Recessionista Shop ‘n’ Swap: A Great Idea Sweeping the Globe

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Pictured: Recessionistas are swapping, not just shopping, photo from the Daily Mail

In addition to shopping consignment stores, sales and using coupons, I have also been engaging in some “recessionista shopping swap meets.” These type of swaps have become very popular this year. Recently, I traded a handbag with a friend who no longer wanted it. I also traded some jewelry with another friend, and we both extended our wardrobe with new looks for cheap. It’s a fun idea to get together with a group of friends and exchange bargains. Of course, it can be even more fun with some cosmos thrown in. Truly, I am waiting for someone to invent a Recessionista cocktail. Readers, have any of you seen this? Maybe I need to work on this over the weekend. Check the blog next week for some Recession-tinis. I’m going to get the Martini shaker fired up while I work on the taxes. I think it’s a good combination:)

Now, back to the shopping. A great source for swapping is a group called Meetup. Check to see if there are any swaps in your area. Bring the stuff you no longer want, and other ladies & guys do the same. Swapping enhances every one’s closet. Its’ the ultimate cheap and cheerful event.

Also, in the US, check out the
Recessionista Shop and Swap held Sunday March 29th in Cincinnati, OH (my hometown) to learn how people are doing swapping. This event is a great example of a shopping swap meet. It’s interesting to look at their rules of engagement. It gives you a good idea how to run one of these. They have some cool videos on their site, demonstrating that sometimes you can’t tell what has been swapped, and what has been shopped. Some of the swapped items look like they may have only been worn once or twice.

These events are springing up all over the world this year. The Daily Mail just ran a piece on swapping in the UK.
While it’s true that these events can be a savvy way to extend your wardrobe, be sure and only participate in one held by a reputable group like Cincy Chics. You want to be sure that all items that you are considering taking home are in good condition, freshly cleaned and not full of moth holes. Inspect everything carefully, because remember there is no 30 day return policy when swapping.

Some of you may want to check out the concept of Visaswap. These swapping events are sponsored by the Visa credit card company and benefit charity (as well as Visa of course.) Visa defines these as “Visa Swap: a Clothing event to encourage sustainable fashion through ethical swapping activity.” The name is not exactly Fred and Ginger, but the concept sounds good to me. You can sign up from the Visaswap home page and then be alerted when a swap happens. Another source to check out is the online swap meet at SwapTreasures. This site allows you to post your stuff and trade with other members.

For more high end swapping of only clothes and accessories, check out Swapstyle. I like what they are showing on their site for fashion. I also like the concept of trading worldwide, so that you can find items that are not sold in your geographic area.

If any of you are sponsoring your own Recessionista Shop ‘n’ Swap please leave a comment on the blog so that other readers can join in. I’d love to hear if any of you are trading items and getting good deals from trading.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.