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Topic: What can organizers do about lousy swap items/disappointed swappers?  (Read 13054 times)
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miss_katonic
« on: June 16, 2006 03:51:14 AM »

I know swap ettiquete is a hot topic.  I was wondering what options swap organizers have to deal with this.  In the first swap I organized I had two people who were moderately unhappy about the quality of the items received.  In both cases the swappers decided to not push the issue and chalk it up as a swap learning experience.  I still feel kind of bad, I don't know if I should have done any thing more.  The one case especially, the offending swapper was good in all other aspects of the swap, so she might have tried but is just a beginner crafter.

So my 2 questions:

Do alot of organizers here these kind of complaints?

What can an organizer do about it? Should something be left in the comment section of the swap feedback?
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PinkyK
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2006 04:26:49 AM »

Was the issue that they are experienced crafters and received from beginning crafters or was it that the stuff they received was obviously just thrown together?  I think we should proceed with caution when dealing with beginning crafters but if you know someone really put zero effort into something then send them a PM.  For example, I have embroidery posted all over here and if I sent a swap partner a REALLY bad embroidery piece, something that is just six threads sewn on a piece of cloth that sort of makes a star, then that would be a problem.

This also comes down to communication.   A couple of swaps ago, I attempted to make these goth headbands.  What a disaster! So I explained the problem to my partner AND the organizer and sent a "headband salvage and repair kit" just in case my partner could fix them.  If not, she would have a bunch of fun trims to work with. I also made an extra jewelry piece to make up for it. So my partner knew that at least one item was going to be wonky when she received it and she also knew that I was going to include an extra item to compensate for the lack of quality. This example is on page three of this thread:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=85009.20
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2006 07:11:24 AM »

One thing that I try to do as an organizer is match up skill levels, ages, and swap experience. This isn't always easy, especially if you have newbies swapping, but so far it seems to have worked out fairly well. I try to always pair my newbies together. It takes a little of the pressure off of them, and they can really show their stuff for the first time.

As far as receiving disappointing items, it's probably going to happen to everyone eventually. I think the best one can do in that situation is accept it, and go ahead and post a picture in the gallery. It's always obvious if someone did not take the time to send out a quality item, no matter what their skill level. There's a huge difference in trying and missing the mark, and just throwing something together. People can tell.

In a perfect swapping world, everyone would do their best to send out a package that not only are they proud of, but that they would be happy to receive. I think PinkyK's solution of how she dealt with the package she wasn't sure of is ideal.
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CosmicCranberry
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2006 07:26:05 AM »

i absolutely HATE when a swap partner just goes out and buys storebougth items instead of crafting. It's called a craft swap, not a "go out and buy stuff and put no thought into it" swap. I was in the LOve Jesus swap (round 1), and I spent a lot of time and money making these statues for her and a bunch of other stuff, i put a lot of thought into it, and all she does is send a bunch of storebought stuff....then when I posted them she had the nerve to get mad at me. she said I "sounded like I didnt like them". So now, when I organize, I require that at least one of the items be totally handmade.......caus e it is only fair.
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2006 07:35:30 AM »

I totally agree with you on the storebought issue. You would think that in a crafting forum it would be understood that a swap involves hand crafted items, but I guess it does need to be spelled out. The only exception would be in certain swaps (fabric or supply swaps, or swaps that specifically say they are for purchased items.)
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2006 07:36:32 AM »

If there is more than one person who got poor quality items, there can always be a personal swap option to get something that you really wanted or at least make up for what was sent to you. I happen to be doing this currently with an organizer- we both experienced the same let down, and are making up for it. I was actually surprised to hear she experienced the same dissappointment as I did...there must be some crafters with nerve to send something of poor quality to the organizer of all people! I think we did the right thing by keeping it to ourselves and not contacting our partners about what they did/did not do, etc.

I have read other threads on this topic a long time ago, and was sad to hear how many people have experienced the same thing, yet was hoping it never happaned to me. But now that it has, I can understand better where others are coming from.

Aside from one bad swap, all of the others that I have participated in have been fantastic and its so much fun creating for others. Its a feeling of satisfaction that can't be found anywhere else but here!
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2006 07:51:15 AM »

I actually had kind of the opposite experience-- in one swap, I was partnered with the organizer, and I really put a lot of effort into the crafts that I made.  However, I felt like she didn't in return.  One item was broken, another didn't fit, and the other just wasn't, well, done well.  I was really disappointed, but I didn't say anything because I really didn't know what to say.  Maybe she had put more effort into it than I realized-- I just felt horrible saying anything.

I was fortunate to be in another swap soon after where I was again partnered with the organizer, but this time she was beyond amazing!  I felt like that kind of restored my faith in things a bit. 
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2006 08:08:52 AM »

I just figure there is a certain amount of risk involved in the swap process.  There is always a chance you're going to receive things that aren't as nice as you sent or aren't your style.  It is just part of the risk.  I believe karma will get the bad swappers in the end. 

I also think we all have a bit of swap anxiety, you know we all think our stuff isn't good enough or could be better....etc.  I just try to acknowledge my swap anxiety and tend to over compensate for it. Which is another issue entirely! When your partner sends too much and you feel like you have cheated them but you followed the rules with the number and size of items. That has never happened to me but I fear I may have done that to my swap partners. I tend to spoil them. I just like crafting for people. It's fun!
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2006 12:14:35 PM »

i have been swapping for a long time now...and i kind of just feel like that is a risk you take when you choose participate in something like this...

i have recieved my share of not so well made crafts but i always feel like they atleast tried to send me something, rather than flaking on me.  i always just assume that they may be beginner crafters and i am happy to be on the recieving end of that learning process!  swapping is totally a positive experience but my grandpa would have said to me.....
                                  "you win some and lose you lose some---but isnt it fun to take that chance"!
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« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2006 12:22:03 PM »

True-- I can honestly say my positive swapping experiences have far outweighed the negative!  (Which would help to explain the addiction! Cheesy)

Taloola, your avatar is hilarious
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