Now this is cool and I hope they go national. The Swap-O-Matic Vending Machine allows the user to Trade/Swap/Donate goods they no longer need. Think about it, you are walking by a Swapper and something catches your eye.. what are you going to do? Go home and think about swapping stuff you don’t want anymore. So instead of putting it in the trash and landfills, you trade it out for something you do want.
How does the Swap-O-Matic work?
The basic rules of use for the Swap-O-Matic are quite simple. Each of the donated items in the machine is free and there is no charge for using the Swap-O-Matic. The basic currency for a transaction is a “credit.” A credit is earned when the user donates an item, and a credit is re- quired to retrieve an item from the machine. All new users receive 3 credits to start. Users can donate, receive, or swap using the touch screen interface on the front of the machine. Other features, such as a user flag system, are included to prevent misuse and provide occasional cura- tion of the machine.
What’s been traded in the Swap-O-Matic?
Almost anything that can fit into one of the thirteen compartments has been traded. Recent items include a handwritten poem, metro cards, guitar picks, shoes (both children and adult sizes), shirts, books, a free haircut, mugs, movies, t-shirts, and even a purse!
How are items “valued”? What if I take something that is worth more than I put in?
The Swap-O-Matic does not assign values to items because it operates on the simple assump- tion that value is subjective. An item you need has value to you, while an item you don’t has none. Every item in the machine “costs” 1 credit and every item donated “earns” 1 credit. In addition, you don’t have to swap all in one step. If you see something you like, and don’t have anything on you to trade, you may take the item, and return later when you have something to donate. We’ve found that most people enjoy donating just as much as getting items!
How does the Swap-O-Matic prevent abuse of the machine?
While the Swap-O-Matic is based on the “honor system,” users can flag items they think are inappropriate. Once an item receives a sufficient number of flags, the next user is prompted to remove the item and is rewarded with a credit for their trouble. The overall administrator or owner of the space containing the Swap-O-Matic can also remove any items they deem inap- propriate or abusive.