Family Swap meet

“OMG please no more burnt rubber,” said Rosario Jimenez, “I just hope [that] they don’t have the Baby Swap Meet with the racecars next door again [at the Qualcomm Stadium].”

Jimenez was bummed by an announcement that the Family Swap meet at the Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) – was cancelled.

On June 10, at 8:01 a.m. many parents received an email from the Parent Connection that confirmed the cancellation of the 10 year old event: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to locate another venue in the area” and “The school district has constructions at Canyon Crest and using the adjacent school too.”

The “always packed” event was slated for June 26 at Carmel Valley, right off of the 56 freeway.

“They (CCA) tried to find a replacement school for us but most are busy with activities and the parking lots are not as large,” said the Parent Connection, “… this was a verbal yes and [I] didn’t get anything in writing. So I take fault that I didn’t get this in writing with them.”

Since 1980 the Parent Connection has “guided both first-time and seasoned parents through the maze of parenthood” through a membership plan, and then started hosting the niche baby swap meets to welcome the hundreds of parents.

A few other buyers and sellers are disappointed and posted their sentiments on the Parent Connections Facebook Page.

“I liked it at the Qualcomm,” posted Nancy Reyes-Chávez

The Parent Connection responded: “We are looking into Qualcomm. Stay posted!”Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 11.41.26 PM

Jennifer Bennett posted: “Yes..and that’s why the school should have told you in advance because they know you hold it there. I hope they had the courtesy to let you know.”

Siblings, Rosario and Patricia Jimenez, both have bought and sold at the Family Swap Meet since their daughters were born in 2009-2010 and agreed with the posts online.

“We use to call it the Baby Swap Meet,” said Patricia, “and it started with us seeking basic necessities for a discount: unused packages of diapers, wrong sexed onesies (that were baby-shower gifts) and baby-formula.”

The two purchased the baby items (up to 95% off of retail) at estate sales, community yard sales, Craigslist, swap meets and even Grocery Outlet (for formula).

The “baby-swag” was then either consumed, used, traded (to other Mommies), sold at the same swap meets where they were originally purchased at – or sold online.

“I sold a breast pump (electric) on eBay for $125,” Rosario said, “cha-ching – and it was given to me for free.”

Breastpumps, diaper-bags and baby carriers (the ones that strap on to the body) are hot commodities on the eBay website because most can fit inside a flat rate USPS box and can be easily shipped internationally for a reasonable price with tracking information to protect both the buyer and the seller.

Designer and high-performance (for joggers) strollers are good “flippers” too, but are costly to ship “so we post them on Close 5 because it’s [supposedly] safer for the moms,” said Rosario.

Close 5 works closely with the parents. At the Qualcomm event last year, the $2 entrance was waived if the App was downloaded on the patron’s smart phone and showed at the gate. A transaction on Close 5 is limited within a five mile radius of the original posting, and “all ads are monitored by their dedicated community team.”

The two said that “some of the moms are paranoid about finding (baby-oriented) deals on the Craigslist website” because of a news story that broke in 2015, regarding a pregnant woman in Colorado who was luered to a house to buy baby clothes, then attacked, and consequently lost her baby in a horrific manner.

“It’s also funner to meet all of the other moms in a public area,” Rosario said.

“They make great money considering it’s for one day only for four hours,” said the Parent Connection, “I’ve tried to sell my things when my daughter was younger and usually I made between $200-$300.”

The Jimenez siblings said that they have made close to twice the amount at the events.

As of press time, there was no response from CCA regarding their venue not being available for the Family Swap Meet. Their website does show plans of an expansion throughout their 51 acre campus.

“We don’t blame Canyon Crest and the custodian whom we have worked with for years,” said the Parent Connection, “… and I don’t want to ruin the relationships we have developed with the school.”

“We will make it up to the people who were looking forward to coming by – offering a discount or something along those lines.”

The Jimenez sisters said that they will be “the first in line.”