Saturday, 4 September 2010

Swaps...

I know, it has been a while, I have had a number of messages asking when I will be doing the next one. My first swap was with Meg, I was quite new to blogging and Montessori and it sounded like an exciting idea, I sent her a box of goodies from Japan and she did the same with some Mexican goods, many of which we are still using.
Once I got into the whole blogging game I decided to organise a few swaps, admittedly it was purely selfish to begin with, I was trying to expand our classroom collections and I have joined a few other swaps run by other bloggers, mostly it has been good but I have been stung a few times, my swap partner from Meg's seasons tradition swap disappeared off the face of the earth (strangely after she knew I had mailed her gift) and the last couple of swaps I have organised I have had complaints about swappers not living up to expectations or simply not sending out swap packages. I know sometimes life gets in the way and I like to think that when a swapper doesn't follow through it is because they have something big going on in their life but in my heart I know that is not the case with some swappers and they are just out to get free stuff.

I have been feeding my swap habit by having private swaps, I have one in the works just now with one of my favourite bloggers, so I am very excited about that.

But, I am in a strange place right now, I have been putting off organising another big swap, I do enjoy the swaps and I have had some great swap partners yet I have lost heart knowing that some people out there are not joining for the right reasons. I feel awful when I get those emails from good swappers saying that their swap partner hasn't replied/sent anything. I have tried swapbot but it wasn't really to my liking, I'm not sure how I can 'vet' potential swappers, any ideas?

4 comments:

  1. I worried about this a lot when I did my postcard swap,and can imagine the feeling is worse when what's being swapped is more substantial than a card. Things I did included stressing doing the honourable thing. I also wondered about doing a swap where who you send to is who you receive from so that there's a bit more of a moral imperative to be fair - but I guess that's how you do it already is it? Another thing I've seen on swaps is having willing swappers contribute to "spare" swap sets, so that after a certain deadline those people who didn't get anything can let you know and then you can arrange for one of the "spare" sets to be sent. I don't know how successful this would be and it doesn't deal with the route problem. Maybe what you could do is add a note to the rules/terms and conditions (or whatever you call them) for the swap saying that if after a certain date your swap partner hasn't received their swap items the sending swapper will have the option of either sending a second swap batch or of having their names listed on the swap page. Sounds a bit draconian, but maybe if it's clear from the start it could work - you'd just need to phrase it in such a way as to make it clear that those swappers who DO send stuff but whose stuff gets lots in the post will not be "named and shamed" but will need to send a second lot of stuff. Maybe that's all too heavy handed but it's an idea. What do you think?

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  2. Hi Zoe, I like the idea of the spare swap sets, I usually put in the rules all the moral stuff trying to keep people of the straight and narrow but I do think that 'some' people just sign up to get free stuff and have no intention in the world of sending anything off themselves. I have considered only allowing active bloggers to sign up, but that seems rather unfair to all the non bloggers out there, my other idea was to have a double swap, the first being a postcard swap but one that requires a bit of work by the swappers and then the 2nd being a bigger swap say a culture swap or the phonic miniatures but you can only join the 2nd if you fulfil the requirements of the first. Also sounds a bit mean!

    open to other suggestions..

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  3. The step/staged swap is an interesting idea! Hadn't thought of that one. Personally I wouldn't want to restrict swaps to only bloggers - as I don't think bloggers on the whole are any better behaved than any other section of the society :-)

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  4. I am co-hosting a Christmas Book Swap in November. I learned a lot about the kinds of things I need to do for it.

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