The Charlotte Moms in Charge (MICIT) Facebook group became something of a phenomenon in the past year, becoming a go-to source for thousands of women looking to buy and sell used items within a circle of trusted friends.
Discussion groups also proliferated on topics including children, travel and home decor. (No more wondering who to hire to tile your bathroom.)
Founder Sandra Kraus announced earlier this year the group would move to a standalone website, but there’s been a lot of online anxiety lately since she announced the Facebook group would shut down this Thursday, on Thanksgiving.
Some group members have pleaded for the group to stay open just through the holidays. Others are concerned that the new website won’t offer the same level of trust/privacy or that the selection of items sold will decline.
Here’s a typical exchange of frustrated MICIT members.
“NO!!!!! Say it isn’t so!!!! All I want for Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday is for someone to lead me to the path for the new micit! Help, please!”
“I totally get it that it’s going away and I’m totally on board with using the new site, I just honestly can’t figure it out. I’ve spent hours going through my PM’s and the MICIT sites writing down the sellers i like to buy from, but I can’t find them on the new site.”
“We should give the new site a chance after all of the time the micit creator spent managing these pages. I realize it is a change, but it was created with love to try and keep buying/selling safe for you.”
Another group, Mom-to-Mom Exchange, has popped up and is trying to fill the void.
The Facebook page has similarly structured subgroups (Baby & Maternity, Food and Recipes, Travel, etc.). It already has nearly 3,000 members.
Part of the appeal is exclusivity, both with MICIT and the new clones. Unlike most Facebook buy and sell groups, you have to know other members to be added.
[Agenda Story: Your guide to Charlotte’s Facebook yard sales]
The new MICIT site, which has been in testing this fall, is based on a similar concept. (MICIT also spread to Atlanta, Columbia and Raleigh, so Charlotte isn’t the only city affected.)
When you sign up, you can select your own network and whether you’d like to only buy from friends or friends of friends. (You can sign up with your email address or by linking your Facebook account, which automatically searches for your friend network.) It’s free to join.
Of course, success hinges on thousands of MICIT loyalists making the switch and starting to sell their items on the site. Otherwise, lack of selection becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophesy.
For now, take heart and remember to be kind.