When Swappa first started we had just one simple goal in mind: provide people with a safer place to buy and sell their used tech online. This idea took root after Swappa founder Ben Edwards was on the receiving end of a Craigslist deal gone wrong. Like so many others, Ben found himself the victim of fraud and knew there had to be a better way. That’s where Swappa’s story officially began…
We’ve come a long way since our start in 2010. With thousands of transactions taking place every day, Swappa’s reputation has grown and so has our marketplace. After starting out exclusively listing used phones, we’ve since expanded into new product categories like tablets, laptops, cameras, video games and home tech. Now, a million+ users strong, Swappa is on target to exceed $100 million in commerce for the year and has positioned itself as the internet’s most trusted marketplace for those looking to find the best deals or make extra cash from their old tech.
Swappa never sleeps and in between providing our users with 24/7 support and moderating our marketplace listings, we work tirelessly to develop new ways to improve our user experience. With our sights set firmly on reaching that next big milestone, we’re excited to introduce our latest and most exciting development yet: Swappa Local.
What is Swappa Local?
Swappa Local is simply a new way for our marketplace users to find the best tech deals in their area. It’s not too different from how Swappa already works with the same focus on device verification. The only difference is we now bring this safety layer to face-to-face meetups for near same-day pickup.
This gives sellers the ability to target local buyers in their area while eliminating shipping costs in favor of local meetups. For buyers, they get to take home an item the moment it’s been purchased, which is ideal for anyone looking to replace a broken or missing phone in a hurry. Swappa Local helps put more money in the sellers’ pockets, while providing near instant gratification for buyers. It’s a win-win across the board.
Of course, Swappa Local doesn’t compromise on our already existing safety standards. Each and every device on Swappa Local is verified and listings only go live once they’ve been manually approved by our staff. It’s these steps that help keep our marketplace free from junk and allows you to trust the tech you buy. It’s an absolute no-brainer for anyone looking to buy or sell their used stuff whether it’s online or in person — Swappa has you covered.
How to use Swappa Local
Although it looks a bit different from our traditional marketplace, Swappa Local works pretty much the same way. When creating a listing, sellers have the option to list their device on Swappa Local, then choosing a safe meetup spot ahead of time for local pickup.
Buyers can browse local listings in their area by heading over to Swappa.com/local and use the search bar to find a specific product in their area. Potential buyers can ask questions publicly and evaluate the seller’s ratings or reviews prior to making a purchase. Once a buyer purchases an item, both parties are given access to a private sale page for direct messaging. Once the buyer pays a small upfront deposit, the listing is then removed from the marketplace as a convenience to the seller.
From there, the buyer and seller meet at the agreed upon, safe location, where the buyer inspects the device, and the seller receives the remaining payment to complete the transaction. Shaking hands isn’t required, but a friendly fist bump is always a nice way to conclude a deal.
Why use Swappa Local
Waiting days for a product to ship can feel like an eternity, especially if it’s something as important as a smartphone that needs replacing. When time is of the essence, Swappa Local is the perfect way to find great deals and get them into your hands in the shortest amount of time possible.
It’s faster than waiting for something to ship and more reliable than a package sitting on your front porch all day. With Swappa Local, you can arrange to pick up an item from local sellers right in your own neighborhood.
Swappa Local is a great way to target buyers in your area who are looking for same-day pickup. Shipping a device isn’t always the most convenient, or even reliable. By meeting someone in person and exchanging your item for cash on the spot, you don’t have to worry about the hassles associated with packing, shipping costs, or running into any issues that can occur during shipment.
Of course, not all sellers will choose to participate in Swappa Local and that’s totally fine. Local listings are just a new option to help our users sell their stuff to local buyers and get paid on the spot. It also makes a great option for selling lower priced items like used video games, where the time, effort or shipping costs may not be worth it.
Is Swappa Local safe?
The Swappa marketplace is already one of the safest places to buy used tech online and Swappa Local is built upon this same foundation. Whether you plan on shipping or selling locally, every listing on Swappa goes through the same approval process. Our support staff manually verifies listings before they go live in our marketplace and performs background checks on phones to ensure they’re ready for activation.
All of these checks help lessen the chances of fraud with buyers having the peace of mind in knowing the tech they’re buying is legitimate and ready to go. Sellers can also rest assured knowing that buyers are serious, having paid a small deposit fee before meeting up, so they likely won’t be wasting anyone’s time.
Swappa Local swap spots
A list of pre-approved swap spots Swappa has deemed safe for the exchanging of devices and cash is provided to sellers when creating a listing and chosen ahead of time. This allows the buyer to see exactly where the seller wishes to meetup and can make a decision whether or not to proceed with the sale. Swap spots generally include public places like “Safe Trade Locations” found at police stations, coffee shops, or even local repair shops.
Of course, the buyer and seller will need to arrange for a time and date to meet at the agreed upon location. Swappa recommends giving buyers/sellers 15 or so minutes of leeway time to account for traffic or other unforeseen circumstances before aborting a meetup.
We also want to be clear: Swappa users should never — under any circumstances — visit a non-safe or non-public space for a local pickup. Should a buyer not feel safe for any reason, they should leave and contact the seller, as well as Swappa staff, to address their concerns. For more on Swappa Local swap spots including tips, best practices and our partnership with Cell Phone Repair (CPR) locations for local meetups, check out our blog post:
When it does come time to finally meetup, we want to make sure buyers and sellers have followed all the necessary guidelines to ensure a positive and successful transaction. This involves buyers fully inspecting a device (including verifying serial numbers/IMEI numbers) before handing exchanging cash, while sellers should come fully prepared with everything included in their listing. We’ve detailed all these tips and more in our safety series for meetups which you can find linked below.
- Using cash on Swappa Local
- Tips on selling a used phone to a local buyer
- Tips on buying a used phone from a local seller
Does Swappa Local charge a fee?
On Swappa, sellers never pay fees. That’s because the sale fee is added to the price of a listing and paid for by the buyer. Swappa Local works much the same way, with buyers paying a small deposit (fee) to lock-in and prevent a listing from being purchased by anyone else, thus kicking off the meetup process. For more on Swappa’s fees, check out the dedicated page here.
Why Swappa Local is better than other marketplaces
When compared against other platforms like Craigslist and OfferUp, the difference is clear. Safety and support is something the other guys simply refuse to offer and it’s a big reason why these services more closely resemble device junkyards, filled with broken or locked devices. With little-to-no moderation, these services have become breeding grounds for fraud, scammers, and time-wasters. As a buyer or seller, you deserve better. For a more in depth explanation on why Swappa Local is better than other online marketplaces, check out the posts below.
Where is Swappa Local available?
For our initial launch phase, Swappa Local launched in five major metros across the US. As we continue to add new cities to this list, we’re inviting Swappa community members in the following markets to try out our new local option for easy meetups. Here are the markets where Swappa Local is currently available:
- Atlanta, GA
- Austin, TX
- Baltimore, MD
- Boston, MA
- Charlotte, NC
- Chicago, IL
- Dallas / Fort Worth, TX
- Detroit, MI
- Houston, TX
- Kansas City
- Las Vegas, NV
- Minneapolis / St Paul, MN
- Orange County, CA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Phoenix, AZ
- Portland, OR
- Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill, NC
- Sacramento, CA
- San Diego, CA
- St. Louis, MO
Swappa users with existing listings looking to convert them over to a Swappa Local listing can check out our FAQ page for more. Additional cities and markets will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay on top of our social media channels to stay on top of site announcements.
Swappa Local is just getting started, and we’re excited to have you — the Swappa community — be a part of it. Swappa Local is a direct result of your feedback, and we hope you’ll find it a useful new options when buying or selling your used tech. To find Swappa Local deals available in your neighborhood, check out the all new Swappa Local page to start shopping tech deals near you.