BarterBee, why and how you should use it

Do you have old computer games that you have played and now want to exchange to something different? Do you have tons of DVD’s with movies that collect dust on your shelves? Maybe it is time for you to meet BarterBee.

BarterBee Logo

BarterBee is an online marketplace to trade movies, music, and games. After you sign up, you choose what you want to trade, assign it a points value, and list it as available in your account. Other people see your listing and trade it to the points they have. You ship the item, get your points, and spend them on a new movie, music or a game. To make the spending part easier, you can build a wish list with titles you want to have. Once you do so, BarterBee will notify you when someone offers these items for trade. Alternatively, if you want to keep track of everything people list then BarterBee RSS feeds might work for you. Be prepared to scan through a sheer volume of offerings though. Just for today I counted over 20 new movie titles and around 15 items in each music and games category, and it is not even lunch time yet! ;-)

Better deal than eBay

To get points you need to either trade some of your items or buy them at $1 per point rate. Also, if you ship your items using the BarterBee branded envelopes you buy online (optional), then your delivery is insured against a loss and damage. These are the only charges involved in the process and in that respect bartering appears to be a better deal than selling your stuff on eBay where you have to pay listing and other fees. This of course implies that what you want to get in exchange is another movie, music or a game since this is the only way how you can spend the points you earn.

Perfect place for teenagers

BarterBee claims to be the cheapest way to get movies, music, and games. To some extent this is truly so and it probably works the best for teenagers since all they need to start getting new games is offer some of their own for points. No need for a credit card or a banking account (not surprisingly BarterBee had been advertising on Diggnation, a popular video blog among teens). Some may argue that local community in their school will work better for them. I think this is a matter of preference. It might work for some and might not work for others. I personally like the fact that BarterBee formalizes the process — no arguing over if the trade is fair or not.

BarterBee screenshot

Marketplace popularity

Any marketplace is only good when it works. For you to trade your items there has to be someone willing to pay for them with their points. On the other hand, the last thing you want to happen is to be stuck with points you cannot trade for anything of a value. Of course the price you assign and popularity of the title is important as well but the community behind the website plays a huge role.

I have not used BarterBee for any long time to judge how active the marketplace is (if you have, please come forward with comments), but here are some stats that might be useful at getting an idea of how popular BarterBee is. As of today, BarterBee users produced the following numbers:

  • Requests in Movies category: 4872
  • Movie titles offered: 1819
  • Requests in Music category: 4332
  • Music titles offered offered: 4325
  • Requests in Games category: 2177
  • Game titles offered: 1659

Sign up and get 5 points

If this review doesn’t sound convincing to you, you might at least take advantage of the sign up promotion BarterBee is running to attract new customers. When you open an account, you will receive 5 free points that you can use to get anything from the listings. Granted, 5 points (think 5 dollars) will not buy you much, all decent DVD titles I looked at were priced at 10 or more points, but you can still find something interesting if you are patient. I got myself the Hulk movie which my kids will be happy to watch. Also, music albums are slightly less expensive and you might have better luck with them. Note, you get your DVD or CD without spending a dime — just for signing up.

Bottom line

If you have a decent collection of movies, music CD’s or games that you want to refresh, consider BarterBee as an inexpensive alternative to eBay since BarterBee charges no listing fee. It is still not as cheap as swapping these items locally among friends since you have to pay the postage when you ship your items, but you get a much better selection than all of your friends can possibly offer.

Don’t look at BarterBee however as a way to get new stuff, you simply will not find it there. The items offered are something other people used and now want to get rid of. For new releases consider subscription services like Netflix or Blockbuster, and online stores like iTunes and eMusic, but these of course will cost you some.

This post is sponsored by BarterBee via ReviewMe

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