Friday, January 20, 2012

Do you Swap?

I talked before about trading, but today I want to talk about swaping. Sounds similar right? And yeah in a way it is, but swapping is a little bit different. This post will explain the differences and also the benefits to swapping.

A swap is an exchange; much like a trade but it is generally done in a controlled group, many times with a theme.  This is done through many websites, but also done directly between individuals in the form of box or surprise swaps.

Swaps are done including everything from used items, to new items, or things you make for your partner.  You may find used clothing swaps, surprise book swaps, food from home. The possibilities are endless.

The idea behind the swap is that for the most part, though there are exceptions to the rule, swaps are done as surprise packages. I give you my box of size 6-9 month boys clothing for your box of 9-12, or my box paperbacks for yours. Many times you can create a wish list of sorts for example in a book swap you may list genres you love as well as those you hate, maybe even include a few of the book titles you really want to read.

Swaps can cost more then trades, because many times you are trading new items. This is of course not always the case, there are many used swaps. Make sure you check out the swap rules before partaking those that do require new items often have a minimum value.

I do not swap nearly as often as I trade but when I have it has been a very enjoyable experience. It is a bit harder with me overseas to find people willing to swap or trade, but I do find people. It is a bit harder with swaps, since people do not have a guarantee of what they will get in return as one would in a trade where shipping is built in to the value of what you receive.

I have had a few fun swaps, one just came today. It was a Children’s Christmas box gift swap. Minimum value 10 dollars. People could send more if they chose, but you should only expect a value of 10 not including shipping.  We got a 8 year old girl, we got her one of those sets to braid designs and beads into your hair, a pair of leggings and some German treats. Teenie in turn got a hand crocheted doll, 3 crocheted balls and a wooden car. Again we listed ideas and suggestions but the swap partner had discretion of what ultimately to send.  I am totally thrilled. I love the items and teenie loves them. I am a sucker for handmade kids toys but they are often very costly and out of our price range, swapping allows me to get such items for my son.

Another example, one that I could not do from overseas, but partook in when I went home was a paperback book swap. We each sent the other person a flat rate box of paperback books. Perhaps not the best idea as mine are still sitting at my moms since I ran out of luggage room, but hey live and learn right.

Swaps can be a lot of fun; I know Sonya over at Home cooking with Sonya does tons of food box swaps with people all over the world that allows here to try all kinds of new foods and flavors. Again there is so much out there that you should always be able to find a swap that fits your needs.

As with trading I prefer to use established websites in which a host moderates the swap.

Is swapping something you have done or would be willing to try? Do you like surprises in the mail? 

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