Aided by an ailing economy and a not-feeling-so-well-either environment, clothes swapping has become the rage of fashionistas everywhere. . Now the Budget Ecoist brings you a review the latest and greatest in current clothing swap websites and gives you feedback on how these swaps are shaping up.
Five Great Clothing Swap Sites
1. Dig N Swap. – All swap, no sell, Dig N Swap is a well-thought-out website that provides an easy, prominent search on the front page, allowing for a quick looksee. One page down you can find a ‘cloud’ of categories: search by type of clothing/accessory, brand, or size. Both the quantity and quality of clothes are good, though the amount of clothes available in high-end fashion brands, such as BCBGMAXAZRIA and Jimmy Choo, are more limited. The website is “free during beta phase,” (no word on how much it will cost and when beta phase will end) but they do charge a 99 cent assessment to your account for each swap. Users manage their own shipping and arrange details with their fellow swappers. Of all the sites reviewed, Dig N Swap was the easiest, most logical layout.
2. Zwaggle. – If you’re looking to swap kids clothes (accessories, toys and more), Zwaggle should be your first stop. Registration is easy and new users start with a small amount of “zoints” (used to purchase other users’ items). A few key differences about Zwaggle, versus others sites: rather than arranging a swap (I will trade your ruffled black blouse for my paisley slingback wedges) users are able to purchase items with their zoints. A product is given a zoint value based on its age, original value and condition. So the process of acquiring an item is more assured than a swap, where there is time involved in a negotiation (or your fellow user may not at all be interested in your items).
Zwaggle allows users to arrange shipping through the website. Once an item has been acquired, the purchaser pays shipping online, the system notifies the seller, who prints out the label, and simultaneously notifies the post office or Fed Ex to pick up the item. No trips to the Post Office. Can I get a hallelujah? Users can also arrange to pick up items in person, saving even more money. Zwaggle allows users to create groups and swap items only within the group, or offer them to the community at large. The downside of Zwaggle is that many people put an item on, and if they don’t “sell” it right away, they end up getting rid of the item. Then you notice it 6 months later, get all excited, only to find out the item should have been removed by the user.
3. SwapStyle.com – The oldest and most well-known of Clothing Swap sites, SwapStyle.com used to charge a membership fee. That fee has now been eliminated (yeah!) but there is an optional $10 service fee to become address verified, which allows other users to feel more confident and secure in their transactions with you. Of all swap sites, SwapStyle.com has the largest quantity and the best quality of clothing and accessories.
If you’re looking for the high-end, good stuff, this is where you want to go. But be sure you have similar items to swap. SwapStyle.com allows only for online interactions, but it allows users to both swap and sell. So if you have a desire to acquire your first Kate Spade bag on the cheap, but you can’t interest the seller in a swap, you can always purchase it for an agreed upon price. The web site is easy to use and registration takes only moments. When users have a good interaction they give each other tokens, allowing others to be more confident in swapping with that members of the community. Bad users get negative points. And if someone rips you off, SwapStyle can take care of them as well (not in a horse head in the bed kind of way, but you know, they’ll get their access to the site taken away and you’ll be compensated).