International Beauty Box Swaps: WHAT ARE THEY?
I have taken SO DAMN LONG to get around to this post (and, honestly, I had kind of forgotten about the draft sitting in my WordPress) but here I am. Finally. It’s the first part of my International Box Swap series.
I have posted about my International Box Swaps numerous times on my blog and I am happy to say that I know I am the reason that a few of my friends have managed to pull off successful and exciting swaps of their own! Swapping is such a fun hobby but it can also be costly, and you have to be smart about it. Therefore I am writing these posts up to give a personal insight into it and how YOU can go about it yourself.
This post will cover what swapping is, how you can get in contact with someone to swap with and how you can make sure you do not get swaplifted. My second post will cover which countries are best to swap with and also some interesting ideas of what to send in a box being sent from South Africa.
First off, I have swapped about ten times which really is a lot. I know girls who have swapped more than FIFTY boxes! So there are more experienced swappers than myself out there but I honestly would consider myself an “expert” mainly because I have never been swaplifted, and thats what you need to be afraid of.
Swaplifting is basically when you get screwed over by your swap partner. This can be anything from:
– Your box not being worth the agreed budget
– Your items are used or are all samples/freebies (seriously, this happens. A lot.)
– Your box just not arriving at all.
International Box Swapping is as simple as that. You pack a box full of goodies and you send it to someone in another country. I have only ever swapped beauty products with some candy thrown in for good measure but I see people swapping food, souvenirs, postcards, dolls, toys, tea and coffee, clothing, almost anything! I have even seen people arrange ‘pet swaps’. As in my animal picks out treats and toys for your animal and we swap those.. I don’t get it, but then again I am not an animal person.
All of my swaps apart from one have been organised via a Facebook group. I joined about six at one stage but this group stood out for me for a few reasons; 1) it took AGES to be accepted into the group. The admin check your entire profile to make sure you are over 18, your profile looks real, etc etc. 2) there are a few admins from all around the world which means that there is always someone manning the site and who can respond to any queries you may have. No jokes, you will get a response within 15 minutes if you need help. 3) they have strict rules which you have to abide by, and if you don’t, then sorry for you but you are out. 4) they have an awesome quiz setup which each swap partner fills in and it covers everything from what you want to swap to what you don’t, to which make-up you like and which make-up items you prefer in which shades. This is to make sure you don’t end up with a hectic matte effect vampy purple lipstick when you were after pastel lipglosses.
Your first swap also only allows for your budget to be $50. This is because of you ARE swaplifted then the damage is not so severe. Some girls get ahead of themselves and go over budget and then get swaplifted. And that is pretty sheeeet.
The most important thing to do that will help you against being swaplifted is FOLLOW THE GROUP RULES. The swapping groups and forums can seem really strict and scary but the rules are imposed for a reason. Some people get annoyed over the fact that they need to send proof of receipts and Post Office slips but it is all to ensure that you don’t get swaplifted. There are red flags to look out for, such as:
- Lack of communication. We are all busy but you need to message one another at least once a day.
- Make sure you have a CLEAR budget. If you go crazy overboard but she does not, you will end up feeling like it wasn’t worth it. Obvs.
- Ask for constant updates on what they have bought OR pictures of the items wrapped up if you prefer to be surprised.
- Ask for pictures of the parcel wrapped up WITH your name and address on it, as well as pictures of her at the Post Office posting it. It sounds extreme but its all worthwhile.
- You also NEED to be prepared for huge postage costs. Make-up gets really really heavy and international tracked shipping can be pricey. Non-tracked postage is just not an option either so you have to grit your teeth, save up, and just pay for it.
You can visit the Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/621605364566244/921446174582160/?ref=notif¬if_t=group_comment_follow
To view some boxes which I have received check these links out;
My next International Box Swap post will also include indepth posts on what items I sent TO my box swap partners. People who send boxes from South Africa tend to think that we only have lame products and brands which no-one will want, but you would be surprised.
Thanks for reading and I hope this post gave you some helpful tips!
I really want to try this! Looks so fun!
Definitely try it if you are interested in overseas brands! xx
I can’t wait to see what type of stuff you sent.
I just asked to join the international box swop group on Facebook. Hope I get accepted
I just want to thank you
I am busy locking in my first swap and I am very exited about it
It’s a a friendly lady from the UK.
How do you send your parcels out? Via post or DHL?
What is the cost on average to send a 1 kg parcel to the UK?
Hi Ayesha – so happy for you! Last time I swapped with the UK I used a big padded envelope and it was 2.4KG and it cost R480 to send. So try keep it lower in weight 🙂 And also ALWAYS use the Post Office and not the courier companies.
Wow this sounds so cool!
Do you pay import duties and clearing fees when it arrives?
Hi Paula 🙂 I have done eight swaps now and I had to pay for two – these were two BIG boxes and they based the price on the price that your swap partner states the worth as. So make sure they label it as a really low price if you ever do swap 🙂 xx