Don’t Bin It – Swap It

July 24, 2006 at 6:01 am

Are you the sort of person who hoards old CDs and DVDs that you might never watch again? Is your bookcase overflowing with books that you have only read once but can’t bear to throw out? Have you got an item which you are sure might be a collectable but don’t collect yourself? Or maybe you just have a hefty piece of furniture that you need to get rid off but don’t have the facility to move it.

Well, a useful collection of websites have sprung up which could be the answer to all the above problems. They come in the form of online swap shops and are a great way to connect people who are looking for or getting rid of certain items and an even better way to reduce the amount of waste we throw out. is the place to go if you are a bookworm who ploughs through loads of books but don’t have the heart to throw all those well thumbed paperbacks into the bin. Why not pass stories you have enjoyed onto other avid readers?
The site was started by a commuter who read a lot and his computer whiz friend and has quickly developed into a large network of readers swapping all types of books – 49842 books available to swap today! Its free to use, you just have to pay the postage to send your books.

If CDs, DVDs and video games is more your thing, then is worth a browse. Swopex has been set up as an ‘entertainment trading community’ where people can swap CDs, DVDs and games they no longer want. When you send in an item you receive credits for it which you can then spend on other items listed on the site. It’s free to use once registered, you have to pay for postage and there is the opportunity to buy items if you prefer with a small fee charged for withdrawing credits.

For a more general range of items to swap, then check out
which is a swap shop for absolutely everything. It’s also free to use once you have registered. You can post anything from a car or motorbike to a musical intsrument or an item of clothing. You list your item and wait to see what people are willing to swap in return for it, or simply browse all the items listed and if you see something you would like, you can offer something of yours for it and hope you are successful.

Another two services which are great for getting rid of junk you no longer want or finding something for free that you really do need are and The first was set up in 2003 in the USA to promote waste reduction and works on the philosophy that ‘one person’s trash is another’s treasure’. It now has groups set up Worldwide and works by people offering or requesting items within their local freecycle community. You have to register for your local group and in some groups the first email you send has to be offering an item. After this you can send emails for items you want and the rest of the group will receive your email and respond if they can help.

Free2collect is simpler to use as you can quickly list anything on the site that you are trying to get rid of which people can then browse and send an email if they are interested. It’s a great way of shifting furniture that you can’t manage to move yourself as the understanding is usually that the person will collect from you at a convenient time.

All of these sites are a great contributor to reducing waste and prove that although it may be rubbish to you, it might just be exactly what someone else is looking for or needs. These swap shop type sites are also a great way of bringing communities of like minded people together and linking up collectors with collectables. So next time you think of throwing out your junk with the rubbish, check out the demand for your item online first.

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