Quinnipiac grad moves yard sales online

Rachel Cogut

Have you ever been sketched out while trying to buy from or sell to a stranger you have never met over Craigslist or eBay? Thanks to a Quinnipiac alumnus, there is now an alternative option available.

Three years ago when Craig Tortorella, a Quinnipiac sophomore at the time, experienced “a series of dangerous events” while trying to purchase furniture from a seller on Craigslist, he came up with the idea for a solution to this common problem.

He created MyCollegeYardSale.com, a website specifically designed for college students to buy, sell and trade products.

“From when I was freshman in high school to being a graduate at Quinnipiac, I always had a dream of starting up my own company,” he said of his website, which launched two weeks ago.

Tortorella runs the company out of his hometown of Syosset, N.Y. with his mother, Janet, and sister, Nicole.

“I chose to work with my family because I felt the best thing to do in the early stages of any start-up company is to turn to the people you trust the most,” he said.

To avoid scams by users who are not actually college students, access to the website has been restricted to only include those who have an email address from an educational institution. Safety is a number one priority for the team at My College Yard Sale, Tortorella said.

“When I first began to develop the idea, I always heard of people getting scammed on virtual marketplaces,” Tortorella said, “You really never knew what you were buying, or if the person you were buying from could be trusted.”

On My College Yard Sale, one can buy, sell and trade with members of their own college community, which Tortorella reasoned, should put site users a bit more at ease.

The website can also be utilized to ease the stress level regarding fiscal matters for a generation of college students who continue to face the burden of mounting expenses. Students can buy and sell products on MyCollegeYardSale.com to purchase and get rid of items at a better price. Furthermore, they can do so without having to worry about the dangers of the online marketplace, as one must when using sites such as Craigslist and eBay.

Public relations efforts for the website have been limited as it has only just gotten off the ground in recent weeks. Tortorella is looking to take advantage of his roots at Quinnipiac, however, and reach out to the school for help because “that is where the whole idea began.”

If granted permission by the school, Tortorella has ideas for an advertising campaign on campus this spring, including fliers, a table in Tator Hall, and information sessions with students and resident assistants to discuss Internet safety. He hopes to culminate this effort with a community on-campus yard sale on the quad, during which students would be able to bring whatever items they wanted to sell, and would set up their own personal yard sale.