How do swaps work?
A swap is that, you swap with other people. A hostess proposes a swap, theme, item, and how many, 6 for 5, 6 for 6 is how the numbers are written. People sign up. You are given a theme or specific item you will swap with other swappers. All swappers mail their items to the hostess by a set date. The hostess lays out the swap and “deals” or “dishes” the items out to each swapper, packs them, then mails them back to you.
Trust is an important issue in a swap.

Where can I find swaps?
If you belong to an internet group, you can find swaps in that community for members only.
Gingerwoods has an internet swap board for anyone. You can check there and read the list then contact the hostess. She will send out her name and address to you so you can mail your swap out to her.

What is an SS?
SS = Secret Sister or SSS = Secret Stamping Sister, Secret Stamper Other names are secret pal, secret friend, etc. You get the idea, it is SECRET! SSSSHHHH! You join a secret swap. Names are matched by some sort of criteria established by the hostess. You know who you are sending to but you don’t know who has YOUR name so it is secret. These swaps run a few weeks to a few months and there are varied requirements or commitment factors you must firmly abide by. They are fun and a good way to get to know sister stampers in your communities

Hostess Gifts? What are these?
A hostess gift is something extra you send to a hostess to thank her for hosting and organizing the swap. It is not necessary you send an extra item or small supplies along but most hostesses appreciate these small gifts

“Same to me and back to you”, and that extra postage, why?
What ever it costs you to send the swap to the hostess, she expects that is at least how much will be on your return envelope. Inside, enclose the extra stamp or what ever she requests. Extra postage if not used, will be returned.
Good idea is to put your name on the back of the postage or put in a small clear envie or ziplock bag with your name on it.
Extra postage allows for the total weight of the other swappers materials. Some people’s work maybe heavier or bulkier than yours depending on embellishments used or even paper weight when building up layers.
It is polite swap business to have enough postage enclosed with your swap so that the hostess does not have to pay out of her pocket extra postage for x amount of swappers can add up.
Some hostesses will not mail back a swap until you send the correct amount of postage to her.
Also — the Post Office may confinscate a return swap if there is not enough postage!! You may get it with a request to pay the difference OR they may not deliver it at all!
Send the extra postage as requested in the swap details.  Any extra unused postage is returned to you.

What is a flake/flaker in a swap?
A flake or flaker is a person who signs up for swaps and never sends their work and cannot be contacted.
Being a flake or flaker can alter a swap since it can cut into how much you get back from other people.
For instance, you make and send 6 items and you anticipate getting that amount back from other swappers.
However, three people flake on the hostess. You will get back 3 other swappers work and 3 back of your own.
Hostesses have no control over flakes or flakers.
Some groups have a list of flakes/flakers that are not allowed to swap with them anymore.
Some groups kick these people out.
Some hostesses are flakes or flakers themselves when they don’t sent the swap back out to the participants.

For more on internet swapping — check out the many articles in the Swap Guide.


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