Swap Ideas Day is September 10, but any day of the year is a good one to swap items from around your home.
From CDs to clothing, there are websites and groups all over the country that organize swaps where you can trade in your old stuff for new-to-you merchandise.
Swapping not only saves you money, it greatly reduces the resources needed to produce, package and ship new goods. Here are some of the many everyday items that you can trade for new gear.
I have nothing to wear!
Clothing swapping is nothing new. Girlfriends have been raiding each other’s closets since before petticoats were chic. Consignment shops are a great place to make some money from your old fashion finds while updating your wardrobe at the same time.
Clothing swaps have become more organized lately as both a way to raise money for a good cause – bring $5 or $10 and a few items of clothes to swap, and have your pick of everything there – as well as an excuse to get together with fashionable friends and exchange everything from the latest fads to the timeless classics.
Use the Web to hook up with local clothing swaps. Swapstyle.com lets members swap everything from handbags to cosmetics and it can all be done virtually. Members can even create a wishlist of that perfect pair of pumps or dream purse and wait for someone to post it.
Many cities and towns have annual or semi-annual ski and bike swaps. You can sell your used gear and also find deals on some gently-used equipment that otherwise might be out of your price range. Many bike and ski shops will also give you trade-in credit on used equipment, and some stores even specialize in used sporting goods.
That’s definitely a rental
Many movie and music stores will buy and sell your pre-screened entertainment. DVD and CD swapping is also becoming easier and easier thanks to sites on the Internet where you can post your titles and earn credits each time a member requests something from your collection.
Membership on sites like swapadvd.com is usually free. You pay for shipping an item from your home to someone else’s, and the sender pays postage when shipping an item to you.
Gamers (but possibly not their significant others) rejoice! While you may tire of playing virtual golf or fighting bad guys with superhuman strength, there are thousands of games out there to choose from, and you need not buy them new.
Sites like Goozex offer a trading service for those who are ready for a new evil wizard to fight or planet to save or whatever it is you video game folks do.
Ready for a new read
As your dog-eared copies prove, some books are beloved items that will live out their days on your shelves. Others are easier to part with after a partial or full perusal.
From college textbooks to romance novels, there are several sites where you can post your gently-used books. You enter in the ISBN numbers of the books you’d like to swap, and these titles go into a massive database of books available on the site. Sites like PaperbackSwap will trade your books, and swap.com (formally swaptree) will swap books, DVDs, CDs and video games.
Can I borrow a cup of sugar?
Do you have an expensive drill lying around or a lawnmower that you only use once a month? While not technically swapping, buying items as a community can drastically reduce your costs as well as your environmental footprint.
Another option is to buy items in bulk like sugar, flour and even produce, and then share the food and the costs with a few friends. This can save you money and greatly reduce the amount of packaging needed for these types of products.
All of the above
This is by no means a comprehensive list of what you can swap, as almost anything you own is fair game. Be creative and embrace the barter system as you find ways to share what you no longer use with friends, neighbors and strangers. Each item that you swap saves money and aids in your quest to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
10 Great Things to Buy Used