Second-hand shopping online

CHOICE explores risks of shopping and swapping second-hand items online.
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  • Updated:14 Sep 2009

02.Swapping sites

The attraction of this site is that it offers a huge range of used items for swap, sale or auction. This international online swap marketplace has a sizeable community in Australia and allows members to swap products for services and vice versa; it’s not unusual to find professional pest control services offered in exchange for household appliances and furniture . You can also haggle until both parties are happy with the swap or price of the item. The site allows you to swap or buy items instantly by contacting the swapper or seller, instead of having to wait for the outcome of an online auction bid.

This bartering site was launched last August, and now has more than 2000 members nationwide . It works like SwapAce, except it specifically caters to mothers who list products they don’t need or services they can offer in return for something they want or need. Fathers are sometimes included in the services – such as handyman skills – the women list as part of the swap offer. Services range from haircuts to chiropractic sessions, and products range from books to pets. Artist Jessica Gronow even made a living out of it. She joined Mumswap last October to save money on baby clothes and offered drawing portraitures in return. People started to offer payment for her to draw, creating a job that now earns her $1000 a month.

Baby products such as cots and seats are very popular on this site. However, you should always be careful using second-hand baby products. Older products may not meet current safety standards and may pose potential hazards. Go to for more on what to look out for.

Clothing Exchange
Fancy making over your wardrobe without spending a cent? The site was set up for women who have clothes and accessories they may not need and are looking for a wardrobe makeover at very low cost. Swap events are organised in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide ; simply sign up to their mailing list to find out when and where the event is happening and bring up to six garments or accessories you wish to swap. Entry to the event usually costs $25 at the door and $20 if your buy entry tickets online.

Oz Recycle
This recycling website is just that – it offers freebies to be reused. All you need to do is contact the person who’s giving away the item and collect it. It can be anything from a 1930s pianola to a cupboard. The site’s search engine lets you find out what’s available and near you just by keying in your postcode. The waste-reduction concept to recycle goods works both ways. If, for example, you want to give away a dining table you no longer need, simply put the notice up on the website for free and wait for someone to contact you.


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