The best websites for swapping your stuff
Got a surplus of stuff you don't need but can't be bothered selling? Trading your items on a swap site can be a quick and easy solution.
As the saying goes, 'one man's trash is another man's treasure'. That's not to say you should start rifling through your neighbour's rubbish bins in search of gold, but have you ever thought about swapping your unused items for something a bit more, well, useful?
Swapping stuff online can be a good way of acquiring new things without spending a penny. You may not always get heaps of control on what you get in exchange, but that's part of the fun.
And, better yet, you could end up with something worth way more than the item you started with, helping you save money in the process. Here are the best swap shops to try...
Top 5 swapping sites
Remember that, although no cash is crossing palms when using these sites, bartering is still common.
If you have your heart set on something that the seller isn't willing to part with in exchange for what you have to offer, the solution is to simply up your offer. Throw in an extra something else and they may just be convinced...
Here are the five best places to swap items online:
Gumtree Swap Shop
You might have heard of Gumtree as a place for buying and selling second-hand stuff, but they also have a Swap Shop where you can advertise things you want to exchange for other items.
Gumtree is pretty well known – they have a large userbase and, therefore, lots of swapping opportunities. You can filter by location or postcode to find swaps near you, including everything from cars to phones to trading cards and more.
Depop is one of the quickest and easiest ways to sell your clothes online. Once you've downloaded the app, you post items to sell, just as you'd upload an Instagram post.
While it's primarily used for buying and selling, plenty of people also use it to swap items, too. Before you approach a seller for a swap (via a direct message) check their bio as many people do explicitly state 'No swaps' – in which case, it's a no-go!
But many people will also state 'Open to swaps' which is a green light to get your barter on. Typically, you'll express an interest in something on their store, and ask them if there's anything that they can see on your store which they'd be interested in swapping for.
Once you've haggled and agreed on a fair deal, you should also agree on a price for the items – an amount that you would be happy receiving if you were selling instead of swapping.
You and the other seller then list the items on your stores at this set price, and you then buy each other's items, meaning you'll now both be covered by Depop's Protection Programme – you'll get your money back if the item doesn't arrive, essentially.
Swapping on Vinted works in a similar way to Depop.
Vinted is mostly intended for buying and selling clothes, but it's also got a handy feature for swapping your things.
When looking through the clothes on the site, keep an eye out for items with a swap symbol – this means that the sellers are willing to swap them.
To swap clothes on Vinted, you'll need to get in touch with the other person to agree on which items to swap. You can then both set the same price for your items and 'buy' each other's things.
You'll get the money back from the other seller so it works out as a swap. But please note – you will have to pay for postage costs and the 15% fee (minimum £1) for the deal.
Ok, so technically this one isn't a swapping website per se. In fact, it's even better than a swap site, because you don't even have to part with any of your junk to get free stuff.
Freecycle is a website that lets you get something off your hands to another good home without having to sell it.
Sometimes this will entail larger pieces of furniture that someone doesn't have a car to dispose of, or even just smaller things that the owner doesn't deem it worth their while to put up for sale on sites like eBay.
What's unique about Freecycle is the fact that you can join local groups to decipher what's up for grabs in your area. People who live locally to you post what they want to get rid of, and if it takes your fancy, just message them and go pick it up.
By using Freecycle, you're not only gaining some cool free things, but you're also helping the environment by not allowing unwanted items to end up in a landfill somewhere.
Craigslist is a classified advertisements website, where you can post pretty much anything – jobs, items for sale, services you have, houses to rent or just topics to discuss. It's a bit of a maze to navigate, but you can find some gems on there if you keep searching.
Simply upload your item to the 'Barter' section and see what offers you get. Craigslist is much bigger in the US than here, so depending on where you're based, you might struggle to find a large audience for your advert.
Finding a good trade might take some serious dedication, but if you stick at it, you could make some serious gains. In fact, one guy has even produced a TED Talk on how he managed to swap a paperclip for a house using the site (gradually swapping his item for something slightly better each time).
Why go shopping when you could be swapping? It's a great way to get unique, useful or unusual items for free and could save you some cash.
Hoping to buy less new things? Find out how one recent student manages to only buy clothes second-hand.