A new study from U-M School of Information researchers looks at how Facebook “Buy/Sell/Trade” groups work and why they are successful. The research team focused on “Mom-to-Mom” groups (also called Mom-2-Mom or M2M), in which mothers buy and sell gently used baby items, such as clothes, toys, and books. They offer the items for porch pick-up (PPU) on a designated Facebook page and send private messages (PMs) to disclose the location and other pertinent information. Purchasers show up at a home, leave money behind, and retrieve items from the porch. The U-M researchers found that moms turn to M2M groups because they perceive them to be safe and trustworthy. “Even though Facebook does not offer any conventional e-commerce mechanisms to support trust, such as search engines, reputation systems or guarantees the way sites like eBay do, moms felt they could trust other moms they were transacting with,” said lead author Carol Moser, a doctoral student at the School of Information.