Guest Author - Carol Taller
There are lots of swaps in the crafting world. Many people are familiar with trading cards, but swaps can have a variety of themes and rules. Either way, swaps can be a great way to see other peoples art work or sample new accessories, or get to meet new people interested in some of the same things that you are interested in.
To start a swap, the first thing that you need is a host. A host will agree to run the event, set up all of the rules and follow through with details. It can be a big commitment, depending on how many people are allowed to join the swap. Rules that should be agreed upon include start and stop dates, number of people allowed to join, mailing procedures, theme (color, holiday, technique, etc.) Many swaps will set rules that put a dollar value on the items in the swap. If everyone understands the rules and follows them, the less likely there will be any problems.
Swaps are supposed to be fun, so its best to eliminate any potential problems before you start. The most important rule is always “Do not commit to joining a swap unless you plan on fulfilling your commitment.” If there is an emergency and you cannot complete your commitment let your hostess know as soon as possible so that substitutions can be arranged.
It is not suggested that you post your real name or address online, but it will be necessary to give this information to the swap host. Any private questions or questions about privacy can be done through the host. The person receiving your swap will also see your real name and address.
Since swapping is done for fun and enjoyment, all participants must show respect at all times. Any areas of discontent should be run by the host of the event, and not made public on the forum area for everyone to read. All comments posted on the forum are public and can be quoted by anyone. It is important to remember that anyone who writes in a forum is responsible for any comment that is considered libelous. Readers in the forum should understand that statements are not guaranteed to be accurate. Participants are encouraged to share the opinions, but they are just opinions.
So put your creative head in gear and get involved. Join a swap and see what other people are doing. Share your work with others, learn something new, and meet new people. What have you got to lose?