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SWAP 101 BEGINNER guide: How to request a swap

lisaychuanglisaychuang Posts: 122Member
Hi everyone!

As I was reading through comments from some of the latest postings, I saw quite a few new MSA members who were just accepted off the SWAP waitlist but had no idea how to start swapping. The forum has lots of great information, but can be quite overwhelming for newcomers to navigate. So I thought I'll put together a simple guide to swapping!

Tips, advice, additions welcome! I can update this tutorial / guide as more tips come in, feel free to comment below or PM me.

SWAP 101 - How to request a swap!

Whether you are new to subscription boxes or if you've finally found time to list your stash, welcome to swap! MSA has a really vibrant swap community, and you'll likely make new friends during your swap adventures ;)

1. Login to your account

Firstly, log in to your account through the MSA homepage

Your account details and Swap dashboard can be accessed from the right side of the menu bar.

2. SWAPS listing page
Now, go to the main SWAPS listing page
- You will see a search option on the top right, click on it and the search box opens up. You can type in subscription box/brand/product names or any keyword here!

- Or if you are browsing for ideas, you can select one of the categories

3. EXAMPLE: Searching for Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum

Let's use an actual example! Say you are looking to swap for the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum

- Type in "Sunday Riley" in the search box
- The page will refresh, showing you a list of all Sunday Riley items
- Move your mouse over the item you are interested in (e.g. CEO serum), a "Learn More" button will appear
- Click on the Learn More button
- The page will refresh, taking you to the actual item page for the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum

Now you have 3 options:
1. View Listings - to see a full list of items up for swap
2. Follow It - think of this as your Favorits folder where you can track items you are interested in, and maybe will like to swap for at some point!
3. List It - for listing an item up for swap, we will cover LISTING ITEMS FOR SWAP another time

Now, click on VIEW LISTINGS
- The page will take a few secs to load, then show a list of ALL items available for swap! In this case, there are 48 Sunday Riley serums available
- You can sort the results based on 5 categories:

1. Highest Rated - based on swapper's rating
2. Most Experienced - based on swapper's total # of swaps
3. Closest - based on swapper's location to your location (e.g. I am based in Mountain View,CA . So the closest swapper is in Palo Alto, CA)
4. Favorites - if you have previously "Followed" another swapper, their results will show up first!
5. For Sale - if someone is selling your item on eBay, the eBay listing will show up here

There's no rules for the best way to sort results - it's up to you! Swapping with someone closer by can be cheaper (save on shipping/postage) and faster delivery, swapping with someone with more experience may be more comforting as a newcomer. It's up to you!

In this case, my closest swapper LEAH is also following one of my listing!
- Click on VIEW MATCHING ITEMS to show a list of items, in this example Leah is following my Tarte Amazon blush.
- Before I start a swap, I'll read the "Extra Information" section to see if there's anything I should know.

In this example, Leah has stated she is ONLY swapping for her dream /unicorn item - the Kendra bracelet! So unless I have the bracelet, I will probably choose NOT to send a swap request since that's not what she is looking for.

- Look down the list for other swappers with Matching Items. I found Lauren, who is following my Modern Alchemy candle. If I'm open to swapping the candle, I can now click on the START SWAP button
- The page will refresh, taking you to the Ready to Start the Swap? page. Now, you can either go straight ahead and start a swap, or you can click on +Add More Items button to select more items from the swapper

4. Adding more items to a swap

- After you click on the +Add More Items button, a section will appear on the page with all of the swappers' available listings!
- You can either scroll down and look through all of the listings, or you may see another option to View Matching Items . If you click on this link, you will now see a smaller list of items. These are items that you have Followed before
- To get back to viewing all of the swapper's listing, you can click the Back to all other listings link

- At this point, I can choose to add more items to the swap (example: Nima Oberoi vase + Peony Candle)
- Once you have added all the items you'll like to swap for, click the Start Swap button!

To be continued below ⬇️


  • ssk7783ssk7783 Posts: 534Member
    @lisaychuang What a wonderful and helpful tutorial! Thank you for doing this - I know it will help so many new swappers :)
  • lisaychuanglisaychuang Posts: 122Member
    Thanks @JennWin1980 <3 Glad you found this helpful! I know it took a while for me to navigate the swap site + forum, so I hope this will be helpful to the newcomers!
  • KristyKristy Posts: 2,479Member
    Wow @lisaychuang! What a wonderful tutorial! I love all the pictures you included! I think this will be awesome for new swappers!! :)
  • lilyannelilyanne Posts: 235Member
    I just had a swap with @lisaychuang and she's an absolute sweetheart! Highly recommend swapping :)

    This is a fantastic tutorial!
  • Liz CadmanLiz Cadman Posts: 402Administrator
    @lisaychuang this is SO GREAT! OK for me to share elsewhere on the site?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together!
  • lisaychuanglisaychuang Posts: 122Member

    @lisaychuang this is SO GREAT! OK for me to share elsewhere on the site?

    Aww thanks Liz! Yes, you are welcome to share this anywhere on MSA =)

    @lilyanne @Kristy + @vacheesehead + @ssk7783 thank you!
  • paigepaige Posts: 462Member
    @lisaychuang This would have helped me a lot when I first started!!
  • careybcareyb Posts: 1,596Member
    @lisaychuang I just saw this and you did an absolutely fabulous job! Seriously, I wish there was this thread when I first started. :-) It is perfect.

    @Liz Cadman Do we have a "sticky" type section where we can put this? Or at least the initial post? THAT would be an awesome thing to do I think. When people get their email welcoming them to swapland they can be directed to THAT section. There are a few articles that would help new comers like this one, the paypal mailing one done by @Jennifer3141 and a couple others.

    It gives them the tools to be great swappers and should make things better in the long run, don't you think?
  • kel_nkel_n Posts: 85Member
    @lisaychuang thank you so much!
    I'm a new hopefully Swapper,I need to add my items.
    I just hit a wall and got unmotivated because I couldn't find some if my items on the boxes.
    Like I have a whole new box from it cosmetics that was from Sephora rewards points.
    I couldn't find how to add those or all the deluxe samples from Sephora.
    I always end up gifting to friends all my full-size unused products...
    I'm ordering more 5th avenue boxes ,how to add the items that aren't listed,as they are personalized?
    Thanks again for your work and kindness.
  • ssk7783ssk7783 Posts: 534Member
    @kel_n Hello! The easiest way to add an item is to search for the product name. Sometimes you will need to just search for part of the name because it depends on how the item was titled when it was listed. Here, I typed "Sephora Rouge Cream", which brought up six listings, and I then clicked on the color I have, "The Red":

    Now I can click on "List It" and follow the prompts.

    If you can't find an item, first make sure it is actually from a subscription box. You might want to hold off on listing your items purchased with Sephora Rewards Points or any freebies from Sephora, because the Admins are currently working on new policies which should be communicated/emailed to everyone soon. I'm unsure if these items are/will be allowed on swaps.

    1. So, back to listing an item that isn't yet listed. :) Go back to the main swaps page and click on "List An Item".

    2. It will ask you what Subscription Box the item is from and as I'm typing it brought up my box, CosmoBox, so I click on that.

    Here it will show you a list of items already listed AND you can try looking for the item again by entering in the product name.

    3. I want to list my Spongelle lotion, so I've searched for Spongelle and although a Spongelle is listed, my lotion is not listed. So I'll click "My item isn't listed here. I want to add a new item."

    4. Next, you will choose a category from the drop-down menu. I chose "skincare".

    5. Now you will add an image by either Pulling an Image From a Web Page or Uploading an Image. I prefer to upload an image. I will either find and save a photo from the product website, MSA's website, or I will take a photo with my camera.

    6. Finally, enter the product name, and if possible, the optional Product Link which will help swappers learn more about the product and could also provide proof the item came from a subscription box if you're able to link directly to the sub box website.

    That's it! The listing will be added and you will go through the same prompts when you're listing an item that already has a listing created.

  • ssk7783ssk7783 Posts: 534Member
    @kel_n I posted the steps on how to list an item that isn't already listed on swaps, but I edited an error and now the message is in jail. Hopefully it will show up again later ;)
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