It's possible to find free books, CDs, DVDs and video games without leaving your home, according to Adrienne Sylver, a Miami-based book lover and freelance writer. Through Swaptree, (www.swaptree.com), Sylver has completed about 35 trades for books, video games and other merchandise.
''Where else can you find books, DVDs and CDs and no late fees?'' Sylver said, adding that she's been happy with the quality and speed of the service.
Registration and swaps are free, but consumers are responsible for shipping charges, which is typically about $2.20 for most DVDs and CDS, and about $2.50 for the average book, based on media mail rates through the U.S. Postal Service.
To navigate through the site, consumers register two lists. Sylver maintains a wish list of titles she would like to acquire and a second list of merchandise that she would like to get rid of.
''Most people have a pile of books that they want to trade,'' she said.
Based on your give-away list, Swaptree provides a list of available swaps. To make a trade, select the ''get now'' link on the list of possible trades. That link provides information about the condition of the item and the trader's history, including feedback about past transactions. Books can be traded for games, movies or other books. In addition to her own wish list, Sylver hunts for video games and books suggested by her 12-year-old daughter.
All parties involved in a trade --including complex three-way trades -- receive e-mail alerts with a suggested timeframe for completing the deal. If the deal is accepted, shipping information is exchanged.
You don't have to leave your home to ship out the merchandise. Using a credit card, you can download and print shipping labels and postage. Or of course, you can stand in line at the post office.