Swapping is the new shopping, they say. Oh yeah!
I found in a drawer a diary I had never used, they gave me a T-shirt for it. A body lotion was replaced by mineral foundation. In place of a book I got a DVD. These and many other swaps happened through two sites, http://www.bigwardrobe.com/ and http://www.makeupalley.com/swap and cost me nothing – except those few euros needed to post my things.
The first is the best one: BigWardrobe (UK-based) was created for swapping exclusively and trades work as on eBay. You can contact a user to offer a swap, then make a formal offer for the item and after trade is completed (which means both parts have received their ends) you leave feedback. It’s free, though you can have your address verified (thus becoming a more trustworthy swapper) by the site admins, after paying a small sum through PayPal. Each user has a virtual notice board and can build a network by adding friends as on Facebook. Clothes and accessories are the most swapped items, but almost any kind of item can be found on the site. Oh, and one can choose to swap or sell or be open to both options.
MakeUpAlley (US-based) is great for finding cosmetic brands from other countries or trying new stuff without the guilt of spending money on it. Just don’t be fastidious about used m.u.: lipsticks can be cleaned, eyepencils sharpened and brushes washed. The downsize of the site is that it is about reviews and forum debates rather than swapping: users list their items, contact other users, make a private agreement, leave a token (feedback) and that’s all. Site admins don’t meddle in swaps, home addresses can’t be verified and anybody could leave tokens to anybody, even if no swap had ever occurred between the two parts. As a result, swaplifters (people who get items, especially from new users, and send nothing in return) abound. That said, I was swaplifted just once and my experience in general is very good. If I buy a product which I then find out is not right for me, I put it up for swap right away instead of hiding it in my drawer until it expires.
Thanks to swapping, I was able to find a new home for some nice things which I wasn’t using anymore, which made decluttering a more pleasant experience. I discovered my favourite mineral m.u. brand, Everyday Minerals, through a swap. I could try the fabulous eyepencils by Urban Decay. I got organic skincare products, Abercrombie and Fitch tops, great books, nice shoes… And the best swappers also include some extras in their packets, be them cosmetic samples or teabags. I once swapped for a green eyepencil and I received *three* eyepencils in different shades of green! And yes, I love green eyepencils.