So this post idea has been on my mind for a while now. I refrained from spontaneously writing this post because I wanted to gather more experience before I just write about something I don't know about.
First I'd like to say that swapping is meant to be fun and a chance to get to make a new friend. It is NOT meant for you to get free stuff.
1. What is a swap?
Just like it sounds. Usually hosted by a blogger(s) with a theme. There are rules and deadlines like you must swap $10 worth of stuff and package must be shipped by 12/21/12. Swaps are meant for you to be partnered with someone new so you can make a new friend and so that you each get an awesome package in the mail.
2. Where do I sign up for a swap?
Lots of blogs host these from time to time. You could try google, but be careful! I try to advertise swaps on my blog and twitter so people can find out about them. Also you could try joining Swap-Bot, which is more for smaller things.
3. What if my partner doesn't communicate with me?
Most swaps ask that you and your partner correspond with each other to get to know one another better. What's the use of sending a package to someone you don't know? Worse is that you get stuff that you don't like or can't use. I suggest contacting the swap host to see if they sort things out or reassign you. I've also tried stalking my partners on social media. :T
4. What if I never receive a package?!
Oh shit! I hope this doesn't happen to you. This is the problem with these swaps, no one is held very much accountable. It's kind of a hit or miss. It's just a risk you take when joining. There's not much hosts will usually do. If they are nice the host might chip in and get you a package themselves.
5. So tell me again why I would want to join?
Because it's fun, damn it! Ok, you don't have to. Swaps can be successful, but there is a small risk.
How to Host a Swap
~ Have a theme for the swap! It helps people to create an awesome package.
~ Do a background check on the participants. Check out their blogs and see if they are active. If you suspect someone will be a flake you can remove them from the swap.
~ Advertise your swap! Get more participants. The more the merrier.
~ E-mail reminders. Reminder people of the deadlines.
~ Consider what you'll do if someone comes to you with a problem like non-communicative partner or a flake.
Any other questions?