Today’s post is going to be different than any post we’ve done so far, but hopefully useful to someone nonetheless! This tip comes exclusively from Dawn, since Keith doesn’t use the site.


Back in April, I read a post over at The Simple Dollar about money saving websites (while there check out all the other sites he recommends, you might find something useful). That’s where I discovered PaperBackSwap. After looking into the site, I couldn’t believe I didn’t know about it yet. For a book lover like me, PaperBackSwap is an incredible resource, and if you ever spend money on buying books, this site will save you a lot of money.


It’s basically just a book trading site. You sign up for free and post books that you no longer want to keep (as long as they’re in good condition with no writing or highlighting – which I find to be the hardest part since I’ve highlighted in many of my books). They can be any type of book about any subject. After you first sign up, you will receive 2 credits for posting your first 10 books. Then, others can request a book from you, which you will mail to them, and then you will receive another book credit. You use those credits to request books from other members.


Like I said, if you buy books, this will save you money in the long run. From my experience, it typically costs about $1-3 to mail a book. Obviously, the more expensive books tend to be hardcover, but if you consider that you can also receive a $25-30 hardcover book for the postage price of mailing a small paperback (maybe $1), think about how much you would save over time (which the site will track for you). And many (though not all) of the books are in like new condition.


There are some downfalls though. One is that there are a limited number of copies available. So, if it isn’t a mainstream/popular book it may not be available. Also, if it’s a very popular book, it may not be immediately available. However, if you are willing to wait, you can put it on your Wish List and wait in line for it to become available, but it may or may not be a quick wait depending on the book. Also, it’s an issue if no other members request your books. If you aren’t getting anyone requesting your books, you can’t get credits this way. You can buy credits on the site, which are more expensive than paying for postage, but still much less expensive then buying a book outright.


Recently, the site has also added the feature of buying new books, where you can pay in all cash, or use some of your credits plus cash. I haven’t used this feature, and I’m not sure if the prices are better than buying new elsewhere, but it might be worth looking into if you do plan on buying a book new.


If you like the idea of this site, but are more interested in movies and music, there are two sister sites, SwapADVD and SwapaCD. They are less popular, with less members and less selection available, but they function very similarly. A feature that might be helpful is credit transferring. If you get a credit for mailing a DVD, but want to use it to get a book, you can transfer that credit to the other site.


Hopefully someone finds this site useful!