Fake “nikeys” are among the goods to be purveyed on the Geelong Online Sales Facebook page.
YOU can find all sorts of strange stuff on the web.
Most of it is submerged in the depths of the aptly named Dark Net, an underground exchange where you can sniff out just about anything if you know where to look.
But let’s forget about the Dark Net for a sec.
Geelong has its own shadowy virtual marketplace, one that flies under the radar of consumer affairs. You’ve probably heard of it. In fact, you might well be a member.
In its early days, Geelong Online Sales started out as a tight-knit Facebook group where members could peddle their wares and shop around for bargains. Now, the group’s ranks have swelled to almost 70, 000, with dozens of transactions occurring daily.
Users bat around lingo like “NIL”, which stands for “next in line, ” or “ONO” (“or nearest offer”).
Additionally, they’re expected to adhere to a strict set of rules, including:
NO bartering of pets, alcohol, weapons or illegal items of any kind;
NO “bumping” — commenting on your post to shunt it to the top of people’s newsfeeds — more than once per 24 hours; and
CERTAINLY no arguing with the admins, who reserve the right to “interpret any rule or non-specific rule at their own discretion”.
Full disclosure: despite the expectations that come with its name, I’ve never actually sold — or bought, for that matter — anything on Geelong Online Sales. But that hasn’t stopped me from sticking around for the (highly entertaining) spats and squabbles that inevitably occur between fellow members.
Some of it is unintentional comedy gold. For instance, there was the time someone touted a mobility scooter with the caption: “Thing for disabled person. Selling due to death.” It was advertised with a dirt-crusted spade in the basket.
Don’t ask. I don’t know. And I’m not sure I want to.In the market for a “really cool” ram’s skull with painted horns? You’ll find it at Geelong Online Sales.
All joking aside, occasionally things can get really scary. I still remember the time a relative of mine hawked their dinged-up Honda, slapping up a pic and an asking price in the group. It wasn’t long before offers rolled in, but when negotiations fell through with one prospective buyer, he cussed them out over Facebook instant messenger.
“F- you. I know where you live.”
Just to be safe, my relative parked the car a couple of streets away, but that didn’t stop them from waking up the next day to find it had been graffitied. Maybe it was just a coincidence but, then again, maybe not.
The trouble with groups like these is there’s no way to tell if sellers are legitimate. For all you know, you could be receiving stolen goods, or contributing to some dole bludger’s undeclared income.
On the other hand, the group is so Geelong, so culturally relevant, that it’s basically a staple at this point.
Who knows? Maybe when tourists shuttle in they won’t be coming to see the floating Christmas tree but Geelong Online Sales. Anything’s possible.