How to Host a Shopping Swap

What do you do once you have purged your closet of everything that no longer fits your body or your lifestyle?

  • You can sell the like-new items to ThredUp and make some cash.
  • You can have a yard sale and get up super early on your weekend off to get a tiny fraction of the value of your goods.
  • You can donate to your local Goodwill.
  • You can get your girlfriends to purge as well then host a shopping swap!

My girlfriend hosted a shopping swap last weekend and it was so much fun, I just had to share the idea with you. I posted it on Facebook and the ladies there are going crazy over the idea!

My daughter and I attended and had a great time “shopping,” hanging out with friends and meeting new people.  We left the cash at home and enjoyed an evening of FREE shopping!

Here’s how she worked it:

  • Ask everyone to bring a minimum of 5 items (most people brought more like 5 bags!).
  • Organize items by category for easy shopping (sizes and wardrobe type, home goods, toys, accessories, etc). Be sure to spread the tables out through-out the house…we recommend having the kid items in one room and the adult items in another.  (The first swap she hosted, each guest had a designated area to set up. This time around she had the items organized in categories and it made for target, efficient shopping!)
  • Each participant brings her own shopping bags to load up.
  • Once everyone has arrived and all items are set up, begin ‘shopping”.  Have a start time pre-set so you are not waiting on those who are late.  Take as much as you want, first come first serve. We’ve never had problems with grown-ups not acting like grown-ups or fighting over items. We enjoy seeing others blessed by our items and we enjoy coming home with “new” items of our own.

I came home with a few new tops and some books for my husband.  My daughter found some fun games and stuffed animals, as well as gently worn fall clothes!

Everything that is left at the end of the night is boxed up and donated to a local charity.

You can choose what you want your shopping swap to consist of…I am thinking about doing a fashion/beauty swap only (just women with their good quality clothes, jewelry, shoes, handbags, unopened makeup/skin care) to prepare for fall. You might decide to do a kid-only back-to-school swap or a Halloween costume swap. Possibilities are endless.

I find it to be a great motivator for cleaning out my closet! I brought at least 8 pairs of shoes and several jewelry pieces, in addition to handbags and clothing! My closet has more space and someone else has new items for their wardrobe.  It’s a win-win!  As an added bonus, several at the party discussed how it was easier to let go of things when you know it is going to someone in your circle of friends.

If you do host a shopping swap, be sure to share about it on Facebook or in the comments below!


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TAMMY GIBSON, founder of A Mom in Red High Heels, is a God-loving, coffee-drinking, heel-wearing, wife and mom offering up her best tips to help women look and feel fabulous so they can achieve their biggest dreams.

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