Screengrabs via Swap.com's iTunes page
Tired of seeing a DVD you never watch lay around, or do you have some clothes in the back of your closet that you just never wear? Maybe you have some books you know you won't read again, or a power tool that is languishing in the garage. Rather than throwing them away, or donating them only to make room so that you can buy more stuff, the greenest thing to do would be to trade these items for things you want and need. There are a number of websites that facilitate swaps and trades, but now there's an app for that. Swap.com has launched this new app for iPhones and it looks like a really easy way to swap items with other people.
You can use your phone to scan bar codes on items to add them to your "have" or "want" lists, log in to PayPal to deal with any shipping fees you might ask for or be asked to cover during a swap, check out the database to see what you can swap for your items and more.
I downloaded the app and it immediately asks you to start scanning barcodes for things you want or have. I selected "want" just to see if other people have some stuff I might have. I grabbed the closest thing to me that had a barcode which happened to be Alice Waters' In The Green Kitchen book. I scanned the code and the app told me no one had this book to swap. So I grabbed the next nearest thing that I thought more people would have, which was the Scream 3 DVD (yes, I'm watching all the movies again in preparation for Scream 4...). After scanning it told me 28 people have this DVD to swap. Clearly, this experiment shows that we're willing to get rid old campy horror DVDs, and not awesome green cookbooks. Good!
Anyway, sifting through the rest of the app, it seems like a seriously easy, and awesome way to swap goods. While I haven't completed a transaction yet, I suspect the hardest part will be dealing with other swappers, not using the app.
Considering we all want to be frugal and green, I love the idea that you can wander around your house scanning items you no longer want in order to swap them. What I'm not so sure about is the ability to swap stuff that doesn't have a barcode. For that, I guess our fallback is still the actual Swap.com website, Craigslist or other swap sites.
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