The bartering of goods and services is an age-old art. Recently, the idea of doing business with your neighbors and within your community has taken off and taken on a modern twist. Combining our often materialistic, property-based society with the Internet’s ability to bring together buyers, sellers and traders, online barter has spawned a multitude of new sites and communities.
With median household income in the United States falling 4.8% between 2000 and 2009, people are now starting to look for new ways to get the goods and services they want and need affordably. . Today, you can find many niche and large-scale sharing sites, and it’s hard to find the one that best suits your needs.
To help you out, we’ve rounded up 36 popular sites designed to help you share, swap, and rent exotic clothes, music, or even vacations without spending too much hard-earned cash. In some cases, you may not need to spend anything!
- Home and office space
- Professional skills
- A little bit of everything
Home and office space
1. Home exchange
With over 40,000 listings in 142 countries, HomeExchange lists free homes in almost every region of the world. Members pay only $ 9.95 per month to exchange their homes and apartments with each other. After the monthly payment, your vacation accommodation expenses will no longer cost you if you stay at home. You can stay in a new place, while someone else comes to stay with you, both for free.
If you don’t want to pay a membership fee but are looking for a free place to stay when traveling anywhere in the world, CouchSurfing can be your new best friend. CouchSurfing is a non-profit organization, so they don’t charge you for using the site. They also don’t allow hosts to bill guests. With nearly 3 million members in 246 countries, there’s likely a couch available on hold. CouchSurfing also has a comprehensive safety section on the site, including referrals, recommendations, and reviews from other couchsurfers and hosts.
People in nearly 14,000 cities in 182 countries are waiting for you to rent you a room, apartment or house wherever you want. Since 2008, Airbnb has made it easy for you to find accommodation wherever you go. Just enter the dates you need, see what’s available and book your stay. The site even has its own payment system, which protects all parties against fraud and illegal activity. While you may only want to travel at first, you may be able to sign up to accommodate other members. There is no membership fee and Airbnb keeps a small portion of the host’s price for each stay in order to operate the business.
GoSwap is a permanent home swap site, which means you list your home, find the home you want, and then simply edit it. Let’s say you want to swap your beachfront home for a log cabin in the woods; maybe someone else out there wants to trade their woodland retreat for beach life. Don’t wait any longer to sell your home before buying the home of your dreams, since all you need to do is find someone who wants what you have. Listing your home on the site costs between $ 9 and $ 270, but listing and price comparison is free.
5. Liquid Space
Are you self-employed and tired of having only your pets to talk to at home? Are you visiting a new city and need to find a space to meet potential clients? If so, LiquidSpace can help. With their iPhone or iPad app, members scan available meeting or work space, reserve space for specific times, and get directions and access to other services provided by the space. The company will soon debut in the San Francisco Bay Area and hopes to grow nationwide quickly.
If you are a clothing enthusiast, always on the lookout for the latest trends, SwapStyle should be one of your best bookmarks. Founded in 2004 by fashion designer Emily Chesher, this global community sells clothing, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, and even gadgets, all with no membership fees.
Kids take off their clothes pretty quickly, and that’s where ThredUP comes in. They have set up a cool shop for parents to exchange clothes and toys with other parents whose children are of different ages. You can pick up a box full of clothes or toys for just $ 5 plus shipping, or post your own child’s used clothes for other users to choose from. Membership is free for everyone.
8. Redo the clothes
While Rehash’s original idea was to design clothes from recycled clothes, it eventually became a site for swapping clothes with other users. Members can trade their unwanted items (clothes and accessories) with other people looking for new items for their wardrobes and vice versa. Rehash also acts as a social community where users can get green living tips, read articles, request articles, and attend exchange events. Membership is free for those interested.
If you need more than clothes, like baby bedding, baby furniture, or even sporting goods, you’ll be happy to find Zwaggle. It is a network of parents who have come together to share the expense of buying things “new to their families” in exchange for items that are used or no longer needed. You get Zwaggle Points for donating your stuff and you can use those points to get the things you want. Membership is free and the community operates on a points system rather than cash. The only money you have to spend are the shipping costs.
While some people may resist an online community to find babysitters, I know a number of parents who say it’s actually very difficult to find a babysitter they can trust. BabysitterExchange started in 2000 as a childcare co-op and has since grown to the point where members use it to set aside time when they only have a few errands to do, need help with tutor their children or want one.
If you live in a large metropolitan area, you probably use public transportation to most of your destinations. You gave up your car a long time ago, eliminating parking, gasoline and car insurance from your budget. But what if you need to get out of town for an hour-long meeting or pick up 25 bags of soil at the garden store? Do you rent a car for the whole day even if you only need it for a few hours? Not if you have Zipcar nearby.
Zipcar has rented cars by the hour or by the day for years and continues to expand its list of participating cities. You can pay different membership and rental fees, depending on how often you think you need a Zipcar. While the process varies, you basically sign up in your city, pay the $ 25 application fee and annual fee (ranging from $ 0 to $ 60, depending on the plan), and voila – you can now borrow. a Zipcar for an hour. rate or daily charge. Rent includes gasoline, auto insurance, and 180 free miles, which is usually sufficient.
Similar to Zipcar but owned by car rental company Hertz, Connect by Hertz focuses on car sharing services on or near college campuses around the world. Membership is free and hourly rental rates start at $ 6.80, which includes gas and insurance. Again, for those of you who rarely need a personal car, a carsharing service could save you a lot on the cost of ownership.
For $ 75 per year, Capital Bike Share gives members access to affordable bike rentals in the Washington, DC area. Bike stations filled with 1,100 bikes are located throughout the district and in neighboring towns, and a single membership key gives you access to use and return any of them anywhere. you are. The first 30 minutes are free and each additional half hour costs a few dollars. Members can also use the SpotCycle app for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android device to locate the nearest available bike. You can also try a limited plan, like a 30-day pass for $ 25.
Do you need transportation? Zimride is a carpooling service that members use to set up private carpool networks to save money. Most cars can accommodate four people, but we usually travel alone. Why not share the burden of owning a car and consuming resources? Centered at hundreds of colleges and universities, you can probably find transportation almost anywhere you need to go near campus.
A place to swap your books with other members, Bookins says they have “more books available than the bigger Barnes & Noble.” Best of all, there are no membership fees or fees to speak of. Bookins organizes all exchanges for its users, so members never have to contact each other to set up exchanges. Sending items is free, while receiving an item costs $ 4.49.
PaperBack Swap is exactly what it sounds like: a place to swap paperbacks. Currently, over 500 million books are commercially available on the site. Just list the books you no longer want and other members will find them. When someone requests one of your books, just send it by mail and then choose any available book you want to receive. Switching is easy and membership is free.
Stop lugging around old books you won’t read and trade them in for new reading material. Bookmooch uses a points system, so you enter the books you want to gift, receive requests from members who want your books, ship them from home, earn points, and then spend the points on the books you need. Although membership is free, you will receive 0.10 point for each book you make available and 1 point for each book you successfully donate. To stay up to date, you must gift a book for two that you receive.
Kind of an online exchange meeting, there is no auction or money exchange on Swap.com. Rather, you offer to trade the things you no longer want. Then you will have a choice of books, movies, CDs, and other items. The site does not appear to have a monthly fee, but you will be responsible for the shipping costs associated with the items you sell. Swap has its own free iPhone app for easy listing and searching.
Books, DVDs, CDs, clothes, cars, games, whatever, SwapAce has it. You can join this e-commerce and barter system for free, and Swapace’s auto-match and auction management system will help you find what you need and get rid of your old items.
If you’re a gamer, GameTZ might be your best bet for finding the new games you’ve been waiting for, and for less than the retail price. The site’s reputation system helps you avoid being scammed, and you won’t be paying membership fees, buying surcharges, or selling fees.
For those of you looking for another option for trading games and movies, Goozex (short for “trading goods”) might be for you. Users redeem games and movies for points, which are then used to win other games or movies for just $ 1.99 in transaction fees. Membership is free.
22. The Shared Earth
I wish I could come up with this fantastic idea. SharedEarth is a free site that connects landowners with gardeners and farmers who need space to cultivate (i.e. start a vegetable garden). You can find free access to the land in exchange for sharing certain products with the owner. In an era of a strong and growing local food movement and food safety concerns, SharedEarth could be the most important sharing site of all.
When looking to rent power tools, a shop vacuum, or camping gear, Zilok will help you find great products for short term rentals. Instead of paying full price for one-time use, borrow from members of this free site.
A little bit of everything
24. Free cycle
With 8.5 million members and 5,000 groups, Freecycle is like the mother of all garage sales, with one exception: it’s all free! The site started out as a grassroots organization, encouraging members to reuse products rather than sending them to landfills. For example, I have used Freecycle several times to find new owners for parts from my cassette and record collection, stacks of magazines and books, and a variety of unnecessary tools.
An online community where you can share things for free or rent items for a fee, NeighborhoodGoods promotes itself as a “social inventory”, allowing members to save money and resources by borrowing what they need. While membership is free, you can create private groups to share for your business or neighborhood for a small fee: $ 36 for six months.
One of my favorite sites on the internet and one of the biggest names in the business, Craigslist is the best classifieds site in the world. While not specifically designed for sharing or renting items, you can choose from a wide variety of market categories on Craigslist, including “free”, “carpooling” and “barter”.
It really is that simple. Sign up for free to become a member, list your unwanted items, find what you like, and host a commercial or cash offer. Since 2005, Trashbank has provided buyers and sellers with a great system for everything from antiques to toys.
Freegans are people who embrace community and sharing, as opposed to a society based on materialism and greed. Freegans avoid buying new products or food as much as possible. Instead, they spend a lot of time rummaging through the trash and trash, looking for what they need. Yes, this is an extreme example of trade and barter, but they make the system work for them!
When you only have a few items that you can’t categorize but want to trade, TradeStuff can help. With a simple forum setup and over 22,000 members, you can probably easily give up some of your posts in exchange for someone else’s.
With no transaction fees and no points system, SwapTreasures is just a site for exchanging goods and bartering for services. If you want to trade but don’t want a specific market or overly complicated process, take a look at these guys.
31. The quest for barter
BarterQuest facilitates the exchange or barter of goods, services and real estate. With categories ranging from transportation to books, clothing and sporting goods, billing itself as the “biggest barter site”, you’re sure to find something you can give or receive in return. Registration and publication are free.
With 70,000 members posting items they’d like to trade with or for, there’s a good chance you’ll find what you’re looking for on U-Exchange. Ads are available worldwide and the search function allows you to narrow down your choices by keywords. There is no membership or registration fee, as advertisers pay to sponsor the site.
Billed as a “cashless trading system,” FavorPals is a site where services such as babysitting and housework can be traded for other services or goods, all without money by exchanging hands. There is no charge to join, list or redeem.
Registration and basic listings are free on Tradeaway, where you can sell, buy and trade anything from antiques to vacation travel. It is run like an auction house, where users can bid for an exchange, trade credits, or money for an item or service that interests them. Registration is free.
Listia is an online auction site where users bid on other people’s business using site credits instead of real money. Users get credits by donating things they no longer need and can then bid on “new” things using the credits they’ve earned. The highest bidder wins the item and membership is free.
BizXchange is for business-to-business bartering, where members use “BizX dollars” to help each other save money on expenses and find new ways to grow their business. BizX Dollars are earned (and can be spent to) sell unused products, services, or inventory to other members. Membership fees include a one-time start-up fee of $ 795, monthly fee of $ 15 cash / $ 15 from BizX, and a 6% fee on each transaction with other members.
Phew! Well, there you have it: 34 sites you can use to share, trade, trade, borrow, and lend your unwanted products, services, or household items.
Have you ever used any of the sites on this list to barter or trade? How was the overall experience? Do you have another favorite site to add to the list?