Is Social Media the New Marketplace?

Earlier today I mentioned on Twitter that I was going to sell my Samsung NC10 as I’ve bought a MacBook Air. I wasn’t really expecting a response, but within minutes I had an email from somebody interested in it; a few emails later the funds are in my PayPal account and my Samsung is ready to ship.

This feels like quite a significant moment; selling via social media rather than “traditional” channels. Who’d have thought that we might regard eBay as old hat so quickly. In the time it would have taken me to list my notebook on eBay I’d sold it via Twitter with no hassle and no fees.

It’s doubly interesting to me as over the last year eBay seem to have been systematically dismantling the community aspect of their site with changes to process and most importantly feedback which now favour the buyer rather than the seller. It was this community rating of both buyers and sellers that was eBay’s USP I felt, and the thing that gave people the confidence to trade with unknown buyers and sellers. eBay is becoming an online shopping mall rather than a community powered site.

Social Media is all about connecting people and it shows in how many different ways those connections can work for us.