Albury-WodongaNE VictoriaSouthern New South Wales

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Swap Shop

By Carolyn Re, Albury

If you yearn for a fun-filled shopping spree without spending cash or maxing out your credit card why not try setting up a free ‘swap shop’ at home?

A group of my friends did this recently and it worked a treat. Like most people we had assorted items hanging around the house that we’d once enjoyed, but whose appeal had faded over time. We’ve all been there, buying something we fell in love with before realising that it never quite suited or never fitted properly, leaving us faintly embarrassed and sorrowful but reluctant to let go.

So everyone arrived at our ‘shop’ laden with goodies in the hope that once-treasured items might catch someone’s eye and enjoy a second life in a caring home. And that’s exactly what happened. We soon found that even a tired ex-love could still spark excitement in someone else.

Like an Aladdin’s cave, an array of exciting gifts lay before us: scarves, DVDs, clothes, gorgeous unworn shoes, books, magazines, garden cuttings, garden produce, chutneys, trinkets, knick-knacks. You name it, it was there. And just about everything found a loving home while everyone found something to love, even the one person who announced on arrival that, having recently downsized her home, there was NO WAY she was taking ANYTHING back home. Entranced by the allure of the treasure chest, she found the perfect scarf to match her fair complexion, magazines for her waiting room at work and well, okay, she had to agree, that silk shirt did fit her perfectly…

So if you’re over traipsing around the streets looking for a park to spend money you don’t have, gather your friends and give it a go. But be warned – economists say that if everyone stops spending, the entire economy will crumble, so please keep this idea to yourself.

Meanwhile, check out ecoportal.net.au for information on these established local swap events:

  • Table Top Community Food & Book Swap 6.00–7.00pm on the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Table Top Community Hall off Burma Road.
  • Yackandandah Community Food Swap, 9.30–11.00 am on the third Saturday of each month at the community garden on Railway Avenue.
  • Birallee Park Neighbourhood House Food Swap, every weekday, 11.00am – 2.00pm at 39 Emerald Avenue, West Wodonga.