Barter unwanted Christmas gifts online

Three weeks later, the porcelain frog your cousin gave you for Christmas doesn't look so fun. Instead of hiding it away to regift next Christmas, barter it on the Internet for something you want.

Coping With the Economy

You can barter it on Craigslist and possibly spend an hour or so searching for something you want, then e-mailing the other party to see if they want your frog for their unopened hard liquor left over from a holiday party.

Or try BarterQuest.com, a site that matches people who want something with others who have it. Posting is free, and although the site says that a fee is charged when a trade is confirmed, CEO Michael Satz told me in a telephone interview today that it is no longer charging trading fees as a way to remain a "free" site and attract more people.

To attract traders, BarterQuest has put up some items -- an iPod Touch, Prada bag and Nintendo Wii -- that will be traded for the best offers through Jan. 15. Offers for the iPod Touch, for example, include a pink Apple laptop, camera, Sidekick Slide and 8G iPod.