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Barter-Based Consumer E-Commerce Exchange Launched

SwapRat.com launched a catalog-based online swapping service for consumers, allowing the barter of durable entertainment goods such as CDs, video games, movies and books.

CDs are the first category available; In March, when the company changes its name to Switchouse, video games, movies and books, will be added, said Chief Executive Officer Michael Lin.

"We believe that swapping will be the next big thing on the Internet, and SwapRat.com will be at the forefront driving the growth of this new category of e-commerce. Our unique approach will unite millions of people who want to shop for things they want using things they don't use," Lin said.

SwapRat.com provides members with descriptions and pictures of each item to create an experience similar to catalog shopping. To list items members want or have, a user clicks on a box and the proprietary matching system automatically identifies possible swaps.

Signing up and listing items are both free of charge, and for the next two months, SwapRat.com is waiving all transaction fees. Beginning in May, there will be a nominal transaction fee for completed trades.