HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - COVID-19 has caused massive disruptions to our lives, and many families are under financial stress.
Online marketplaces like OfferUp have seen a major increase in users, with parents teaching from home, workers outfitting home offices and people turning their basements and backyards into home gyms.
People are turning to the Internet to find items they need.
“We've seen record high engagement and across the marketplace,” said Natalie Angelillo, the OfferUp Vice President of Community.
She said OfferUp conducted a recent survey among customers that gave insight into the recent the spike in business.
“The thing that really hit home was really understanding the degree to which people are using online marketplaces and local marketplaces like OfferUp as as a viable sort of alternative to their commerce needs,” Angelillo said.
She said since the start of the pandemic, OfferUp has seen a 40% increase in buyers using their shipping feature.
She said three times more people are buying video games, with a 130% increase in searches for home exercise equipment and a 1000% increase in searches for puzzles.
“Some people are going old-school, as they are looking for alternative entertainment options at home,” Angelillo said.
Who could have predicted a such a hard comeback for puzzles?
OfferUp said they also saw many people donating free items to their neighbors in need.
“You just saw these really special moments of community and neighborliness across the platform,” Angelillo said.
Law enforcement warn people you need to protect yourself when buying from online marketplaces like meeting people in public areas, during daylight hours. They say to try to get as much information from the person you are buying from and read reviews. They suggested meeting outside of a police department.
“We have tons of safety features that are part of our app,” Angelillo said.