FAQ ~ New to SWAPS & want to join...

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Scrapbook Mom
Dec 28, 2005
:welcome: to the DIS Swap Board! We are very happy to have you here. This thread is meant to provide you with information about swapping on our board. Please look through the list of questions and answers below to get started or just figure out what we are all about!

Thank you to bubbasmom99 who wrote this up in 2006. We have updated it with additional information and links as of 8/2010. We will update it periodically as we receive new questions that have been brought to our attention and answered...


Q - What is a "swap"?
A - A scrap swap is when a group of people exchange scrapping elements. Typically, you make a set # of elements, one set for each person in your group. You send them all to the hostess, who swaps them out, and sends back to you.
Example: there are 5 people in your group. You make 5 pieces of the same thing. You send them in and will get back 5 different pieces {4 different pieces and 1 of your own}, 1 from each person in your group. It's a great way to build your stash of different elements without having to make individual ones of every piece! A swap can involve handmade items, store-bought items, or just about anything! Scrappers of ANY level are welcome on the DisBoards swaps, unless otherwise noted. We welcome newbies and would love to help you out with your first swaps. Please don't be afraid to ask questions!

What is an element?
A - An element can be many things – title box, tag, journaling box, photo mat, library card & pocket, file folder, slide mounts, etc. Size specifications for elements can vary. Each swap posts their specific requirements.

The Swap Glossary thread defines the elements typically used on the DISBoards.
Swap Glossary Thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1306030

The Swap Photo Gallery will give you ideas of what we have done in our past swaps here on the DISBoards.
Swap Photo Gallery: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1306021

I’ve scrapped before but I’ve never swapped. How do I get started?
A – As we said above, Scrappers of ANY level are welcome to join swaps here, unless otherwise noted. We host designated “newbie” swaps throughout the year so that new swappers can get their feet wet in a low stress environment. While these swaps are specifically for brand new swappers, you should feel free to sign up for any swap that is open.

How do I tell which swaps are open?
A – The Swap Calendar lists all swaps that are scheduled to take place on our board. Swaps are organized by month and list the sign-up date, due date and hostess. This is done so that all participants know what is coming up and can plan their participation accordingly. The thread also contains links to swaps that are currently underway. On the sign-up date listed, the swap hostess will create a NEW THREAD on the Swap Board with specific instructions for that swap.
Swap Calendar: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2342812

How do I sign up for a swap:
A –
1. Check out the Swap Calendar.
2. Once you see a swap you like, check the Swap Board for a sign-up thread. The thread will list specific instructions and guidelines for that swap.
3. Post on the thread to sign up for your desired spot or to ask questions about that particular swap.

What do I do if I know I want to participate in a swap but I will be on vacation/at work/on a business trip when the sign-ups start?
A – Most swap sign-ups are left open up to a week to allow people a chance to join. If you know you won’t be available during that time, there are 2 avenues to approach this.
1. You may also request a “Sign Up Buddy” on the interest thread. Your sign up buddy will have you send your request to them through our PMs on the boards and she will get you signed up for the swap. This is almost the best option.
2. Send a PM (private message) to the swap hostess listed on the calendar and let her know that you are interested but won’t be available. She will do her best to work with you to make sure you get a spot. We’ve all done this at one time or another. After all, trips to the World are more important than swap sign-ups!!

I’ve swapped on other boards. Do I have to join the Newbie swaps or can I do others?
A – The newbie swaps are for people who are new to swapping and/or new to our board. If you have swapped before and want to join an open swap, please feel free to do so. No one is required to do a newbie swap first.

I don’t live in the US. Can I still participate?
A – Absolutely! We have regular swappers from the UK and welcome anyone, anywhere.

Where can I see samples of completed swap items?
A – Visit our Swap Photo Gallery thread for links to past swaps.
Swap photo gallery: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1306021

I’ve never done this before and I’m worried my work won’t be good enough.
A - Don’t worry! We were all new to swapping and/or this board at one time and we were all worried that our items weren’t going to be “good enough”. Most of us look back at our first swap items and see how far we have come. Many of us still PM each other or post photos of works in progress to get inspiration and ideas. The point is that we’ve all been there and we are here to help. Do your best, follow the guidelines for your swap and that is the most we can ask. Everyone has to start somewhere and we are happy for this to be your place! And don’t forget that one of the best things about swapping is getting back all different sorts of things that help to make your pages look wonderful!

Do I mail the items I have made for myself?
A - Yes, you send the hostess all the elements that you made for your group, including your own. That way the hostess does not have to figure out who gets what and every package mailed out contains the same items.

I’ve signed up for a swap but I won’t be able to finish it. What do I do?
A – As soon as you know that you won’t be able to complete your spots, PM your swap hostess to let her know so that she has time to find an angel. Do please remember however that you are making a commitment when you sign up for a swap. Fellow swappers still have to purchase supplies and spend the time to make your elements even if you drop out. While we all understand that life happens, we ask that you think twice before joining a swap if you think there might be a chance that you won’t be able to finish it. The most important thing in this situation is communication. Let your swap hostess know if you are having a problem. Chances are, she will be able to help you work something out.

Swapper has not responded to thread with updates or to hostess in PMs?
A- If a hostess has not had a swapper check in by deadline with updates and does not respond to PMs within the deadline given, your spot will be angeled by the hostess. COMMUNICATION is of utmost importance for the swaps to run smoothly!

I have an idea for a swap. Where do I post it?

A – New ideas are always welcome! First, check the Swap Calendar to see if there is a similar swap scheduled to take place. If not, post an interest thread on the main Swap calendar. This will allow us to make sure the calendar doesn’t get overwhelmed with numerous swaps going all at once.

The Swap Calendar for 2010 can be found here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2342812
The swap calendar for 2011 can be found here (when available probably mid-November 2010)

Are hostess gifts customary for a swap?
A – Absolutely not – they are totally optional! They are welcome and appreciated but never expected. Please don’t feel as though this is something you have to do.


I’ve swapped and hosted swaps on other boards. How do I host a swap here?
A – We like to get to know swappers before they become a hostess. As such, we prefer that new posters complete three swaps on time and according to guidelines before hostessing their first swap. After the completion of the required swaps (3), post on the Swap Calendar thread that you are interested in hosting and you will receive additional instructions. Each first time hostess will work with a hostess mentor on their first swap. This person is an experienced hostess who will help “coach” the new hostess through their duties and act as back up as needed. After the first successful swap is completed, you are welcome to host any future swaps that will fit on the calendar.

I don’t want to participate in three swaps before I host one. Can’t I just host a swap now?
You are free to post a swap at any time. The issue is that most swappers on our board won’t sign up for a swap hosted by someone they don’t know or who didn’t follow the above process. We do this to protect our significant investments of time, money and creativity.

A final message from Webmaster Alex on swapping on the DIS Boards. See the word “swap” where he has written exchange.
Originally Posted by webmasterAlex
I thought I would give everyone a refresher on the DIS exchange rules.
The DIS boards will not, under any circumstances, become involved in disputes over exchanges. All exchanges are at your own risk.
We specifically will not allow threads attacking anyone or attempting to shame someone who did not follow through on an exchange. That must be kept to private message or email.

I still don’t understand how all of this works. What do I do?

A – If you’ve read this far and you still have questions, please post a thread on the main Swap board and someone will answer. Remember, we were all new once and we recall how it felt so we are all happy to help a newbie along. It will be no time at all before you are swapping away. Just be prepared ‘cause it’s addictive!!!
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