Swaptree: A Great Way to Save Money on Books, CDs, DVDs, and Video Games

Have you heard of Swaptree? It's a newish website that facilitates trading books, CDs, DVDs, and video games with people across the country. There's no fee to join and no fee to trade. The only thing you pay is media mail shipping costs, which are about $2.50 for most books and about $1.50 for most DVDs, CDs, and video games.

I've been using the site for about two months now. It started off slow and I wondered if I had wasted my time listing about 20 books and CDs. Then all of a sudden it picked up and I've been completing about two trades a week ever since with only 20-30 items listed to trade. If you have more stuff available that other people want, you could trade even more. By contrast, it will cost you at least $3.50 to get a used book on Half.com or $4 on Amazon, and that's only if the book costs 1 cent and you choose media mail shipping.

You can import your Amazon wishlist to Swaptree, and that's exactly what I did. Because of swaptree, I've gotten a lot of books that I've been wanting for months but haven't wanted to pay $8-$10 for. Occasionally you'll even find new items on Swaptree.

So how does it work? The Swaptree site can do a better job of explaining the details than I can, but basically, you type in the UPC code or ISBN for each item you want to trade, select what condition it's in from a drop-down menu, then add any notes describing the item's condition (like "highlighting on some pages"). These all go in the "Items I Have" list. Then you create an "Items I Want" list. You can do this by importing your Amazon wish list or manually typing in the title of each item you want to acquire. The system then automatically finds matches between your two lists and everyone else's to create two- and three-way trades. Then when you log in to swaptree and look at your "Items I Want" list, you'll see a "Get it Now!" logo that you can click on to initiate a trade. Clicking that button notifies each potential party that a trade is available, and when all parties have accepted, tells each party where to mail the item. If any party isn't satisfied with the condition of the item they'll potentially be receiving, they can reject the trade.

To learn more about how Swaptree works, visit this page.

Hat tip: My Money Blog introduced me to Swaptree (and about a million other things that have saved me money over the years).

(Disclaimer: I know this post kind of sounds like a plug, but I don't get anything from writing about Swaptree. I just think it's a great service.)

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Related posts:

Saving Money on Books
Don't Trade it In: Resell Your Used Stuff Yourself
Treasure Finding Tips From A Garage Sale Junkie
You Never Know What You'll Find at a Garage Sale

Image from swaptree

Post by Amy Fontinelle


Ken said...

Interesting resource. I'll give it a check later on. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Also try The Paperback Swap... you don't have to trade, you just earn and use credits!