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Barter Your Way To Great Deals Online

Online bartering is in vogue in these tough economic times.

One teen even traded a cell phone to being a string of swaps that ended up getting him -- a Porsche!

If you want to go down the swapping websites road, CBS News Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis has some pointers for you.

"It doesn't take a lot of money," she said on "The Early Show," "but it does take a lot of time."

When Jarvis and the camera crews interviewed the teen, Stephen Ortiz, about his Porsche trade, he was checking his phone throughout the day in order to keep up with the constant updates on Craig's List in the bartering section.

"He spends about five or six hours a day (online)," said Jarvis. "So you have to put in a lot of time, and you have to do a lot of research to do it like Steven does."

Bartering is a great way to get what you need or really want, so, says Jarvis, here are some sites to help you barter better!:

Craig's List is the site Ortiz used for all his trading. The site has a special "Barter" section you can click on where others are looking to trade.

SwapTree is a place where you can swap books, DVDs, and video games.

U-Exchange is a place for bigger-ticket items. If you're looking to go on vacation, Jarvis explained that you can trade things such as violin lessons for a vacation to Disneyland.

Swap A Gift enables you to exchange a gift card that you have and exchange it for money on the site.

When it comes to online trading, Jarvis reminds people to do their research.

"Seek details right off the bat," said Jarvis. Contact the trader and get as much detail as possible concerning the item you are looking to trade for.
The make, model, year, how lightly it has been used, how much the price is.

On top of the detailed description, Jarvis reminds potential traders to set a contract in place.

"These sites create a marketplace that people can interact, but they don't guarantee the trade," explained Jarvis. "You want to make that the number one thing to do before you make the exchange."

Be sure to come to an agreement on the price (the value) of the item you may be trading for. Though you are not paying money for the item in question, you are still trading something you own for it. So make sure the values of the items are equal.

And last but not least, after you have finally traded for the item you desire, Jarvis reminds you not to forget to report it on your taxes.