We All Do— But A Swap Website May Make More Sense

Who doesn’t love the feeling of a fresh new book? It’s pretty tempting to pay $8.95 for that shiny new paperback you won’t get around to reading for awhile, isn’t it? Or listening to that new CD at the store makes you want to buy it on the spot, right?

Openbook1It really can be convincing to buy new media to consume. This weekend while we were shopping, my sister paused at the books in a store. "Do we need any books?" she asked and we all paused before saying "no", even though books were not on our lists.

In addition to temptation for new media, you’ve probably been doing some spring cleaning and have found books, CDs, etc. to get rid of, making it even more ridiculous to buy new. May I suggest the win-win situation of a swap website?

At PaperBackSwap, an email address and valid USPS address will get you registered and when you put ten books on the swap, the website gives you two free credits to order other books. I searched for five books (a few obscure, a few more popular paperbacks) and only one that I wanted were available. Like any used book store, this site may or may not have what you want but at over 2 million books alone (they also have a CD and DVD swap) it’s worth a shot.

Free From Broke posted a review of Swaptree last week, which sounds very similar to PaperBackSwap only you can also trade video games as well. (Use the link off Free From Broke to get free shipping on your first trade!) Swaptree is a smaller site, though I haven’t learned the cultures of either site enough to know what kind of books, CDs, etc. they tend to have. If it’s like any garage sale I’ve been to, there’s probably a bunch of romance novels and a George Michael CD or two at the very least.

Both sites are searchable by multiple fields (title of book or ISBN number for example) and both include printable labels so all you have to do is stick the package in the mailbox.

These sites are free but you do have to pay postage, which is usually a lower rate if you go with the USPS’s media mail rate. (I sent my sister a book awhile back for about $1.50, though Swaptree promises a maximum of $2.50 for anything.) You can buy envelopes or cleverly wrap things in layers of scrap paper and packaging tape. Not that I’ve ever done that of course…

If you’ve used either of these sites before, do comment below. Because there’s nothing I love more then free things I like and a way to get rid of things I don’t without throwing them away. Happy Swapping!

Image from: community.bates.edu  

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