Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Trading Stuff For Free Vs. Free Stuff

Swaptree is a great service that I came across recently. It lets you trade books, music, movies, and games with others for free. You tell the system what you have, and it figures out what you can get in exchange. Note that it supports one-for-one item trades only, but allows for three-way trades.

How Swaptree works
Swaptree does a good job laying out the ground rules simply and clearly. There is also a wonderful walkthrough here. Ebay users will find a similar buyer/seller rating system that they are accustomed to.

The site has been out of public beta since July 4th (so its no longer invite only) and seems to be gaining steam. Way to go, guys!

Freecycle would be a good alternative if you were looking for an item outside of books, music, movies, and games - such as apparel, computers, and furniture. The concept is that someone wants to get rid of something, while another person want s the same item. Rather than throwing the item away or trying to sell for a minimal amount, the item is given away, provided that a local person comes to pick it up.

The Freecycle website - http://www.freecycle.org contains a short animation of how Freecycling works as well.

At the time of this posting, there are a total of 4,041 Freecycle communities throughout the world. Chances are, you are either in or near one of them.

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