Why peace. love. swap?
There are many options out there for swapping your stuff. Simply put – nothing compares to a p.l.s. event. You could host your own swap at home – but it’s not that much fun trading stuff with 10-15 people. You aren’t really going to find much to take home. Plus, it’s not an ongoing event. If you have kids, you know they can grow out of clothes almost every month. Home swaps are quaint and fun to hang out with friends, but not really useful. There are online swap sites…not sure if you tried these. Take pictures or describe all of your items, post things, wait for someone to want your stuff, then pay $10-15 to get a small box of stuff. Or, some sites give you weird online “credits” that you trade in. Totally time consuming, let alone all the cardboard boxes being used…you have to send and receive everything in the mail. With a p.l.s. event – it’s easy, you show up with the stuff you don’t want, you get “offline” and out to play with your kids and socialize with other moms in our kid-friendly venues while we sort and organize, then you take whatever you need…hellooo for only $5!!! You know you are helping others because after the swap leftovers go to charities and families in need. It’s fun, it’s green, it’s philanthropic — and it’s coming soon to a town near you!
How does it work?
Check your local swap page for event dates and times, if the swap offers a prepay option for ticket, purchase your ticket online. If you want to volunteer, email the swap organizer directly. Drop-off your items during the drop-off time* (preferably in REUSABLE bags — not plastic shopping bags), check in, and get a ticket. All items should be freshly washed, clean and in good condition. Clothes should be on hangers — except for pants, shorts & skirts sized 0-18 months (depending on the swap). (If you can’t get hangers, check with your swap organizer — they should have extra & you can likely hang your items when you arrive.) When the swap starts, swappers are let onto the swap floor in a CERTAIN ORDER – some swaps let volunteers in first, followed by the swappers that prepaid, followed by swappers that paid at the door. Other swaps let in swappers that PREPAY first, then volunteers, then those that pay at the door. IT IS UP TO YOU TO CHECK WITH THE SWAP ORGANIZER.** You will be asked to show your ticket or proof of purchase before you enter the swap floor, then you go in (with your own bag) & collect what you need (there is a difference) from the swap.*** It’s that easy. Oh…if you brought hangers, and you want them back, simply find some that are similar and feel free to take them home with you so you can hang your stuff for the next swap. Remember, the key to a great swap is to only take what you need until the next swap, not to replace an entire wardrobe.
*Some swap locations have early (the day before the swap) drop off times. Make sure to check the local event page.
**This system might vary slightly from location to location. Please check the local swap page that you are attending to see if there are any specific instructions and/or a different way they are doing things.
***Some swap locations have a ‘one bag rule’ – details would be on the swap event page. Basically you are still allowed to take whatever you need, but you are limited to only bringing in one shopping bag to the swap and filling it – taking it out – and coming back in to refill (you are also allowed one large item at a time.)
How much does it cost?
The average rate is $5 if you prepay online, slightly higher fee if you pay at the door. Fees are determined by each local swap organizer please check LOCAL swap page. Volunteers are free.
What is the benefit of prepaying online?
Swappers that prepay get to go in first, depending on the swap location, sometimes they get to go in BEFORE volunteers, sometimes after, but ALWAYS before the swappers that pay at the door. However, not all swap events offer the ability to pay online so check the swap home page first.
What’s the benefit to volunteering?
The main benefit is that you will get free admission to the swap and get to preview items that are coming in. Some swaps might have different shifts — so you are only being asked to help for a short time. Also, there is usually one, maybe two, moms producing these events, and they do it to help their communities. They need some dedicated, responsible volunteers that have the same vision as they do.
What does the admission fee include?
The admission fee gets in one swapper and one person to watch your kiddos if needed (ie mom and dad). If you can’t afford to pay the admission — We always need volunteers. Contact your local swap organizer to volunteer.
I paid online and won’t be able to come, can I get a refund?
Unfortunately, no. We can’t offer refunds. Depending on the swap, you can purchase tickets up to the night before the swap — and with some swaps an hour before the swap starts — so there is no need to purchase a ticket way in advance if you are unsure you can attend. You should wait until you know you can go, and then purchase your ticket. If an emergency arises, contact your local swap organizer about a possible credit.
*** please check the local swap page that you are attending to see if there are specific refund/credit rules or instructions.
What do I bring?/ What do I not bring?
CLEAN, freshly laundered, gently used items for babies and kids ages 0-14, and maternity items. PLEASE make sure your items are things that YOU would want to take home: clothes, shoes, books, movies, toys, baby stuff, walkers, bouncers, highchairs, strollers, etc. Email your local swap organizer if you have any questions! We can’t stress to you enough how important it is that you WASH your stuff before you bring it! DON’T bring clothes with holes or large or very bad stains, don’t bring games that don’t work or toys that are broken…in other words… don’t bring your junk – it will not be accepted. Try not to bring stuff out of season. At this time, no cribs.
Also, sometimes we do ‘themed’ swaps and/or Women’s swaps – so check your local page for upcoming events
What are poor swapping habits to avoid?
ATTENTION: Poor Swapping habits to AVOID!
~ The following points are “DONT’S”
If I bring 10 things can I only take 10 things? How much can I take?
No, it doesn’t work that way. Everyone is to use their best judgment. If you bring 2 things don’t take 8 bags of stuff home with you If your kid is 2 years old don’t take size 4 items just because it’s “cute” or a brand name you like. Don’t hoard — it WON’T be tolerated. (PLEASE READ POOR SWAPPING HABITS TO AVOID.) Only take what you need. Bring it back when you are done. Remember, our swaps go on all time, you can get more at the next swap. Don’t take things for other people. The bottom line is we really want this to be about the community, about moms getting together and trading items of like value with other moms. We truly believe that between all of us, we have enough stuff to go around. We just need a place to meet and exchange! This being said, every once in awhile there is that one bad apple in the bunch…and don’t think we aren’t watching. There is really no room in this organization for hoarding, taking stuff that you don’t need and/or “aggressive” shopping/swapping. If we encounter any of this behavior we will ask you to leave & post the behavior on our Facebook page as a swapping “Don’t”.
Do you accept recalled items?
We don’t want recalled items however, we have no way of knowing if an item is recalled as it’s dropped off and don’t have the manpower/time to check everything. Please don’t bring things if they are out of date/expired/recalled. You can check here: http://www.recalls.gov/. Also, if you get something at the swap that you think might be out of date and/or a possible recall, check it when you get home (ie car-seats/ bouncy seats). It is up to you to check if an item has been recalled — again, please check this website: http://www.recalls.gov/ .
If I volunteer, can I take stuff while I am sorting?
No. this is not fair practice. However, volunteers DO get FREE admission and you ARE doing a great thing for your community.
I am interested in volunteering, do I just show up?
No, you must email the LOCAL swap organizer first and let them know you want to volunteer.
Can I bring my kids while I volunteer?
It’s hard to work while you have your kiddos. Contact the swap organizer first to check with them.
I can’t make it during the time of the swap – can I come early to get stuff?
Unfortunately, no. It’s not fair to the other moms waiting.
I don’t have anything to swap, can I come?
If you are an expecting (we mean showing 6+months) or a first time mom, you are welcome to come if you don’t have any kid items to exchange (you obviously wouldn’t yet…but you will!). Some swaps accept other items (small household, books, DVDs, etc.) that pregnant/first time moms can bring. Either way, as a pregnant/first time mom, you can just pay the entrance fee and enter at the designated times, even if you don’t have swap items. There is always plenty of newborn stuff to go around. Other than that, we give priority to families that bring stuff to swap. However, anyone without swap items is still welcome to come to “shop” and take home what you need — but you will still be required to pay the admission, and certain time restrictions will apply (usually you will enter 30 minutes after swap starts).
DO’s and DONT’s
Don’t bring in junk —nobody wants it. Heavily stained clothes make great rags!
I would like to start a peace. love. swap kids swap in my community. Can you help me?
We would LOVE to! Email: email@example.com so we can chat about the possibilities. It’s our goal to see peace. love. swap events all over the US. or visit the “join p.l.s.” page.