Don’t sell it…swap it!


I discovered the swapping site Swaptree last year.   Rather than sell items my family didn’t want anymore and then turn around and spend money on stuff they did, I could trade one item for another.  Last year I made 60 trades on Swaptree.  Mostly I traded old video games (Playstation 1 and Xbox) for other items like CDs, DVDs, and Books.

The way Swaptree works is you list items you have to trade and then add items you want to receive to your want list. Swaptree then tries to match you with someone who has the items you want and is looking for the items you are trading. Swaptree may also find a 3-way trade, meaning you send your item to person #1, person #1 sends an item to person #2 and person #2 sends you an item you requested. Every match is presented to you for your approval so you don’t need to agree to swap a $20 item you have for a $5 item. If you reject too many trades you may be limited by Swaptree on how many trades you can do at once.

If you are trading expensive video games, don’t worry that you’ll be matched with someone who is trading a book. Swaptree ranks items at two levels of value. Video games are considered high value items, which can be swapped for other high value items, like multi-set DVDs and multi-set CDs.  This way the system doesn’t initiate a trade of a $5 paperback book for a $50 video game.

Swaptree users rate their trading partner so you can see if someone has a history of being a good trading partner.  I rate my partner on whether they shipped the item in a timely manner, packaged the item safely and whether they represented the item correctly.  When you list an item on  Swaptree you indicate what condition your item is in, anywhere  from Acceptable to Brand New, similar to Half.com and Amazon.  You also have a place to indicate specific details about the item, such as the book is missing a dust jacket or a CD has a cracked case.  I always supply details so people aren’t disappointed with the item they receive.  They will be more likely to give you a good rating if they feel you represented the item fairly.

I’ve only had a few problems trading on Swaptree. One time a person took 3 weeks to mail their item.  I also had someone who still hadn’t shipped their item after 3 weeks. I reported the item as missing to Swaptree and I got a message saying the person will mail it in 2 days, which they did.

The nice thing about swapping is you don’t have to deal with receiving payments like you do when selling, though of course you need to pay for shipment.  If you’re looking to replace some of those movies or books with new ones, swapping might be a good way to go.  Give it a shot.

Note: this site is now called Swap.com.

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One thought on “Don’t sell it…swap it!

  1. Pingback: eBook bargains | Money for stuff

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