Confessions of a Swapper is a series that profiles MSA's top swappers. Want to share your own swapping experiences with the community? Details for how to get in touch are located at the bottom of the page.
This week I'm sitting down with Amy Hoffman, a very cool lady who's been swapping on MSA for 7 years! She's a dog lover, part-time casino dealer, and Swaps expert.
We'll meet Amy in just a minute, but before we jump into the interview, let's take a quick look at the Swaps site. If you're new to this corner of MSA, it might be helpful to take a quick peek at what swaps are all about.
What is the MSA Swap site?
The Swaps section of My Subscription Addiction launched way back in 2014, and it's a place where members of the community can exchange items they receive in subscription boxes. If you've ever wanted to get your hands on a subscription box item you missed out on, swaps is the place to make it happen. Coveting the Teressa Foglia X Curateur "Lynn" Hat you missed in Spring's Curateur box? Looking to add the Library of Flowers Field & Flowers Luminary from Summer's Margot Elena Subscription Box to your candle collection? Swaps provides a platform where you can connect with other members of the community to trade for the items you can't stop thinking about.
To become a swapper, you'll need to sign up for a free MSA account and set up your profile. After you confirm your email address, you can navigate to the Swaps section and join the Swap site waitlist. Once you've been approved, you're ready to start swapping! (FYI-- your MSA profile is for more than just swaps. It's is a great place to keep track of your subscriptions, opt in to brand-specific emails, and create your subscription wishlist.)
You can browse the wide selection of items and request swaps from members of the community who've listed items that catch your eye. They'll then be invited to browse your listed items. Agree on items you'd like to trade? You've got yourself a swap! Each participant ships their half of the trade and provides tracking information. When the swap is complete, both parties submit feedback.
Over 20,000 swaps have been completed, and there are over 4,000 registered swappers. All members of the My Subscription Addiction community are welcome to participate.
Now, without further ado, let's meet Amy!
Confessions of a Swapper: Amy Hoffman
Lindsey: Amy, thanks so much for speaking with me! How long have you been swapping on MSA?
Amy Hoffman: Since late 2014. So just about 7 years now.
L: How did you discover Swaps?
A: There used to be a forum here on MSA. It was pretty active, and people often arranged swaps there and then completed them in the swap section.
L: How frequently do you use Swaps?
A: Not as much as I used to, but now when I swap for something, it’s really more because I need or truly want something, either for my own use or as a gift.
L: You've completed a lot of swaps. What are your favorites?
A: That’s a difficult question to answer because over the years I have swapped for many items I still use today. I think any swap where I can secure a much coveted item (for me) is a favourite. Getting something I really want, or helping someone else get something they really want, is special. I will say, I do have a list of swappers that I absolutely love and will always try to swap with.
L: What are the “holy grail” items on your swapping wish list?
A: Hmmm, well I’m obsessed with lip balms, so any ones on my list are high priority but if I had to assign true “holy grail” status to something specific, it would be the D.L. & Co Rotten Luck Dice - I’m a part-time casino games dealer, and these are definitely something I’d like to have in my collection of gambling collectibles.
L: Ummm those dice are awesome. When you receive a box, how do you decide which products to keep and which to swap?
A: I used to subscribe to over 2 dozen boxes, many of which no longer exist. I pretty much know what I’d like to try or types of products I’d try, and there’s a host I’m just not interested in so I gift them to friends or swap them.
L: Do you upcycle in other ways? If so, please share some examples!
A: Not as much as I’d like to, to be honest. I’m just not creative like that. I do use extra yoga mats as anti-slip runners for my dogs, if that counts.
L: What's your favorite thing about Swaps?
A: I like the whole barter aspect of getting something I want, and helping someone else get stuff they want.
L: What's your favorite subscription? And what do you love about subscriptions?
A: Well my favourite subscription was Sundae Home, but I don’t think they survived the pandemic. I have written them a few times and gotten no response. Currently, I’d have to say it is FabFitFun because I can really stock up in special sale events and add ons. I think the best part of subscriptions is the introduction to things I may have never heard of or hesitated to go buy on my own.
L: What advice do you have for new swappers who are just getting started? What pieces of swap etiquette should they know?
A: New swappers - hmmm well here’s what I think we all need to remember… we were all new at one point. Don’t give up if swappers decline you a lot in the beginning. Communication is everything! If you commit to shipping something in a timely manner, do it. If you hit a snag, own it and let the other person know. Be realistic in your expectations - don’t expect another person to value things the way you do. None of us paid full retail for any of this stuff, and many use the RV as a guide.
Thanks so much to Amy Hoffman for taking the time to speak with me about Swaps. I really appreciate it, Amy!
Now, I want to hear from YOU. Are you an active swapper who'd like to share your swapping stories, tips, and tricks? Get in touch at [email protected]
Have a swap-related story to share? Or a question about Swaps? Drop a note in the comments section below! Eager to start swapping? Sign up here.