By December 4, 2012 0 Comments

“Meet Me in the Parking Lot. Bring Cash.”


Photo by Amanda Niemerg

By Amanda Niemerg

People are meeting in parking lots all over town making deals from the trunk of their vehicle. It’s not what you think. It’s called “swip swapping.” And almost everyone seems to be doing it.

“Swip~Swap Anthem” is a Facebook group that works like an online garage sale. Members of the group post items they would like to sell on the group’s wall, then other members of the group can comment they would like to buy the item. Members schedule times and places to meet—in parking lots or each other’s homes.

Rochelle Lamb started the group. “The idea of this page was inspired by a close friend in another state. It inspired me to create a page in Anthem, as this is a community built for families. I started with my Facebook friends and posted my own personal items.” The group has grown rapidly to more than 1,900 members.

Tracy Telesco is a member and recently held a Swip Swap rummage sale along with some friends at her home in Arroyo Grande. “We’re too far out here to attract people for a garage sale on weekends, so we invited all Swip Swap members to come shopping while their kids are at school.”

Nicole Gregg shops for clothes for her daughter at a swip swap event. Photo by Amanda Niemerg

“I buy more than I sell, but my husband is just as bad,” admits Nicole Gregg. She likes shopping for children’s clothing. “They wear uniforms to school, so I save a lot of money on their play clothes by shopping on Swip Swap.”

Children’s clothing, toys and books are common items bought and sold in the group.

“I bought my children’s Christmas presents from sellers on Swip Swap,” Jodi Denoyer said. “My daughter outgrew her kitchen set, so I sold it and then bought a new, more age-appropriate one for her.”

With the holidays fast approaching and many people on slim budgets, Swip Swap provides a way to save money on items kids want the most. Many sell iPods or gaming systems before upgrading to the latest and greatest. It’s also a way to recycle goods within the community instead of sending them to a landfill, or letting them accumulate in the garage.

“By using this site, individuals are able to reduce their spending on actual consumer needs. The concept of upcycle has been restored as we all feel the effects of our current economic status. I wish a site like this was available during my son’s earlier years,” Lamb said.

Tips and Tricks for Using Swip~Swap Anthem
  • Search for the group: “Swip~Swap Anthem” on Facebook. It is a private group, so you will need to request membership.
  • When posting an item, include details and asking price. Keep the price less than retail. Things sell better when they are priced at half of retail cost.
  • Don’t promote your own business. This is a non-commercial site and it’s just bad manners.
  • “ISO” is not a brand name. It means “in search of.”
  • Use the photo tab at the top of the page to look through photos of items being sold. Use the search box top right to type in keywords of items.
  • Scroll down the page. Items are posted frequently, newest at the top. Things get pushed down the page quickly.
  • Sell more than you spend. (This can be very difficult.)
  • Warning: It can be addicting. One minute, you’re posting an item to sell and the next, you’re buying a pair of Steve Maddens for $5 from the trunk of a car in the Fry’s lot.

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