March 30, 2012
Got or need au pair “stuff”? One au pair is trying to help!

Items on sale at include a snowboard, books, clothing and art supplies.

Au pair Maria Belen from Argentina has said goodbye to many of her au pair friends during the almost two years that she’s been in the U.S. She says, “Incidentally, I’ve gotten a lot of hand-me-downs from all of them, too. Clothes, bags, shoes, all kinds of things they didn’t need back home or just didn’t have room for in their suitcases.”

It didn’t take Maria long to realize that this was probably happening quite a bit to lots of other au pairs. And she also guessed that there were au pairs out there who needed this stuff. “I thought it would be nice to have a place to get rid of and re-sell these items while helping another au pair. I got my snow boots for free, but through Au Pair Stuff I could have gotten them at a friendly price, while helping the other au pair (maybe) cover an airline fee or vacation costs. That’s the whole concept behind my site.”

Because the items on are organized by state, au pairs are able to find things they need that are already local and the exchange can take place in a Starbucks or a park. “This takes all the shipping hassles out of the equation. Needless to say registering and using the site is free for everyone,” shares Maria. Maria hopes her site will continue to grow in popularity as she “wants it to really be of help as well as to provide resources to my fellow au pairs.” Not only does Maria help au pairs find supplies they need, she also advises them on other topics on her blog, including how to make the most of au pair vacations.

A graphic design student back home in Buenos Aires, Maria has been attending class at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) while in the U.S. In a couple of weeks she will finish the last class towards the completion of her Web Design certificate program. While I don’t know what her English was like before she arrived as an au pair, it’s clear from our correspondence that it’s nothing short of stellar. So it appears as if this extension au pair really did make the most of her time in Chicago.

Visit to learn what you can find to trade or buy in your community.

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