If you’re studying in Leeds, you’ve bought a ticket on Facebook, getting entry to an event that’s sold out, or maybe getting a deal on a last-minute ticket that would otherwise go unused. For the most part, it all goes smoothly, but still too often, people get scammed. Not only do you lose your money, but it’s sometimes only when you get to the door that you find out you won’t be getting in with a dodgy knock-off, leaving you stranded with a disappointing night ahead.
Rebecca De Beukelaer is trying to solve this problem, and a few others. Her app, UniSalad, is a platform only accessible through your university sign up information, making sure that all the users are exclusively students and individuals cannot make multiple accounts, and anyone that tries to scam people can be reported with ease.
But it’s much more than that. The platform is a one-stop-shop for anything you’ve had to post on a Facebook student group; that you’ve lost your wallet, or you need a lift to another city, or you’re looking to find someone to take over your tenancy. UniSalad covers all these bases with dedicated pages for Buy and Sell, Lost and Found, Housing and Travel.
What might be most useful is the ability to set a notification for a certain ticket going up for sale, saving you the time of digging through the reems of tickets you aren’t looking for. When a ticket is sold, it is marked as such, and another notification is sent round to anyone interested in buying. This way, the whole process is sped up and made simplified, letting users really get the most out of a potentially vast network of fellow students. Importantly, though, the UniSalad app is separate to Facebook, they can be more stringent with privacy as well, promising to never sell users data to 3rd party companies.
Nottingham was the first city to get UniSalad, with the app finding massive success. “It’s had a really good reception from students,” said Rebecca. “It’s scam-free, easy to navigate, with everything you’d need built in.” Having just launched in Leeds this Freshers, Rebecca is looking forward to growing the app in a new city. “There are 614 registered users in Leeds in a week and a half after launch,” she said, and they’ve got ideas to get more people on-board in the next few weeks. “For a week from the 4th November, we’re going to be planting a tree for every two new users,” she added.
It’s worth checking out UniSalad for a cleaner, easier alternative to the current standard of Facebook pages. As more people sign up, the platform will get better and better the platform for everyone. Fingers crossed UniSalad will make a real difference in preventing scammers from taking advantage and making it easy for students to find what they need without wasting time.