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Confessions of a Swapper: Sharon

Lindsey Morse
ByLindsey MorseNov 10, 2021 | 2 comments

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 Sharon, who's completed 600 swaps with a 100% positive feedback rating. Sharon was born and raised in NYC, and she's a big-time fan of boba. She loves animals (especially corgis!), and she's a fan of sunny vacays in the Caribbean.

Before we dive in, let's take a quick look at what the Swaps site is all about.

What is the MSA Swap site?

Image from MSA's 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 Sharon!

Confessions of a Swapper: Sharon

Lindsey: Sharon, thanks so much for being a part of this series! How long have you been swapping on MSA?

Sharon: Oh gosh, I just looked on my feedback and it dates back to January 2015. Can’t believe it’s been almost 7 years!

L: How did you discover Swaps?

S: I’m actually not sure how I discovered swaps. I was probably looking up reviews about a subscription I had or was interested in, and found MSA, then found Swaps.

L: How frequently do you use Swaps?

S: I used to be religiously on Swaps, but at some point I slowed down, since I wanted to be more conscious of things I bring into my home (didn’t want to end up with too much STUFF! As I’m sure we can all relate, haha). I still check maybe 1-2 a week for what I call swapportunities, but I definitely send out less requests, and receive even less requests.

L: What are your 3 favorite swaps you have completed? What made them stand out?

S: I’ve done over 600 swaps at this point, and as mentioned, I’ve slowed down, so I can’t really pinpoint 3. BUT! I can say that some of my favorite interactions probably weren’t even from official swaps - they were with people I did swap with, but they kept notes of my ISOs (in search ofs), and mailed them to me without asking for anything in return, so when they showed up in my mailbox, it was a pleasant surprise.

L: What are the “holy grail” items on your swapping wish list?

S: I would have to say I’d love to get the chance to swap for one of those Brandon Blackwood backpacks - but if I’m being realistic, it will probably not happen because I don’t quite have the items to swap for it!

L: When you receive a box, how do you decide which products to keep and which to swap? 

S: Before the box arrives, I generally have an idea of what I want to keep already. What I don’t want will end up on the swap page, or on the gift list. Sometimes I might list things that I won’t use, and hopefully swap for something that I might use or can gift eventually.

L: Do you upcycle in other ways? If so, please share some examples!

S: Oh yes! I have swapped for things to use in my office. Some swappers might remember the time when I swapped for sheet masks, bath bombs, scrubs, and the like, for a self-care event at my office early last year. Another time I swapped for things to donate to my organization’s raffle (proceeds went to domestic violence awareness) - during that time, swappers who saw I was doing this also very generously gave me things to donate as well, and with the things I couldn’t donate, I swapped for other things to donate.

L: What's your favorite thing about Swaps?

S: My favorite thing about swaps is that it’s like getting a gift in the mail every time. You know what’s coming, but it’s somehow still nice to open a package. I also like getting the opportunity to try things that I otherwise would not have.

L: What's your favorite subscription? And what do you love about subscriptions?

S: Currently, I’m loving FabFitFun. They’ve really upgraded from their past structure, and I hope to see them continue improving. I love subscriptions because I feel like there’s a ton of value, a bang for your buck, yknow? You also get to try things out at a lower cost before you commit.

L: What advice do you have for new swappers who are just getting started? What pieces of swap etiquette should they know? 

S: Trust goes a long way with swapping. If you’re new, generally you should ship first. While it’s a good rule for shipping first if you’ve got less than 10 feedback, I think nowadays some swappers might consider their own feedbacks against the newer swapper’s feedback too, so just something to be considerate of. So for example, someone with 500 feedback might feel more comfortable if their swapper with less than 100 feedback ships first.

Thanks so much, Sharon, 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

Lindsey Morse
Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle. 

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Thank you, Sharon. I’ve slowed down too. I think it is mainly because shipping rates are high. Another reason is I have new hobby: my family tree. Any extra money goes into that now. It’s still fun to swap once in a while.

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Definitely agree! I also feel like the quality of some the subscription boxes have gone down (yikes!). I do like to scroll through swaps every now and then, and then when a swap goes through, it’s always exciting!

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