Archive for February, 2017

Cash Back Option Returns to Army, Air Force Exchanges

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Sharon Edwards accepts cash from Staff Sgt. Emre Eroglu, John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, for his purchase at the Post Exchange during the holiday season Nov. 7. The Post Exchange offers both convenience and tax-free purchases to Department of Defense ID card holders. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Taryn Hagerman)

DALLAS – After an extended technical challenge, cash back at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service has returned.

Shoppers using a debit card at Exchanges can get cash back in increments of $10, $20 or $50. Cash back options at the Express, troop store and Military Clothing include $5, $10 and $20.

The cash back option was temporarily unavailable while bank card vendors worked to correct functionality and security issues associated with certain chip cards during cash back transactions. The issue, which affected several other retailers, was resolved in January.

“There’s never an ATM fee when you get cash back at the Exchange,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “We appreciate the community’s patience and are so happy to once again offer this service to the military community.”

For more information, shoppers can contact their local Exchange. For a directory of Exchange stores, visit shopmyexchange.com/exchange-stores.

Facebook-Friendly Version

Cash back is back at the Exchange! Shoppers using a debit card can get cash back in increments of $10, $20 or $50. Cash back options at the Express, troop store and Military Clothing include $5, $10 or $20.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

 

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, (214) 312-2714 or hammettc@aafes.com.

Drivers Continue to Find Road Bumpy After Answering Automobile Ads

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

DALLAS – An individual or individuals using the “Exchange Inc.” name to handle vehicle purchases has once again been placing advertisements in auto magazines and commercial newspapers, leading Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers to believe they’re purchasing a vehicle through the Department of Defense (DoD) retailer.

“This has been an ongoing issue for several years now, and it has surfaced once again where someone is using the Exchange’s trademarked logo and name without permission to purportedly handle vehicles transactions in the United States on behalf of private sellers,” said Eric Stewart, the Exchange’s loss prevention vice president. “Unfortunately, some have sent money only to receive nothing in return.”

Despite the fact that military exchanges do not have the authority to sell vehicles or represent private sellers in completing transactions in the continental United States, the individuals responsible for these advertisements have left consumers with the impression they are doing business with the DoD’s oldest and largest exchange service.

“This type of fraud has proliferated with the use of the Internet and continues to be a challenge because oftentimes the perpetrator cannot be identified as the methods they utilize are not traceable back to any individual,” Stewart said. “In fact, in one case, money wired by an individual was picked up in Bangladesh, indicating this crime goes well beyond U.S. borders.”

Shoppers who believe that they may have been taken advantage of can file a complaint through the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Exchange facilities are located solely on military installations. While the Exchange does have mail order and Internet offerings, the Exchange does not advertise in civilian outlets such as metropolitan newspapers or automobile sales magazines. All advertisements for legitimate Exchange offerings are published in outlets whose audiences are mostly composed of military members.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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From Riley With Love: Families Gather at Exchange To Send Love to Deployed Troops

Friday, February 17th, 2017

FORT RILEY – With a wide grin and without an ounce of hesitation, first-grader Billy Sapp Jr. clutched an Uncle Sam hat prop and stepped up to photo booth at the Fort Riley Exchange to send Valentine’s Day wishes across the world to someone very special serving in Korea.

Day 1 FirstInLine4“I love you, Daddy” said Billy, blowing a kiss to his father, Staff Sgt. Billy Sapp Sr., who left Fort Riley for Korea in October—the last time he saw his wife and son. “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Billy and his mom, Sue, were the first in line at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Sending Love to Your Love social media event. The two-day event was tailored to reach thousands of service members from Fort Riley who are serving in Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq. The first event, on Feb. 13, was timed to reach troops in Korea on Valentine’s Day morning. The second event, on Feb. 14 focused on troops downrange.

“The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is thrilled to be at Fort Riley to send love half a world away to all deployed troops,” said Exchange Chief Operating Office Dave Nelson. “This is the first time the Exchange has planned a social media event to reach out to troops far from home. The Exchange has so much respect and appreciation for our customers, especially those serving so far from home. With 8,000 deployed service members, Fort Riley was a natural choice to debut this type of event. ”

The Fort Riley community took photos, complete with whimsical patriotic and Valentine’s Day props, to send love via an album shared on the Exchange Facebook page at www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange. A Facebook Live video feed was streamed as well, so troops could see the outpouring of love in real time or play back the recording when it was convenient for them.

For Liz Rosario, the event let her reach out to her husband, Sgt. Humberto Erazo, who’s been in Korea since October.

“We love him and we miss him,” said Rosario, who brought children Jayden, 12, and Kiannah, 7 to send love too. “There’s a lot of surprises waiting for him when he comes back.”

Cyndi Gilbert sent love across the miles to Iraq to her husband, Maj. Joe Gilbert.

Day 2 Husband Iraq6“He’s been there since October,” Gilbert said. “I want to tell him ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ of course, and ‘Congrats on being selected for Command.’”

Lisa Nanton put on a brave face before sending her shout-out to her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Maurice Nanton, who’s deployed to Afghanistan. The event was Nanton’s first experience with Facebook Live, and she wanted to make sure she had her message to him perfected.

“I’ve never done anything like this—I’m a little nervous—but I thought I’d give it a shot,” Nanton said. “I want to tell my husband that I love him and miss him.”

Families weren’t the only ones sending well-wishes. Service members from Fort Riley sent shout-outs to their friends too.

“This event ties families to Soldiers who are deployed and gives them the ability to communicate with them and show them how much they love each other during holidays like Valentine’s Day,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael Udell.

For the Exchange, the social media event was another way to serve those who serve as the organization plans similar events at other installations.

“From Kansas to Kandahar, we are honored to take care of troops and their families. Serving is tough, hard and dangerous duty,” Nelson said. “We consider it a privilege to go where they go and deliver a taste of home, wherever they are called to serve.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Follow the Exchange:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shopmyexchange

Instagram: @shopmyexchange

Exchange Gives Military Families Chance to Score Outdoor Deals with Free Friday Giveaways

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

DALLAS – There may be several weeks left in the march to spring, but that doesn’t mean military families have to wait to start making their yards an outdoor paradise.

Every Friday in 2017, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service will award one lucky winner an outdoor living gift package valued as high as $1,499.99 at facebook.com/shopmyexchange. To enter, authorized shoppers simply like and share each Free Friday post and comment with their name and local Exchange.

Prize packages include a Black & Decker 20-volt MAX Lithium 22-inch cordless hedge trimmer with battery valued at more than $200 (March 3); a Char-Broil Performance four-burner grill with tool set, grill topper set and 2-in-1 brush valued at more than $245 (March 10); and a Poulan Pro Tractor valued at more than $1,499 (March 17).

“Nothing feels better after a tough workweek than having a few pals over and firing up the grill,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “Make sure to follow facebook.com/shopmyexchange so you never miss out on Free Friday—who knows, it could be you whose outdoor dreams come true.”

Entries made by 11:59 p.m. Central time on the day of the posting will be entered into the drawing. Drawings are held on the Monday after each Free Friday giveaway.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

Facebook-Friendly Version

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is giving authorized shoppers the chance to win a different outdoor living gift package every Friday at facebook.com/shopmyexchange. Like, comment on and share the Free Friday post for a chance to win prizes such as a Black & Decker 20-volt MAX Lithium 22-inch cordless hedge trimmer with battery ($200 value); a Char-Broil Performance four-burner grill with tool set, grill topper set and 2-in-1 brush ($245 value); and a Poulan Pro Tractor ($1,499 value).

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or hammettc@aafes.com.

Exchange Bakeries Nourish Troops’ Spirits Overseas with Fresh-Baked Tastes of Home

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

DALLAS – For Cpl. Deamborene Outlaw, a simple slice of Wonder bread goes a long way toward making South Korea feel more like home.

“It’s comforting to me because it’s like a little piece of home,” said Outlaw, who serves as a chaplain’s assistant at U.S. Army GarFo-Bakeryrison Humphreys in South Korea. “I’ve lived in several different places in the States, and everywhere I’ve been in the States has had Wonder bread or baked goods. It’s like a comfort food.”

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service takes care of Outlaw and other troops serving overseas through its four bakeries—three in the Pacific and one in Germany—that produce fresh-baked goods made with American flour, so the bread, buns, rolls, tortillas, cakes, doughnuts and other treats taste just like they do back home.

_MAP_2742Baked goods from name brands, including Wonder, Home Pride, Country Hearth, Milton’s and more are shipped to Exchange Express stores and restaurants across Europe, Southwest Asia and the Pacific, nourishing Soldiers, Airmen and military families with familiar, fresh-baked products and a taste of home. Commissaries, military dining halls, ships in port, Quality-of-Life restaurants and child-care programs and Department of Defense Education Activity schools also receive the Exchange-made products.

“Because all of our goods are baked fresh, the quality is so much better than if we were to ship frozen products from the States,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “From Burger King buns for Whoppers to whole-wheat bread for kids’ school meals, the Exchange’s bakeries improve the quality of lives for those who are so far from America by giving them a simple taste of home.”

The largest of the Exchange bakeries is in Gruenstadt, Germany, and it serves 24 countries, including warzone locations. The 92,000-square-foot facility even produces Krispy Kreme doughnuts using proprietary equipment and ingredients—so the doughnuts rolling off the line are just like the ones found at Krispy Kreme shops back in the United States. In 2016, the plant produced 7 million Krispy Kreme doughnuts for troops and families across Europe.

The Exchange also operates bakeries at Camp Market, Korea; Camp Kinser, Okinawa; and at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Together, they produce 2 million loaves of bread, 10.5 million buns and more than 12,500 decorated cakes a year.

“Through the bakeries, the Exchange serves thousands of Soldiers, Airmen and military families overseas,” Reyes said. “Exchange is ‘all in’ when it comes to taking care of troops, and the bakeries are just another example of how we touch the lives of America’s warfighters.”

And for Cpl. Outlaw in Korea, that means the world to her.

“On days when the op tempo is really high, I can rely on my Exchange to provide me with something that’s warm and fluffy and buttery and all those good things,” she said.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Follow the Exchange:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shopmyexchange

Instagram: @shopmyexchange

Exchange Makes Valentine’s Day Easy for Military Families

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

DALLAS – According to the National Retail Federation, Americans planned to spend $19.7 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2016—an all-time high.

This year, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is helping military families celebrate Valentine’s Day with fresh flowers for less at shopmyexchange.com.

Authorized Exchange shoppers can send flowers and other gifts at a 25 percent discount through FTD and Teleflora at shopmyexchange.com. Both offer same-day delivery (see website for details) and accept the MILITARY STAR card when shopping through shopmyexchange.com.

Shopmyexchange.com also offers more than a dozen dazzling USA Bouquet rose and floral bouquets from $33.99 to $39.99. Orders placed by 7 a.m. Central Standard Time Feb. 13 will be delivered on Valentine’s Day.

“The Exchange has a passion for saving service members and their families money,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “With the Society of American Florists putting the average cost of a dozen-rose bouquet on Valentine’s Day at $65, there’s only one place to go to send Valentine’s greetings for less.”

For more information, shoppers can contact their local Exchange. Find the store nearest you at shopmyexchange.com/exchange-stores.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

Facebook-Friendly Version:

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is offering delivery of fresh Valentine’s Day flowers at through FTD and Teleflora at a 25 percent discount at shopmyexchange.com. Both offer same-day delivery (see website for details) and accept the MILITARY STAR card when shopping through shopmyexchange.com. Shopmyexchange.com also offers more than a dozen dazzling USA Bouquet rose and floral bouquets from $33.99 to $39.99. Orders placed by 7 a.m. Central Standard Time Feb. 13 will be delivered on Valentine’s Day.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or hammettc@aafes.com.

Exchange Rewards Military Students with $4,000 in Gift Cards for Academic Excellence

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

DALLAS – For 11-year-old Dallas Lein, working hard at school has paid off—literally.Dallas Lein Gordon 1

 On Jan. 20, the Grovetown, Ga., resident was presented with a $2,000 gift card, the grand prize in the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s You Made the Grade sweepstakes, at the Fort Gordon Exchange.

“I was nervous and really excited at the same time,” Dallas said.

Dallas attends Lewiston Elementary School, where his favorite subjects are reading and math. He is also enrolled in Horizons, a program for gifted students. He was picked from nearly 400 students with a B average or higher who entered the sweepstakes.

Dallas plans to split the $2,000 gift card with his 9-year-old brother, Gabriel, who is also an A student. The boys’ father, Petty Officer 1st Class Kenneth Lein, has served in the Navy for 11 years.

“I’m very proud,” said Krystle Lein, the boys’ mother. “They’ve both done so well, and this sweepstakes only gives them another incentive to get a good report card. Now they know they have money on the line.”

The Exchange also awarded second- and third-place prizes in the worldwide sweepstakes. Second-place winner, Kahlil Townsend, a ninth-grader at N.B. Clements Junior High in Price George, Va., was awarded a $1,500 gift card at the Fort Lee Exchange on Jan. 30.

Kahlil, 15, is the son of Air Force Lt. Col. Terrence Kilgore. His favorite subjects are math and P.E., and he hopes to be a professional soccer player or marine biologist when he grows up. Kahlil plans to spend the first $500 of the gift card on video games while saving the remaining $1,000.

Third-place winner, Maximus Rojas, was awarded a $500 gift card at the Fort Belvoir Exchange on Jan. 21. Maximus, 13, is an eighth-grader at Gunston Middle School in Arlington, Va. His father, Commander Rodrigo Rojas, has served in the U.S. Coast Guard for nearly 20 years.

Maximus has an acute interest in astronomy and hopes to either be an astrophysicist or engineer when he grows up. He hopes to one day join the search for intelligent life in outer space. He said he will put the gift card toward a new laptop.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor, said the Exchange is honored to recognize high-achieving students.

“The Exchange salutes the hard work, dedication and determination of these students,” Reyes said. “Despite the frequent moves and everyday stressors that go along with military life, they have set an example of academic achievement for other military children to follow.”

Through the Exchange’s  You Made the Grade program, first- through 12th-graders with a B average or higher are eligible to receive a coupon book with Exchange discounts and a sweepstakes entry form for a chance at a $2,000, $1,500 or $500 prize. The program is intended to reward military students who excel in the classroom. Those who enter must be dependents of authorized Exchange shoppers.

Shoppers can visit customer service at their local Exchange for a coupon booklet and sweepstakes entry form. The next You Made the Grade sweepstakes drawing will be on June 30.

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Army & Air Force Exchange Service Unveils New Distribution Center for Europe, Southwest Asia

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

GERMERSHEIM ARMY DEPOT – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service ushered in a new era of service for troops and military families throughout Europe and Southwest Asia as it opened its newest distribution center at the Germersheim Army Depot on Feb. 1.

image2“The Exchange’s work at the Germersheim distribution center supports every member of the military community,” said Army Col. Karen Fleming, the Exchange’s deputy director for Logistics. “From here, the Exchange touches the daily lives of warfighters and their families.”

The Germersheim Distribution Center ships beverages, boxed food, appliances and more to Exchange main stores and Express locations throughout Europe, Southwest Asia and contingency locations. The Exchange private fleet also transports raw goods and materials from Germersheim to the Exchange’s bakery and water plant in Gruenstadt.

At Germersheim, the Exchange joins the Defense Logistics and Defense Commissary Agencies, creating a Logistics Center of Excellence. The move lays the foundation for the Exchange to collaborate and work efficiently with these agencies.

image3Since the 1960s, the Exchange’s Europe logistics hub operated out of the Giessen Army Depot. The Exchange distribution center’s relocation to Germersheim came at the request of U.S. Army Europe as part of the European Infrastructure Consolidation. The grand opening capped off a move more than a decade in the making.

With the move, the Exchange’s warehouse footprint decreased from 1.2 million square feet to 420,000 square feet. The smaller footprint is being offset by more frequent deliveries with smaller shipments to maintain service levels.

“The Exchange updated the infrastructure and equipment and installed new warehouse management software,” Fleming said. “Installation Management Command-Europe renovated the buildings, and the Army Corps of Engineers built a new road, allowing trucks to easily reach all of the distribution center’s buildings. This was a team effort to reduce expenses and improve efficiencies.”

The Exchange invested $12.2 million in infrastructure and equipment upgrades, while IMCOM-E contributed $9.5 million for warehouse renovations and the building of the road.

“This is now the hub for supplying AAFES’ newest operations in areas we are sending our troops more frequently and for longer periods as part of our continued commitment to NATO’s collective security in the region,” said Col. Keith Igyarto, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz commander.  “If our Soldiers are there, then we know the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is standing there with us shoulder to shoulder to provide necessities.”

The relocation is expected to improve speed of service as Germersheim is closer to Exchange customers. From Giessen, Exchange drivers would haul merchandise 100 miles before reaching their first delivery destination. The first delivery point from Germersheim is 65 miles. This more central location reduces an estimated 234,000 miles a year.

The center is closer to the Rhine River and the Port of Germersheim, which adds more flexibility to replenishment operations. In fact, the Exchange expects to avoid nearly $800,000 a year in transportation costs—savings that will ultimately result in better support for military communities throughout the region. Also, the distribution center’s maintenance facility performs light maintenance and inspections of tractors and trailers before they go on the road.

“At the Exchange, we are family serving family,” Fleming said. “We are honored to be part of the Germersheim community and to serve troops and their families with a taste of home.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Follow the Exchange:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shopmyexchange

Instagram: @shopmyexchange