I have to tell you guys about an awesome experience I had last weekend! I attended an event for the first time, but it definitely won’t be the last, peace.love.swap. This is an exchange event for all things kids! The idea is not complicated, but ingenious. Basically, you, as a swapper, bring in items you don’t need any more (clothes, shoes, toys, books, accessories, etc.) and then trade them for stuff you DO need! Don’t fret if you missed out, they run the event each season!
There are two main areas set up at each event: a vendor area, and a swap area. I’ll share with you a little about each.
Upon check-in, you receive a gift bag with goodies and coupons. Inside the bag was also an entry form to win a 4-pack of tickets to the circus! It’s a scavenger sheet, to be signed off by a few of the featured vendors and you’re entered to win. From there, you’re are able to bid on the silent auctions, which are prizes provided by the vendors. All the vendors were family-friendly/mom-friendly products including LuLaRoe, Tupperware, and Usbourne books.
After you drop your items off, the friendly volunteers are scooping them up in order to sort and organize them in the swap room, which is closed off to the public. So, while you wait for the swapping to begin, you can wander the vendor room and learn more about all the items they offer.
A few of the vendors attending the swap
When the swap room is ready for guests, swappers are called inside in groups. There are 5 groups, the first 2 have paid a $10 registration fee, the 3rd and 4th have paid a $5 registration fee, and the 5th group is for kids 8+ with a $3 registration fee. You can bring along one of the bags from a previous peace.love.swap (p.l.s.) event or purchase a new reusable bag at check in for $2.
Once inside the swap area you have about 7 minutes to snag whatever you can fit in your bag (or a large item) and you cycle out of the room. Once each group has had a chance inside, all swappers can re-enter the room and, once again, leave with what their hands can carry.
Now, before this starts to sound like a chaotic free-for-all, let me clarify that there are volunteers manning the floor looking for any out-of-line behavior. But before the swap begins, all swappers are required to read and agree to rules, which basically state – don’t be a jerk. They word it much more gracefully than I have, but I’m paraphrasing here. They use the honor system – you take about as many items (or of equal value) as you brought with you.
My favorite part is that, aside from the registration fee, there’s no money exchanged, no checkout process, no lines to wait in. I was able to get rid of some clothes my son doesn’t fit any more, and hopefully someone else was able to use, and leave with a new-to-me maternity outfit, and nursing accessories! Over the next few months, as I find out the gender of baby #2 and baby #1 keeps growing, I can continue to cycle through and get some awesome stuff that I’ll need in the future!
The clothing racks, organized by gender and size
Toys, books, and accessories for all ages
Shoes of all varieties and sizes
Want more info? They have chapters in CA, NC, and of course, VA.
Check out their Facebook page here.
Check out their website here.