Unmounted Stamps

UM (unmounted stamps, rubber dies only) swaps

Similiar to Trash To Treasure only a box of UMs goes out to a designated list of participants.

Participation/swappers should be limited to people you know and trust.  This is the sort of swap lurkers like to participate in however, if you don’t know someone, you don’t have to let them play.

Another way to do this is just ask some of your stamping pals before going public with the swap looking for players.

Keeping a swap like this to a community you participate in is a good idea.

Remember that boxes can be lost or stolen leaving the hostess in the lurch.

Consider your players carefully.

Sign ups send email addresses and snail mail address to the hostess so she can create a list.

Hostess designates a sign up date cut off and creates a list and order of names and addresses.

1. This is a very organized swap. Players are limited based on how long the swap will last, that is, how long does the hostess want the box out before the final sending back to the hostess. UMs can be sorted into bags according to size, or just one bag and people can figure it out on their own.

2. An inventory booklet accompanies the swap box and must stay with the swap box on all shipments. This booklet contains the names and addresses of players and the order which the box moves from one place to another in a specific order only which is mailed out to all participants once the box is sent from the hostess.

When I have done this swap, I have looked at the map and list all those in approximate vicinities in order so the box can travel faster, or so I hope it will.

EX: Player limit: 8 people

3 people on the east coast get the box first, the third person will then send the box to the first person located in the mid west. The last person who lives in the mid west sends to the first person on the west coast. The last person to get the box on the list who lives on the west coast, sends the box back to me on the east coast.

3. The rule is that you put back into the box, UMs that are of the same size or equivalent value or 2 small ones and a medium one = a large UM.

4. It is required that the box always be sent Priority with insurance or confirmation. This is a swap specific detail.

5. The box should only be kept a couple of days to a week at the most before shipping it off. A typical box with 8 people takes about 3 months to make it back to the hostess. Less people means less time the box travels. You can also state in your swap detail, swapping in a specific geographical area only.

6. If you can send a box that can be recycled the entire swap, great.

7. I make up address labels with the number order of mailing and tuck them inside an envelope glued to the inside of the “inventory” book. People just have to take out a label and slap it on the box then mail. Some people use the inventory book as a stamping book to test the UMs in the swap.

8. Everyone in the swap is required to use a group email to notify everyone on the where abouts of the box, when it got to a destination and when it was mailed from a destination. This is a requirement also.

9. There usually is a bag for freebies which anyone can take or add to.


Other sort of UM swaps are run like a one on one, and size for size, with theme matching. Usually you send about 5 dies for the cost of first class postage.  You include a return SASE.

Theme matching is when you send in your dies to a person and they send back dies that you are looking for, themes: fairies, clowns, flowers, what ever you like.  There is no guarantee you will get what you request. Some people put this raising your hopes and others really try to honor your requests.

Some people run these on a regular basis. All they end up doing is sending back what they get from another person who sends in to keep the return quick.

They start of with a pile of their own UMs.  They get your 5, they like 2 of yours so they take two out of their pile and put them in your envelope, then they get an envelope from “Stamper2”.  They like 2 of hers so they take those for themselves and give you Stamper2’s 3 dies.  Stamper2 will now get what ever Stamper3 sends in or something from the “pile”.

One big problem with this method, is sometimes you end up with a host/hostess who never sends back.  Know who you are dealing with unless you are a risk taker