01 September 2010

Swap A DVD

A couple of years ago I started renting DVDs instead of buying them. I remembered what a pain it was to deal with VHS rentals years ago so I was always more of the buy the DVD from the bargain bin instead of renting. I felt that by having a DVD to show for the outlay of $4 or $5 was better than renting stuff and having nothing to show for it. If you look at the options out there today, including streaming movies & television shows to your computer, etc. the need to actually own a huge library of DVDs/videos is actually very small.

Then a year and a half ago I looked up from my computer to the shelves containing the vast array of DVDs I had accumulated over the years. Many I watched only once and would never watch again. Others I liked but still hadn't watched in a few years. They were things I could rent if the mood struck me. I could get rid of nearly all my DVDs without any suffering. The question now was what to do with them.

That's where Swap A DVD comes in. Along with its associated book and CD trading sites I could trade my unwanted DVDs for books.

First I would post DVDs onto the site that I was willing to give away. I started with a few, and over the next year dozens and dozens were added. When someone wants one of them they ask you to mail it to them. When they receive the DVD you get a credit. That credit can be used to obtain a DVD from another member, or as in my case, transferred to one of the other sites. A DVD credit was worth 1.5 credits on Paperback Swap, so I transferred my credits there. I'm not sure what the exchange rate on the CD trading site is since I never used it.

Now I had tons of credits on Paperback Swap. While I believe Bookmooch has many advantages as a book trading site, Paperback Swap has its own.

While I found many books I wanted on these sites, I soon hit my saturation point. I had just gotten rid of the clutter of DVDs I didn't want to drown in hundreds of new books. There are other options for credits on Paperback Swap. One is giving them away, either to charities or to other members. The other option is to offer them for sale on the PBS Forums like a number of members do. You may not get much for them, but it beats trying to sell used books to some store.

In any case it has worked out great for me. I've cleared out some clutter, gotten rid of many DVDs, got a number of books, made some charitable contributions, and now sit on a small supply of credits to await the possible availability of books on my trading wishlist.

...and when you're done with a DVD or Book you can post it back up on the site. Of course you can also release a book into the wild through Book Crossing, but I'll discuss that more when I'm done experimenting with that website.

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