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Old 05-24-2014, 07:17 AM   #281
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carla.lovey2craft View Post
I don't know if I missed this question somewhere, my eyes are tired looking for an answer. My question is...

How does the hostess know who to send what too, when the hostess receives everything? Are there partners or something set up?

I got the part where the hostess received all of the items+1 and the +1 is the hostess gift. But right back to my question... How do you know who to send the other items too when the hostess has to send them out.
It depends on the type of swap. Partner swaps are designated as such from the beginning - like secret sister swaps or swaps that have a specific number of people in a group - like PAT swaps. Most other swaps are sorted out according to the hostesses' decisions. If I have a bulk swap for example with just a running list of members, then I usually sort things out in a round robin style. If you have specific questions, you can always ask your hostess for the particular swap you might want to join.
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Old 08-08-2014, 05:42 PM   #282
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Are there any swaps that swap die cut outs? I am interested in swapping since I can't afford all of the new dies.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:49 AM   #283
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Are there any swaps that swap die cut outs? I am interested in swapping since I can't afford all of the new dies.
At this time I find none for your interest. Have you ever thought of hosting such a swap? There is lots of help here to get you started.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:08 PM   #284
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I would like to get involved in some swaps (waiting to hear if I'm accepted to one currently) and I have a question about the mailing. What kind of envelope do you usually use? I know to put it in a baggie but then what do you put that into? A 5x7 manilla envelope? A bubble mailer? What kind of envelope do you usually include to be returned to you? I want to make sure everything arrives in good shape! Thanks!
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:35 PM   #285
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I would like to get involved in some swaps (waiting to hear if I'm accepted to one currently) and I have a question about the mailing. What kind of envelope do you usually use? I know to put it in a baggie but then what do you put that into? A 5x7 manilla envelope? A bubble mailer? What kind of envelope do you usually include to be returned to you? I want to make sure everything arrives in good shape! Thanks!
Sbishop:

I used to hostess a lot of swaps back in the day, and here's my input.

I prefer as a both a participant and hostess to use the flat rate priority envelope for the following reasons:
1) the cardboard envelope is free. you can get them from any post office.

2) The rate to send is always the same. I generate prepaid postage using usps.com and so it costs me $5.05 instead of the $5.95 I think it is now if you were to purchase at usps kiosk or at teller. More on this later.

3) The rigid cardboard is a great protector of your cards you're submitting and for the returns. You never know if you're getting cards with lots of dimensions on it. They'll for sure never get bent, etc.

4) For the hostess, it's HEAVEN SENT to be able to just pack your returns and seal it in your postage paid return envelope and know for sure that she can just drop off at the post office without having to weigh each one to put additional stamps you provide, then seal up finally while at the po. It's just a huge time saver.

----------------------

For baggies, as a previous hostess of large quantity swaps, it's just easier if participants use quart size zip lock bags. The dividing up of items created HUGE piles for me, and when it came time to stuffing the returns back in to a ziplocks, I can't tell you what a struggle it was to stuff them back into those itty bitty sandwich sized ones, especially the really thin economy brands without ripping the bags/damaging the card returns. The small sandwich sized ones don't really accommodate cards that are multi layered and dimensional. I'd often just have a box of larger sized quart zip log bags on my table to substitute any participants inadequate ziplock baggies when I was packaging up the returns. Made my life a lot easier.

-----------------

So for sending to the hostess, I'd recommend:
1) Use a manilla envelope for the exterior and send via first class, if time permits. Else, if you're sending within days of the due date, I'd recommend sending via flat rate priority.

2) Fold a blank flat rate priority envelope in half and put your swap cards already enclosed in a ziplock bag in between. The flat rate priority envelope should already be pre addressed with your return address. Affix an actual stamp (you can't pre purchase return postage electronically/online because of the date printed on the stamps has to be the actual date it's mailed) well below the self adhesive flap with closed/adhered. You want to allow room for hostage to tape along that top horizontal area to prevent it from flapping open during transit. I'd do this often since returns were often bulky for everyone. My swaps were as big as 40 returned cards since they were SU demo only swaps.

OR

If you prefer to be thrifty, since many of the swaps I see here on SCS are for 5+1, small quantities, I think using a self addressed postage paid manilla envelope for the return is sufficient too. Just include a few extra loose stamps in your baggie for the hostess. When I was hostess, it was a lot easier when the participant put the extra loose stamps in a separate baggie with their name on it. A lot of times, they included a hostess goodie, and stuck the extra postage in that goodie baggie. The reason you want to put your postage in a separate baggie is so they don't get caught/lost in between your card layers. It'd be stressful/ frustrating for the hostess to have to go unpack everything (your's and all participant's parcels) to shake every item to find your loose postage.

Hope that helps. At the end of the day, you should do what's comfortable / within your budget.

PS, imo, bubble envelopes add undue weight and thus postage to your cash expense. If you're going to pay an upcharge, you might as well pay for flat rate priority?
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:38 PM   #286
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I just remembered another first class mail option.

Lots of participants would cut a manilla folder down or reuse a flat rate priority envelope (something rigid/cardboard like) to the size of the manilla envelope they're using to mail TO hostess and have a note asking the hostess to reuse that rigid piece for their returns.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:39 PM   #287
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Oh oh....forum mods, I hope that was ok that I quipped in? Please delete my responses if I was out of line/not authorized!
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Old 05-14-2015, 03:26 AM   #288
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Great tips, Ching!
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:52 AM   #289
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Thanks so much, Ching. That was very helpful! The swap I'm currently waiting to hear on is a 5 + 1 so I'll try the manilla envelope for that one. I'm on a tight budget so I think it's better to start small. If I branch out to a bigger swap I'll go with the Flat Rate. Thanks for your help!
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:58 PM   #290
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Shauna B,

I forgot to also suggest, to write your name on the plastic ziplock in sharpie marker too. You can always reuse that baggie over and over in future swaps.

Anything to help out the hostess so everything is idiot proof - prelabeled, pre-affixed, pre-sorted, etc so she doesn't have to go digging to find is best. Make sure the only thing the hostess has to worry about is making sure YOU get correct number of returns in your baggie, sealed and in the mail to you in the most efficient manner.
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