Just send in your finished puzzle and get one that's new-to-you in return

Puzzle exchange
Credit: Thred Up

If you’ve been doing puzzle after puzzle to pass the time while social distancing, you’re not alone

Puzzles have seen a huge surge in popularity since the coronavirus pandemic began, selling out at major retailers like Target and Amazon, and going for around $15-$25.

Luckily, one company has come up with a way to get puzzles into the hands of people who want them — and out of the homes of those who have already finished their own.

Online thrift store ThredUP has organized a puzzle swap program called Puzzle PopUP, which functions in much the same way as ThredUP’s original model for clothing. Puzzle-lovers can sign up to get a free, printable shipping label, which they can use to send in as many used puzzles as they want.

Once ThredUP receives the puzzle-filled package, they will credit the sender’s account with $4.99 in shopping credit for every puzzle sent in. Customers can then apply that $4.99 credit to buy a "new-to-them" puzzle, which cost $4.99 each, plus shipping. Meaning, when the swap is complete, customers will have only paid the cost of sending the puzzles they receive.

The best part? ThredUP will donate $1 from each purchase to Feeding America — a charity that works to end hunger in the U.S. — until June 1, or until they reach $100,000.

Credit: Collier Schorr

“Small joys are bringing us together now more than ever and puzzles are a big one,” the company says on their website. “So big that puzzle companies can’t keep up! Unless people start mixing different puzzles together (not recommended), everyone needs new-to-them puzzles. Thankfully, we have the know-how to help find new homes for puzzles everywhere. We hope you’ll help us pass on the fun and do some good, too.”

According to ThredUP, more than 2,000 people signed up to participate in the swap in the first week, and their numbers have continued to climb since.

And while the program is meant to be all fun and games, they do have one serious rule: “Only send complete puzzles please!” they write. “Puzzle Karma is a thing.” Make sure the puzzles are in their original box, too! 

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Visit thredUP.com/puzzles for more details and to sign up, and peruse thredUP.com/puzzles/shop to see all the puzzles currently available for purchase.

Looking for an extra-challenging jigsaw puzzle to buy new, conquer and send in for a swap? Check out our list of puzzles you can currently buy online that are not for the faint of heart. 

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