King County resident profiles – Sharing services aficionado
Renton resident Lilian Hurn publishes and writes the Spanish-language frugal living blog Súper Baratísimo o Gratis (“Very Cheap or Free”). Originally from Peru, Lilian also works full-time as a finance manager for Microsoft. She tested sharing services for us, and shared her observations on KUNS TV (YouTube, in Spanish). Thanks Lilian for visiting with us, and for everything you do!
Q: What’s your favorite thing about participating in sharing services?
A: Simply saving money and being able to get new clothes or accessories that I need for little or no cost in actual dollars. Sharing services enable me to swap many of the clothes that I either never use or rarely use, for new or slightly used clothes and other products that can supplement my wardrobe.
Q: Do you have any advice for people looking to get into sharing vs. buying?
A: I always say to think twice before buying. Ask yourself why you really need to purchase retail, when often you can you get what you’re looking for on websites such as Craigslist or Swapstyle. By taking this step and looking for alternatives to retail, you will realize how much money you can actually save.
Q: Can you explain your experience with one of the sharing services you’ve tried?
A: I love the Swapstyle website. Most women have at least some clothes or accessories in their closet that they never use, that don’t fit well, or that have been used maybe once or twice. I’m one of these women!
By sharing goods and services on websites like Swapstyle, I can stop spending significantly more money by not having to buy new clothes at retail prices. This website allows me to swap my clothes, shoes, beauty products, almost anything that I don’t use with other women across the United States.
The Swapstyle website is organized into six categories that enable you to easily find items that you are interested in acquiring. Once you have found what you are looking for, the website allows you to either swap items that you have listed or to purchase the item for much less than it would cost retail.
Some people may think it’s too much work to use this kind of website, but from my experience, I don’t think so. Simply create your profile and upload pictures of the items that you want to swap or sell! When compared with going to the mall or retail stores, spending money on gas and paying higher retail prices, I prefer to shop for less cost and from the safety of my home using the Internet.
Q: What do you think are the benefits of using sharing services?
A: The primary benefit is that you are saving money because you are either swapping goods and services for minimal or no cost, or are simply buying for less than retail. An additional benefit is that you can earn some extra money selling your clothes or accessories on Swapstyle or other similar websites.
(Interview has been condensed and edited)
Updated: Apr. 30, 2013