Elimination game | the swap

AMtoPM organize beauty inventory stash homekeeping
What is it:

Ideally, I didn’t want to swap one unused product for another. It’s really nice getting free stuff–except when doing #shopthestash. The whole point of this was to get rid of all the excess.

I did want to get rid of a lot of duplicates that wouldn’t really work for me in addition to purchase all of the things that I wanted to get to my friends. So really, it was pretty much even on good and bad aspects.

How did I do:

On the way out:

– 1 full-sized cleanser
– 1 treatment (blackheads)

On the way in:

– all the sheet masks
– two trial sets (1 full skin care regimen, 1 mini mask+blotter sheet set)
– one serum
– several samples

I was really lucky that I got to do a swap right away with a good friend. Not only is she someone I trust, but she also has the same philosophy when it comes to beauty. That is the key.

The most important thing with a swap is the person you’re swapping with. Make sure it’s with someone you trust, who is reliable and who has similar tastes and skin type as you.

It really helps to be as specific when looking for someone to swap with: what you’re looking for, what your skin type is and if you have issues (oily skin, large pores, pigmentation, etc.).

I didn’t do any of that, but I really lucked out.

I did a swap with my friend Chie. Luckily, her and I have similar tastes in skin care and she asked me a couple of questions before packing up her bundle of stuff.

The good:

File this under both good and bad, but all the stuff.
Good: Chie’s generosity floored me; the sheer quantity and quality of stuff was really amazing to receive.
Bad: even though #shopthestash is a spending ban, it was also a cleanse. I now had a lot of things to work with!

This parcel helped to fill a couple of gaps that I was missing in my routine or was close to running low on, specifically all the sheet masks and a more hydrating serum. For that I’m really thankful and am happy to say I’ve made a dent on Chie’s sheet masks and finished the serum. I’ve also finished one of the trial kits she gifted me!

I also got rid of some of the duplicates I couldn’t finish or decided after a tube weren’t for me. Those things wouldn’t have made it out otherwise and I’m really glad that Chie was game enough to try my stuff.

I’m really stoked I did this with her. Not only could I try a lot of things I normally wouldn’t have, I spent a lot less–the bulk of that was shipping costs. I’m sure it would be a lot cheaper if you mail things via short distances and domestically vs. international. Or you could find a local swapper and eliminate the shipping cost altogether!

The bad:

This did set me back a bit on my #shopthestash adventure. Suddenly I had quite a bit added to my stockpile. There are a lot of things that I wouldn’t have been able to try otherwise because it’s unavailable to me so I’m not too fussed about this. The main goal was to get as much use of all the stuff I have and I feel I’m meeting that goal.

Expiry dates and urgency are things that you sort of need to really look at with the swap. Chie and I had sent each other a few things that were cutting it close to expiry, but luckily I finished the products well before the date.

The solution: Check the expiry dates before you swap to prevent sending things that are close to or are expired. If it’s an international swap, make sure that the expiry date is a lot farther away than normal (more than six months) to account for backlog at the post, slow shipping and potential holdups at customs.

Some stuff weren’t good fits, but that’s usually what happens in a swap, especially one where you try to surprise the receiver.

The solution: If you take it all in stride and are aware of this, it’s something that can be easily overlooked. To minimize the likelihood of feeling let down, get really clear with the person you’re swapping with about what you’d like to receive. Keep in mind though, open communication isn’t a guarantee you won’t be a bit bummed by a product’s performance. If it is hard to stomach product disappointment, just think: someone was amazing enough to send you cool things and share their finds with you. Revel in the thought and the good vibes that came with their intention!

Shipping was a pain. There are some countries where the post runs really efficiently (cough) Korea (cough). The days of having same or next-day delivery for things domestically for dirt cheap are no more, sadly, so I have to be more cognizant of how much everything costs and how long.

The solution: If you are sending something, take shipping seriously! Not just how much it costs but how long it’ll be in transit for.

Some things to ponder:

– What are your shipping options? How much do they cost and how long will they be in transit for?
– International swaps: how long are parcels typically in customs? For Canadians I’ve had everything from a couple days to a week being held in customs for observation. Super frustrating and annoying when all you want to do is rip into a package and peruse all the awesome concoctions.
– Is the product packaging really hearty? It’s disappointing to ship something only to find out it didn’t make the journey unscathed. Ditto for the receiver. Save yourself and your recipient some heartache and get something that won’t leak, break or crumble.
– If you’re like me, you like giving and receiving the best. That doesn’t have to mean expensive. It’s the thought that counts. Whether you’re buying something or giving something away from your stash, part with things with the intention on having that product be of interest and use to the other person.
– Expiry dates. Check to make sure the things you’re giving have at least a couple months’ use before they go bad.

Some pro tips:

– Get a tracking number. It’s nice to give to the other person and they can check for it in the mail. Also helpful on the off-chance something happens and your package gets lost in the system.
– Pack flat and think light. To cut down on shipping costs, try to find things that will pack flat and are light. Not only do you not have to pad your parcel with a bunch of stuffing and adding to the cost, it’s totally possible to send something amazing in this way. Lots of things can fit in a padded envelope over a box like foam cleansers (securely tape and put in a ziploc bag), powders and smaller trial items.
– Minimize the things that you send that are heavy or fragile. If you can’t, go heavy with the bubble wrap and newspaper. The worst thing is to get cracked eyeshadow or a tub of melted moisturizer.

That being said, would I do it again? Absolutely! It was a fun experience and so nice to try things I wouldn’t normally pick out for myself!


Have you swapped? Would you swap? What are the qualities of a good swap?
Let me know in the comments below or via social media!

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Elimination Game
Elimination Game | the 1 at a time principle
Elimination Game | easy wins


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