I took a look at the CD swapping site hitflip.co.uk, after seeing it recommended in The Independent newspaper.
Here’s the deal:
Disposing of CDs
You list all your unwanted CDs (DVDs, games, etc). Each one is assigned a value in “flips”, the currency of hitflip. Currently a flip is worth £2.30; CDs tend to be assigned from 2 flips up. If someone wants a CD, they request it, and you send it off to them. You get the value in flips credited to your account. You can’t cash in your flips; you have to use them to acquire other items.
You browse the library for an item you want. When you find one, you request it. If it is immediately available, it is posted to you. You pay the value in flips, plus a cash fee to hitflip, currently £0.79 for a low value item, increasing for more valuable items.
My Hitflip review
I don’t much like it. Main problem: there’s not much immediately available that you are likely to want. The obvious risk is that you merrily post off all your best items, then find there is nothing you want that is actually available. You get stuck with a pile of useless flips.
The problem is that you are not really swapping. Instead, you are selling for virtual money. That’s more flexible than real swapping, but lacks the advantage of a real swap, where you do not approve the trade unless you get something you want in return.
There seem to be several flaws in the hitflip system:
- You can’t set your own price in flips, you have to accept what the system assigns.
- There’s no way I can see to describe your item, its condition, special features etc. Everything is just meant to be in good condition.
- You can run a wish list, but you can’t add items of your own description, only select from the hitflip library which is not remotely comprehensive.
- Privacy: it appears that you can get anyone’s address by offering an item on their wishlist. I realise that you need someone’s address in order to send them something (duh!). But I’d have thought there should be an approval step. X is offering the item, do you want to accept? If X is new, or has a bad community rating, you might want to decline.
- Bugs: The system originated in Germany, and I found German language messages popping up now and again.
- User interface: browsing the library is laborious and the UI overall is not great.
It’s not all bad. It all hinges on finding items you want. If you succeed, you get them in return for your unwanted items at the cost of the fee.
Overall though, I find it hard to recommend.