Free Swap Rules


With swaps increasing in size, and now partial swap information going viral, people have asked me to put together a down-and-dirty Free Swap Rules list.  Free Swaps are self-policing, meaning we keep an eye out for each other to make sure everyone has fun, each of us keeping in check any ‘over reaching’ or un-swap-like behavior.  I ask all swappers to be eyes and ears to help swaps run smoothly.  Thank you for your participation!

Free Swap Rules

1.  Free Swaps are UNIQUE!  Coordinators volunteer their time for free.  Venues donate their location for free.  Swappers bring clean items in good condition for free, and in return find ‘new’ items for themselves or to give as gifts.  Remainders are donated to organizations and individuals who will GIVE them away, not sell them.  Everyone gets to play with kind, generous, thrifty, sustainability-minded people.  No money changes hands.   That is the mission of Free Swaps.

2.  Bring only CLEAN items in good condition (no obvious rips, stains, no broken or missing zippers, no pant legs without the pants).  If it is a clothing swap, only bring WEARABLE items in the sizes stated for that particular swap.  If it is a stuff or gift swap, bring stuff/gifts…and only wearables that are one-size-fits-most, such as hats, scarves, etc.  Offer your non-swap-appropriate items on freecycle.org.  (Even with everyone respecting the swap, if you are only looking for new clothes with the labels still on and hanging up in pristine condition, you’ll be happier at a department store:)

3.  Do NOT take anything before the swap coordinator says ‘go’.  We all start at the same time so everyone has the same opportunities.  If you take something before the swap begins, those around you will ask you if you are a first time swapper, and if so, remind you of the Free Swap Rules/What to Expect, and you will put the item back until the swap begins.   Swaps are filled with generous kind people.  If the thrill of the chase and all that wonderful free stuff for the taking brings you to a panic mode of greed – slow down, take a deep breath, and know that there is plenty for everyone – including you!  And just like in a retail store, sometimes you find a lot that you like, sometimes a little.  So please don’t worry to the swap coordinator if all of your dreams didn’t come true this time.  Be thankful watching the thrill as others get things they need, and come back with an open heart next time to see what treasures are in store for you.  It’s all good:)

4.  Be kind and generous to those at the swap.  Don’t take stuff you will not PERSONALLY USE or give as gifts.  If two people want the same item, the person who has less gets the item – that’s an example of being kind and generous.

5.  By being here, you agree that you WILL NOT SELL ANYTHING that you received for free at any Free Swap(s).  If your goal is to sell things, there are plenty of other places to get them.  Free Swaps are NOT one of those places. To learn more about what Free Swaps ARE, click here.

6. If you attend Free Swaps, you are agreeing to abide by the Free Swap Rules above. Generous, kind people are welcome at Free Swaps.  Re-sellers, hoarders, and  factious people are not welcome and will be asked to leave so the rest of us can play in peace.  If you feel these rules are unreasonable, do not attend.


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