Home > Service Review > PaperBackSwap


A while back I told you guys about a book swapping website I’ve been using called Swaptree.  In the interim I started using PaperBackSwap, so I thought I should let you guys know about it too.

PaperBackSwap is slightly different from Swaptree.  You acquire books using credits. (You are given some free ones when you start.  I believe it’s 3)  You can get credits either from sending someone else a book or you can buy them.  The credits are $3.45 a piece, but if you buy larger batches of them they cost less.  So even if you buy your credits instead of only using credits earned by sending books, you’re still getting books for $3.45 or less, which is wicked cheap.

Since PaperBackSwap doesn’t use a direct swapping method, you wishlist books you want.  When a copy of the book becomes available, it is first offered whoever first wishlisted it.  This sounds like a long wait, but I haven’t had to wait too terribly long for anything yet.  Also if you put in a large wishlist, you tend to get a pretty steady flow of books being offered to you.  Another cool feature of PaperBackSwap is PBS Market, which is basically an overstock shop of books.  You can get these for super-low price either paying just money or just credits or a combination of money and credits.  When a book you’ve wishlisted becomes available in PBS Market, they notify you but your position is also maintained in the wishlist unless you choose to buy the PBS Market book.

You should be aware though that PaperBackSwap leaves it up to the requester to set the specific condition requirements for books.  The website generally requests that the book be in “good condition” with “no markings,” but anything beyond that is up to the requester.  Say that you don’t want books that have been in a smoker’s home.  You would say in your settings “No books from homes with smoke please.”  This message would be visible to the giver when you request the book.  They can then reject it for the “doesn’t meet requester’s requirements” reason.  However, I found that you should put some sort of requirement in because it makes givers think twice about sending you an iffy copy.  For mine I just reiterated PaperBackSwap’s “no excessive highlighting or writing.”  Since then I’ve been receiving better quality books.

I like using both websites, because if there’s a book I really want, I can get it quicker for cheap on PaperBackSwap, but if I’m a bit more patient Swaptree ensures that I’m doing a 1 to 1 trade.  Whereas on PaperBackSwap I’ve sent out 2 books but received 10.  Oops, lol.

If you do choose to join PaperBackSwap, please let them know that I referred you as it will get me free credits.  My username is tapcat16.  Also, please check out the books I have available and see if you want any.  You’ll know for sure that you’re getting your copy from a reliable giver and a super-speedy shipper, if I do say so myself. 🙂  I also frequently add books, possibly even ones I’ve reviewed here, so check back often.  I’ve added a widget on the right-hand side of my blog that will link you directly to my profile for future reference.  I like my books to find new homes.  It makes me all happy inside.

So there’s the inside scoop on PaperBackSwap.  Cheers!

  1. March 18, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    I am assuming (without clicking on the links coz I am at work), that this option is available only in US. 😦

    • March 19, 2010 at 8:16 am

      I’m not sure, because I didn’t investigate that obviously, but probably it is. However, I know for certain other countries have similar websites. If you google, you might be able to find one you can use.

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