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An imperfect life guide for women

How One Toronto Woman Did All Of Her Christmas Shopping For $0

After a few successful trades on Bunz this year, Diane Simon got an excellent idea: exchange the stuff she wasn’t using for thoughtful Christmas gifts.

She set to work early on, scanning her feed for ideas. “You can do searches for specific items, or just browse through what comes up,” says Simon. “I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, which is kind of how I do my Christmas shopping anyway. They don’t necessarily ask for specific items, so I’d just find them some cool things I think they would like.”

She traded in a baby carrier she wasn’t using to a pregnant woman, who in turn knit a sweater for her youngest little one. She received another hand-knit sweater in exchange for some floating shelves, Rubbermaid containers and mason jars. “I’m still doing trades,” she says. “I’ve gotten a dozen or more, easily. I have something for everyone – for my mother, for my partner. Big gifts, stocking stuffers.”

The biggest challenge is simply arranging for meetups to exchange items. “Everyone’s lives are so busy,” she says. “But everyone is so nice and accommodating about it. A lot of the time I’ve gone to people’s places, I’ve had them come to me, I’ve done a million meetups in random places. I’m meeting people who are also collecting things for Christmas presents.”

Diane's haul so far.

Diane’s haul so far.

She believes the experience has changed the way she shops overall. “We all have those things in our place – those impulse buys. Now, because I’m actually posting them and trading them, I don’t do those impulse buys as much anymore. I ask, “Am I really going to use this?

Diane loathes the rush and anxiety of the mall at this time of year, compounded by the pressure of the ads that seem to appear as soon as Halloween is over. “It’s expensive. Everyone is so cranky. I try to avoid it. I shopped at independent shops. I did a lot of online shopping. But this way, it’s amazing. I’m clearing out stuff that’s just taking up space and I’m trading it for things we’re actually going to use, that we need. It’s all cost-free. Come January, there’s no big credit card bill,” she says.

Start your holiday ‘shopping’ experience right now on Bunz.