For centuries, people have shared and exchanged goods and services within their communities. Recently, this idea has received a modern boost thanks to the internet.
The web’s ability to bring buyers, sellers, and traders together has sparked a wealth of new sites and communities. With so many niche and large-scale sharing sites for online bartering, it’s difficult to find the best ones to meet your needs.
Fortunately, there are loads of bartering sites designed to help you share, swap, and trade stuff. With the best sites, you can exchange clothes, music, or even vacation housing instead of spending your hard-earned cash.
Best Bartering & Swapping Websites
There are bartering websites and apps for almost everything. General barter exchange sites allow you to swap all kinds of goods and services, while specialized sites focus on specific items such as clothing or books. No matter what you have to trade, there’s a site to help you do it.
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You’re probably already familiar with Craigslist as a secondhand shopping marketplace. But you might not know that among the classified ads for jobs, used goods, and services, there’s often a section devoted to barter.
On my local Craigslist site, this subheading is tucked away in the For Sale area. On it, people offer trades such as a yard makeover for a used car, a snow plow for an ATV, and, amazingly, a 55-inch flat-screen TV for a couple of cases of beer.
Even if your local Craigslist group doesn’t include a section devoted to barter, you can still use it for this purpose. Just post a for-sale listing and include the words “for trade” in the title. And if you’re interested in making a swap instead of a cash deal for something another person has listed, it can’t hurt to offer.
Freecycle isn’t exactly a swap site. It’s a network of small groups across the country where members give away unwanted goods to each other rather than sending them to landfills. It’s like the mother of all garage sales with one exception: Everything is free.
The Freecycle network has over 9.9 million members in more than 5,300 groups. Each group has its own rules about listing merchandise, but one general rule is that you can’t ask for anything in exchange. Thus, Freecycle is not so much a bartering site as a giving and receiving site.
I’m a longtime Freecycle user, and the site has helped me get rid of many items. Old textbooks, an eight-year-old Macintosh computer, and an old lawn mower with a damaged wheel (which I disclosed) all found new homes. And I’ve acquired lots of free stuff too, from toys to food to a kitchen sink complete with a faucet.
So if there’s something on Freecycle you want, go ahead and take it, then list your would-be swap for someone else to grab.
Listia is an online auction site like eBay — but with a twist. When you “sell” your belongings, you earn points, which you can use to bid on other people’s auctions. No actual money changes hands.
Posts on Listia are sorted into dozens of categories, including antiques, clothing, electronics, toys, sporting goods, and health and beauty products. You can even find listings for cryptocurrency.
Membership to Listia is free. You get 50 free points when you sign up and another 50 when you list your first item. You can also earn points by inviting your friends to join or linking your Listia account to your social media accounts.
One of the most versatile bartering sites is BarterQuest. This free site isn’t just for trading goods. You can also use it to swap services and real estate.
There are two types of posts on BarterQuest: Have and Want. Have posts indicate what you’re willing to give, and Want posts show what you want to receive. You can link a Have post to a Want post to get matched with other users who have what you want. However, you can make an offer on any Have item, even if you can’t match the lister’s exact Want.
You can also make multi-party trades. For instance, say you have an electric guitar and need a tax preparer. You could trade your guitar to someone who wants a guitar and has a laptop. They could then pass on their laptop to an accountant who completes the trade by doing your taxes.
5. Buy Nothing Project
The Buy Nothing Project is similar to Freecycle. It’s a network of local groups in which people exchange goods for free. Like Freecycle, it doesn’t involve direct one-for-one swaps, but it allows you to both give and receive merchandise with no money changing hands.
There are more than 7,000 Buy Nothing groups in 44 countries around the world. Many of these groups operate on Facebook. You can find a group near you by searching for your area on the Buy Nothing Project website.
Another way to participate in the Buy Nothing Project is to download the Buy Nothing app for iOS or Android. After enrolling, you can set your location and the size of the area you want to trade items within — anywhere from 0.5 to 6 miles from your home.
Once enrolled, you can make Give posts to give away possessions and Ask posts to request things you need. Listings can cover almost any kind of goods, including food, toys, musical instruments, and furniture. You can also lend items like carpet cleaners or offer services like snow shoveling.
In some areas, there are Facebook Groups devoted specifically to bartering.
To see if there’s a bartering group in your area, go to Facebook Groups and search for “barter groups near me.” You can also find a group for people in your town and see if it has a section devoted to sharing or swapping.
Another way to swap goods on Facebook is through Facebook Marketplace. Just go to the Free Stuff section to look for items people are giving away and post offers of your own.
Another all-purpose bartering service is TradeMade. Although it’s an iOS app rather than a website, it works just like most all-purpose swapping websites.
After downloading the app, you post listings for all kinds of products, including clothing, books, toys, furniture, and electronics. You can also list services like tutoring, cleaning, or running errands. And you can browse others’ listings, filtering by category, location, or value. You can also choose to search only the listings of Facebook friends.
If you find something you want, you can propose a trade. You can exchange any number of your goods or services for any number of someone else’s. Once you accept a trade, you and the other member chat to arrange a time and place for pickup.
The original idea behind Rehash was to design clothing out of recycled clothes. However, the site eventually evolved into an online clothing swap party. By trading unwanted clothing and accessories with others, you get new-to-you clothes for only the cost of shipping.
It costs nothing to join Rehash, and there are no listing fees. Just post a picture and description of a garment or accessory you no longer want. At the bottom of your post, you can name some other apparel you’re looking for in exchange.
Anyone who likes your listing can write to offer a trade. You can also view other people’s offerings and propose trades to them. Once you agree to swap, you can purchase and print a snail-mail mailing label directly from the site and even schedule a free pickup.
If your shelves are overflowing with books you’ll never read again, it makes perfect sense to trade them for some new reading material. It helps you save money on books and gives your old ones a good home.
One of the top sites devoted to bartering books is BookMooch. To use the site, you enter the books you want to give away and get requests from members who want them. You ship them at your own cost and receive points, which you can cash in for other books on the site.
Books cost 1 point each, or three points if shipped from another country. You earn one-tenth of a point for each book you list on the site and one point for every book you successfully give away. To remain in good standing, you need to ship at least one book for every two you receive.
10. PaperBack Swap
Another good site for trading books is PaperBack Swap. Despite its name, you can barter more than paperbacks. Currently, it has more than a million books available for trade, including hardbacks, textbooks, and audiobooks.
Just list the books you don’t want anymore. When someone requests one of your books, you mail it at your own cost. You then receive a credit you can cash in for any available book on the site. Swapping is easy, and membership is free.
11. SwapaCD or SwapaDVD
These days, many music lovers prefer streaming music over physical media. But as long as you still have a CD player, you can continue to enjoy your old recordings — or, if you’re tired of them, trade them for new ones at SwapaCD.
This site runs on the same platform as PaperBack Swap, and it works according to the same basic system. You list your old CDs on the site, and other users request them. When you ship them, you earn 1 credit per disc, which you can use to request CDs from other users.
However, unlike PaperBack Swap, SwapaCD isn’t entirely free. You must pay a fee of $0.49 for each disc you request through the site. That’s on top of the shipping charges you pay for mailing your own CDs to others.
There’s also a companion site called SwapaDVD for exchanging DVDs. The credit and fee structures are the same as at SwapaCD.
If you are a video gamer, GameTZ — short for Game Trading Zone — could be your new favorite site. It’s a great place to buy, sell, and trade video games and gaming consoles as well as movies, books, and music.
When you list a game on GameTZ, you indicate whether you’re looking for a trade or a cash deal. Other members can then contact you with offers. The site’s reputation system helps you find reliable partners to trade with so you don’t get ripped off.
In its 20 years of operation, GameTZ has facilitated more than 300,000 game purchases and exchanges. It’s free to join, and there are no charges for listing, buying, selling, or trading.
13. Games Exchange
Another popular site for swapping video games is Games Exchange. Through this site, you can buy, sell, and trade games with other gamers all across the U.S.
List your old games on the site and indicate whether you want to swap them or sell them for cash. Then visit other game listings and click Like to select the ones you’re interested in. You can visit a list of your Likes to offer either cash for purchase or a game-for-game swap.
If you and a seller agree to a cash deal, the site keeps 10% of the purchase prices as a fee. However, if you agree to a swap, the only cost you have to pay is the shipping fee.
Want to save on your next vacation? Consider skipping the hotel and doing a home swap instead. You’ll get to stay in a new place, while someone else comes to stay in your home, both free of charge.
It costs $175 per year to become a Home Exchange member. However, you don’t have to pay that fee right away. You can create a profile, list your home, search other listings, and exchange messages with other members for free. You aren’t required to become a member until you’re ready to finalize your first exchange.
Once you’ve paid the $175 fee, you get unlimited home swaps for the year. With 450,000 listings in 159 countries, HomeExchange can help you find vacation lodgings almost anywhere in the world.
15. Love Home Swap
Another reputable site for house swapping is Love Home Swap. It has thousands of available homes in more than 100 countries, and its search filters help you find the homes that fit your needs.
There are two ways to trade homes on Love Home Swap. A Classic Swap is a straight one-for-one trade: you use their home, and they use yours. With a Points Swap, you agree to host another family in exchange for points you can cash in on the site for housing elsewhere. There’s a transaction fee for Points Swaps that starts at 49 pounds sterling (about $61).
Love Home Swap has three membership plans ranging from $11 to $15 per month. All plans come with a 14-day free trial.
16. Intervac Home Exchange
Home exchanges were around long before the internet. Intervac Home Exchange, the oldest home exchange service, has been helping travelers around the world swap homes since 1953. The site has more than 30,000 members spanning 45 countries.
Home swaps on Intervac don’t have to be simultaneous. With a non-simultaneous home exchange, you agree to host one family and have them host you at a later date. You can also arrange to host other Intervac members for cash (or for free) or to rent out a vacation home to members at a discounted rate.
Intervac is cheaper than other home swapping sites. Membership costs just $115 for a year or $190 for two years, and there’s a 21-day free trial period.
If you want to find free lodgings around the world without paying a membership fee, check out Couchsurfing. This nonprofit organization helps travelers connect with people who are willing to host them just for the fun of it — all completely free.
With 14 million members in more than 200,000 cities worldwide, chances are there is a free couch out there waiting for you. Couchsurfing also has an extensive safety section, including profiles and references from other couchsurfers and hosts.
While it’s not a straight swapping site like other home-swapping platforms, you can swap by surfing one host’s couch and offering yours up free to someone else.
Unlike other house-swapping sites, GoSwap.org isn’t about finding vacation lodgings. It’s for people who want to trade homes permanently. Instead of waiting to sell your place before buying your dream home, you just find someone who wants what you have.
For instance, say you want to trade your beachfront home for a log cabin in the woods. You list your home and explain what you’re looking for in exchange. Then, another user on the site can contact you and offer to swap their woodsy retreat for your seaside haven.
GoSwap.org allows for multiple kinds of exchanges. You can trade homes straight out or add cash or other assets to sweeten the pot. You can also swap land, businesses, boats, vehicles, and even aircraft.
Once you negotiate a deal, you and the other party prepare two contracts selling your properties to each other. Then, you meet in person to do a simultaneous closing on both properties. If you have a mortgage, you pay it off from the sale, so if you have to take out a mortgage to make the swap, no one is stuck with two loans.
Creating an account on GoSwap.org is free. You may incur a fee for certain listings.
19. Shared Earth
Would you like to start a home vegetable garden but don’t have the land or tools to do it? Visit Shared Earth to find a landowner near you with space to spare. They can arrange to give you access to garden space in exchange for a share of the produce you grow.
You can sign up for Shared Earth using your Facebook account or email address. List your physical address and indicate whether you’re a gardener looking for land or tools or a homeowner with land or garden tools to share. Then, search listings for other nearby users to find the perfect person to share a garden with.
Sharing space allows both gardeners and hosts to enjoy fresh, locally grown food at an affordable price. And it helps build community at the same time.
BizX (formerly known as BizXchange) is for business-to-business barter. Members buy and sell business-related goods and services from each other using “BizX dollars” instead of cash. One BizX dollar is equivalent to $1.
You earn BizX dollars by selling products, services, or unused inventory to other members. You can then spend those dollars on any other product or service available on the site. The platform even tracks sales and purchases for you.
The BizX platform helps you save money by trading goods and services based on their actual cost with no retail markups. Plus, you form connections with other businesses and expand your network.
BizX charges a fee of 6% to 7.5% on each transaction you make with other members. Some members also pay a monthly membership fee. For more details on pricing, contact BizX for a customized rate quote.
Bartering for goods and services isn’t as straightforward as using cash. You have to find someone who wants what you have and has what you want instead of just handing over some pieces of paper you can take out of any ATM.
But barter also has benefits that cash transactions don’t. For one, it works when you’re short on cash. Rather than trying to squeeze extra dollars out of a tight budget to buy, say, a new microwave, you can get one in trade for your old sewing machine.
Better still, bartering helps you form personal connections with other people. The person whose house you stayed at on vacation through Home Exchange, the person whose yard you garden in with Shared Earth, and the neighbors you swap toys with on Freecycle are all potential future friends. That’s a benefit you’re unlikely to get from spending cold, hard cash.