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Notre Dame alum launches buying, selling website at Saint Mary’s

| Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Eddie McDonough, a 2011 Notre Dame graduate, founded a website called Neighbormate so students can buy and sell items online using a platform that is guaranteed to be safe and scam-free.

McDonough came up with the idea when he was the victim of a scam on Craigslist, he said in an email.

“The year Notre Dame played in the national championship game, my friends and I attempted to rent a house for the weekend through Craigslist,” he said. “We spoke to the owner on the phone and the pictures looked great, so we sent him money for the required deposit.

“Long story short, as soon as we sent him the money, we never heard back from him again — it was a scam. After much stress and turmoil, we were lucky enough to get out deposit check back, but it still let a bad taste in my mouth.”

Junior Claire Condon, one of the Saint Mary’s ambassadors for Neighbormate, said the website, as well as the newly released app, give students a new way to buy and sell online. She said people can sign up with a verified school or work email address, which will help connect them with other users in their networks.

Condon said the website is a great way for students to sell and buy items online.

“It’s a great avenue to resell textbooks, dorm decor or clothes,” Condon said. “What makes it different than other buying and selling sites is it takes out the ‘stranger danger’ of online resell. By connecting you with users in your networks, there’s a better chance that the person you’re buying [from] and selling [to] is a trusted classmate.”

Junior Megan Tobin, another Saint Mary’s ambassador, said she is involved with public relations for the website to gain experience for her future career in advertising.

“I thought Neighbormate was an awesome idea, and I wanted to be a part of it,” she said. “I work with a team to run marketing campaigns for Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross College students.”

According to McDonough, Saint Mary’s is the first community to have access to Neighbormate.

“We started at Saint Mary’s first because of the tight-knit community that is in place,” he said. “Before launching at Notre Dame or any larger schools, we really want to focus on Saint Mary’s and develop a strategy that we can successfully replicate at other institutions.”

Though he has not started marketing at Notre Dame, McDonough said he hopes to expand to have ambassadors at the University starting next semester.

Condon said Neighbormate is a good addition to the College’s campus.

“Saint Mary’s is already such a tight-knit group,” she said. “Now we can start shopping out of each other’s closets.”

McDonough said his time at Notre Dame gave him the sense of community and trust that he hopes Neighbormate can bring to other people.

“I felt safe buying books from an older classmate in my section, and I trusted the guys across the hall when I bought their futon,” he said. “Neighbormate gives this same feeling to users, but at a large scale. Now you can see what other people are selling from across the quad right on the app. It’s stress-free and makes the process much more secure.”

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About Nicole Caratas

Nicole is a senior English Writing and Humanistic Studies double major at Saint Mary's College. Now a senior news writer, she previously served as the Saint Mary's Editor. She was born in real Chicago but grew up in the suburbs, and she currently lives in Opus Hall.

Contact Nicole