So you’re hip to the concept of buying used stuff before buying new, but you’d really rather just borrow instead of buy? Yeah, I know the feeling. Having recently purged our home of countless things we didn’t use anymore, my husband and I don’t want to buy new things that we know we’ll only use a couple of times.
The good news is, there are plenty of people just like us who are looking to borrow, share, and rent their things. Here are some of our favorite sites, broken down into 9 categories.
1. Cars & Carpooling
- JustShareIt.com – Have access to your neighbor’s unused car, boat, jet skis, or other vehicles.
- ZimRide.com – Sign up to carpool to work every day or to find riders to share the gas money on your cross-country journey.
- eGo Carshare and ZipCar – Pay a monthly fee to have access to eGo- or ZipCar-owned vehicles around your city.
- Bcycle.com – Rent bikes by the hour and return to easy bike racks located around the city.
- Bike Libraries – I have not found a national-level online bike library, so search for one near you and see if you can find some free bikes in your town.
- Threadflip.com – Shop, sell, or flip your clothing online.
- ClothingSwap.com – Much like a Tupperware party, these are pre-arranged parties held all over the US. Much unlike a Tupperware party, these events are full of fun swapping of clothing and accessories and you won’t be guilted into buying a plastic food container.
- RehashClothes.com – Trade your clothing and accessories online.
- ThredUp.com – Fill a ThredUp bag with your family’s lightly-used clothes, leave it on your door, and magically get paid for the clothing ThredUp can sell to another family.
- SwapMamas.com – This site facilitates 100% trading, with no cash being exchanged between members. However, you will need to buy credits in order to post photos of the things you’d like to swap — a small fee to have access to otherwise expensive baby stuff.
- SwapBabyGoods.com – Sell or buy gently used baby stuff online.
5. Sports Equipment
- SwapMeSports.com – An online platform to help you locate used sports equipment in your area.
- Borentra.com – App with social aspect that makes it easy to borrow, rent, or trade sports equipment.
6. Musical Instruments
- MusicInstrumentExchange.com – Find used musical instruments online and contact the seller to arrange a purchase.
7. CDs / DVDs / Games
- SwapaCD.com – Mail CDs to other members and get CDs in return. Membership is free and there is a $.49 per swap fee.
- SwitchPlanet.com – Trade your DVDs, CDs, video games, and books online. (The site is currently under construction.)
- Goozex.com – Trade your video games and movies with other members. Members earn and pay for services in Goozex points.
- SwapaDVD.com – Mail DVDs to other members and get DVDs in return. Each swap has a 1 credit fee.
- BookCrossing.com – This is kind of like a magical global library. You affix a label with an ID number to your book, enter it into the system, and then release it into the wild. You could leave your book in a cafe, or even keep it on your shelf until someone requests. This system is wild and fun but it does require people keeping up with the data. I left 7 books at cafes in 2008, and since then only 1 has been updated.
- LookAtABook.com – Feel good about buying used books online because this organization works to redirect good books from heading to the landfill to heading into the hands of readers all over the planet.
- BookMooch.com – Trade your used books online with a point system that favors trading with people from other counties.
- WhatsOnMyBookshelf.com – Trade your books online with a point system that favors the cost of the book when new.
9. Household Goods
These sites function in basically the same way. They’re an online platform to help you search the inventory of items your neighbors are willing to lend or sell. In order to have the best experience, check these sites to see if they have strong inventory for what you like to borrow and your geographic area.
Sharing & Borrowing
- BrightNeighbor.com (in beta mode)
- Unstash.com (coming soon)
- Freecycle.org – Unlike other sites in this section, Freecycle is often used as a forum for one-way give-aways. No need for returning these items.
Renting & Selling
- Yerdle – use points to get and give used items from anywhere. Pick up in person or have it shipped for a low fee. (this is a referral link. You get 25 bonus points and I get a few too)
- Swap.com – Unlike the other sites in this section, Swap.com handles the sales for you.
Of course, if you have any resources that you love to use, please share them in the comments. Happy borrowing!