Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Swapping 101 (how to be a good swapper)

This is a list of advice compiled from SwapTawk members past statements and mspicky2's notepad ~ thank you :)

How do I start swapping? List your swap items. Be honest, describe entire item, basic color, how much remains, whether case has any scratches, things like that. If you are not honest, you item may be returned to you along with a negative token for misrepresentation. Do NOT call something BNIB or new if it has ever been tested! New means NEW!

Start sending out swap requests. Also, please look at their swaplist and ask for what they have, but be considerate. Read their notepad and wishlist. If your stuff has no resemblance to anything they are looking for, and the notepad says WISHLIST ONLY, you will not get a swap going.

What is a token? Tokens are a public record of how you feel the swap went. You can go into any member's profile and see their tokens. Each token represents a separate swapping event, and is given to you by your swap partner. You in turn should award one to them.

Check their tokens thoroughly! Even if swappers have over 100+ tokens and they're all positive, you should still read them; at the very least, read the last page. There are swappers who are too afraid of receiving a retaliatory token, so they won't leave anything other then a positive. Sometimes positive tokens have hidden info in them (late mailing, lack of communication, items not as described, etc.) The last few tokens are especially important because you can see how the swapper has been behaving most recently.

Who sends first? All new swappers must send first. It is an unwritten rule of swapping that you will send first until you have 35-50 tokens.

Why? If you have no tokens, people don't know whether they can trust you. You have to prove yourself. TOKENS FROM OTHER SITES DO NOT COUNT AS MAKEUPALLEY TOKENS.

What if the other person also has no tokens, or very few? Short answer is: as a newbie, don't swap with other newbies.
SwapTawk highly recommends that until you are well established (and no longer have to send first), new swappers should only swap with veteran, established swappers who have good tokens and a solid track record. Swapping with veterans won't guarantee you a perfect experience but it will cut down on many problems inexperience can being.

What if my package gets lost? It is the responsibility of the sender to make sure their swap partner gets what is agreed upon in the initial negotiation, or, assuming a lost package, another item of their choice than can be agreed upon; or monetary compensation. It is rare for a package to truly go missing, especially if domestic-although it does happen.

What if my package gets damaged? It is ALWAYS the sender's responsibility to make sure they pack well. Items come broken mostly because someone did not wrap well and tightly in bubble wrap, put in bubble lined envelopes. Perfume should never be shipped in less than a cardboard box completely packed with peanuts or bubble wrap such that nothing moves. If your item breaks in transit, there will probably be a reversal and you end up with nothing. NEVER SEND A SWAP ITEM IN A REGULAR WHITE ENVELOPE. Those get machine sorted, items will be broken by the machine.

Using your swap items: NEVER use the items (or any extras) you receive in a swap until BOTH SIDES have the items in hand and agree the swap is finalized. Yes, it's very exciting to get new stuff, but DO NOT USE IT - it is not "yours" until the swap is completed. If something goes wrong with the swap and a swap reversal is needed - you will have to go and buy them a NEW item or compensate them monetarily. If you have already used their item, or they used yours, the reverse still happens but you get a neutral or a negative token. Reversal and substitutions do occur, sometimes it depends on the swappers to work it out between them.

What else could get me a neutral or negative? Usually you only get negatives from being a liar or a thief, it marks you as someone nobody should trust. Neutrals can also be earned for: sending your end out late, not describing your item accurately, poor communication during swap, dirty items.

Can I back out of the swap? You must back out BEFORE addresses are exchanged! If you ask someone to hold something for you, for a month for example, and you say you will swap them for item X, then you change your mind, you get a neutral. The reason is because you have inconvenienced them. Until you feel sure about the swap, do not engage addresses - then it is not a problem to change your mind.

Follow your instincts! If you don't feel good about a swap, you have every right to back out of it. Don't second guess yourself or feel guilty about turning someone down or backing out! If a swap "sounds to good to be true" - it probably is.

Read swappers notepads and their posts on the boards...if they are rude or cause trouble there...they may be rude or troublesome during your swap.

Leave proper tokens! Leave a proper token for your swapper. If your experience was not a good experience then DO NOT leave a positive token! Help the other members of the MUA and ST communities by informing them and warning them about bad swappers.

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