'Mom swaps' become more popular

August 24, 2009 4:32:12 PM PDT
What's old is new again is a motto some Sugar Land moms are learning to live by. They have mastered the art of reuse, recycle and repurpose.Growing kids go through piles and piles of clothes, toys and gear. Instead of throwing out or donating items, local moms are trading or swapping them. We found it's saving them hundreds of dollars a year.

"They are disposable Pampers bibs. You are welcome to take them," Melissa Weiss said.

Weiss no longer needs baby bibs.

"I think ten dollars," Missy Pickett said.

Pickett's little one has outgrown this toy.

"It still has the tag in it," said Michelle Deserf.

Her daughter no longer fits into this dress.

"They are babies for such a short amount of time, they may just use something for three months and they outgrow it," said Sugar Land Group President Lindsey Terry

They're called "mom swaps" and Terry says they are huge in her neighborhood. This group gets together four times a year to buy, sell and trade their gently used or new items.

"I think I bought it for $60 but I am selling for ten dollars," Pickett.

This is the way the swap works. Just like a garage sale, a host mom will offer up her house to set up items up for grabs. The difference here is that the sale is indoors and you know the seller which gives these moms peace of mind.

"You trust them and you know where it's been and how it's been taken care of it," said Deserf.

As for pricing, some items are tagged, but most moms verbally agree on a deal. One mom gets ten dollars for this baby swing that retails for $120. Another mom sold this jogging stroller for $35 that would have cost more than $200 new. Most dresses are priced at $1 while these brand new shoes are $5.

In many cases though there's no money exchanged, rather the items are traded. Weiss swapped her sons' toy bus for this Candyland game.

"We are not just throwing things away we are reusing them," said Terry.

Trading toys was a big hit too. Most of the moms said that after hearing the same music over and over again, not only was it good for their pocketbook, but their state of mind.

"Sometimes I get bored and my kids get bored with the same toys and even just to swap them between us is a lot helpful," said Amy Waters.

As far as setting prices goes, the moms tell us they walk in knowing how high and low they're willing to go, especially on the big ticket items like strollers. What doesn't get sold or swapped is saved for another swap, or donated.

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