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 in "Confessions of a Swapper," we're going to meet Carey, who's completed over 800 swaps with a 100% positive feedback rating. Most of the swappers I've spoken with so far have talked about the importance of communication, but Carey had some other practical and useful advice to share with would-be swappers. She's figured out a way to save on shipping costs, and she shares her tips at the bottom of the interview. As someone who hates having to pay out of pocket for shipping, I found it really helpful!
Before we zoom on to Carey's interview, let's take a quick look at what the Swaps site is 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 Carey!
Confessions of a Swapper: Carey
Lindsey: Carey, thanks so much for being a part of this series! How long have you been swapping on MSA?
Carey: My first swap was on 5/11/2016!
L: How did you discover Swaps?
C: I found the site just browsing online after i signed up for my first sub, IPSY.
L: How frequently do you use Swaps?
C: I've had a record of 14 (!!) going out in one day a few years back, but now I say maybe once or twice a week. Depending on which boxes are just being received it could be higher.
L: What are your 3 favorite swaps you have completed? What made them stand out?
C: This is a hard one! I have 816 swaps under my belt and there were seriously soo soo many that were awesome. One of my very first swaps the other person sent me a very high RV eye cream I had on my favorites list as an extra. I was shocked and it absolutely made my day. While it's not a necessity, adding a small sample or other items is done quite frequently. Some people will wrap each item in tissue paper, and it's like a little gift when you open it!
L: What are the “holy grail” items on your swapping wish list?
C: I've been swapping so long and have been super lucky in that I have acquired most of the Holy Grail items like the Brandon Blackwood backpack, that was a HUGE swap, as well as my pink Rose et Marius tumbler. I would swap most anything for another Massi throw though!
L: When you receive a box, how do you decide which products to keep and which to swap?
C: I have my own little system! I sort the items out in several categories. DEFINITE keepers, the second string which are items I will get to eventually like skincare, items for my mom (I send her care packages every month FULL of skincare items that she adores), then swap items and finally I have a bin for friends to go through whenever they come over or even mention needing something lol. I found that selling the items was more hassle than it was worth as there are so many listed and the selling prices aren't even close to RV so I tend to stay away from selling.
L: Do you upcycle in other ways?
C: I use packaging from my subscriptions to send out my swaps. I HATE to waste all those envelopes, boxes and sizzle. Just a small thing but it adds up.
L: What's your favorite thing about Swaps?
C: I love that things I will not use get used and/or loved by someone! To throw away the items is disgraceful and you can't always find a place to donate some things. I'll under swap on my end to get an item to someone rather than have it go to waste.
L: What's your favorite subscription? And what do you love about subscriptions?
C: Another tough one, lol. I have subbed to well over 100 different boxes and currently have like 20 so picking a favorite isn't easy. I love my Beauty Heroes, Boxwalla, and Boxy Boxes. FFF is a good gift finding sub, there's always a good holiday gift in each one. Maybe it's just me, but getting a box sent to me and opening it up is a treat! Even if I know what's in it, it's nice to get a gift isn't it?
L: What advice do you have for new swappers who are just getting started? What pieces of swap etiquette should they know?
C: Everyone keeps saying communication, and they are correct! If there's any delays, you can't find a particular item, any problem with it, or anything at all just reach out. I'd rather you tell me you'll be a week late in shipping than have to wonder. 🙂 Another good note that no one has mentioned is shipping cost! It kills me when a new swapper spends $10 shipping something from the post office when it could have cost $4 using PayPal shipping, which is free. You just log in to PayPal, then type in PayPal.com/shiplabel/create. You can ship up to one pound via First Class mail, while if you go to the post office counter, it's MUCH much more because they make you ship it Priority Mail. Plus you can drop it off anytime.
Thanks so much, Carey, for taking the time to speak with me about Swaps. I really appreciate it!
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.