Aussie website urges thrifty moms to swap, not shop

Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:51am EDT
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By Pauline Askin

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Why shop when you can swap? An Australian bartering website is targeting moms keen to live the good life despite the economic slowdown, and their children.

The website,, was launched last month by a Melbourne-based mother, for women whose household incomes took a battering because they had kids or because they left their jobs to become stay-at-home moms.

The site, which can be used for free, is one of several offering services for parents and set up by Australians hurt by rising prices and interest rates at 12-year highs., however, is the only one designed especially with mothers in mind, 29-year-old Christie, the site's founder who only wants to be referred to by one name, told Reuters.

"I see us as a solution to give mums the chance to have it all," she added. "The cost of living is high and society has created pressure on us to have everything but reality bites when you have a child and you lose an income."

Touting itself as "the smart, stress-free way to have it all", the site offers users the ability to swap a range of goods and services that include doing the ironing, babysitting, business and hobby-related know-how, vacations and fashion.

"Feel free to borrow my holiday home if you have some great clothes to give away," wrote one user.

"So this is where I can get a makeover and fashion tips in return for some home-cooked meals," wrote another.

So far, the site does not carry advertisements, and Christie said she was determined to keep it "socially responsible".

(Reporting by Pauline Askin, Editing by Miral Fahmy)

<p>A screen grab of REUTERS/</p>