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The "Etiquette of Swapping"......

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

There is no question about it...I LOVE SWAPS!.....I love being paired with a partner, putting together a lovely box specifically for her & sending it off!......and then of course, it is equally wonderful to be on the receiving end......hearing the UPS man screech on his brakes, run up the walk & hand me a much anticipated "swap box"!
Feeling this way, a few months ago I decided to begin my own series of "Very Vintage" swaps. The "Very Vintage Halloween Swap" was first, which was followed by the "Very Vintage Christmas Swap"..... & now we are looking forward to the "Very Vintage Valentine Swap" as well. I so enjoy hosting these & will certainly continue to do so,..... as long as I have interested ladies who wish to participate!.....After all,... "you all" make it possible! :)
Since beginning the swaps, I have met some of the nicest women ever!....Ladies who have become & will continue to be dear friends!......With well over a 100+ ladies joining me in the last two swaps, I am overwhelmed with the thoughtfulness & kindness you have shown me & your partners! I cannot "thank you " all enough!.....You all make "hostessing" such a pleasure!
With this said, there is another "point" to this post.... one that I am extremely serious about......When I announce a swap, I am expecting you to "follow through". I am trusting you....I am assuming that you would not be signing up unless you wish to participate thoroughly. I also am a reasonable women....realizing that sometimes "life happens"....forcing you to be need a bit more time or in some cases completely drop out of the swap. I understand this. And I have asked repeatedly, if you find yourself in this circumstance, than to PLEASE let me or your partner know immediately.
This is where I will admit,.... I am getting very upset! In the last days of my most recent swap...the "Very Vintage Christmas Swap"...I have been getting e-mails from wonderful ladies who have done what they were supposed to...putting together lovely boxes for their partners, sending them off & NEVER HEARING A WORD & NEVER RECEIVING A SWAP BOX BACK!!!! It would be an understatement for me to say I am MAD!....I'm not mad,... I am FURIOUS! ...In this economy, when money is tight, & at this time of year when we are all busy, I think this behavior is especially DEPLORABLE!!!...It's Christmas time for heaven's sake!!!!???....I am hearing stories of of ladies who sent their boxes off (with confirmation slips),.... know their partner has received it,... e-mailed several times with absolutely NO RESPONSE...& all the while their partner continues to post on her blog!!???....The "nerve"!!!?...To me this is incredibly disrespectful & quite simply "dishonest"!......It also seems to be happening much more to ladies who do not have blogs!....Blog or not, your partner deserves respect!.....This "blogging community" we all love is made up of wonderful people, but a few of you are really making us all look bad! So shape up! Be responsible!
I will get off my "soapbox" now....& I regret having to say this,.... however, I must.....With every e-mail of a lady being "stood up", I politely try & " get ahold of/ e-mail" the partner in question. I also leave comments on their blog. Sometimes, I get a response back & everything turns out just fine (which I appreciate!) .....But most of the time I never hear from the person????....They just disappear, leaving their responsible partner with box & no explanation....I am just letting you all know I will simply not put up with this in my swaps!...Please let me know if this is happening to you!....I am keeping a "list", ...yes a list of ladies who are NOT following through & are leaving their partners "stranded", I have that list right next to my computer. I know who you are!....Unless you get ahold of me immediately, with a good will NO LONGER BE WELCOME in any of my future swaps!!!!!.....In my frustration, I have even considered posting names, but will try & be a "lady" & refrain from that...but please don't push me!......In closing,... Iwill continue hosting swaps that I hope you all will enjoy!.....All I ask is to please communicate with me & your partner,.... & be honest. I want my swaps to be enjoyable for everyone.....I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas!.....& hope to see you all in my "Very Vintage Valentine Swap"!!!........Your friend, Heidi XO

P.S. For your information....I too seem to have been left stranded?...can you imagine "standing up the hostess"????? :)


mysteryhistorymom December 17, 2008 at 8:41 AM  

Heidi- This happened to me on the last swap I hosted, too! It is infuriating!!! It makes me wonder if I will host another swap... So sad. I'm glad you said something, Sweetie, as people need to be held accountable. It makes you want to hop on a plane and go knock on the "offenders" door! lol!

Have a great day! Lori

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage December 17, 2008 at 9:02 AM  

I have never participated in a swap, but I certainly agree that people should follow through! Kudos to you for speaking out about it!


mommyholly December 17, 2008 at 9:30 AM  

Right on, sista!!!!!!!!!!! Those no-senders are a real pain in the you-know-what, grr!!!!

Polka Dot Moon December 17, 2008 at 9:47 AM  

Thanks for posting this topic!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest December 17, 2008 at 10:52 AM  

Oh Heidi, I am so sorry this is happening. I know it happened on another vintage swap I was a part of too (not to me)but the hostess was so upset. I don't see how anyone can do that in good conscious....I mean accept someone's thoughtful package and never even acknowledge it. I say Publish the names!!

Kathy December 17, 2008 at 10:56 AM  

I'm so glad you posted about this, Heidi! I posted similarly today myself! I was fortunate enough to be matched with a wonderful swap partner and I had a great experience but I know one of the ladies who has been stood up. I know that the package my friend sent her partner was lovely and she has not heard even a word of thanks from her ungrateful partner. I am frankly shocked that a grown woman would commit - no - VOLUNTEER to join in a swap and not follow through. I would have to be in the middle of a dire emergency to leave someone standing like that. In fact, I WAS in an urgent situation for much of November and still managed to get my package off! People need to think carefully before they casually sign up. As you said, Heidi, everyone understands a true emergency.

I really appreciate your hard work in organizing the Christmas swap, Heidi. I'm sure it's a pain to get all those names matched and then make the necessary contacts. You did a great job and I would be happy to participate in any of your swaps again.
Merry Christmas!

Preppy Mama December 17, 2008 at 12:07 PM  

Heidi- I love swaps and I have considered not joining anymore simply because of "flakers". I hosted a swap in the fall and it was a nightmare. Some people are so rude and inconsiderate and it infuriated me to the point where I wanted to post names, but didn't either.
Thanks for posting about this.

linda December 17, 2008 at 12:09 PM  

This was a much need post and you did a great job with it.

I haven't participated in your swaps in particular but recently joined in on an ornament swap. The rules were to spend $20 total, shipping and all. Long story short, I spent all day looking for just the right vintage looking ornament and found one at a craft fair...beautiful! Let's just say that I know mine came straight from the dollar store. Talk about mad. Not only should a person participate if they've signed up but they should give some thought to the gift as well...making it fun for everyone.

countrygirl3031 December 17, 2008 at 12:11 PM  

Hi Heidi ~ thanks for posting about this. I am still waiting for a box from a swap that I was involved with this past fall. I've emailed her...she said it got lost and that she was sending another package. Never got that one either. I left her a message on her blog and she deleted it. It is very sad that people act like this. I love swapping very much and hope this kind of thing doesn't continue!


countrygirl3031 December 17, 2008 at 12:12 PM  

Actually, I just went to her page and she was involved in your Vintage Christmas swap. I really hope she doesn't want to join your Valentine Swap!!!


Cathy December 17, 2008 at 12:36 PM  

I just want to thank you for putting together the Christmas swap!! So far I have had great experiences with all of the swaps that I have participated in. It is unfortunate that some people would not follow through. Anyway...I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your swap and had a good experience with it!

Anonymous,  December 17, 2008 at 12:51 PM  

hi heidi,

i just happened upon your blog via swapdex & saw this post. i totally feel & know your pain. i hosted a large swap last christmas & had very similar things happen too. i ranted here in this old post:

you are not alone & good for you to speak out because swap etiquette cannot be stressed enought!

good luck with your swaps!

:) mary ann

ceekay December 17, 2008 at 1:41 PM  

Well, what is a girl to say? Good for you and Kathy for stating these points. I agree whole heartedly.

Malissa December 17, 2008 at 2:01 PM  

I was involoved in my very first swap (ATC's) and made a really great card, included a sweet treat and wrapped both little items so that it looked fun. I got an e-mail from my partner saying she recieved hers and mine was on the way, but that was over 2 weeks ago. She continues to post on her blog and seems to be reputable(sells on etsy and various other sites), but still nothing. She didn't even put a picture up of what she recieved on her blog, which is not required I know, but still most people seem to do it. I haven't contacted the hostess yet because I'm not sure what to do since she said she sent it. Any advice for a first timer?

Trish December 17, 2008 at 2:47 PM  


If you need an "emergency swap box" sent somewhere, give me a holler. I'll happily put one together quick and send it out!!


Charlene December 17, 2008 at 3:17 PM  

Shame Shame Shame! That is all I can say. I have never done a swap before & had signed up to do your daughter Holly's swap. I loved it. Heck, I even sent Holly a hostess thank you gift. I can't imagine! So sorry for all that had this happen. And good for you for keeping a list.

Stacey December 17, 2008 at 5:09 PM  

I'm so sorry you've had troubles. This was my first time to participate in a swap. It went great! My swap partner doesn't post often so I felt that it was hard to get to know her. But when the package came from her, we had sent each other very similar items! I considered that a funny success. :)

Patti December 17, 2008 at 5:42 PM  

Heidi! Good for you for posting on this subject! I have participated in just one swap but with no problems and I can't imagine anyone doing that but it must happen. How sad! Your swaps sound great and I applaud you for continuing to hostess them!

Have a great rest of the week!

Jenny S December 17, 2008 at 5:43 PM  

WOW! Standing up the hostess?? THAT is deplorable!! I was in the Red and Aqua Swap and had two partners as one lady signed up at the last minute and did not have a partner. I got a package from her and nothing from my other partner even though she sent me a great thank you email about the package I sent her!!! huh?? Then nothing after that!! If you want her name to add to your list let me know!!

Elizabeth December 17, 2008 at 6:06 PM  

Sometimes I think people don't read what they are signing up for. They think it's a giveaway. But with yours, you always have the survey of interests, so they should "get it".
I'm sorry you were "stood up"!

Mad Red Hare December 17, 2008 at 6:11 PM  

Heidi, you did a great job with the swaps. I appreciate all your effort. Very nicely put on the "etiquette".

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ December 17, 2008 at 7:30 PM  

Heidi I am so sorry to hear you were stood up on your own swap as well as others - that is truly terrible!

I know I joined yours, Holly's, the secret Santa shindig and my own swap as well as 3 ornament swaps. I have not heard from the ornament swappers at all!, but the regular swaps went well though hank goodness. It is frustrating to put your time, talents and efforts into doing something special for someone to be blown off so I understand how you are feeling and hope that is a truly temporary feeling.

No one would blame you if you did post a list of the names!

onlymehere December 17, 2008 at 7:44 PM  

After being left stranded on a "secret sister" I am very leary of swaps. I have wanted to be a part but things like this keep me from joining them. I'm so sorry for those who have been left out. I hope these women do come through and if not, in a reasonable amount of time I would publish their names to protect others who may host swaps. Good luck.

Kass December 17, 2008 at 8:11 PM  

That is DEPLORABLE- and there I was wanting to join in but it wa too late, Who are these losers??

Anonymous,  December 18, 2008 at 4:54 AM  

I totally agree with you. I don't have aa blog yet, I am still trying to figure the whole thing out. I love reading the blogs and the comments left. I would like to join the valentine swap. I am leaving my email address.

Bev December 18, 2008 at 11:54 AM  

Thank you for posting this. I think that you SHOULD list these people as a side bar and update the list if it was a misunderstanding - I would if I had that many people signing up. Real different if there were only 10 swappers - really.

There is a good site that I have come across - SWAP BOT, that people list FLAKERS - here..

It's a start. Communication is the best thing though! And if your a newbie...don't give up, there are some GREAT swappers out there!

Lisa Brown - Vintage Sweet Peas December 18, 2008 at 6:23 PM  

Wow, Heidi....I say post the names! Unacceptable behavior!!!

Heres to Trish!!!!

Cottage Rose December 18, 2008 at 7:42 PM  

Hey Heidi; I am so upset too after reading your post. I can't even imagine doing that to some one. I am having such a great time with your swaps, and I hope you continue with them. I am looking forward to the Valentine swap, I am working on it right after Christmas. lol I love getting to know new friends. I hope it all works out for the ladies who were stood up,,, even you...

Teresa Porter December 18, 2008 at 8:36 PM  

I am glad that you are keeping a list. I have only participated in 2 swaps, and in both cases I have "met" and made the most incredible friends.. in the 1st swap, the hostess was stood up! (JoAnne, the Carter Clan) I couldn't believe it. We should have a list of offenders, on swapdex, or something like that, so that "good" and honest participants don't have to go through this. Ladylike or not, offenders should be called out. So they can't continue to "collect" wonderful gifts from people who "do" have their heart in the right place.

Brenda Seaholm-Wampler December 18, 2008 at 9:57 PM  

So sad. That is just so frustrating. You create with your heart and soul, and then no respect. Swaps can be frustrating in so many different ways. Lack of item, quality of item, lateness, etc.....But, here is hoping the Very Vintage Valentine Swap is a wonderful, "loving" swap!

AwtemNymf December 19, 2008 at 2:32 PM  

I am so with you and back you up 100%. I've been on all sides of a swap! I've been a little late on a couple, but kept in touch with my partners. I've been flaked on with Nothing- no communications whatsoever even thought I emailed them. A couple of swaps actually :O(
So I hear ya! It's getting to the point where I am reluctant to sign up in fear of being paired up with someone who will flake out on me. I really enjoy swaps too.
The last one, a stocking swap- it looks like my partner threw in what was around and had nothing pertaining to the theme. Some of it was dirty. I don't mind re-purposed stuff, but clean it (launder) at least. I was disappointed and threw out the candy that was stale and old. WTH. I didn't send dirty or junk- so therefore- I shouldn't get it back either! As Calamity Kim said once "Swap unto others as you would have Swapped to you". Makes perfect sense!
I hope it doesn't get to the point where swaps are private group swaps or "By invite only" but if it needs to be done- so be it- I understand!
Hugs & Faerie Dust!

Gretchen December 19, 2008 at 6:58 PM  


I'm so sorry this happened to you. I think it is important to let people know about it try to keep the offenders from participating again. You are so sweet to do all that work to set everything up.


GARAGE SALE GAL December 19, 2008 at 9:04 PM  

Hi Heidi,
GOOD FOR YOU and I am SO GLAD you are going to keep a list and I think it would be nice to share that list with other Hostess that have swaps. That should really help! So sorry that you didn't get your swap box.
I also came by to wish you a very
Merry Christmas!!

jayne December 20, 2008 at 5:03 AM  

Hi Heidi
The vintage Christmas swap was my first swap with you and I think you have every right to ban people. My partner was fabulous, I always worry my stuff won't be as good as what I get even though I try to pick nice things, I sent my partner items I got at a craft fair I thought she would like. I am sorry you didn't get your swap,
I too have swapped on another site and never heard if 2 of the 6 people I sent my card to (card swap) ever received them, . Can't wait for the Valentine swap!!

Papertrails by a paper lover December 20, 2008 at 2:17 PM  

I certainly was meant to read this post because I am greatly frustrated at two recent swaps I have joined and received nothing. I have been swapping for over 8 years and I really strive to get things out on time and send nice packages. I won't send junk out because I put together a package I would want to receive. I try and read the person's blog to find interests and match items accordingly. However, I am completely dismayed that ladies have received my packages and one thanked me over a month ago and has yet to send a package because life got busy, and the other never acknowledged I sent it till I sent her an email and told her I knew she received it via delivery confirmation. Which upon she back peddled and said she sent an email to me and that I must not have received it. Then she said she was waiting for me to respond to her email to get items for my package? Huh? That package was supposed to be mailed out in Nov. and you still have not got it ready and it's mid Dec.? It was actually for your daughter's swap and I will not contact her and rat on this person because I know your daughter is a single mom and has her own child to raise. She should not be responsible for rearing another so called adult. I will say people should know what comes around goes around and I am more than willing to post some comments on these women's blogs about their failure to follow through with swaps if I have no word after the first of the new year. I think it's disrespectful and extremely selfish. sorry needed to vent.

dana December 21, 2008 at 6:23 AM  

I know I am late on commenting on this, Heidi, but you are so correct to address this issue. I have only been in one swap--your fabulous Halloween Swap and I was so fortunate to have Vivian of VivLyn Designs to be my partner. Having participated, I think I would have been more than a bit miffed (as a swap partner)if I had been "stiffed" from my partner. Not only is it an expense to gather or make and MAIL the items--it would be so insulting to not #1 get any kind of acknowledgemnet that the person received their gift and #2 that had the nerve to not follow through and send one to their partner. I would be doing a burn, too, if I were you Heidi.
I know I was one who was eager to participate in the Christmas Swap and later, realized I didn't have time to do it correctly--so I did contact you and withdraw. (that was before you had assigned partners). I hated to do that, but you sent a very sweet and understanding message to me--I so appreciated that.
I hope you continue to host your swaps---they serve so many good purposes.

Anonymous,  December 22, 2008 at 7:38 AM  

villeI am so glad you have addressed this issue. I have not received a thank you from two recent partners. One sent my "gifts" wrapped in a good will plastic bag and a dollar store bag. What a disappointment!

Rue December 22, 2008 at 12:05 PM  

Holy Smokes Heidi!!

I posted about the swap today, since my partner finally got hers. It took a while to get there because she's in Canada, but I emailed to let her know and checked to make sure she got it and she did.

I can't believe any one would stand anyone else up! Especially the host!! Well, I hope this gets resolved soon. I would play along this time too, but we'll be in the middle of moving so I can't. Hopefully next time :)

Off to read what else I've missed...

Fleur de Bee December 27, 2008 at 1:15 AM  

OH MY~! I am just in SHOCK someone would stand others up on a Swap, let alone YOU! Are you kidding me? WOW! I have NEVER done this so please when picking my partner for this, set me up with someone with a good track record lol! I will be yours if you please. I love swaps and it is fun to recieve just as much as to give etc...I always send the Hostess a gift too..I think that is proper too! Just saying..

have a better Holiday!

mama December 28, 2008 at 6:22 AM  

I like to swap too i am from france you can see my profil here

Have a nice day !!

Kathleen Grace December 28, 2008 at 11:28 AM  

I think the only way to really end this is to make a central list of deadbeats that bloggers can check whjen setting up swaps. Unfortunately, there will always be people out there who are just in it for what they can get and never intend to actually do theior part and reciprocate. I have actually won several give-aways that never showed up either! Not nice.

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