People who have never experienced Free Swapping may face a few ‘brain hurdles’ to the idea. Questions such as “How can it be FREE? Won’t people take advantage of it? Why can’t I charge money so I can earn a little and/or raise money for a worthy cause?” seem to crop up. Here’s some answers to those brain hurdle questions:
1. How can it be FREE?
Why not? If you get a building for free, clothes for free, and volunteer your time for free, why not have it ALL be free? Swaps take a LOT less time than a garage sale (swaps take about an hour), you end up getting some really good stuff to take home, and it’s tax-free! Plus think of the amount of time you save – since you are multi-tasking by clearing out clutter AND shopping for things you can use at the same time:) I brought 2 bags of clothes and accessories I no longer needed today, and came home with one bag of things that I love. As for value per volunteer hour, here’s an example of what I brought home from one hour of swapping today:
a white cashmere v-neck sweater, flannel-lined jeans, 13 shirts, a cotton button front sweater, a Hanna Andersson wool button front sweater, red boots, leather sandles, and a silk scarf. Can you imagine the hundreds of dollars this would have cost me, even at a thrift store? As you can see, Free Swapping actually has a better return on investment than spending one day sorting/marking/advertising your stuff, one day selling your stuff, and then going to the store and looking for bargains all day.
2. Won’t people take advantage of Free Swaps?
Kind, generous people who care about being better stewards of what they have, and care about keeping usable items out of landfills attend free swaps. Since the mission of Free Swaps is to get and give free stuff, by coming to a swap you are agreeing to our mission. No re-sellers, ebay sellers, etc. are invited to our swaps. Free Swaps are for the fun, entertainment, enjoyment, and good Karma of people who understand and appreciate the giving spirit of the word ‘free’. People who come have found that as they have given freely of what they no longer need, they have received freely cool new stuff! Plus remainders are donated to organizations that will also give the stuff away for free, so YOUR giving is multiplied.
3. Why can’t I charge some money so I can make a little, and/or raise money for a worthy charity?
Charging money is known as a sale, and raising money is known as a charity event. If you want to do a sale or charity event, that’s fine…but it’s not the same thing as a Free Swap:) Plus, by not messing with pricing and entry fees and all the usual falderall, it makes swapping a lot easier to run, so the host(esses) don’t get burned out. Since swaps are simple, and the volunteer work is so easy (helping the hostess bag up afterwards, or bringing an extra bag for remainders) swaps basically run themselves. It’s fun to give things to people without having them pay for it – it’s part of the ‘game’ of Free Swaps!
If you or someone you know would like to start a Free Swap at a community center, Church or other place of worship, senior center, library, or other public or business building, have them check out https://swappositive.wordpress.com/about/start-a-free-swap/ plus look around this site for more information.