I am a big fan of trading, both in person and online: it saves money and means items are getting a new lease on life. I’ve already told you about how to sell your cloth diapers on Facebook, so today let me teach you about safely trading with other Mamas in Facebook groups.
First of all, you are only limited by your imagination as far as what you might be able to trade for what. For example, I just traded a hemp trifold insert for a pair of leather Robeez-style slippers for the Cub.
You may or may not have heard of “backing up a trade” using PayPal. Many Mamas trade based on good faith alone: the other Mama says she’ll hold up her side of the bargain, and you just hope she does. For small trades, let’s say, under $10 in actual value, it’s up to you whether you want to take the risk. For anything more valuable, I strongly recommend that you protect yourself by insisting that both parties back up the trade using PayPal. Once the person agrees to do so, it’s highly unlikely she’s trying to scam you. Nonetheless, follow through with the transaction using PayPal. The price of backing up the trade is the associated PayPal fees (.30 cents + about 2% of the traded value). If you do not have a PayPal account, you will need one. You cannot do this using EMT! (Electronic money transfer)
Step by step guide:
1) Find someone to trade with. You may do this by posting in a group what you are looking for and what you have up for trade, or perhaps you have an item that someone else is looking for and would like to trade for what she is offering.
2) Send pictures and descriptions of items to be traded, ideally in a way that leaves a record (not just on the wall of a forum, where the thread could be deleted).
3) Decide on a monetary value for your trade. Theoretically, you are trading items with a similar value. As an example, let’s suppose you have an AppleCheeks cover in EUC (excellent used condition) and the other Mama has a BumGenius 4.0, also in EUC. Let’s assume you agree that the items would each otherwise sell for $20.
4) Send a money request to each other. Treat this “trade” like a sale. For PayPal’s purposes, carry out the transaction as if you were selling the other Mama your diaper.
5) Each of you must pay the received money request. As you see, you will essentially be swapping $20 bills with each other. PayPal will ultimately deduct 88 cents from each of you for the transaction. (You can use this fee calculator to help figure this out.)
6) Send each other the items in the agreed upon fashion. If you are both sending letter mail, make sure this is clear, since letter mail does not have tracking or insurance.
7) Enjoy your new-to-you item, and send a quick thank you message to your trading partner so she knows you received the goods!
Note: In your money request, include a note outlining the details of the sale. Something along these lines:
“For one BumGenius 4.0 pocket diaper in Dazzle in EUC including letter mail shipping at buyer’s risk.”