DISCUSSION: How To #Booksfortrade

Copy of Copy of Copy of buy me pizza (1)

Hello everyone! So, if you follow me on Twitter, I’ve been stalking following the #booksfortrade/#swagfortrade tags and making trades with people and other people have been doing the same. None of this is unusual but lately I’ve been noticing a trend on Twitter that I actually ranted about several days ago here as you can see below.

Now you can click on the tweet and see what exactly I said but, long story short, there’s just been people who don’t really use #booksfortrade in a nice way IMO. “Who are you to judge anyone, Angel?” you’re probs thinking right now. Well, I’m someone who’s kinda in the midst of the ‘keeps being screwed over due to people’s insane wishlists’ situation. So I decided, with the emergence of the situation and new people on #booksfortrade, I thought I’d talk a bit about how to properly use #booksfortrade whilst causing minimal ‘screwing people over-ness’. Let’s begin….

For the newbies:

#booksfortrade is a tag on Twitter where you can put up pics/lists of the books you have available for trade and your wishlists for books you want in return. There’s a sister tag for it called #swagfortrade where you do the same thing but with swag (like bookmarks and posters etc. Not like the ‘too cool for school’ swagger). Furthermore, there’s actually a group hosted by a friend of mine, Nori, on Goodreads that’s a much more condensed and safe version of the tag that so far is pretty cool. I’ve only used the Twitter tag and it’s perfectly fine so don’t worry, you’ll be good there too.

SIDE NOTE: ISO means in search of. It’s basically like a mini wishlist (WL). Don’t worry, it took me forever to figure that out!

Anyways, what happens is you can look at someone’s pics and be like, “yo! I’ve been looking for ‘xyz’ book(s) everywhere! What’s your WL?/Here’s what I have to trade!” and then they’ll take a look at what you have and see if there’s anything they like and if so, boom! commence trade! If not, ‘maybe next time!’. Either way is cool. Now, if you commence trading, you exchange mailing info and then mail on the day(s)/terms you guys have decided on. Big thing to keep in mind throughout this entire process is:


And, ya, I mean more than just the exchanging of info and such. You want to communicate through the entire process – confirming you/they sent out the package, getting tracking #s, saying “hey I got your package! Thanks!” – is absolutely key because it should make the process much smoother. Oh and it’s even more key when things do go wrong because those things happen sometimes; “hey, I can’t send it today, I’ll send it (…..)”, “hey have you sent out your package yet?”, “hey, I haven’t gotten my package yet and it’s been quite a bit. What’s happening?”. Ya, those things happen all the time. So in order to minimize screwing yourself or the other person over, please please PLEASE talk to each other the entire time until both of you have your packages safely on your person (not your house! on your person!) and are officially done with the trade.

SIDE NOTE: if you are in talks with someone for a trade and they/you don’t officially cancel, you can’t shouldn’t talk to someone else about another trade. Now if the person takes forever to answer *cough me-who-has-a-horrible-memory cough*, give them little nudges until they get the hint you guys need to talk. But don’t sidestep and trade with another person until you and the first person officially cancel the trade.

Now to address the situation:

Okey dokey. *cracks knuckles* now for the elephant in the room. So, as you may have seen in my twitter thread way above, some people slightly abuse their #booksfortrade “power” and dangle the carrot in front of the rabbit without giving more options. Don’t get it? Here’s what I mean:

Person A has an amazing #booksfortrade list consisting of so many things you want but then they only ask for ARCs (advanced reading copies) that haven’t even come out yet or the most exclusive of ARCs that you know pretty much no one in their right mind would give up. And yes a ton of people do this but the difference between Person A and the ton of other people (like me) is that Person A gives no other choices. So then you’re stuck being the rabbit standing behind a glass door, staring/drooling at the carrot on the other side, with no way to get in because the door is blocked. It’s an annoying feeling tbh. So my advice to newbies and oldies is PLEASE GIVE OPTIONS. Like I have three wishlists just for books, will take FUNKOs* and Amazon Gift Cards and have another WL for swag. You don’t have to go that far but that’s a lot better than giving no other options.

Okay so I think that’s it for my thoughts on this discussion. Now it’s your turn, have you ever done #booksfortrade/#swagfortrade before? If so, what do you think of it (in gen and re: the situation addressed)? If not, do you think you’d be interested in doing trades? Tell me all your thoughts in the comments below! Thank you! Have a great day/night and tata for now!

PS. This is what I have for trade/my WL 😉

PPS. Here’s a FREE downloadable for you with some tips & tricks!

*This is an affiliate link I have with Amazon 🙂


11 thoughts on “DISCUSSION: How To #Booksfortrade

  1. Pingback: DISCUSSION: #BooksForTrade FAQ + FREE Trade Tracker Download | Avid Reader

  2. You know how like 2 months ago I asked you for help with this? Well, I finally read this post, so I thought I better drop a comment and say thanks very muchly, this was really helpful! It sucks that people can be so rude about it, and it makes it so hard for people that might not get many arcs!

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. I am so new to this #booksfortrade. Can anyone tell me how the shipping works? Do each of you pay to ship to the other person or for them shipping to you? Which is better? Any help with this is greatly appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi hi!! So, for shipping, each person pays how much it takes to ship the package. If you’re in the US and shipping books within the US, media mail is the cheapest option! I’m unsure if this applies elsewhere. I hope that helps and you can definitely ask me more questions here or via Twitter (@AvidReaderBlog)! 😀


  6. By in large I use the hashtag for getting rid of books I don’t need (for whatever reason) and getting books I want. I have never balked at FCs for ARCs (though I do make sure the other person is ok w/the arrangement), have never held a coveted ARC for a better deal (all books come around again) and most of the time, unless our tastes are too wildly different or I have everything on a person’s list, I find something to trade. I mean one person’s highly coveted ARC (Nevernight? Caraval?) is just another ARC to get rid of to me, but someone’s eh book is my treasure (Zombies vs Unicorns!!!). And now on my 26th trade, I can honestly say I haven’t had an issue. I miscommunicated with someone, but it worked out in the end thankfully.

    I’ve nothing but good experiences so far, hopefully that continues!
    ~Lexie (@PRationality)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wasn’t going to comment, but after thinking about this post, and the drama that has been going on lately on #booksfortrade, I decided I should say something. I have been trading and buying books for only a few months, and consider myself an “outsider” in all this, as I don’t interact with a lot of the traders unless it’s on the actual trade. First of all, I am disappointed that there is so much negativity within the book community. Books for me are an escape, and the catty vague posts calling users out is overwhelming and immature. If I’ve had a problem with a trade I’ve contacted that person directly to solve it, like an adult. I feel for the small bloggers and book lovers that don’t blog and don’t have access to ARCs. I feel for the people that can’t go to events and signings and get highly sought after swag. However, if someone is trading something, that does not entitle you to it. For example, if I have a copy of Heartless, and I am on the fence about trading, but I want A Torch Against the Night even more, I may propose that trade. The only book I would trade for is Torch, otherwise I would rather keep my copy of Heartless. Should I have to accept a book I don’t want to placate someone else? Sure there are other books on my wishlist, but would the trade be fair? If I held off on trading it for now, sometime in the future someone could be willing to trade Torch. Some of the trades I’ve seen proposed are markedly slanted, people offering cheap books picked up off of thrift books or bookoutlet for highly sought after ARCs. (Bear in mind, ARCs may not have a monetary value, but they are not FREE, bloggers put a ton of time and effort into posts and cultivating followers.) Then the owners of the ARCs are vilified and called greedy for not trading. No doubt there are people who want more than what their books are worth. In those instances I don’t understand why people get upset, ignore them. The book is not yours, you are not entailed to it, and the owner can choose to trade with you or not. If you don’t have what that person is looking for, move on. There shouldn’t have to be tag police, and people should be respectful of other users, and their property.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TBH I am disappointed too; it bothers me that there’s negativity but it bothers me even more that the negativity is sometimes correct/needed (w/in the tag) because there are some not nice people who are doing exactly as you said and I don’t want to ignore them as it’s happened so much that it’s just getting frustrating, tiresome and annoying. As for the actual trade, I understand if you get an offer to trade for a higher/better book but I don’t think it’s right when you don’t give Person A – who you first talked to to trade with – a chance to offer more and instead go straight to Person B. It’s okay to tell Person B, “hey can you hold that for me as I might be interested in trading with you but need to talk to someone else first before we can go forward.” It’s perfectly polite and pretty much anyone should be okay to do that. You shouldn’t have to accept a book you may not want as much as another but you do need to tell Person A what’s happening and give them a chance to offer more before going ahead with the trade with Person B.

      Thanks for the comment btw! It’s nice to hear other’s opinions! 🙂


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