Last week I went to a great swap run by The Swapaholics, co-hosts of last year’s Frugal Festival. Swaps come in all different sizes and shapes. Some are free. Some you have to pay to get in. Some are in person. Some are virtual. You can swap everything from houses to horses. Either way, swaps are a big money saver.
To get the most value out of a swap, here are the five things you need to know:
- The merchandise is tied to the people who attend the event. If you are looking for plus-size clothes and everyone at the swap is pencil thin, you won’t find anything but accessories. The best way to find the kind of swap you want is to search online for “swap”+ “your city”+ “qualifier.” The qualifier is the kind of swap that you are looking for such as mom, kid, toys, plants, plus-size, books, or recipes. So you might search “swap Los Angeles kids.”
- I believe in swapping karma. If you bring great stuff you will find great stuff. If you bring junk, don’t be surprised if you go home empty handed. Don’t think this is true? I have seen it many times.
- Be nice, especially to the people who are putting on the swap. It is hard work to get the swap together. Thank them as you leave.
- Bring business cards to a swap. You never know who you will meet. It’s a great place to network and find new swapping/bargain friends.
- Be prepared to swap at a moment’s notice by keeping a box or bag somewhere in your home. When you find a swappable item, toss it in. If you don’t have a swap coming up, donate it to a charity and get a receipt. Start a new collection for next month.
I LOVE swaps because I find new-to-me stuff, meet fun people, and find a new home for my stuff. Last week’s swap had free* champagne and pretzels. I got a fabulous scarf and leather purse. My daughter got a bag of classy tops that she is showing off at her college classes. (*There was a charge to get into this swap, so the champagne wasn’t really free – but it flowed freely.) I’d love to hear about your experiences at swaps.