Book and CD swapping

Several years ago, if you had books or CDs you didn’t want and were looking for other titles, it made sense to sell the old ones and buy the new ones. But enough people are selling online to bring prices down enough that book / CD swapping now makes more financial sense. On a swapping site, someone requests a title from you. You send it and get credit to request something you wanted from someone else

Crunch the numbers. $3 is an average price for many titles on Amazon. They’ll give you another $4 in shipping credit but take $3 away in their commission. So you end up with $4, and use $2.50 of it to mail the title. So you’re $1.50 of the way towards purchasing something else at the same price – where you’d pay $7 ($3 + $4 s/h). So you would have to sell several items to have enough to purchase another at the same price.

Under the swapping model, someone requests a book from you. You mail it to them and have a credit to request a book or CD, which someone will pay for the postage to mail to you. Sites might have fees, like 50 cents per transaction, to help keep the site running, but it tends to be minimal.

I’m a part of a trio of sites, PaperBackSwap.com (which does accept hardcovers!), SwapaCD.com, and SwapaDVD.com. One nice feature of the three sites is that you can move credits around – if, as in my case, you’re downsizing books and looking for CDs, you can transfer credits.

SwapaCD has several dozen Southern Gospel CDs posted—better than the average Wal-Mart or Christian bookstore, but not all that great. I was thinking about it, and it occurred to me that if I spread the word a little, and some of us got together and posted CDs we didn’t want, we could really get something going, far more efficiently than if we were selling them back and forth.

If you’re looking for titles not currently on the site, you can add them to a “wishlist” and either automatically request them or be notified when someone posts them.

Here are my public profiles (except for SwapaDVD, where I don’t have anything posted):

http://southerngospelfan.swapacd.com/profile/

http://southerngospelfan.paperbackswap.com/profile/

If you join and post titles, post a link to your profile below. And if you join, they ask who sent you—my username on all three sites is southerngospelfan.


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  1. Great idea! I’ll give it a try.

  2. I signed up but not sure if I will do any trading yet. I looked at your list though…I have just about everything on it. Good choices! haha

  3. Well, thanks! 😀

    I assume you’re referring to the list of CDs I want, not of books I’m trying to get rid of. 😛

  4. I was surprised how many books and CDs I had to post. I’ve already gotten rid of 2 CDs and a book within 2 minutes of adding them to the system. My profiles are at http://levisamjuno.swapacd.com/profile/ and http://levisamjuno.paperbackswap.com/profile/. I’m also working on a DVD list.

    Thanks for the tip, Daniel!