Nightmare on buy and sell platforms

Oh, the horror! VarageSale shows how it can help you avoid "stranger danger."



As children, we were taught not to talk to or take candy from strangers. And yet, as grown-ups, we not only talk to strangers online but invite them to our houses to look at (and hopefully take off our hands) that misshapen chair we inherited from grandpa Joe.

Maybe you’re not too keen on the idea, but you do it anyway. However, VarageSale wants buyers and sellers of used items to know there’s another way, which it’s communicating in a new campaign from John St.

The “family-friendly app” (which features a community of people that have been verified via their Facebook profiles, along with a personal bio and reviews, called Praises) recently conducted a survey of 1,000 Americans, with 51% of people admitting that they actually feel unsafe when meeting anonymous buyers and sellers in person.

“Buying and selling online can be intimidating for a lot of people, especially women,” says Angus Tucker, ECD at John St. “That whole ‘having some total stranger come to your house to buy your stuff’ thing is a real pain point.”

The below spot, called “Nightmare on Main Street,” shows the fear (exaggerated as it may be) some people feel when buying and selling items using other platforms that don’t follow the same strict sharing policy as VarageSale.

The VarageSale app was created in 2012 by Tami Zuckerman after she was creeped out by the idea of shopping with strangers. She and her husband (who are both from Toronto) built the app to include members that use their real identity, making  its 85% female member base more comfortable knowing who they’re buying their clothing, accessories, baby gear and home decor items from.


Advertiser: VarageSale
Agency : john st.
ECDs:  Angus Tucker, Stephen Jurisic
CD: Marketa Krivy
Copywriter:  Sanya Grujicic
Art Director:  Andrew Bernardi
Account Team Lead: Melissa Tobenstein
Producer: Cas Binnington, Sharon Langlotz
Production House: Kith + Kin
Director: Tom Feiler
DOP: Matt Johnson, Alan Lukatela
Editor: Matt Johnson
Executive Producer: Michi Lepik-Stahl
Production House: Boombox Sound
Music Supervisor: Stephanie Pigott
Executive Producer: Umber Hamid
Post Production House: Red Lab