Swapping: get in on the new trend

Keith ChegwinIan West/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Forget shopping: apparently the new trend of the moment is swapping. New research reveals that half of us see this as the next big thing, almost one in five say it's far more satisfying than shopping, three quarters of us are up for a giving it a go and half have already done so.

So how does it work, and where can you swap your stuff?

The survey was carried out by Confused.com and Nectar, which is giving Swap Shop a new airing at Victoria Train station in London at 1pm on Wednesday 25 January. You can pop along for free, see Keith Chegwin in action (no kidding) and see what someone is willing to give you for your old junk.

If you're not in London, or you want to take a more planned approach to the idea, there are a number of websites well worth a try.

1. www.swapz.co.uk

This is one of the biggest sites, so you are likely to find all sorts of things available in return for your old junk. You can either search for something you fancy and make an offer, or you can search the wanted section for someone who is on the lookout for the item you're willing to swap. There's everything here from DVDs to antiques, so it's worth a look.

2. readitswapit.co.uk

This is for used books. There is a massive register of books available, so hunt down the one you are after, or put your book on the site and see what offers you get in return.

3. Swishing.org

This isn't an online swapping site in the traditional sense, it's a site devoted to clothes-swapping parties, where everyone brings at least one quality item and swaps it for at least one other. You can have a look at the events diary to see if there's one on in your area. Or you can use the site's tips to throw your own clothes-swapping party and advertise it on the website.

4. Swapit.co.uk

This is largely one for the kids, as the swapzones focus on things like music, games and collectibles. However, its a busy site, so you are likely to get a good number of offers for anything you list. You don't swap item for item, you sell it for swapits (and can earn more by playing games) then you can spend your swapits on something you want.


If you're unsure about the process, you can start with something small, and get a feel for how your chosen site works. If the site allows, it's also worth checking the feedback on the swapper you are dealing with, to see if they have a good history of making positive swaps.

In any case, you will have to accept that it's not as straightforward as shopping and selling. You may not be able to guarantee to get exactly what you want in exchange for your unwanted junk. However, you may well end up with something you didn't even know you wanted.

Those who swap regularly swear by it. In the survey, 31% of people said they preferred to swap to save money, whilst 36% admitted to swapping 'to get something I actually wanted rather than something I would never use'.

So what do you think? Will you give it a go?
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