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- 7/14/2010 by J.D.G.
I am a movie addict, without a doubt. Horror, comedy, action adventure, sci-fi, classics...pretty much anything but romances I'll happily watch. I also have no interest in signing up for either cable or satellite television, so DVDs and, yes, even some old VHS tapes, are necessities for home-based multimedia entertainment.
The problem is, all those movies and television series collections can add up to a lot of money. Imagine my surprise when a friend told me all about getting DVDs for free, and not in a Columbia House, "...you owe us $50 for movies you don't want" kind of way, either.
SwapaDVD was, according to my friend, was a straightforward and user friendly option for people willing to trade in their DVDs in exchange for new ones.
Needless to say, I was ecstatic! I had some old DVDs laying around that none of us ever watched, and I had contemplated selling them on Amazon until I realized that I would be getting less than .35 each for them after Amazon extracted their fees.
On SwapaDVD, however, I had 2 movies that had already been on people's wish lists, which meant 2 quick credits after my DVDs were requested. Another bonus - after posting your first 10 DVDs, you get an extra credit.
So what are these credits, and how many do you need to actually redeem them for something good? Well, unlike airline miles, SwapaDVD credits are really easy to figure out. One credit = One DVD. Yes, it is that simple. So, if you want a copy of Beetlejuice, you request it and spend one credit. If you want a television series DVD set, the cost is still one credit per DVD; so a 5 disc set would cost you 5 credit.
Even more exciting is the fact that SwapaDVD is owned by the same people who operate PaperbackSwap and SwapaCD, which means that the credits can be transferred from one account to the next. So if you want to trade your old Buns of Steel DVD for The Bee Gee's Greatest Hits or a copy of The Aeneid, you can do that! I signed up for all three places (all of them are free to sign up with) and have not been disappointed.
One of the only downsides to SwapaDVD is that the selection is a bit more limited than I would like. I was on the wish list for Monster Squad, for example, for about 2 months before a copy was available. That being said, I do like the way a wish list is offered by SwapaDVD, so it is not a first come first served, free for all when a DVD title does surface. When a DVD is available, you can choose to either auto-request it, or put in a 48-hour hold so that you can decide whether or not you still need the movie.
As limited as some genres are on the SwapaDVD website, I also know that as more people find the website, the more DVDs will be available for trading. More people = more DVDs - makes sense to me!
I should also point out that there will often be multiple copies of one movie available, making it difficult if you are attempting to trade in your copy. For example, if there are 30 copies of Jim Carrey's The Grinch already listed, you may be waiting a while to trade in your copy to someone who wants it.
So, how do you actually trade in DVDs and request new ones?
It is really easy!
1. Sign up for a free account with SwapaDVD.
2. List your DVDs by ISBN. They will be listed in your DVD tower, and you will be able to see who has your title on his or her wish list.
3. Take a look around the site and add titles to your wish list. Or, if you have credits available, click the "Order DVD" button next to the DVD image. Credits can be gained through fulfilling other members' DVD orders, buying SwapaDVD credits, posting your first 10 DVDs, or transferring credits from either your SwapaCD or PaperbackSwap account.
4. Keep in mind that you ship your DVDs out to other members using your own money. If you add money to your SwapaDVD account (secure checkout using either a credit card or PayPal), you can print your shipping label (with delivery confirmation) right from your own computer, and leave it on your porch for your postal carrier. Yes, it is kind of annoying to spend your own money mailing a DVD, but remember that when you request a DVD you will not have to pay for shipping. It is kind of like paying under $2 for a DVD when all is said and done.