PPU, POOS, ISO, NIB, EUC. These acronyms may seem like a secret code, but they hold the key to successful swapping. Porch Pick Up, Posted On Other Sites, In Search Of, New in Box, and Excellent Used Condition are the savvy swapper’s lingo. In the digital age, online swaps have evolved into the next level of garage sales.
Where and why
Bridget Doerr, a mom of four from Bloomfield Township, stumbled upon the world of Facebook swap sites and Craigslist several years ago. She initially used these platforms to buy and sell baby and toddler clothing and gear. With time, Doerr became so adept at selling her own children’s belongings that she started assisting family and friends with their swaps.
Today, Doerr runs an in-home consignment service, helping friends and neighbors sell their items through online swaps. She chuckles, reminiscing about her journey, saying, “When you’re expecting your first child, everything has to be new. The thought of using someone else’s old stuff for your precious baby is unimaginable. But by the time your fourth bundle of joy is on the way, you’re resolute in not buying anything new.”
Foot in the door
For expectant and new parents, Doerr encourages them to explore Facebook mom swaps in their local community. She advises them to request to join the closed groups that are usually organized by location. As Doerr explains, being part of a community-specific swap ensures convenient transactions for all parties involved.
The swap scene
From baby clothes, strollers, and cribs to toys and books, the range of items traded on these online platforms is astonishing. Doerr exclaims, “Prepare to be amazed! It’s not just junk. Every day, you’ll find brand-new items and truly excellent used goods at a fraction of their original price.”
A typical seller posts a photo and a brief description of the item, along with the price. Members of the group then express their interest by commenting on the post with a simple “Interested.” Doerr advises newcomers to read the pinned post at the top of the group page, which usually outlines the rules and introduces the group administrators.
The administrators, who monitor the group and enforce its rules, are generally the ones who created the page. They have the authority to remove members who violate the rules.
Getting that gear
In most online swaps, the first person to express interest in a post gets the opportunity to purchase the item. Porch pick up is a common practice, where the buyer visits the seller’s home and collects the item from the porch. The payment is left in a spot designated by the buyer, such as under the front porch mat or inside a storm door. To ensure safety, some police stations even welcome buyers and sellers to conduct their exchanges in their parking lots or lobbies.
For high-value items being sold for over $100, Doerr recommends meeting the buyer in a public, well-lit area during daylight hours. This extra precaution ensures a secure transaction for both parties.
Doerr emphasizes the hefty savings that can be made through online swaps. For example, she purchased a Patagonia jacket for her son at just $20, while its retail price was $120.
In most online swaps, haggling is discouraged. Doerr advises sellers to research similar items on other sites to determine a fair price. Her experiences with Facebook swaps have been overwhelmingly positive, primarily because the majority of interactions are with fellow women.
Doerr sees online swap sites as a no-brainer. According to her, “You can literally save a fortune.” So why not dive into the world of online swaps and discover the secrets of ‘The Swap’ for yourself?