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Friday, July 20, 2007

SwitchPlanet

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                         SwitchPlanet, to begin with, is a kind of electronised version of the old batter system- where you exchange things you have for what you want. The idea is very innovative and the implementation is quite good too. All you have to do is jump on to SwitchPlanet.com and sign up freely and start trading. But wait, before you guys jump into the bandwagon let me give you some details.


First of all, for now you can trade only games, CDs/DVDs and books only . That list is going to extend in the future into clothing, tools and electronic goods. Considering the amount of traders in there, I can see that the idea is getting on well though the site is still in its beta stage. The trading is based on an internal currency called Switchbucs. What this currency does for you is that you can trade for items even if you have nothing directly to exchange for it. At first, your account balance is zilch, but you can build it up by trading your own items and then use those SwitchBucs to look for things you need. You can, of course, buy those switchbucs at 1$ a piece. The main attraction here is the whole thing will be free. You will only have to pay for the shipping cost when you are the sender, but that gets evened out when you receive something back later on.


SwitchPlanet.com has the motto “Use more…waste less”. You get to pack off all those junkies you don’t need but others are in need of and get back new goodies, all for nothing, in effect. The glitch they will face is the practicability of the idea and as always, frauds. They seemed to have worked everything out, because they give a switchguarantee to all trades or switches made. So, if you are doing everything legally and use this system only for what it is meant to be, you have nothing to fear from frauds. Even if a shipment you send got mixed up in the mail, you will still get the credit after you work it out with their customer support. In this regard, their FAQ seems to be very informational. They also have introduced a switchbucs calculator that gives an idea as to how much you should price you item according to its new item value in Amazon. That can also work in reverse, with you getting shunted off if you price your old items too much. But, yes, that calculator seems to be a good add on to level things out.


One thing they could improve upon is their Searching system. I searched for a particular item and I got a lot of search results with “no items available” listed. They could provide an option for an advanced search, with options to show only items available to switch and likewise. The search, I feel, will improve as the site gains popularity. They have adsense in their pages, though it’s understandable since they are doing a good service all for free.


Overall, SwitchPlanet.com, seems to be a very enticing prospect if you are fed up with paying for new gadgets. Get trading for those right away, don’t pay anything at all. SP gets an overall 8 out of 10.

This review is in association with ReviewMe.



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