“Local” Facebook Group Harare Bidding Wars, gains popularity as a leading online auction site for secondhand stuff

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
Facebook Groups, Facebook, e-Auction, online classifieds

Facebook Groups have easily become a great example of how clusters of people on popular online platforms can create communities that offer a lot of value and convenience.

Which is why people use them as online classifieds platforms, helping bring customers and service providers or sellers together. It’s also why Facebook has been developing services around this opportunity.

That’s what Harare Bidding Wars, a secret Facebook Group targeted at people in the capital city is doing, albeit with a different approach. It works as an online auctioning platform for people who want to get rid of unwanted “preloved” stuff.

Any member who wants to auction off something uploads a photo of the item, puts a name and brief description of it, sets a starting bid price (in dollars), along with the payment method, the time and date the bidding ends (it’s a maximum of 72 hours) plus the place of collection or delivery options. Saying just Harare doesn’t count.

Members can put a maximum of 5 bid posts a day and the seller is obliged to tell people who won the bid. Items posted on the group shouldn’t be shared on other platforms as well and there’s all its of items not allowed there like alcohol, firearms, drugs, animal furs and pets.

The group has a list of rules that help maintain order around how the bid and buy process works while its administrators and moderators also keep member activity in check.

So far Harare Bidding Wars’ group membership has grown to 15,765 and a cursory look at transactions carried out shows a lot of activity.

Considering some of the controls like a strict approach to how the group operates, the volume of auction activity is impressive and highlights how there’s a huge market for second-hand goods. The team behind Harare Bidding Wars managed to tap into that using one social media platform that’s easily accessible to a lot of Zimbabweans.

The more “traditional” online auction type of platforms like eBay, Craigslist or Etsy or local attempts at such businesses haven’t made a splash in the Zimbabwean market with issues like the cost of going online plus the scepticism that online commerce has faced in the past having been factors in blocking these ideas.

Harare Bidding Wars’ success so far does, however, suggest that people want to sell their used stuff somewhere. Doing it online, through a platform that has made a lot of must-haves like images, referrals, a sense of community, and the network effect possible just makes it easier.


  1. Evans Marufu

    How do I become a member?

  2. tinm@n

    How do the group owners make money?

    Or did I miss it somewhere?

    1. Raymond Swart

      They don’t make money off it yet, not sure what their plan is but building the community first before launching a brick and mortar business is a great idea. Propertybook.co.zw did this and managed to use the community to launch their business.

  3. Theresa

    I have posted a Ad on Bidding this morning, still waiting if approved ?

  4. Peebee Brown

    I was in the group now it has kind of disappeared. What is going on?

    1. Leo

      Let me try getting you back in Phill if you search it you won’t find it its that secret now

  5. Anne Buchanan Medeiros

    I can’t get onto harare bidding wars – I used to be a member, what has happened ?

  6. humphrey

    Its hard to get accepted . Think they need an app now

  7. Tate

    How do I become a member of Harare Bidding Wars

  8. Senelani Zirobwa

    May I please join the group

  9. chriss

    please may you add me to your list

  10. crispen

    may i join the grp please

  11. S abbott

    Hi,could you please provide me with a link from where I can read Harare’s bidding wars rules etc
    Thank you.

  12. Leo

    There is another easier growing group to join they even want new admins (volontiers) by mark lyoric called Facebook auction (Harare)

  13. fortunate

    can you add me p1ease

  14. Jane Swanepoel

    Good day! please could you send me details on how to join Bidding Wars. My details are below.
    Thank you.

  15. plaxedes tsoro

    May you please help me join the group

  16. Leo

    Just search for “Zim bidding wars” im always waiting to approve new members in our group

  17. bishop scott

    too many bogus groups with the name. How do we distinguish