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- 9/12/2008 by Staff
SwapaDVD.com would like for people to learn about their DVD swapping club, which launched in December 2007 and already boasts more than 110,000 completed swaps.
Founder Richard Pickering is excited by how the club is growing: "There are more than 60,000 DVDs currently available, which is more than you will find at any retail outlet. Our new sister sites www.PaperBackSwap.com and www.SwapaCD.com seem to be a big hit!"
The club is for people who have DVDs they don't want to keep -- and who want new DVDs to watch. They could sign up for a DVD rental service like Blockbuster or Netflix and pay monthly fees. They could buy more DVDs and let the watched ones collect dust, or sell them for a buck or two at a yard sale. SwapaDVD provides a way to swap those DVDs instead in an even exchange: each swapped DVD gets a "new-to-you" DVD.
How does it work? A member decides which DVDs he or she has and is willing to swap (DVDs do have to be in cases with the original artwork), then registers a free account with SwapaDVD. The UPC codes on the DVD cases allow the member to list the DVDs quickly (with full descriptions and cover art supplied by the SwapaDVD database) on a virtual DVD Tower as "available" for other members to select. When a member sends out a requested DVD and it is received, DVD credit (1 credit per disc) is deposited into the sender's account. Then the member can order DVDs for himself or herself. Mail a DVD -- Get a DVD! The DVDs can be kept, or swapped again after watching them.
There are no membership fees and no transaction fees. All members pay is the cost of U.S. postage (typically $1.81 per DVD) to send DVDs that are requested from them. It isn't necessary to go to the post office: the site provides a wrapper that can be printed out on regular printer paper, bearing the mailing address and the sender's return address. The sender wraps the DVD with the printed wrapper, adds stamps and pops it in the mail. There is also an option to print postage directly onto the wrapper.
The club gives new accounts a credit to try the club immediately, right after joining and listing 10 DVDs to swap. So a new member can order a DVD right away, and see that the club really works. Requested DVDs typically arrive within a few days.