Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Saying Good bye to Kidswap

With sadness I announce the passing of, my web site that I started in 2003. The formerly thriving buy and sell had run it's course and was put out to pasture today when I closed the buy and sell permanently.

I began the site as a place for Canadian parents to buy and sell their new and used kids' stuff and connect with other parents. At the time, there was no other site like Kidswap, and it took off like gang busters, receiving anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 unique visitors per month.

Although I have no desire to reshash the entire fiasco that took it down in the first place and resulted in my decision to close permanently, I would like to share some tips for those with web sites or those who are thinking of upgrading/changing their sites.

  1. Tip #1 - Purchase a template, don't hire a web designer - Apologies to those web designers who are legitimate, but in all of my years running Kidswap I did not meet one honest, reliable person who called themselves a web designer. There was one individual in Chilliwack who was so swarmy he wanted his money through Western Union. Yet another who I hired on who was such a con artist that he physically threatened myself and my family if I didn't hand over money for the project that looked like crap but that he 'worked really hard on.' When I finally did my research, hired a lawyer, and signed a contract with a legitimate Vancouver web design firm, I got SCAMMED again. This time, by two unscrupulous, conniving, greedy individuals who didn't produce a site at all. Bottom line: There are many, many, web sites that will sell you site templates. Having a new site done for you isn't just expensive, it's sort of silly. If you don't know coding or have no knowledge of how to build a site, hire someone to edit the template for you and have them work hourly. Then at the very least, you will know what you are paying for your web site. 
  2. Tip #2 - If you must hire a coder/person to help you build you site, hire them from a legitimate company or a site like, which tracks people and their work for you.  I've never been burned by Odesk in the two years I've been taking jobs on their site, but I have been burnt twice on Craigslist.
  3. Tip #3 - Be wary of who you hire, and don't let them soak you with computer tech speak. As I said before, not everyone is as shifty as some of the people I have encountered. That being said, if they talk down to you, don't explain things properly, or ask you for a ton of money upfront: run away. 
I lost a lot of money on Kidswap. A LOT. I'm lucky my husband forgave me for that. However, I really believed that it was the next big thing and I knew to get to that point, I'd have to invest money in it. I had several people who were interested in investing, and I was even asked to appear on CBC's Dragon's Den when looking for investors. It was exciting, and I was optimistic about Kidswap and my future. It's unfortunate that it took the turn it did, but that's life. I probably wouldn't be writing as much as I have been if I didn't fail so dismally with the web site.

I am always happy to help you if you have a question about web sites, design, programming, etc, so feel free to comment if you have a question and I will do my best to answer it.


  1. I am so very sorry that this happened to you. I've learned that there's lots of people out there looking to take advantage of honest people, a lesson I've also learned first hand. I'm glad you can find the positive in the situation (more time to write) but I'm sure it's still a bitter pill to swallow.

  2. Thank you Shelly! Without Kidswap we would have never met. I am so glad we did!