Online swap sites offer the sensible and surreal

March 3rd, 2008 - 9:14 am ICT by admin  

Ahrensburg (Germany), March 3 (DPA) Many things end up in the garbage can even though they are still in fine working condition because the search for a recipient of used objects can be toilsome. Yet, online swap sites are riding to the rescue, helping people find a new home for grandma’s quirky dresser, an old aquarium or even a broken down computer.

“Offering super good-looking male iguana for a laptop” - that was one user’s attempt to make a deal on the online swap site Bambali.

The site stipulates that goods be exchanged for goods or services for services or else the participants can receive swap points known as “Bam” that can be used to swap for something later.

The range of items being offered is varied: one user is offering her services as a seamstress, while another Bambali member wants to get rid of his four-wheeler in exchange for a car. Women’s bikes, poker tables, child care and Arabic lessons have all been offered over Bambali.

Freecycle, a give-away site that originated in the United States, works a bit differently. Participants use a Yahoo group to offer items that they’re ready to give away. There is no expectation of payment. The reward comes through the clean conscience of knowing that an object has been given to a new owner instead of adding to the landfill problem.

A number of services seek to connect readers on the prowl for new material or old material that they can’t locate.

Tauschticket and Leihnetzwerk are two German language examples, with the former arranging direct swaps of books and the second working more as a virtual lending library.

Or, one can strike upon the more adventurous route offered by Bookcrossers: the members of the global community affix a Bookcrossing sticker into books that they have read-and then leave them out in public spaces. The hope is that the finder will post about it in the Bookcrossers forum and then set the book free again after reading it.


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