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Press & Media » Beating Broke

Saving Money With PaperBackSwap

Beating Broke (Website) - 4/11/2011 by B.B.
I like to read. A lot. Not as much as some people, but I still manage to read somewhere between 30 and 40 books a year. As you can imagine, that gets a little bit expensive if youíre paying full price for all of them. Swapping and borrowing books only gets you so far if you limit it to the people you know directly. But, thatís where a fun site called PaperBackSwap comes into play.

Hereís how it works. You post the books that you want to trade away. Other users request those books and you ship them off. You can either print the postage directly through the site, or buy it anyway you like. Personally, I use paypal shipping because itís slightly cheaper, and, I already have the account at paypal to do that. Once youíve shipped the book, or books, off, you merely wait for them to be received. Once received, the person you sent them to marks them as received and you get a credit.

Save Money with Paper Back SwapWith your credits, you can then request books from other members. (note: the first person from your household to sign up for PaperBackSwap gets two free credits when they list 10 books) Then, itís just the same process, but with you being the receiver rather than the sender.

Iíve been a member since 2009. Iíve sent 71 books out, and Iíve received 59 books. Iíve only had one of the books that I sent disappear in postage, and one other that was damaged in postage. Every other book Iíve sent has safely gotten where it was going and was accepted by the receiver. The same is true of receiving books. Iíve never had one get lost, and only had one that was damaged. Itís a great community of readers, and a great source of books.

The selection of books is usually pretty good. As you would expect, most of the newer books are a bit hard to get, but you can throw them on your wish list and the system will email you when one becomes available. If one on your wish list becomes available, youíve got two options. The default is that PBS will put it on a 48 hour hold while it waits for you to either request it or decline it, or you can put it on auto-request which will automatically request it from the other member as soon as they list it.

If youíre an avid reader (or, really, even a more casual reader) you really should check out PaperBackSwap. Itís great, frugal, way to get books to read, and a great way to share great books with others too!
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