BY TRACY WRIGHT
In the past, the only ways people could sell and buy used items for less were through yard sales, classified ads and via word of mouth. Since technology has advanced, sites like Craigslist have provided more localized commerce to the consumer. But safety issues with Craigslist, like misleading ads and pornography have forced people to create their own ways of buying, selling and trading items to reach people more safely and effectively.
Enter Swip Swap Facebook pages. Swip Swap, is a Facebook group that allows users to sell or buy items for those who live in local areas. Swip Swap pages were born out of Facebook Marketplace which is geared toward buying and selling in a local area.
Typically, these groups are managed by administrators who have to approve membership and who post stringent rules for posting and selling. The administrators will do some vetting of potential new members, making it safer than other sites.
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Swip Swap becomes a posting board with photos of items for sale like home decor, clothes, shoes, baby items and more. The Gainesville Swip Swap page has rules which includes banning spam, go fund me promotions or promotion of someone’s own business or multilevel marketing products like Avon, Jamberry or Rodan and Fields. Disrespectful or rude behavior including foul language are removed without warning.
Tere are several administrators of the page to help enforce rules and admit approved members or delete ones who do not follow proper rules.
“Some people have really great stuff and sometimes it’s just what someone else is looking for. Before Swip Swap, I would just basically throw things out for lack of knowing what else to do with it,” said administrator Heike Youngblood. “When we were moving, I had a great trundle bed. I was going to throw it out, but I decided to list it on Swip Swap. It sold in 20 minutes. I made
a little extra money and it made a little girl so very happy when they came to pick it up.” The attractive part about Swip Swap, is the high amount of traffic these pages receive which make things much easier to buy or sell.
“I used Swip Swap and was able to sell stuff very quickly,” said local mom Jennifer Bhatia. “Craigslist didn’t give me much traffic at all.”
The localized Swip Swap helps to brings community members together and helps each other out in times of need as well. “I think Swip Swap being local reaches out to more people. When approving people, we always look for people who live in the surrounding communities,” Youngblood said. “I’ve seen people asking for clothing, food, diapers and other items because they are in a bad place and can’t afford it for their kids. The community reaches out and gives what they are able to, which makes it very beneficial.” Swip Swap has replaced yard sales for many people as well.
“I’ve been able to sell furniture and other household items on Swip Swap and reach a broader audience than I would have in a regular yard sale,” said Diana Brown.
In addition, there is an events section on the page where people can promote planned in-person sales and pop-up shops selling personal items. Currently there are more than 77,000 members on the most popular Gainesville Swip Swap page but there are others as well. Swip Swap pages can also be grouped for certain items like car parts.
For those who want to take the Swip Swap concept into their own home, hosting Swip Swap parties has become a popular way to swap old clothing or home décor with friends while having a good time.
It’s a great way to complete spring cleaning by cleaning out your and kids’ closets, browsing through old or unused kitchen or party wares or holiday decorations. It’s best to invite people with like-minded tastes and ensure that there is a minimum of three attendees. Ideally, eight participants would attend but up to 20 could work.
Real Simple advises that party hosts should be clear what’s consider swappable to ensure that the items being brought are closely priced. Gently used is a clear direction since it ensures that items being swapped are not too pricey or ratty. Whether you have clothing, toys or décor, group by category to make it easier for guests to find.
Take turns shopping and use post it notes for guests to mark desired items. Make the match of what guests brought with what they can take home. Once everyone is nished, leftover items can be donated to local charities or families.
Whether buying, selling and trading online or in person, it’s clear Swip Swap has become the way to go for many!