The Facebook Black Market

If you didn’t already know, let me be the first to tell you that there are several sub-layers of e-commerce that exist on Facebook. There are groups. Hundreds. Probably even thousands (or more!) of groups in which people “B/S/T” (Buy-Sell-Trade) or “FSOT” (For Sale Or Trade) and gosh knows what else. In Pittsburgh, baby and kid items resale is hugely popular. A couple of the Moms’ groups that I’m in are also very active (and helpful!) with ‘Mom inquiries’ so when I was pondering about what type of hip-sling to acquire for my very-attached-to-me-baby, I decided to pose the question to a group.

The feedback was very helpful. At first. I basically wanted to know, “Is there anything better or less expensive than this fancy $100 (minimum) Sakura Bloom that I keep seeing all over the place?” My baby loves being carried but my arms, back and other carriers (Ergo and Moby) were not great for what I currently needed.

First, I learned you can actually use the Ergo on your hip (and this was before noon! I felt so accomplished with this tidbit even if I did nothing else all day!) but I tried it as soon as a few Moms told me about it and still it didn’t seem to work for me (the straps seemed to hit my baby in the face and she was trying to crawl out … I think she thought this new “hold” was a game). Then, as the responses poured in, I learned about 10 others brands/types of carriers that I had never even heard of, which, according to each Mom, was awesome and potentially just as expensive so I was back to square one. I was on the verge of getting ready to research each and all but then another Mom chimed in, “I tried the Sakura. Twice. And it wasn’t for me.” That comment just set me on the path back to the Sakura (another Mom told me it was her favorite but she didn’t buy because of the cost) – so I asked the Mom who had tried it but didn’t like it, “Would you be willing to sell it?” She was!

So she and I decided to meet later today at a half-way point (which I am still eternally grateful for) and I suggested we meet in front of an LA Fitness that “I constantly drive by which always seems to have an empty parking lot.”

With baby in tow and a little bit of excitement for what I anticipate will be the greatest carrier of all time [I’m dedicated to the task and don’t mind having to use it 15 times before I fall in love], I set off for what would be the world’s busiest LA Fitness parking lot (duh! I drive around during the day, when people work, and am home, feeding kids, when most people go to the gym!”

But no worries … her “big black truck” was already parked in front of the LA Fitness with hazard lights on. Let me set the scene further … it is raining, dark and my baby is crying in her car-seat …

As such, I walk around to the sidewalk, grab the baby carrier (I don’t want to leave the baby crying in the car!) and head over to the big, black truck. I stand next to the passenger side window. And wave. The woman waves back. After a few seconds, I wave again. She rolls down the window. “Hi!” I say, “I’m here for the Sakura Bloom.” She looks at me like I have 4 heads. “I’m sorry?” she asks. So I confirm, “The sakura bloom. From facebook!” She gazes at me. And then, someone appearing to be her teenage daughter, pushes past me to rush into the car from the rain. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were the woman from Facebook who I am meeting. I am meeting someone here to purchase a Sakura bloom [her eyes look scared] – the baby sling.” “Ok!” she says as she closes the window. And then she drives away. And then my baby starts wailing again and all I can think is, “Oh my god. I think she thinks I was meeting someone to purchase drugs! [I did have cash in hand] I think she thinks “Sakura Bloom” is some kind of code for some street drug! She’s probably driving home telling her daughter,’whatever you do, don’t ever try Sakura Bloom.'”

I rush to put the pissed-off baby back in the car and out of the rain. I am a little embarrassed. Very humored. I’m also partially afraid someone saw the whole scene and is going to call the cops saying, “There is a Mom outside the gym, trying to buy drugs and she has her baby with her!”

The whole thing has my mind racing while I laugh and think about whether or not people use their babies to cover a drug ring (probably – I watch tv sometimes) and then suddenly my facebook seller pulls up behind my car. She gets out (I wasn’t about to get out a second time!) and we exchange a giggle as I tell her that previously I knocked on some stranger’s window and I’m pretty sure that lady thinks “Sakura Bloom” is code for drugs. This all happened a few hours ago but I still think it’s pretty funny so even though I should be sleeping now, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share something that might make a pregnant woman pee in her pants. Maybe I’m also secretly hoping that the Mom with the teenage daughter will see this blog post and it will confirm that I do not buy or use street drugs? Maybe. But I mean, she’s clearly of the generation in which “baby slings” barely existed (I think her teen was 15?) so who knows. (A girl can dream, right?)

As for the Sakura? I don’t know yet. I was too tired to look at videos, read pamphlets and play with my real-life-baby-doll. I’ll get back to you on that some other day 😉

Maternity Girl sells new and resale maternity and nursing apparel in Pittsburgh. She also rents maternity dresses (locally) and provides styling services for maternity and breastfeeding photoshoots. Maternity Girl is the creator of Mama’s MilkBox – a nursing apparel subscription service; it’s where fashion and function meet for a heck of a lot of fun! If you want to see what she’s up to now, be sure to “Like” her on Facebook!


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