How to swap or give-away SIM cards?

In the last year, I’ve been to Finland (where I bought a temporary SIM card for my three-day trip there). I also have SIM cards for Iran, Estonia, the Netherlands, France, the US, Senegal and others. But once I get home, these SIM cards are useless to me — they sit in my desk drawer. I’m sure there’s hundreds if not thousands of other people worldwide who have a stack of SIM cards that they don’t use much, but keep on the off-chance that they do return to those countries.

For example, today, I lent my Dutch and Finnish SIM cards to another English assistant who is going to those countries over the Christmas break. Both have < 10€ of credit on them (assuming they haven't expired), and I can't use them at all as I have no plans to go to either of those countries anytime soon. And that got me wondering -- why isn't there a website/service, analogous to CouchSurfing or something, where I can temporarily borrow/swap a SIM card that I only need for a short time (say, a week or less), without having to pay much for it, or go through the hassle of buying a new phone number/SIM card. Before I came to France, I bought two used SIM cards on Craigslist in the Bay Area, and boy am I glad that I did, because new ones (at least from Orange) cost 15€ just for the card. So, any enterprising web developer up for the challenge?

5 Replies to “How to swap or give-away SIM cards?”

  1. Smart thinking … I’d definitely use the service. (Though SIM cards are getting cheaper and cheaper in many places. Lately I’ve been spending only about $5.)

  2. I was wondering about this recently because of summer travels. In part, I think this was less of an issue in the States giving the relative lack of phones that work worldwide and unlocked phones. Now that these seem to be increasingly purchased and used, I suspect this will be developed separately from the current swap sites like craigslist. I wonder if sim cards show up on freecycle?

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