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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Swaptree Not So Hot

Why am I talking about a swap site on a tech (mostly) blog? Well swapping doesn’t mean FREE but it does mean inexpensive which falls under the money saving part. Admittedly posting the same blog on both my blogs seems excessive but somehow to me they fit.

Swaptree is an online swapping service where you can swap CDs, DVD’s and books with folks from all over. Premise is good, site is a bit sketchy, customer support is non-existent. SWAPTREE has no tech support, none, butkus, zip, nada, zero support. I have emailed their support, their contact or anyone who might answer and there is nobody there. If they have support then apparently they really are terrible since I got no response on any emails I have sent.

I wonder who did they pay off on Good Morning America to get recommended. Good Morning America, what were you thinking? There are several much better sites that actually have human beings involved with them.

I have a book on my wish list, Swaptree keep offering me a copy of the book that says specifically the pages have been waterlogged but it is readable. Admittedly I am a bit anal about books. (Probably more than a bit) I have told them at least four (4) times that I don’t want to swap for that specific book due to it’s condition. Every 8 or 10 days they try and get me to take it again. So their software needs some attention since there is no human being there to intervene as a response to my email asking them to stop offering me that book. They also sternly warn me that I will get less trades if I keep turning down books on my wish list, in spite of the fact it is the same blasted book, over and over.

Now if their software was better they could at least pretend to respond to email with automated responses but they aren’t even that good.

I have found Book Mooch and PaperbackSwap much better. I have gotten a much friendly reaction from the people using both those sites than I have from Swaptree. Both Book Mooch and Paperback Swap allow you to send books to others and bank the resulting points to use when books you want become available.

Titletrader is a bit different. The site looks like it would have been right at home on Compuserve bulletin board 25 years ago. The major benefit to TitleTrader is that you can trade “stuff” for books. Of course you can trade stuff for stuff too but I am the book nut, remember! I have posted electronics on there and you get points when someone takes what you posted. You can then use those points to redeem books or stuff. So far I have shipped some stuff and haven’t gotten any books yet, but I am hoping it works.

In all fairness to SwapTree, I like being able to swap my un-listened to CDs for books. Their concept is cumbersome though. You can’t bank points like the other services, you must have someone who wants what you have before you can initiate a trade. Sometimes the trades are three way or even more. You can see that complicates matters and means that trades occur far less often than on the other sites I have mentioned.

On the unlikely chance that anyone at SwapTree reads and or reads this, you really need to try answering your email. A total lack of concern for the people using your service will eventually force your demise, particularly when there are similar services that are substantially easier to use and have a responsive customer service department. (or at least someone who listens) Will I keep using SwapTree? I will probably continue to use them since I like trading CD’s for books. Am I happy with them? You be the judge.

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