“ Type: Fashion / Beauty - Swapping site „
I have been looking for a makeup/beauty swapping site for a while and one day while searching I came across a website called beautyswapshop.co.uk so naturally I thought my luck was in and I could swap all my unwanted makeup/beauty products and receive something else that I wanted in return, perfect.
On the first page beautyswapshop.co.uk likes to describe itself as the UK's first and only beauty exchange site. You will find a friendly forum, enter regular competitions, read our style EZine?. Since founded in January 2007 beautyswapshop.co.uk has over 6,000 members.
Sounds good hey? Loads of activity here.
I thought it's had a few years to get established and would be busy so I signed up. Upon registering, which is very easy and you only get asked a few questions like your name, username, email address and a password. Simples.
I did find however I never received an email notification of my username and password reminder so if you forget these you may be in trouble.
Upon registering you're taken to their forum where you can introduce yourself and talk to fellow makeup swappers while sharing tips and a lot more. Unfortunately this is where I encountered my first problem; the boards are not very active at all. In fact their dead, if you go into the Inductions board. By the looks of it the board was most active in 2008 and gradually got worse over time. Posts in 2010 are few and far between. For a site that has over 6,000 members I thought the forum would have been jam packed.
At the top of the page there is a link called Swap Shop, this is where you can swap all your unwanted makeup and beauty products. You're taken to another page where you can see how much products are on offer and as of 1 November 2010 there are currently 215 items in the makeup section and this dies down to less then 100 items in accessories, hair care, skin care, bath and body and fragrances.
As it is a swap shop I decided to put some of my items up and then I could search for what I wanted and hope for the best.
Adding a swap is easy with the Add A Swap link at the top of the screen. You are asked a few questions about the product you are swapping such as, what category it goes into i.e. makeup or fragrance, what you would like to swap it for, a description of the product, the condition you are swapping it in, where you are in the country and your status, which asks you to either use swapped or available. You only use swapped when you have swapped with someone else and are happy. Then you can add a picture of the item you're swapping and you are done.
When your item has been added to the database you will see it in the category you've selected it to be in. This is also where you can view items other members have posted and if you like you can you can private message them.
This is where I encountered my second problem, after I had put all my items on here to swap and messaged some members about their items to swap I never heard anything back, never. Mostly because no one receives email notifications and after a week or two I emailed admin (the founder of the site) and asked her that I never receive any email notifications and no one was getting back to me. Within the hour I received an email from Admin (clearly she is still holding on and waiting for the site to get busy), stating email notifications haven't worked for a while and there looking into it members have to log in to view their messages and a lot don't do this (this was month and months ago, so do I believe her?) She also commented on my comment about no-one getting back to me saying the site was very slow at the moment. After this I never heard anything else.
I posted in the forum and again I didn't hear a thing from anyone, the site was officially dead, a ghost town but over the Internet.
I posted on another makeup forum asking them if anyone else had heard of this site and if there was another one around that I could try as well. I had a few replies and everyone said the site is dead, no activity to be seen anywhere and not to waste my time.
They said the site was busy when it was first founded in 2007 but since then it as got worse and worse.
So after that prompt response I took all my listings down and vacated the premises and signed up to a very well known swapping site and haven't look back since.
I hate to be such a downer on a review but I can not find a single good thing about this site apart from it's easy to sign up.
What about their 6,000 plus members? Well I have searched and searched the site and there is no live stats anywhere telling you how many members are logged on into the forum that day, week or month, how many members are logged into swapping or how many items have been swapped since the site launched.
There are messages in the forum saying such and such member has swap lifted and the last post was dated May 2010, however this message was there when I posted with a different date. I know other swapping sites all have their swap lifters but swap lifters are going to target a smaller community a lot more than a well published site.
Looking at the site now in a different light I have no confidence in the site at all and I don't think anyone else has that is why the site is so dead. Personally I think the founder should take the site down and save her hosting money.