It’s been about six months since I signed up with CD-trading service lala, and overall, I’m still pleased with the service. I’ve made almost 90 trades so far, so I thought I’d give another review since I’ve had a chance to get a pretty good view of how the system works.*
As I mentioned above, I’m still pleased with lala overall. However, I do have some nits to pick. Admittedly, some of my complaints might be unfair as I’m used to Netflix and it’s hard not to compare the sites, which is an unfair comparison; Netflix owns its own DVDs and controls their own inventory, whereas lala depends on users to supply their inventory. That being said, it can be frustrating when it takes several weeks before another user opts to send a CD on your Want List, especially when you’ve sent several CDs out to other users. Also, there’s no way to prioritize items on your Want List. This is a function of the system, but there are times when I’ve added a CD onto my Want List that I would have put at a lower priority than other CDs on the list if that option were available.
It’d also be nice to be able to trade CDs directly with another user. For example, if you find another user that has a CD you want and you have a CD they want, there’s no way that I know of using lala to directly trade with that user. If anyone knows if this is possible, then please let me know.
Some of the music that I’ve searched for on lala hasn’t shown up in any searches, so I can’t add that music to my Want List or to my Have List. I’m not sure where lala is getting it’s list of available music from, but it’s not as comprehensive as something like Amazon’s music listings. It’d be nice to be able to add a CD to their database, or at least be able to suggest that a CD be added. If this option exists, I haven’t seen it yet. That issue aside, the search service that lala provides on its site is very good, with suggestions appearing as you type.
lala has added the ability to buy new CDs from the site. I’ve recently purchased a new CD from them and that experience was very good. The price was excellent. Oftentimes, lala’s CD prices are below those of even Amazon. The shipping price was reasonable, and the CD arrived quickly. I’ll probably be purchasing more CDs from lala in the future. This is an excellent alternative to waiting for another user to send you a CD if you don’t want to wait.
There are some “social networking” aspects of lala that I’ve yet to tap into. For example, there’s the concept of friends, where you can add other lala users into your friend list. Then, your friends show up on your home page and you can quickly view their profile to see if they’ve added any music. If you’re a lala member and want to add me to your friend’s list, feel free to contact me or comment on this post.
After six months, I’d still not hesitate to recommend lala if you have some old CDs laying around that you’d like to trade for other CDs. lala makes it extremely easy to trade CDs, and it’s pretty cheap at $1.75 per CD received (there’s no charge for sending a CD). I’ve used other trading sites in the past, and lala has the easiest process I’ve found to trade CDs with other users.
* If you’re unfamiliar with lala, read my initial review.