If your family is anything like mine, your kids' closets (and maybe the living room, dining room and basement) are full of unused toys and video games. The toy that my 7-year-old just had to have at Christmas is now stuffed under her bed, forgotten, and collecting dust bunnies. Fortunately, I found a way to get rid of some of those unwanted toys and games—by swapping.
1. Keep your kids’ LEGO collection fresh with BrickSwap.com.
My kids go through LEGOs so quickly—they’re constantly playing with them! Now I can keep them building new things by trading pieces with other LEGO lovers on Brick Swap. The nice thing about this site is that you have to apply for a free membership in order to start swapping, which means people are serious about trading LEGOs. If you see a piece that your kid wants, just private message the trader and organize a swap. You and the other trader are responsible for paying shipping fees.
2. Let someone else make your unwanted stuff look presentable on Swap.com.
If your house is overflowing with toys, books, DVDs and games, but you don’t have time to take photos and prepare them to be traded online, Swap.com might be the answer for you! Swap will send you packaging materials, and all you have to do is ship your unwanted stuff to them. They’ll take pretty pictures and store your items for you until you find someone to swap with. When you find an item you want, all you have to do is put it on your "Want List," and once the other member agrees on the trade, Swap will ship your like-new item out for you.
Although swapping is free, you do have to pay the shipping when you send your items in, as well as when you want items shipped to you. Consider combining multiple orders into one shipment to save.
3. Use SwapMyGames.com to trade unwanted video and computer games.
Swap My Games is my son's favorite way to get new video games. Create a "Games I Have List" and a "Games I Want List," then browse games by console, most popular, or by video game type (action, sci-fi, etc.). If another member agrees on a trade, you’re responsible for shipping your game to them, and they pay all fees associated with shipping their game to you. Or, you can just trade locally and save on shipping costs altogether! Along with games, you can also swap things like video game consoles, controllers, and adapters.
4. Trade almost any unwanted toy for free on ToysToTrade.com.
Create your own free account, add toys your kids are tired of playing with, and let the trading begin! The owners of Toys to Trade have kids and are very aware of how often they get bored with toys, so they created this online toy swap. The site is simple to navigate—search for toys by item category, brand, age group, or character name, and just hit the trade button once your kiddo finds the toy they want. Each member is required to pay the shipping costs of the item they are swapping. The coolest part is that you can haggle! For example, the person we traded with threw in an extra Barbie to cover the amount it cost me to ship their item to them.
5. Find swap events near you at PeaceLoveSwap.com.
All you have to do is click on "Find Your Swap" to locate an event near you. After I've cleaned out my kids’ closets, I love bringing all my unwanted stuff to the swap. You do have to pay a fee, but it's generally super-cheap—like $7—and that's for swapping an unlimited amount of items!
Note: Always use caution when trading items online. Many of the swapping sites monitor their users and regularly look for fraudulent activity. However, it's best to be cautious and check the reviews and ratings of each person before you agree to any kind of trade. Always meet in a public place if you agree on a face-to-face trade. To be extra safe, I always bring a friend or family member along when I do any kind of swap.