In the past, Americans who wanted to sell household items (such as old freezers, couches, or television sets) had to place advertisements in the local newspaper or they had to post fliers on telephone poles and in store fronts in the local community. In addition to being costly and time consuming, these methods of advertising rarely accomplished the goal of finding a buyer for the product that the individual wanted to sell. Over the last decade, online advertisement websites such as craigslist have facilitated the process by which Americans buy and sell used household items. Today, however, these websites are losing their popularity to a new method by which Americans buy and sell used household items: shop and shop radio.
These shop and shop radio programs, which are also known in some circles as swap and shop radio programs, swap shop radio programs, and radio swap shops, are locally broadcast and short wave radio programs in which users broadcast advertisements for household items that they wish to sell (or conversely, ask other listeners if they want to sell household items that they are looking for). Because many radio stations regard these shop and shop radio programs as a helpful community service more than a potential money making opportunity, they are often more than willing to donate airtime (usually morning time slots or weekend time slots) to individuals who want to sell or purchase items on shop and shop radio programs. The managers of these radio programs realize that failure to provide these individuals with airtime will prevent them from selling items that are cluttering their homes and purchasing items that they desperately need. Furthermore, the managers often assume that their decision to provide listeners with airtime and shop and shop radio programs decreases the number of illegal pirate radio stations which exist and, more importantly, increases their ratings. After all, listeners who tune in to shop and shop radio programs often continue to listen to regularly scheduled programming after the shop and shop radio program has ended. However, these managers at these local radio stations need to carefully monitor the shop and shop radio programs; in the past, thousands of users have taken advantage of this airtime to craft elaborate prank listings and advertisements which have annoyed thousands of frustrated buyers who discover that their so called “great deal” was actually a hoax.