Swapping online is quite a new phenomenon. If you have attended one of The Clothing Exchange’s signature swap events then you will understand the concept, however you may still have some questions! This page will fill you in on how the process works in an online environment. If you can’t find what you are looking for, try our FAQ's.
The basics of how it works for both swapping platforms are the same – you bring or upload garments that you value but no longer wear, and swap them for 'new' items that you will treasure.
Given this is a new platform we are developing, we hope you can understand that our swap shop takes a little time to load. But your patience will be rewarded!
To get an overview about how to swap online, please view our online tutorial.
But it that doesn't work, we've broken it down for you here -
To swap online, you need to register before you get started. Once you have registered, you can start uploading your wardrobe to the site. ‘My Wardrobe’ is a gallery of the items you want to swap, and just like in our physical events, these items should be ones that you value but no longer want.
To list an item, click on ‘Add Garment’ and then enter the details of the item. For each item of clothing you assign a value, and this value is represented by virtual buttons. Depending on the quality and uniqueness of the item you may assign it a value of between 1 and 5 buttons. It’s up to you the value you assign, but try your best to be honest and objective!
You can upload up to nine photos of the item, but must upload at least one. This is so that the other swappers can get a good idea of what the item is really like. See our tips for listing an item for more information.
Once you have saved the listing, it will show up in your Wardrobe and in the Swap Shop.
Now you are ready to swap! You can peruse the galleries of other swappers items, and filter your search by category, size, colour and more.
If you see an item you like, there are two ways to obtain it:
Clicking Swap on an item you would like to own sends a Swap Request to the owner of that item. They will then be prompted to browse through the items that you have listed to see if they would like to swap their item for one of yours. The item they choose must be of equal or lesser button value.
If you have enough buttons to ‘buy’ an item, you may do so by clicking Purchase. A message will be sent to the owner of the item with your postage details, and you will receive the user’s account details so that you can pay for the postage of the item. The button value of the item will be deducted from your profile and credited to the garment’s owner. The Purchase option means that you can obtain the item should the other user not want to swap it for something listed in your Wardrobe, or if you simply have some extra buttons that you would like to spend!
Following the confirmation of a Swap or a Purchase, each user will receive the postage and payment details required to finalise the transaction.
For a purchase, the buyer must then pay for postage and the owner of the item must package the item and send it promptly once they have received payment. For a swap, if there is a difference in the postage costs, the difference must be paid, and then each swapper must package their item and send it promptly once payment has been received. If there is no difference in postage then all you have to do is send the item and watch the mail for yours!
In some cases, users will select Yes on ‘Pickup availability’ when they list an item. If you happen to live in the same area as the person you are swapping with or purchasing from, you may be able to organise pick-up to save on postage by messaging the swapper.
Now, it takes a bit of organising on our part to facilitate the online swapping service, and while we are passionate about swapping, we also need to cover our costs. So, when you register for online swapping, you provide us with your credit card details. There are two charges that you will incur while you are swapping with The Clothing Exchange.
Listing charge: your credit card will be debited $1.00* for each item you list. This charge is in place as a kind of quality control, so that items that people value, and not just ‘any old thing’ are listed in our Swap Shop.
Swap facilitation fee: when you a) ‘buy’ an item with your buttons or b) swap an item with another user, your credit card will be debited a swap facilitation fee of $5.00*. You do not pay this fee when an item is ‘bought' from you with another user's buttons. This fee covers our overheads and will help us to make a small profit so that we can run bigger and better events and continue to seek collaborations and opportunities to make a difference in the sphere of sustainable fashion.
*All amounts are in Australian dollars. Our Australian swappers will also be charged GST on top of their transaction fees.
Swapping works best when there is a high standard of quality ensuring everyone takes home something they're happy with. The Clothing Exchange cannot screen the items that are listed on this site for quality, however, our discerning swappers will soon pick the good from the not so good!
While we have put our trust in you to uphold the standards of the online Swap Shop, your swapping experience will be far more successful if you stick to the guidelines below.
- Items should be clean, folded or pressed when sent, and doing this before you photograph the item to upload will make a difference to your item’s popularity
- Items should be of good quality with a long potential lifespan.
- Items should be likely to be valued by others – ask yourself, would I be happy to give this item to a friend?
- Items should be free of faults or with minor faults that are easy to repair (for example, a missing button). Any faults like these should be mentioned in the description of your item.
The best items to swap are good quality garments that you once loved but are no longer your favourites or perhaps no longer fit you perfectly. This way, you’re giving them a second life with someone new who will treasure them. Whatever you swap, please make sure to are emotionally detached from the item, as once it has been swapped you cannot change your mind, and any items left over (events only) go to charity.
Note: Please do not list anything pilled, pongy, or too far from perfect. Please do not list undergarments. The same applies to swimsuits (unless brand new).
It's quality, not quantity: Don’t be put off if the Swap Shop is low on ‘stock’ in the early stages of online swapping – we are new! We urge you to have a little faith, and remember, it’s quality, not quantity.
Something for everyone: Having an online swapping platform means that we can now cater for men, women and children, of all shapes, sizes and styles – you can easily filter you search to find something that suits you.
You might find designer garments, high street basics, accessories, shoes and unique covetable pieces that you won’t believe someone is getting rid of! Vintage or new, fashion forward or quirky and one-of-a-kind, branded or homemade - The Clothing Exchange suits the savvy shopper with a strong sense of individual style.
A friendly bunch: Swapping has always been a fun, social activity, and we don’t expect that to change in the digital realm. Feel free to share stories about garments – it will make your listing stand out and add to the great swapping community vibe that The Clothing Exchange is known for.
Online swapping is quite a new concept, and it’s important to get the ball rolling somehow. We recommend you hold onto your buttons for a start and get your feet wet by sending a Swap Request. Everyone wins with a direct swap and once you see how easy it is you will be less nervous about swapping online. Go on, jump in!
If you are anything like us, you will hold some frustrations over the disparity in the sizing of garments. In a world when you can be a size 10 in one brand, and a 14 in another, it can be daunting to commit to buying clothing online.
We have addressed this modern problem by creating out very own size guide, that we highly recommend you use! It’s been developed by researching and reviewing many sizing guides from large well-known online retailers, to come up with a Clothing Exchange standard.
To use it, open the Size Guide, measure yourself just once and match your measurements to find your Clothing Exchange size.
Then, when you list an item, in addition to entering the garment’s marked size, users are recommended to enter it’s size according to our custom Size Guide, which you will be able to calculate easily with a couple of measurements.
We’d love to hear if our Size Guide works for you, and what you think of it. Get in touch if you have any comments!
Put a little thought into how you describe an item. Think about the things that stand out about that item to you, like the extra silky lining that feels great to wear, or some great concealed pockets that you can't make out in the photos.
Don't be afraid to tell a story about the item in the description. If you bought it in an interesting place or wore it for a special occasion, we reckon the swapping community will want to know! We do - we love how clothes can hold such meaning, it's just another reason why we should keep unworn pieces circulating!
If you are unsure of the fabric of the item, check the care label. If you can't find a care label and still don't know, try to describe it in your listing instead.
Take the time to measure the item. Not everything runs true to size (in fact far from it) and because of this people can fluctuate between sizes from different brands and manufacturers. Vintage and homemade garments will often not have sizes on them, or if they do, they may be outdated.
You may think measuring your items will take you a long time, but it's actually very easy and quick, and will vastly increase the chances of having happy swappers, so everyone will win!
Get a measuring tape from your kitchen drawer (if you haven't got one there already) and just whip it out and take these measurements when you are listing an item:
Tops / jumpers / jackets / dresses: Shoulder width (seam to seam), bust circumference (lay item flat, measure seam to seam under the arms and double to get the circumference) and length (shoulder seam to hemline).
Skirts: Waist circumference (lay item flat and measure across the top of the skirt, double to get circumference), Hip circumference (same method but at the hip - this is most important on a tight skirt, where you should measure the widest part of the skirt), length (top of waistband to hem).
Trousers / Jeans: Waist circumference* (lay item flat and measure across the top of the trouser, double to get circumference), Hip circumference (same method but at the hip - this is most important on tight trousers, where you should measure the widest part of the trouser), and outer leg length (top of waistband to trouser hem).
Shoes: Inner sole (heel to toe inside the shoe), width ( across the widest part of the shoe, where the ball of the foot sits), heel height, and for tall boots - calf circumference.
If you want the items in your wardrobe to be sought after (and it’s quite flattering when your items are popular with other savvy online swappers) put a bit of thought into your photography.
Lots of pictures: You can upload up to 9 photos of an item, and you must upload at least 1. This means that other swappers will be able to get a good idea of what the item is really like.
Size and file type: Photos can be JPG, GIF OR PNG files and must be smaller than 4 MB, with an image ratio of between 2:3 and 10:7 and more than 700 px in height and width.
Use a hanger: A simple way to take a good picture of an item is to pop it on a hanger and hang it from a picture hook on a plain, light background.
Natural light is best: Have a good source of light so colours show up well. This is especially important for black items.
Lots of angles: Take pictures from a few different angles, and at least one from the front and one from the back.
Show the details: Take close-ups of details like a cute button or a lace insert, to help ‘sell’ your garment. A picture of the label is also a good idea.
Consider getting together with a friend so you can model your clothes, or each others, for your listing. Garments tend to look totally different when being worn to how they look on a hanger. If you don't have someone else to take pictures for you, you can always use the timer button on your camera or phone. This usually takes a tiny bit of practice to get right, but is a good skill to have. Mirror selfies can also do the trick (remember no flash with this one, though!)
Remember that if you are using filters on your camera or phone, that they can alter the appearance of a garment, especially in the colour department. Make sure that the photo still honestly depicts the garment as it appears in real life.