Swap your iPod at Podswap? Not quite ready for prime time

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Some ideas sound so reasonable I'm disappointed to find that they aren't working. At least, not yet. An ad for podswap.com in this week's Rolling Stone caught my eye, a company that promises to buy, swap or sell used iPods. This seemed like a natural for those jonesing for a new iPod, but without the shekels to afford it.

Podswap's business plan seems sound. It buys, trades and sell used iPods. It categorizes the quality of the used equipment and charges accordingly, and backs each iPod sold with 90 day warranty when the original manufacturer warranty has expired. It doesn't buy non-standard peripherals, though, and no, you can't sell or buy an iPod already full of music; all are returned to showroom condition before they go out the door.

Unfortunately, as a startup the company's inventory is almost non-existent. However, they do list an 8 GB iPod Touch in good condition for $219, vs. a new one on Amazon selling for $284.99. If they can build their business and offer similar or better discounts (on less red-hot Apple products), I could see it carving out a niche in the market. However, buying ad space before it has product to sell seems like a recipe for failure.

I hope not. I'd like to have a snazzy Shuffle, but being a cheapskate, used is much closer to my desired price point.

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