguez, '23-24 Social Media Editor
Jazlyn Dieguez (she/her/hers) is a fourth-year journalism major minoring in creative editing and publishing from Salinas, California. She possesses a strong drive to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, showcasing her talents across various mediums including social media, broadcasting and writing. Prior to assuming the role of social media editor for The Daily Aztec, Dieguez served as a staff writer for The Daily Aztec's Arts and Culture section and held the position of vice president of writing & copy for The Look Magazine, SDSU's first student-run arts, fashion and culture publication. Currently, Dieguez has taken on the responsibilities of vice president for SDSU's Society of Professional Journalists chapter and social media editor for SDSU's National Association of Hispanic Journalists chapter. Apart from her academic pursuits, Dieguez enjoys binge-watching TV shows, discovering new music, traveling to new locations and staying up-to-date with the latest trends in fashion.
Gabrielle Houser, '23-24 Graphics Editor