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How to Host A Swap Party

Posted on November 08, 2012 | 0 comments

Everyone always asks us how we host such amazing swap parties, so we’ve decided to spill our secrets and give you tips on how to throw the perfect swap party with your girlfriends! Swap parties are the perfect excuse to get together, clean out your closets and find amazing treasures! Best part it’s super economical and easy to set up!


  • Invitations (Physical or Virtual)
  • Poker chips (optional)
  • Light snacks
  • Cocktails

Step 1: Choose a theme, date and time

This is the most fun part! Contact a couple girlfriends and see what day and time works best for everyone. Usually a post-work get-together or weekend post-brunch gathering works best! 

Now decide on a theme for the event. Do you want to focus on Dresses? Bags? Shoes? All of the above? Best way to determine the theme is to look in your own closet and see what you need to get rid of most (because most likely your girlfriends are in the same boat!). Make a fun title for the event that includes the item you want to focus on in the title. Some suggestions: Shoe Swap and Sangrias, Dress Swap and Dessert, Purses Swap and Pina Coladas, Swap and Sip (for a general swap).

ClosetDash Shop Tip: For your first swap party it’s best to focus on 1 item so guests don’t feel overwhelmed deciding what items to bring to swap. Dresses are always the most popular items at ClosetDash Shop, followed by Bags.


Step 2: Send out Invitations

You’ve got the details and guestlist set for the party, now time to create an invitation! Decide on physical or virtual invitations…we like the virtual ones since it helps saves trees. Some great sites to use for virtual invitations are Zokos, Paperless Post or Evite. We suggest you send out invites at least 2 weeks before the event so people can start setting aside pieces to bring to your swap!

ClosetDash Shop Tip: If you are doing a clothing-based swap, choose people who are around the same size and/or style type to attend the party so everyone will be able to leave with an item. Also don’t forget to remind people to bring pieces that are in good condition.


Step 3: Decide on the Menu (Optional)

We like to make sure our swappers are fed so they have energy to swap but providing refreshments is completely up to you. If you decide to provide food, keep it to finger foods so people can quickly eat and swap after! 

Easy finger foods to prepare:

  • Veggie platter with dip – you can find veggies precut now in the veggie section of your market. Dips can also be purchased easily in the deli section of your market
  • Fruit platter - grapes, berries, melon, anything in season!
  • Cheese platter with crackers or bread – A lot of markets now offer cubed cuts of cheese in the deli section. Grab a box of crackers or a baguette from the bakery section and you’re set!

Epicurious is also a great site to get recipes for finger foods and tapas if you’d like to get more creative.

Cocktails also add an element of fun to any swap party! Wine is always an easy option or try one of these simple recipes for cocktails to impress your friends!


Step 4: It’s Swap Time!

As guests arrive, take their swap items and review each piece and for each acceptable piece, give them 1 poker chip. The poker chips will be their “swap money” for the evening. Let guests mingle, drink and snack while you prepare the swap area with their items.

Find a table or room to place all the items brought in by the swappers. Once you have checked everyone in, open the swap area! 1 poker chip = 1 item from the swap area. So every time a person takes an item, make sure to collect a poker chip. This is to keep the swap fair for each person since they will be able to take as many items as they brought. The poker chip system is optional.

ClosetDash Shop Tip: Once the swapping has slowed down, gather everyone together and show off your finds! Take photos and/or video of it and post to social media!


Step 5: Leftover Items

After guests have left, you’ll probably be left with tons of items that didn’t get swapped. Don’t throw them away! Bring them by ClosetDash Shop or donate them to your local charity to put them to good use.

ClosetDash Shop Tip: Consider donating to one of our amazing donation partners: Goodwill NYNJ, WGirls, Housing Works, Bottomless Closet, and Room to Grow.

Send thank you emails along with any photos/videos you may have taken and start planning the next swap party!

And that’s it! If this still seems daunting for you to organize or if you want an amazing space to host a swap party in, ClosetDash Shop in NYC is available to host private swap parties for you and your friends. We take care of all the details, all you need to do is show up with your friends! Best part, you can even swap for items in the shop! Just check out Host a Swap Party at www.closetdashshop.com.

Let us know how your swap party goes, we’d love to hear from you! Post photos on our Facebook Page , Tweet Us or Instagram Us (@ClosetDashShop) your photos.

Happy Swapping!

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