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Swap.com Launches Trading Site for Kids

Swap.com has launched as a site for kids and teens to trade Pokemon cards, CDs, video games, sports equipment and other items.

Swap.com said it is "the first and only Web site that offers Generation I -- the first generation to grow up using the Internet -- the opportunity to trade with each other in a fun, action-packed, parent-supervised environment."

Trades are free through April 1, 2000, and will cost 77 cents each after that.

Swap.com is the latest company from idealab!, which was founded by Bill Gross.

"Swap.com creates a win-win situation for young people and their parents," said Gross, chairman of idealab! and Swap.com. "Teens and kids win by having a fun way to learn entrepreneurship. Parents win because the aftermarket Swap.com is creating increases the value of their children's assets and saves them money."

"Swap.com is a safe place where teens and kids can swap their stuff with each other and get 'new' things without outspending their allowance," said Bill Keenan, chief executive officer of Swap.com.

"For example, if a kid has mastered all levels of Nintendo's Zelda 64, instead of letting it gather dust in the closet or selling it at a garage sale, he or she can trade it for a new game."

Swap.com encourages parental supervision of trading by requiring parents to sign up for the service with their children.

Parents also have the ability, through their own protected password, to monitor, edit and adapt their children's use of the site, including halting trades, and, if necessary, removing products from their children's stores.

The new site also offers two features to ensure the anonymity of its members. IdentitySavers automatically protects members' personal information, preventing members from learning the real names, ages or genders of other members. Secret Shippings is an optional service that redirects packages so that mailing addresses are not revealed to swapping partners.

Swap.com is the maturation of an original site called Learning.Net, an educational/experiential Web site for kids and teens that resulted from a collaboration between director/producer Steven Spielberg and Gross. Prior to morphing into Swap.com, the site was called KidsOnLine.com.