Confessions of a Swapper: NatlovesMelody
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 Melody (a.k.a. Natlovesmelody on MSA’s swap site) to talk about her history with Swaps and her tips for new swappers. We’ll meet Melody in just a minute, but I wanted to first press pause to reflect on this series so far.
This is the fourth swapper profile I’ve written, and it has been a delight to get to know our community a little better. Everyone I’ve spoken with has been really lovely, and one thing in particular has stood out to me. In the interview below, Melody describes her most-wanted items as “unicorns,” and she expresses to me that the most rewarding part of Swaps is securing these items for herself AND helping other users swap for theirs. This is something others have echoed to me too, and I just want to call out how nice it is to be part of a community that’s so kind and supportive of one another. When you’re bartering for high-value items that you really, really want, it can be easy to lose sight of the person on the other side of the swap. The fact that our top swappers delight in helping others get something special? Well, that just makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. You all are the cat’s pajamas. Thanks for being so darn nifty!
Now, before we dive 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 Melody!
Confessions of a Swapper: Natlovesmelody
Lindsey: Melody, thanks so much for speaking with me! How long have you been swapping on MSA?
Melody: My first swap has the date 10/09/2014. I can hardly believe that seven years have almost past. If my actions were a child, it would now be in the first grade!
L: How did you discover Swaps?
M: My discovery of even the concept of swapping came after the discovery of subscription boxes. When I found the MSA website, it was the best site to compare the different boxes available. After receiving boxes, MSA introduced me to the idea of swapping the items that I did not need or want for those that I did want. It’s exciting to participate in winning a bid and choose a winning bid from my requests.
L: How frequently do you use Swaps?
M: Actually, my swap days have dwindled drastically, but for a great part of my time, it was a daily occurrence.
L: You’ve completed a lot of swaps. What are your favorites?
M: With over 866 swaps, my favorite swaps are those I consider my “UNICORNS.” I have to say my favorite items have come from Oui Please, Luxor, Norlii, Breo Box, Bespoke Post, and many others that no longer exist. These subs introduced me to some of my favorite brands such as 1951 Maison Française Clutch, Les Nereides Jewelry, 5 Octobre Jewelry, and clothing by Les Petites. (Most of these items are not available in the U.S.A., so it’s great to be able to swap for them.) Getting an item I really love (plus the friendship shared while exchanging) makes the swap special. I still correspond with a few people I met while swapping who have become penpals/friends. We share the details of our lives with each other even if no physical items pass between us.
L: What are the “holy grail” items on your swapping wish list?
M: Apart from the items mentioned above, Halycon Days bangles, scarves from Tilo, and home good items!
L: When you receive a box, how do you decide which products to keep and which to swap?
M: Many times it’s an abundance issue, especially when it comes to beauty products. I also use items from boxes as gifts for family members. If a particular item is in high demand, I might use it as “swap bait” to try an acquire an item that I might want more.
L: Do you upcycle in other ways? If so, please share some examples!
M: I try not to be wasteful. Besides using items for swapping, I use the subscription box items for gifts, personal use, and I will donate items to charitable organizations too.
L: What’s your favorite thing about Swaps?
M: I have to say my favorite thing about swapping is the connection I feel to others as we share our joy of boxes and swapping. Next, would be the thrill of receiving or giving a unicorn!
L: What’s your favorite subscription? And what do you love about subscriptions?
M: Currently, my favorites are Norlii and Breo Box, but my heart still longs for Oui Please of old, PopSugar Must Haves, Luxor, Rachel Zoe, and My Stylish French Box to name a few…
L: What advice do you have for new swappers who are just getting started? What pieces of swap etiquette should they know?
M: My best advice to new swapperettes is to stay organized. Organization helps to keep swapping sweet. As far as swap etiquette, follow through on your promises, package items well, and mail in a timely fashion.
Thanks so much to Melody for taking the time to speak with me about Swaps. I really appreciate it, Melody!
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.