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When I married my husband, I fully realized the extent of his love for movies and music. This came in the form of literally hundreds of DVDs and CDs that he had collected over the years. When combined with my collection of books, I knew we had a problem. The problem was not the amount of stuff we had, it was the price of continuing to add to our collections. New books and DVDs run as much as $30 each! As a self respecting couponer, I couldn't continue to pay those prices, but I didn't want us to stop enjoying our hobbies.

I knew that we had to get our spending under control. When it comes to saving money, couponing has taught me that you have to think outside the box and be creative. That is why I was THRILLED to discover three amazing websites that would allow us to continue getting new (to us) items while recycling what we no longer needed or wanted at a savings of over 90%!

Since becoming members of www.paperbackswap.com, www.swapadvd.com, and www.swapacd.com, we have saved over $500! Getting started is easy. Below I have given you an overview of how these great sites work so you too can start swapping and saving!

It works the same on all three sites:

1. Register for an account on each site, or only on the site you’re interested in. It’s simple and membership is 100% FREE!

2. Once you have an account, start listing any books, CDs, or DVDs that are in good, working condition that you no longer want. For the DVD and CD sites you simply type in the numbers under the UPC bar code on your item. For books you type in the ISBN number on the back of your book. That's it! Each site uses this information to make a list of the items you want to swap, complete with a description and picture!

3. Once you’ve listed the items you don’t mind parting with, make a list of the items you want. Each site has a search feature that allows you to type in exactly what you’re looking for or you can browse by genre, author, artist, album name, actor, etc. You simply click on the items you want and they’re added to your list.

4. Once someone decides they want something you have listed, they request it. The site then sends you an email asking if you can mail the item. If you can, you simply mail it to the address the person provides through the website. The great thing is you can use media mail which is the super cheap way to send any type of media, like CDs, DVDs, and books through the postal service. The absolute most that I have ever spent to mail an item requested from me is $2.05 for a large hardcover book. Considering that in the past I would spend an average of $25 on a new book, that is some serious savings!

5. Once the person receives your item in the mail they go online and mark it received. Now you have one credit to use towards purchasing anything on the site for FREE! Likewise, when you request an item, the person mailing it to you pays the postage. When you receive it, you go online and mark it ‘received’ so that person receives a credit. And on and on it goes!

One really cool feature of these sites is that they will tell you how much postage your item requires and allow you to purchase and print your postage directly from the site! No trips to post office required! The website also has a great wrapper you can print to wrap your item in. You don't have to invest in bubble mailers or any expensive packaging. The instructions are on each site for how to wrap each item in nothing more than two sheets of paper!

There is no limit to the number of credits you can receive! For every item you send out you get one credit to use however you wish. Remember, once you send the item out it’s gone.  This is a swapping site not a borrowing site.

If what you want is not available, NO PROBLEM! There is a wish list that you can create and add items to. The website will then email you when one becomes available. There is also a referral program. For every friend you refer that lists 10 items you get one FREE credit!

The great news: credits can be transferred from site to site.  If you earn a credit at the DVD site you can transfer it to one of the other sites to use on books or CDs. Audio books are also available!

The possibilities of these sites are endless! I have received many books that are in brand new condition. I once even received a CD that was still in the wrapper! These can be used as gifts, donations to schools, copies for book clubs, etc! Your imagination is the only limit . So get creative and get swapping!

This has been a guest post by Joy from Columbus, GA
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