I’ve heard a lot about swap parties but never participated and further I had no idea of the possibilities that existed for swapping personal, unwanted items. The concept appears to be rather popular and organized. For instance, I was totally unaware that if you get tired of your car lease, it’s a possibility that you can swap with someone else who has a lease they don’t want. I have identified at least 8 ways to swap plus websites that can accommodate you.
#1 Kids Toys
Are you holding on to toys that the kids have outgrown or abandoned? At ToysToTrade.com you can swap and owe nothing more than shipping. Another such site is ToySwap.com. Toys here are color-coded based on value. Once you set up an account, you enter your toys and color code your items. This makes it easy for you the match toys available with the same value as what you have to offer.
#2 Car Leases
Years ago my husband and I signed into a car lease agreement. We quickly figured out that it wasn’t the best decision for our situation at time. Even though we got more car with a much lower payment, we didn’t consider that we would pay more for insurance or have to watch the mileage to keep the residual value manageable. We were just stuck. Today, you do have at least one option you can try. At SwapALease.com you can legally trade your lease with some one else. You will incur membership and transfer fees between $40-$300 but could be worth your while. Caution: Be sure to read the fine print of your lease contract before entering into an agreement.
#3 There’s Hope for Unwanted Gift Cards
We’ve all received gift cards we don’t want or need. You have options. Trade it for a gift card you want at SwapAGift.com, GiftCardRescue.com or PlasticJungle.com. If trading doesn’t suit you, sell it outright for cash.
#4 Swap Your Clothes
ThredUp is an interesting concept and is a well organized site. Here’s how it they say it works:
Do-it-yourself to make the most cash
thredUP sends you free empty boxes when you sign-up. Box up your child’s outgrown clothes by size & season and post ‘em online for other moms to browse. Ship your box directly to the mom who picks it. You’ll earn up to $10 for every great box you send.
orSave time and let thredUP do the work
Order a free concierge bag when you sign-up. Stuff it with all the gently used, outgrown clothes you can find and send it to our concierge team for free. We’ll sort the items for you, and post ‘em online for other moms to buy. You’ll earn a portion of the proceeds – up to $5 for each bundle we sell. ~ThredUp.com
#5 Books Galore
#6 Having Trouble Selling your Home?
We are in an economy where the thought of selling a home is exhausting. I heard that home swapping existed but never looked into it until I started writing this post. Sites like domuSwap.com, Pad4Pad.com or OnlineHouseTrading.com are places to start to search for homes that are comparable in value to your current home.
#7 Need Textbooks for College?
My daughter and I found ourselves attending college at the same time (it’s never too late). At the time we purchased used books online then resold them. Had I known about swapping, I may have tried this alternative. If you have a child in college or you are in school yourself, you might check out CollegeSmarts.com, Swapbooks.com or TextSwap.com. These sites allow students to buy and sell used books or exchange their textbooks for ones they need.
#8 Frugal Vacationing
Did you know that your home may be eligible to swap temporarily for a vacation home? If you’re tired of hotels, look into home swapping available in the U.S. and abroad. Head to RoofSwap.com, HomeExchange.com or HomeforSwap.com. Membership fees are applicable but still could be cheaper than what you might pay for a hotel by the night.
If online swapping is not your thing and you have clothes, accessories and/or household items you don’t need, consider having a swap party. If you want to start out small, why not host a perfume swap get together. We all have that one fragrance that we hate. As they say, “one man’s junk, is another man’s treasure”.
Have you ever been to swap party or had an experience with online swapping. Please let us know in the comment section.
<Post inspired by Women’s World, 7/25/11 Edition