How Would Your Ideal Swap Site Work?

I’ve been buying (and for a while reviewing elsewhere)!subscription boxes since like 2013ish with Birchbox, ipsy, Wantable jewelry and makeup, and then like a million others :joy:, so I’ve also been swapping for a long time. If you reset the swap site, how would you design it??

1 Like

First off, the old swappers who haven’t use the site in years get scrubbed. Then, old food, coupons, and beauty products are removed.

When you start swapping, you enter the boxes you subscribe to on your profile. From there you are given options of the box month and verify the list of contents and amount you want to put up for swap. This will create an inventory for the swap site so people aren’t creating 13 different cross posted listings with different images.

This is probably fairly unreasonable for a free site, but I’m in :joy:


That actually sounds great. If you were limited to enter only the boxes you got though, you could not reswap anything. Unless you mean you would have access to all boxes yet they would all be prepopulated with box name & contents. That would be amazing

1 Like

Oh, the definitely cleaning up old crap and people that have not been on in years. I do have to say, I was off for awhile bc a tree fell through our house awhile back, but I’m back on. However, I think there are plenty who don’t use it anymore

1 Like

The challenge with limiting to only boxes you get and having contents pre-populated is that some boxes have “auxiliary” contents… like things from FFF add-on sales (and sometimes they have > 1000 items listed in those sales). I mean, I suppose the rule could be that people could swap literally only things that actually came inside an actual monthly/quarterly box, but I’m not sure that’s ideal. I’ve definitely gotten things (using my own example) in FFF add-on sales that weren’t what I expected (like once, a crazy bright nail polish that looked wayyy more muted in the picture when I purchased it), so I’ve put them up for swap.

And I 100% agree about filtering out listings for inactive people. IMHO, it would be done in 2 stages. If you haven’t been active for, say 6 months (or whatever an appropriate time frame is), your listings are hidden so they don’t appear in the feed. You have the option to actively unhide your listings if you come back after a break. If you haven’t been on the site for, say 2 years (I dunno if that’s a good amount of time?), then your listings are permanently deleted. That way the old crap is cleared but still accommodate people who need to take a break for whatever reason.

One thing I’d like to see is the option to “dismiss” matches in the swap matchmaker section. Nothing quite like having a swap match just sitting there taunting you when you made the swap request and the other person ghosted you or outright declined the swap and it’s clearly not going to happen. I’d rather see other match options or nothing at all.

These random thoughts brought to you before coffee, so be gentle, lol.


I would love to see the swap matchmaker algorithm improved so that the suggestions are more evenly matched in terms of price, category, etc. Maybe that’s a lot to ask of a free site, but I get almost no functionality from the feature as it’s currently designed.


Welcome to the forum @paigecouper! I like this idea. The matchmaker could be really useful.

1 Like

I’d like a counter that showed how many times you swapped with each person.

1 Like

I don’t get any use of it either

Interesting. I get a lot of those not-well matched matches too. I had just assumed that I didn’t have much in the way of good matches. I think it would be hard to match wrt RV, since the system has no way of knowing that, but category could work, and just sheer # of items too. And while I check it periodically just for fun, I definitely don’t use the swap matchmaker feature much, and I don’t think I’ve ever initiated a swap based on it.

Just clearing out the inactive swappers would be a huge help to those of us that are active swappers (hint, hint!). The community is so much smaller than it was pre-pandemic, and it is disheartening to try to put together a swap now when you realize the 8 people who have an item you want are all inactive.


Adding notes about the swap or attempted swap for the future would be helpful as well.

1 Like

I’ve done about 800 swaps now on this site. The biggest issue is getting new swappers. In the distant past, we got a lot of new blood and they swapped for different items many times they would be excited to swap for an overpriced over-saturated item and it was so much fun to make their day and swap it for a sample or something. It really was a nice community.
Until we are getting new people and good, fair swappers coming it’s going to be hard to get it going.
Make it easier to find swaps. If you could make the swap match matchmaker & swappers following my listings all one so you could see all the people who want one or more of your items and what they have that you want. From there it would be easy to see if you could come up with a swap. If this became more useful maybe people would keep more items on their list. There are people who only have unicorns on their wanted list but don’t have unicorns in their inventory. Meaning the likelihood they will set up a swap is very low. It doesn’t work if people are only wanting to swap up.
Have a place to state what month the box is coming from. This would help as there isn’t always an exsp date on the items. It would be nice to be able to see a link to the box review as well. This will be self-policing for outdated items as it would be clearly seen when it was sent.

I’ve been hoping for a long time that MSA would one day see value in the swap site. I’ve said it many times in other posts but if MSA is counting on referrals as an income source having the swap site working will help with that. At one point I was subbing to 14 boxes all because I could swap what it didn’t want for other things. When the ability to swap things cooled off so did my box subbing.


I agree. There are items I have gone to swap that the people even follow stuff I have. However, not one is active.

Oh, on swapping topic, question …? When it shows under the item that someone has it. But then you click on it and it never shows it/opens it. Does that mean it’s in the middle of a swap or what? I’ve assumed so. But you know what they say about being an ass and making assumptions……:joy:. (That’s also annoying when there’s one person and you get excited and then nothing happens, lol)

Also, why can’t ppl be polite and converse? I have ppl that I don’t see anything I want on. I don’t want to waste postage to get more crap I don’t want. I send them a note and apologize and tell them to try me again. Or keep it open. Why can’t everyone have the courtesy to reply? It’s not hard. It’s so annoying.

1 Like

Assuming I understand what you are referring to (like, you see an item in the feed and it says “1 available,” and then you click on it and it looks like it’s loading the listings but nothing ever loads - that??), it’s always been my understanding that there is a lag between something that has been swapped, and it being “erased from inventory.” And so the system thinks it is still there, but then when it looks for it, it’s gone. So if something was recently swapped, that could happen. At least that’s my thought, FWIW, which is generally not much, lol.

Also, why can’t ppl be polite and converse?

I ask myself this all the time. I am ghosted constantly, even when the other person initiated the swap.

1 Like

I have had some issues getting emails about swaps. I think it may be something to do with Hotmail (showing my age!)
Sometimes I will go into my swap page after not being active for a few days and see that someone requested and I never replied. I always feel awful.
I think others have had issues with email notifications and if they have multiple swaps going on, they might miss a message unless they open every swap up and check every time they are on the site.
Not to make excuses for just plain rudeness, but some people may not realize you are communicating with them.
I would love for the swap site to be really active again!

I had this issue with not getting emails for a couple of years but they fixed that problem. If it isn’t fixed for you I would contact admin.

1 Like

I like the idea of that as well. Having the swap matchmaker improved upon! :slightly_smiling_face: also welcome @paigecouper

I was told once (I don’t know if it is true) that when the last item is swapped away it will show up until an admin takes the listing down. This seems to be true as I’ve found very old items that I can’t see would still be swapped for(5-year-old cosmetics) still being in the system.

I know what you mean about politeness, I think things have changed with not getting new swappers who are excited to be there. I think also that it’s really an issue that inactive people still show. Of course, there always were people who would never respond it’s just now there are more. When swapping was happening a lot I noticed that there were people who I swapped with a lot and others I had never swapped with. I think there are people like us that like the friendly style of swapping and others who are more transactional. The hobby swappers I think have kind of dried up.


Yes. That’s exactly what I meant. It happens to me a lot. So annoying when it’s the only one! :roll_eyes: