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Monday, February 7, 2011

Swapping Books and Movies - Guest Post by Leah Ingram

Today we have a guest post from Leah Ingram, author of Toss, Keep, Sell! The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In (Adams Media, 2010). She also writes the Suddenly Frugal blog, and the accompanying Suddenly Frugal book which I reviewed here last year.

One of the primary focuses of my new book Toss, Keep, Sell! The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In is making the most money possible from your stuff. In the book's last chapter, I focus on learning how to swap what you own for other stuff. I chose this topic because, let's face it, not everything you own is worth enough that selling it on eBay or at a yard sale is a good use of your time. However, those items may have an intangible value that make them ready made for swapping. For today's guest blog posting, I'm going to focus on books and DVDs, something I'm confident any family with kids has and which are two items that are ideal for swapping.

As far as movies go, it's important that you have the original case the DVD or VHS came in. Otherwise, most swapping sites won't accept them, for fear they are pirated copies.

With books, here's how to determine which books are worth decluttering and swapping for other books:

* Look for hard cover and paperback books you’ve read and aren’t interested in keeping or don’t want to read again in the future.

* Give your books’ condition a thorough consideration. Books that have torn or missing pages, writing in them or a musty smell don’t do well for swapping. Plus, they have no place cluttering up your bookshelves. Get rid of them!

* Start a book-swapping box or bag where you can store the books you identify as having swapping potential.

* Find a book-swapping site you like so you can start trading your old books for new books you want to read. Two I like are Bookmooch.com and PaperbackSwap.com.

If you are gung-ho on getting cold, hard cash for your books and movies, I would recommend looking for resale shops geared towards children and teens, such as Once Upon a Child and Plato's Closet. These stores--and perhaps other consignment shops in your area--often give you cash on the spot for used books and movies that their shoppers with young kids would be interested in purchasing. You won't get rich doing this but you might end up with a few extra bucks in your wallet--and less stuff on your shelves and in your closets.

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Thank you Leah! When my daughter was born, we bought her crib bedding and stroller (plus a lot of Dr. Seuss books) from Once Upon a Child. Unfortunately the Mountain View location is no longer in business. To sell (or buy) kids' items (call first to see if they buy/sell books and movies), there's a Plato's Closet in San Mateo, Lovely Bump in Burlingame, Chloe's Closet in San Francisco, Marin Kids Consignment in San Rafael, Peekaboutique in San Francisco, Maternity Exchange in San Francisco and They Grow so Fast in Lafayette. And you won't make any money from this, but you can get free items (by swapping some of your own) at various Peace, Love, Swap events.

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