If you think you can’t afford to get nice things, think again. Through the magic of bartering, you can offer your services or even old stuff you don’t want anymore, and in return, get items and services that you do want. In most cases, money never even exchanges hands, and you can get the things you want without ever spending a dime — a perfect idea for frugal students and others. Read on, and we’ll highlight 50 different bartering sites that frugal people can put to work for just about any trade you can imagine.
Plenty of specialty bartering sites exist, but some of the best allow you to trade anything and everything, from cars to games and clothing. Check out these to give and get just about anything.
Freecycle allows you to donate items, as well as get stuff for free in your town.
Create ads and make offers to swap with others based on actual values for items.
Post items you don’t want anymore, get coupons in return, and use the coupons to get items from other members on Swap@Home.
Swap anything, for anything, with both bartering, free, and money-only trades available on SwapAce.
Using U-Exchange, you can “trade anything, pay nothing” in just about any type of trade, including services, home exchanges, and even vehicles.
Trade your clothing, accessories, books, and more on Rehash, where you can join groups, socialize, and perhaps best of all, get new stuff!
An incredibly popular site for everything from hookups to free baby food, Craigslist also has a very active bartering section where you can trade just about anything for no money at all.
Lend, borrow, and swap stuff with people you already know through Facebook using Stuff Pal.
Traders in the UK can barter any product or service on this online bank.
Become a part of the ReUseIt Network to find ways to make use of items that would otherwise be discarded.
iOffer’s want ads offers a great place to buy, sell, and trade clothing, movies, jewelry, and more.
Trade goods, services, and real estate on this site that allows you to post and trade absolutely free. Trades include dental work, vintage clothes, services, and more.
Dig out some stuff from your attic and use the TradeAttic to buy, list, and trade just about anything for free.
Junk For You believes that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure, and offers a great way to clear out spaces of junk in return for something you can put to use.
The SwapDen is a 100% free online swap meet where you can even create your own personal wish list to get notified when the items you want are available for swapping.
In the spirit of white elephant trades, White Willy allows you to list items and make offers on other peoples’ items, getting a fair trade every time.
Get rid of old stuff, and get new stuff for free through Listia, a popular site with more than 2 million trades in their marketplace.
You can rent anything online from businesses and individuals, making it easy to use expensive items just for a short amount of time without spending a fortune.
NeighborGoods allows you to share stuff with your neighbors, like a neighbor who needs to borrow a ladder. You can save money by not having to buy items you only need temporarily, and make friends with your neighbors at the same time.
Books, CDs, movies, video games, and more are on the table at these trading websites.
Trade used CDs, albums, and more on this exchange site that offers a music club and CD exchange.
Give books away, and get the books you want through the BookMooch site.
You can easily swap books with other readers on this site that’s lauded for its simplicity, and “more available books than the largest Barnes & Noble.”
Swap Simple (no longer active)
Exchange used textbooks, DVDs, video games, and other hot items on Swap Simple, and put together a wishlist for items you’d like to see available for swapping.
Game Trading Zone is a community of traders where you can exchange things for other things, especially video games. Even better, this site has been around for more than 10 years with plenty of experienced traders.
Swap paperbacks and more with this free online book swap site, just by listing books you’d like to swap, sending them out, and choosing from millions of available books.
On Goozex, you can play games, trade games and movies, and save money while playing video games.
Need to clean out your closet and refresh your wardrobe? Get them both done at the same time by swapping clothes on these sites.
Declutter, find a Clothing Swap event through the website, and have fun while you get pampered as you find awesome new clothes and get rid of your old ones.
Swap fashionable clothes by sharing pictures of clothes you don’t want or need anymore, and dig for stuff you really do want on Dig N’ Swap.
Shop for clothes and accessories guilt-free on Swapstyle, the world’s original and No. 1 fashion swap site.
Travel & Real Estate
Whether you want a place to stay for the night or forever, you can find an absolutely free deal through these bartering sites.
Rent out your extra space, and find cheap places to stay on Airbnb.
Have a family farm that’s just sitting dormant? Bring it back to life and get free farm produce when you share it with a gardener that needs the extra land. Or, if you’re a budding gardener, make use of land that’s just waiting for a fresh crop, totally free.
Offer your couch up to others on CouchSurfing, and you can find a couch to crash on wherever you’d like to go, free.
Use HomeExchange to find a place to travel and stay for free anywhere in the world. All you have to do is trade your home (or dorm room) that someone else can use in exchange.
If you’re lucky enough to own a home in college, you can swap it out for a new one anywhere in the world, provided you can find the right buddy to trade with. Check out Goswap to find out what’s available for a permanent house swap.
If you’ve got a skill you can trade, and need some help in return, you can turn your services into free help for the things you can’t do.
Trade what you want for what you’ve got by swapping items, bartering services, and even real estate.
Skills 2 BarterTrade skills and swap services in a cashless economy on Skills 2 Barter.
Can’t pay for tuition? At Trade School, that’s not a problem. You can actually barter for instruction at this NYC institution.
BadabudBadabud takes the bartering idea one step further and adds a social network for creative people and experts to not just barter, but collaborate, trade, and get rewarded.
Find out about a life outside of using cash, trading with friends and others in your network for goods, services, and more, even taking advantage of assisted negotiations if needed.
Most students probably don’t have a need for babysitters, but if you’re a student with kids, this site is amazingly valuable, offering a way to trade babysitting and other tasks within your community.
Need a favor? Have a favor to offer? Swap favors and services with others using the FavorPals site.
If you’ve got a dorm room business, use the BizXchange site to grow and get value from your spare capacity and downtime.