Yesterday I was told by a fellow homeschooler who I know through the cyber artist trading card world about PaperBackSwap.com. This is a free service/internet site. The other mother said she uses it to get books for her children and also to get art books for inspiration in making art.
In a nutshell, here is how it works.
1. You go to their site. If you link through my blog’s icon in the left sidebar, you will go to the site. Sign up for a free account. You do not need to give a lot of personal information (no financial information, for example), and you don’t pay anything.
2. You then list at least 9 books that you are willing to give away. After you post 9 books for swap, you are given 3 credits. You can then search for books that you want and request that they be mailed to you.
3. Hopefully, someone sees your book listed and requests it.
4. The site notifies you of the request. The site prepares a mailing label to you, which you print off. They suggest that you wrap the book in the computer printer paper (!). They even tell you what the postage fee is that you must pay for the media mail rate. If you have the stamps on hand at home you just add them to the package and put it in your mailbox for your mail carrier to pick up.
You do not need to swap with the person that wanted YOUR book (just in case you were wondering).
Each book is worth 1 credit. Each audio book is worth 2 credits.
So the gist is you list a bunch of books and when they are mailed out and received by the other party, you get 1 credit to use in the future, for each that you swap out.
I listed over 70 books today and already 9 have been requested and mailed out by me.
Tips I’ve already learned (after one day of swapping books!)1. To get first dibs on a book you can create a wish list of books which are ‘unlisted’. Then if that book gets listed you will be on the list of those who are notified and given first dibs on the book.
Therefore it pays to keep a few credits sitting and ready for if/when a book that you want suddenly appears.
I have 2 other people who have 2 books that I listed today in their wish list. They have 48 hours to say they want it or else it goes to someone else (or onto the general listing, I guess).
2. Uploading books to list them is very fast and easy if you have an ISBN. It takes more time to list an older book that doesn’t have an ISBN.
3. There is an option to put in a book review. Perhaps if you do this, someone will be motivated to request the book?
4. There is an option to rate the book with a star rating system.
5. For each person that you refer that either follows your link or who mentions you by name in their sign up process, you get 1 credit. If you are going to join based on you reading my blog entry I would ask that you give me the credit for the referral. You can do that by following the link in my sidebar or by manually inputting my Nickname which is “ChristineMM” (the same name I use here on Blogger, so it is not too hard to remember).
Fun Tips1. Book lists: You can read the top most requested books. You can read the top wish list requested books. You can quickly see the bestseller list (New York Times).
2. There is a discussion forum. That forum has a category for homeschoolers. I see that people are putting up announcements when they list books for homeschooling while others are posting ‘wanted’ lists.
3. You can flag other users at your ‘buddy’. This can help you keep track of other book lovers who have similar tastes in books.
This is fun! Check it out!
(By the way so far I have not wrapped my books in 20 lb. printer paper. I am using bubble wrap envelopes, so far, and am double checking the weight. I can’t stand the ida of books going through the mail with just 20 lb. printer paper protecting them, sorry!)
For the Doubting Thomases (such as my husband is about this):
1. If you were planning on buying a book new, even at a discount, you would save money if you were able to get it from PaperBackSwap.com.
2. Yes, you may be out some money up front, but in the end it will save you money.
3. This is easier than going around to used book shops and trying to find ones who want your used books who then just give you store credit in the end anyway.
4. This is convenient. Just keep some stamps on hand!
5. This is more convenient than listing books for sale on eBay, Amazon Marketplace, or on other websites, in my opinion.
Technorati Tags: books, used books, PaperBackSwap.com, frugal living.