What you want, for what you've got
It's the start of a new year at college. Panic sets in when the reading list pops through your letterbox. As a language student, this occasion would mark a new event in my diary – going into town, rummaging through all the foreign language bookstores, in the hope of retrieving all the necessary material required to pass the course! Furthermore, if you get the reading list late, or delay the process, the chances of you finding even a sixth of the textbooks or novels is unlikely – Dweeby Danielle will have beaten you to it! You literally have to pay the price, and order off a really expensive online bookstore with extortionate delivery rates, and because the text is obscure, they have to order it in themselves, which takes even longer!
My other option used to be to search on Amazon, but often there are two problems with this: firstly, rare books probably won't be listed, and if you are lucky enough to find them (especially translations from the original text) they charge exorbitant amounts for them. All I want is the text, not the fancy edition with notes by a random academic I don't know! In general, it really can be gutting if what you're paying is beyond the recommended retail price!
I'm now at the end of my third year of studying for a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in French and Art History and slightly out of the loop as I've been on a year abroad in Paris. The final year is a critical one, and getting hold of the text as early as possible is also paramount. My course comrade, who's quite well informed about the Internet, had been talking about a website called "Care to Trade" (http://www.caretotrade.com) over the vacation. Care to Trade allows you to buy, sell or trade items and barter services with users from all over the world. It's appealing for students like myself who don't have huge amounts of money, because all classified advertisements are free. In fact, they state on the site "pay no listing fees, no transaction fees, and no commission". The basic idea is that if I'm looking for a French textbook that someone else has, they can barter with me for no cost or loss, for an item or service that I possess and no longer want. You'd be surprised how material you're looking for crops up when you search on this site. A detail that makes things easier is the "sort by ISBN#" facility (ascending or descending in number), and also the option to search by state (outside the U.S if this is the case). If a particular advert for a book grabs you, you can click on "view details". In the new window, the title of the book, with a description (condition, edition details), author, shipping details (i.e. "In person, buyer pays, or negotiable if trade"), selling details (for example "willing to trade/sell for – open to offers!") and so on are shown. Not only can you barter on books, textbooks and magazines, but also health and beauty products, flyer miles, tools and hardware, and real estate and cars, which apparently are just a few of the most widely used categories.
I'm very impressed with this website, and my hope is that it expands and becomes a full fledged, widely used service, as it is a great resource that students like myself could make good use of.
About the Author
Dawson is a guest writer and key contributor of articles to many local magazines and newspapers in the south London region. He is a restaurants fan, who also actively writes about pretty much everything else in classifieds magazines.
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