Monday, October 6, 2008

Swap, Don't Shop

The advent of the internet has given the youth of Generation Y an excuse to spend a great deal of time online. So nowadays, when online options range anywhere from social networking to online gaming, members of Generation Y can do just about anything online. If he so chose to, a Generation Yer could literally live, work, and play online without leaving the comfort of his own home. This, however, is a theory saved for another time and another post.

Yet, out of all of Generation Y’s many internet pastimes, online shopping is one activity that has surged in popularity. The lure of shopping online is simple: unlimited browsing, one-click purchasing and, best of all, no pesky salespeople. The downfall, however, is that with the ease of online shopping comes the threat of increased debt.

Savvy Generation Yers, however, have found a way to enjoying the novelty of online shopping without spending a cent. It’s simple, instead of shopping, these individuals have resorted to “swapping.”

Online “swapping” sites are popping up all over the web and Gen Yers are taking advantage. Part of the appeal of these sites is that they not only provide a medium for the exchange of goods, but many also serve as a forum for individuals with common interests to interact. Oftentimes, these sites offer communities and topic-specific forums across which swappers can converse and comment on the latest news and updates in their individual area of interest. is one such site. This online community offers areas for discussions, product ratings and, of course, swapping. Users can also catalog their acquisitions and list items for which they’re willing to trade. Once a transaction is complete, an individual then leaves a swap token, or review, of the trade/trader. Individuals can then look at this feedback left behind by others when considering a trade with the user.

But how exactly does one go about swapping online? Here are some easy to follow steps:
1. Go through your respective collections and find items that you’re willing to get rid of, but others might want.
2. Find a swapping site that caters to your specific area of interest.
3. Set up a profile and list the items that you currently have and those you’re willing to trade for (most sites designate a specific area for this). You may also post pictures of the item.
4. Find takers and begin swapping!
5. Remember to request feedback at the end of all transactions. This is what others will see when considering a trade (the more positive the feedback, the less likely is the chance of encountering a thief , or “swaplifter”).

By swapping, Generation Yers are able to attain the products they desire without having to deal with the debt problems that excessive shopping can create. In addition, they gain an opportunity to interact with other savvy Gen Yers who share their common interests. It’s no mystery why some Gen Yers prefer to swap, rather than shop.

Popular Swapping Sites:
Makeup Alley
PaperBack Swap
Mashable’s “8 Sites to Swap Your Stuff”

Photo: Twenty Three & Enjoting Life

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