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By Katina Brady

For decades people have been exchanging goods or services for other goods or services instead of using money to purchase them. This practice is known as bartering. Today folks refer to this type of exchange as trading or swapping. There are a number of reasons to trade stuff with other people. In addition, there are several online sites where this can be done.

Additionally, many of the internet sites are devoted to trading particular items. Using these sites will help folks find the things they want for the items they can trade. Instead of using your cash to buy things you want or need you can barter for them. People simply swap items they have for ones that have a value that is similar.

Prior to the internet it was a bit difficult to locate the items you wanted or find someone willing to swap. Typically folks would pack up their belongings and take them to various swap meets. This type of system works well in some situations. However, a person can spend a lot of time at various meets and come away with nothing but what they brought.

There are a number of web sites that will swap just about anything. While they can be fun to look around you may not find what you are looking for. Visiting a site that lists a specific item is often your best bet. For example, if you have a love for books swapping online through a site devoted to paperback books is easy and convenient. A secondhand book store will give you credit for your books that can be used to reduce the cost of your purchase.

You can even trade the clothing your kids have grown out of from items in their size. There are also sharing cooperatives that give folks the opportunity to trade for car pooling, pet sitting, or babysitting. These community sites are joined by the folks in your neighborhood so they are families with whom you already have a relationship.

For the gamer there are sites dedicated to video game and equipment trading. People can post their items to their library to let others browse through. Folks that use these sites search the libraries looking for the games or equipment they want and set up the trade. The users have the responsibility of sending the item out.

There are other game trading sites that assign a point value to all items. If someone wants one of your items and has enough points, you ship it and receive a credit of those points. You can then use the points to request an item you want. This type of bartering does work well but it may not be as much fun as other sites.

Rather than taking all your stuff to different swap meets you might want to give internet trading a try. If you have several items that are in a specific category, such as books or video games, check out those sites dedicated to trading those items. Although the sites that take everything are entertaining to visit, they do not always have what you want.

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