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Old 01-16-2009, 11:25 PM   #1
Watercolor Wizard
 
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Default Hostess 101 - How to Host a Swap

Hosting a swap is a great experience! Not only do you get some awesome cards and projects, but you get to work with some great artisans and meet some wonderful people! Here are some guidelines to help you have a great hosting experience.

Hostess Guidelines:
How to Start a Swap
Swap Posting Template
Hosting Rules & Common Terms
Getting Swappers to Sign Up
Updating your Swappers
Receiving Swaps
Mailing Swaps Back
Running into Problems
Questions

Please note: Although Splitcoaststampers allows members to be under the age of 18, users of the swap forums must be 18 years of age or older. Members under the age of 18 are not permitted to use the swap forums as a hostess and/or swapper.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 08-31-2009 at 09:52 PM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:25 PM   #2
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How to Start a Swap
First choose the type of swap you want to have. There are several different kinds of swaps available. They are broken down into categories as follows:Decide on the details of your swap. The post below is a swap template. You don’t have to use this template, but it is pretty thorough as to what details should be included. Take a peak at other swaps that are posted to get an idea of what your title should look and how the swap detail is worded/laid out.

Your thread title should be descriptive and should give basic info. Keep the title short. For example,
***New & Open*** SU Catalog swap, 10+1 due 03/25/09

or ***Open*** 6X6 Cake Recipe swap, 20+1 due 05/01/09

See Post #11 for more info on titles.

Do not make changes to the details of the swap if you already have people signed up. If changes must be made, please make sure all your swappers are aware of the changes.

If you want to host more than one swap at a time, please avoid over-committing. Do not have too many swaps going. Consider time needed to set up, monitor, respond to questions, sort and mail swaps. Multiple swaps take more time. As per the new swap forum rules, hostesses may only have 5 swaps open at one time. A swap is considered "Open" until all the swaps have been swapped out and mailed. In other words, once the swaps leave the hostess's home, the swap is closed.

Please Note: Swaps can ONLY be started by members that have more than 25 posts.

Last edited by vz5dzh; 07-26-2011 at 07:38 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
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Swap Posting Template


Name of Swap:

Description: Type of swap (Card fronts, FULL cards, ATC, etc), layer and embellishment requirements, etc.

Quantity: (decide if you want a +1 or not. Indicate if they will get one of their own back or not)

Vendor products: SU Only, House Mouse, CTMH, NVR, etc.

Recipe, if required: Include Swapper's Real Name, SCS Name, Swap Name, email address, products and techniques used.

Deadlines:
Sign-up date:
Postmark date:
Due IN Hand:
Return Date:

Mailing instructions: (modify instructions as needed)
Packaging:
Place swap items in a large baggie for waterproof purposes. Write your real name, SCS name and swap name on a piece of paper and include in the baggie for identification purposes.
Swap Return:
First Class: Place baggie inside a self-addressed stamped envelope for return mail purposes. The amount of postage on your SASE should be the same amount that it takes to mail to the swap hostess. To insure that enough postage will cover the returned swap items, include additional postage which will be returned if not used.
Priority: Inside your baggie, include a self-addressed priority label and one priority stamp. Swap hostesses will provide priority envelope.
Place your baggie and/or SASE envelope inside your mailing envelope and address it to:

Include your mailing address here – or to protect your privacy indicate that you will PM your address to all swappers at a later date.

(A list of swappers starts here.)

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 01-11-2010 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:26 PM   #4
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Hostess Rules
  • Hostesses can only hold five (5) open swaps at any given time. Any swap above the five will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be removed from the Swap Forums. (If you are a hostess that has more than 5 open swaps that were started prior to May 12, 2009, you will be allowed to finish up those swaps.) Please note: A swap is considered "Open" until all the swaps have been swapped out and mailed. In other words, once the swaps leave the hostess's home, the swap is closed.
  • Hostesses must be firm on due dates. In fairness to those that turn in on time, refrain from holding up the swaps to wait for late swappers.
  • Hostesses that fail to return swaps in a timely matter (within ten (10) days of the due date) more than three (3) times will only be allowed to have one open swap at a time.
  • Hostesses that fail to return swaps will be banned from the entire Splitcoaststampers site.

Common Terms
  • Due IN Hand - Date that the swaps are literally due in your hands. NOT a postmark date.
  • Postmark date - The date that the swaps must be postmarked by.
  • +1 - An extra swap for the hostess to use for themselves.
  • NVR – No Vendor Requirements
  • Groups – Swaps that have a set number of groups. For example, 5 swappers are listed, so they send in 5 cards (or 6 if there is a +1).
  • Running list – No groups indicated. There is just a list of swappers and swaps are distributed according to the number requested. For example, you have a running list with 20 swappers listed. The swap requirement is 5 cards. Each swapper would send in five and would get five random ones back. This is usually done in case someone drops out without proper notice.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 08-29-2009 at 01:26 PM.. Reason: Adding rules set forth May 2009
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:28 PM   #5
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Getting Swappers to Sign Up
As a hostess, you are responsible for getting swappers to join your swap.

The swap forums move very quickly. To get your thread back to the top of the thread list, simply post something in your thread. Some people just post the word “bump” or “BTT”. Please don’t bump your thread every five minutes. Keep the bumping of your thread to a minimum.

Swappers must post to your thread to sign up. If they send you a PM to sign up, ask them to post in the thread also.

One way to advertise your swap is to add it to your signature line. Check out this tutorial on how to edit your signature line: Click here.

Please note: If you are advertising your swap in other venues including message boards, blogs, websites, etc, please only add swappers that are members of SCS and the Swap Group. If there is a problem with the swap, we can not help you if the problem swapper is not a member of the SCS swap forum user group.

Last edited by vz5dzh; 04-20-2011 at 07:56 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:28 PM   #6
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Updating Your Swappers
Communication is KEY to a successful swap. Here are some tips:
  • When someone joins your swap, acknowledge their post and add them to the swap list.
  • Monitor your swap frequently. It is your main source of communication with your swappers. If a swapper posts a question, answer it as soon as possible. Any questions should be answered within a 72 hour period.
  • Close to the due date, ask your swappers to check in. If you don’t hear from someone, send them a private message as a reminder.
  • When you receive a swap in the mail, indicate so next to the swappers name in your swappers list. People get anxious when they don’t know if their swaps arrived or not.
  • When you mail the swaps back to the swappers, post to let them know.
  • Feel free to change the title of your thread with brief status changes.

See Post #11 for more info on updating swaps received and swap titles.

Last edited by vz5dzh; 07-26-2011 at 07:41 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:30 PM   #7
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Receiving Swaps
  • Once you receive a swap, please take care of them. Watch for loose postage stamps. Keep them away from pets and children.
  • When swaps arrive, open them up and make sure that the swaps conform to the rules. Count them and check for return envelopes and postage.
  • If you find that a swap did not follow the rules, contact the swapper asap. If there is enough time, the swapper might be able to fix the mistakes. Hostesses reserve the right to not accept swaps that did not follow the rules. You can not reject swaps because you simply didn’t like the card.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 01-17-2009 at 12:16 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:30 PM   #8
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Mailing Swaps Back
  • Mail swaps back in a timely manner. Be firm on arrival dates. Do not wait for excessively late swaps. Mail all swaps back within 10 days of the due date.
  • If a swap is lacking in return postage, you may hold the swap until the swapper sends you the correct postage. Hostesses should not burden themselves with the extra costs.
  • Make sure you have access to a postal scale. Swaps have been delayed and even lost due to incorrect postage. The postal rules in the US are changing all the time. Make sure you know what the current rules/postage rates are.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 01-17-2009 at 12:17 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:45 PM   #9
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Running into Problems
  • Hostesses who do not return swaps within 60 days may be banned from SCS. This will be decided on a case by case basis.
  • Hostesses can close swaps if not enough swappers sign up. If some have signed up you need to notify them and if you have their swap in your hands, return it or swap out what you have received.
  • When someone signs up, if you have had problems with them before, you have the right to refuse them a spot in your swap. Please only share this info through a pm and state why you are refusing them a spot. Ex: You have been late the last two swaps you were in with me and it caused problems with sorting and mailing on time. Or if they did not send return postage and you have to wait on them to send stamps.
  • If you have swappers who have been late mailing in several swaps with you, you can ask them to use delivery confirmation.
  • The hostess should try to contact swapper at least two times a week apart, and attempt to resolve any issues before reporting to a moderator.
  • Contact a moderator by pm. Do not post in threads anywhere on the site if you are having a problem with a swapper. Please realize that we will do everything we can to resolve an issue.
    A hostess shouldn't be creating new swaps when her current swaps are not mailing on time.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 01-17-2009 at 12:17 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:46 PM   #10
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Questions
If you have any questions feel free to contact a moderator. Or if you prefer, post your questions in the Swap Questions thread.
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{The Stamp Workshop}
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:23 AM   #11
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Default Updating Your Thread Title

In order to maintain a more uniform system of swapping and to assist the moderators in handling their responsibilities we would like to request that all hostesses observe the following suggestions.

1. Update the header of your swap as changes occur. By utilizing key words, this will tell the Moderators and any interested swappers the status of your swap as they browse the forums. The following are suggestions -
New or Open - when you start a swap and when there are spots available
Closed & Creating - for a swap in progress that has no open spots
Postal - use only when the packages have left your hands
Complete - when packages have been received by swappers and they have had an opportunity to post their thanks.

2. Update your swapper list in the first post of your swap in a timely fashion. When you add a name please leave it there for the duration of the swap. You may add status changes by their name as they become necessary. For example -

Received - when the swap package comes in from that swapper
Withdrawn - if they have contacted you and need to leave without fulfilling their obligation.
Contacted - if you have sent a two-week reminder message - see note below

3. Contact your swappers via PM messages two weeks before your swap is due to remind them of the upcoming deadlines. This will frequently save you from receiving packages late and will keep your swaps running in a more timely fashion. We do understand that sometimes life gets in the way of our creativity, but by sending a reminder two weeks out, a swapper may then decide to withdraw without penalty or complete their obligation and get it to you in the time frame necessary for you to meet the 10-day turn around on returns.

We are trying to create a more uniform swapping system to make the experience more pleasurable for both swappers and hostesses. By utilizing these small changes, the moderators will be better able to assist you in keeping your swaps running smoothly. We thank you for your assistance in this - have fun!
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