Books, DVDs, CDs and video games make great Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. During this time of year, there are usually some great sales on these items at retail stores. But, if your Christmas budget is a little low this year and you have plenty of these items on hand that you don't use much anymore, there are some free...or almost free...alternatives for Christmas gift giving.

I'm not talking about wrapping up your old stuff and giving it away as Christmas gifts, although I suppose you could do that if you wanted to. However, if you don't have the same taste in movies and games as the person you want to give a gift to, that could present a problem...unless you're willing to make a trade.

That's right...there are places where you can trade and exchange your used books, DVDs, CDs and video games and get your loved ones what they REALLY want. Here is an overview: - Shop for the video games or movies you want through this site like you would if you were buying them and add them to your cart. Then, list the games and movies you have that you want to trade. You will then be told if there is a small charge or if the trade will be completely free, depending on what you have to trade. After you check out, ships you your games or videos. You then use the postage-paid mailer to send the games you are trading to It's kind of like NetFlix, only there's no monthly charge and it's a lot cheaper!

SwapSimple - SwapSimple works a lot like, only they also deal with books. You list the bar code numbers of the items you have on their web site. You are instantly credited 20 percent of the item's value up front to use as you wish. You get the other 80 percent when you make a swap for another item on the web site. You don't need to add items to a que or make a list...just order what's no the site and it's on its way. Shipping is free!

SwapTree - SwapTree has books, CD's, movies and video games available for trade. Users list what they have available to trade, SwapTree determines what they can receive for their items, and the users are then free to go "shopping" on the site. Users pay shipping via Media Mail, but that's the only charge. You can even print shipping labels and postage from the site.

Peerflix - Peerflix deals in DVDs, and while the movies aren't free, they are pretty cheap. This site is a mix of eBay and Netflix. Users join for free, and then create two DVD lists: movies they have to sell and movies they want. You then mail and recieve DVDs from other users once you work out your deal. Keep or trade what you receive. The buyer pays a 99 cent transaction fee and you can print the mailer from your computer and follow the folding and taping instructions. Postal fees are also paid by the buyer. Only the discs are shipped, not the DVD case. Users do earn "cash" in the Peerflix system, which they use to buy and sell movies, and one can actually "cash out" and get real cash once their balance hits $100.

TitleTrader - This site lets you trade books, magazines, CDs, movies (DVD and VHS) and games. You list the items you have an either earn points or purchase points directly from the site. You can also earn points by referring new users to the site. Points can be swapped for other items on the site.

PaperBack Swap - Despite the name of this site, it's not just for paperback books. Selections also include hardback books, CDs and DVDs. Membership is currently free, although the site says it may one day charge a $10 to $20 fee per year to keep things going...still very inexpensive. You post all the books you are willing to swap, and get two book credits for the first 10 books you list. The 2 credits can be used to get 2 books. With this service, the sender pays postage. Each CD trade costs 49 cents plus a CD credit.

BookMooch - BookMooch is pretty basic. It's for books only. You type a list of books you want to give way, you receive requests for your books, you receive points when you mail your books and then use the points to get books you want. Membership is free.


  1. // April 5, 2012 at 10:07 AM  

    Agreed, any time you can save money in this economy makes sense to me. In fact, barter is coming back stronger than ever in this recession.

    As a movie and games user, I always am on search for a lower price alternative. When NetFlix raised their prices 60%, I was one of the 800,000 plus who canceled their subscriptions. When my local BlockBuster store closed, I switched to NetFlix, but when they increased their prices, I started to research all the alternatives.

    Most have heard of RedBox which are kiosks located usually in large grocery stores or WalMarts, but not in rural areas, so I started to wonder how to get a kiosk in my area. Well, I found the better alterantive, you can start your own movie rental business for free and access unlimited movies at no cost as an affiliate, pretty good alternative to the ever increasing higher prices of the big boys in the industry. It is set up similar to barter, you become member and price goes down, not up. Worth it to me as I am saving hundreds a year now.

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