I'm trying to figure out how to use the verb "trade out", here are two samples I made myself:

Could you help me and correct them, if necessary, please? (In addition to that, I put in italics what I actually wanted to say by those sentences, and I would be grateful if you could tell me whether my wordings in italics match the meanings of the sentences adjacent to them)

1. I had an old VCR player, then I went to the store and traded it out to a new DVD player (what I wanted to say: I talked the clerk into taking the old VCR back and issuing me with a new DVD)

2. My old VCR player got traded out to a new DVD player (I wanted to convey the same idea as in #1, only in passive voice)

And finally this one I took from a movie, could you tell me if my interpretation in italics jibes with the meaning of the sentence?:


Defendant's Attorney: He's already facing one count of felony possesion, he's not about to cop to any more.

District Attorney: Maybe he'd like to trade out to two counts of murder ? (I think this means: maybe he'd like to enter a new plea bargain under the terms of which he pleads guilty to two counts of murder)
Not much help from here. I expect you're right. I often hear the expression "swap out," but I'm not familiar with "trade out." Your quote from the DA certainly sounds convincing.

"Swap out" is used to describe the process of exchanging a bad component for a good one in a piece of equipment (removing and reinstalling), so it think it's similar to what you're talking about.
Let's swap out the power supply / CPU / alternator / starter / radiator / etc.

I, too, am unfamiliar with the expression 'trade out'.

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MrPernicketyI talked the clerk into taking the old VCR back and issuing me with a new DVD)
I meant to add as an aside an item from the bottomless pit of preposition trivia: We would omit the "with" here.

But it would be fine to say, "and providing me with a new DVD."
Actually, "and issuing a new DVD" would be clearly understood, taken together with the rest of your sentence.Emotion: geeked

You may be familiar with "trade up," as used by friendly used car salesmen. For lots of cash you can trade your car for a "better one." We think you should trade up to a Mercedes.
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Thank you, Avangi and Clive !


with "swap out" things are looking much better than with "trade out": soon as I ran a search for "swap out" in American Corpus, I hit on a lot of clear, comprehensible samples, such as:

1. We swapped out the skillet for the Frying Dish Wok ($40)

This makes perfect sense !
The phrase "swap out" usually is used for for a component or part, not for a whole item. It means taking a piece out and putting another one (usually better) in its place.

For whole items, just use swap, exchange or trade for. You can say "I swapped (or exchanged or traded) my old VCR for a new one." This means that no money changed hands, and each party was happy with what they received.

"Trade in" is also used, especially for cars:

I traded in my old Mercedes for a newer one. A "trade in" is almost always of lesser value, so you will have to pay some money for the newer car. What you pay is the difference between the new car's value and the trade-in value of your car.