Maybe you don’t really want the DVD of “Finding Nemo” your sister-in-law got you for your birthday. Or another copy of “Who Moved My Cheese.” Or, for that matter, any number of other gifts.
You could give them away, or try to sell them on eBay, but how about swapping them for something you do want?
That’s the idea behind a number of websites specializing in trading your CDs, DVDs, books and other items with other people looking to unload their unwanted products. Procedures vary from one site to another, but generally you list your cast-offs at the site, often by entering ISBN numbers (for books), UPC codes (for DVDs and other products), or just by search for products using the names of stars, authors or titles. Then you troll for items you would like to have and see if you can find a match.
Once you’ve taken a stack of CDs or DVDs and listed them at Zunafish, you can search for items you want; Zunafish will also present you with a My Zunafish page listing people who want your items. You can then troll their items to see if they have anything you want; if they do, you can propose a trade. (Ratings help you track whether a person is reliable or not.) If you make a trade, Zunafish will charge you $1. Zunafish provides an address label, shipping instructions, and tells you how much postage is required.
Bookins calls itself “a unique book and DVD trading engine.” At Bookins, you create a “trade list” and a “want list” of items, and then when a match is made you send out your book or DVD with a prepaid shipping label. You pay Bookins $4.49 for each trade.
Here the emphasis is on the social aspects of the trading experience. People love movies and music, the thinking goes, and by trading these, as well as other items (Xbox games, Wii games, and more), you can meet people with similar interests. And, of course, you can trade your items, using the site’s own currency, known as “switchbucs.”
List your items at SwapTree, and the site’s “multiple-way trade algorithms” will look for items you can receive as a trade. Better yet, the site will even try to find trades for you in your neighborhood.
BarterBee avoids cash exchanges between members by using a point system to help people buy and sell CDs, DVDs, and games.