‘How many times have you bought a makeup/beauty product and just found it didn’t work for you? Or used something a few times, and then moved on to a new favourite?
The solution is something that the US girls have had access to for a long time – Makeup swap sites. For example MakeupAlley, has a thriving swap section. While UK beauty addicts tried to join in with this, their swaps would often be rejected due to postal delays etc. The obvious gap in the market was spotted some time ago in the (thriving!) UK beauty blogging community. I’m involved with Swapsies (www.swapsiesuk.co.uk); an idea which originally started life as a blog – swappers can join as members and post items to swap. The idea proved so popular that, Laura (http://romanticdreaming.blogspot.com ) decided to launch it as a full website, and I help with general administration and safe running/overseeing posting.
So how does swapping work? Basically, you open an account with the site, then identify things you no longer want from your collection. Add a post to the site describing the product in as much detail as you can – e.g. the product’s condition, how much you have used, if it’s limited edition etc (pictures can also be posted and are always helpful). You can state in your post what you are looking for – e.g. MAC, or you can simply wait to see what is offered. If another member has something they think you’d be interested in they can make you an offer – if a swap is agreed, then there is a facility on the site to swap addresses via a private message system (so no one can see your address unless you let them). On receipt of the swap you leave feedback so that swappers can build up a reputation. This means that you can tell how reliable swappers are before entering a swap.
This now unfortunately brings us to one of the possible drawbacks to swap sites – that of “Swaplifting”. The success of swaps depends on the honesty of both participants, and sadly such sites are often used to basically steal from people – i.e. enter a swap with no intention to send return products. Luckily this is not a common occurance. The Swapsies site has over 100 members and we have had one case so far. This was picked up on quickly and resulted in the member being banned. Such things are unfortunate, but the vast majority of users do have satisfactory experiences, and get to try new products out. The golden rules? Post honestly, Swap honestly and Report any missing swap items quickly to the site – Swaplifters can then be dealt with quickly, so everyone can enjoy the swapping experience!’ www.mizzworthy.blogspot.com