Yesterday, lifestyle blogger Siel featured a cool new website that's up and running in Southern California called NeighborGoods. It connects folks with kindly neighbors if they need to borrow, rent, or share something that they’d rather not go out and buy new … stuff like power drills, carpet cleaners, ladders, and crock-pots. So what if you aren’t exactly keen on borrowing but are willing to partake in some secondhand swapping? Try your luck at the just-launched “online yard sale” called SwapItGreen.

Whereas the eco-mission of NeighborGoods is to prevent rampant, unnecessary consumerism, the goal of SwapItGreen is to promote reusing and recycling and stop folks from trashing unwanted but still usable items from around the house … think of it as craigslist meets a recycling center meets an old fashioned trading post.

Even though it’s still brand new, SwapItGreen already boasts over 600 barter-happy users. The way the site works is rather simple: “Swap your stuff for points and then swap your points for stuff.” The currency used for buying and selling on the site is called a trading point although real money does come into play for shipping and transaction fees. Predictably, porn, weapons, food, real estate, animals, and human services cannot be traded through SwapItGreen. Negotiation between swappers is allowed.

Like a real yard sale, there’s a whole lot of crud to sift through on SwapItGreen (yellow acrylic swan, anyone?) but as they say, you never know what tacky trash is someone else’s tacky treasure. Books and DVDs dominate the inventory but there is also a fair amount of homegoods up for grabs.

Let's pretend for a minute and say that you have a surplus, hardly-used vacuum cleaner sitting in the closet that you’re dying to get rid of. You can list it on SwapItGreen for, let’s say, 50 trading points. Once it sells and you accumulate those 50 trading points, you can use them to buy a lemon juicer, a set of fondue sticks, an antique glass candleholder, and a set of steak knives with trading points to spare.

SwapItGreen has been getting a fair amount of buzz over the last couple of days; I'm curious to see if this virtual swap meet concept catches on. Are you into swapping or would you rather just drop something off at a local thrift/charity store? 

Via [Los Angeles Times]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Swap till you drop
Into (kitchen) knife swapping? Barter away at SwapItGreen, an 'online yard sale' that encourages users to trade instead of toss away.