6 Tips for Becoming An Expert Swapaholic

Ok, peeps: you asked, we listened. Whether or not you’ve ever been to one of our swaps, use these top six tips to shop the swap like an expert and veteran Swapaholic:

6. Bring friends.
Two (or more!) eyes/hands are better then one, especially when trying to snag the best swap stuff quickly.  Your friends will always be totally honest and know what looks best on you, so you don’t end up carting a bunch of stuff home just to immediately put it back in a bag for the next swap. Plus, it’s just soooo much more fun that way, and if you find a ton of scores, they may even have room in their bags to help you cart them home.

5. Don’t be a DB.
There’s no dropping elbows or fighting over things in the swap. If someone else has grabbed something you want, politely ask if they’ll find you if they decide they don’t want it after all or if it doesn’t fit. Swapping is all about shopping karma, so bring your Zen and have a laidback time. You’re getting at least one awesome item practically free, and most likely will go home with a bagload of awesome things that are new to you, even if that “one” alludes you. Better luck next swap!

4. Leave your gross crap at home.
If you would be embarrassed for a friend to see it in your swap bag, don’t bring it. Yes, this means your: old gym sneakers, bathing suits, sports bras, underwear, and other generally non-swappable, gross stuff. If you wouldn’t give it to a friend or even to Goodwill, puh-lease don’t bring it to the swap!

3. Don’t be bashful.
Wear layers and try things on in the aisles over your clothes or skivvies. Think Running of the Brides at Filene’s Basement: s/he who decides she wants it the fastest, wins! Modesty and swapping don’t mix. We’ll try to have dressing areas and bathrooms available, but plan appropriately!

2. Green is the new black.
Pack your swap clothes in reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags. Don’t have a reusable bag? We’ll give you one when you get to the swap so you never commit another plastic bag crime again.

1. Carry in, carry out.
Do not, we repeat: DO NOT put your handbag, pants, jacket, hoodie down on a swap surface while shopping the swap or it WILL walk away. Keep track of your stuff — especially your keys! At least once during every swap, someone cries out that their car keys and the handbag/coat/pants they were in have gone missing. Tuck these safely into your reusable swap bag while you shop to avoid a crisis situation.

Photos courtesy of Anne Ruthmann Photography