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Topic: Good Swapper Woes  (Read 2641 times)
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poyupop
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« on: February 16, 2009 11:14:59 PM »

I have been in several swaps for a little over a year now. My first experience was absolutely wonderful, I had a great partner that held my hand the whole way. I immediately went for another swap... same thing happened. I couldn't have asked for a better partner.

Sometime in the middle/later in the year (08') the swap experience began to dry out for me. The partners I was paired up with were not so great. The communication and the packages started to get poorer quality. No matter how much I tried to pry them out of their shell, they were not going to budge.

I had some good partners in between bad partners... so I prayed the next one would get better. It is slowly getting better much better than several swaps ago. (not saying which one) When I say bad partners... I think of partners who do not communicate, send late and do not actually spend time or thought into their crafts they send you. I have yet to experience a flaker... to which I am very fortunate.

So I asked a partner recently why she has been so poor with communicating... she said that for the last few partners that she has had, have been bad experiences and her expectations are low. So she has been worried that I too was going to be another let down. She isn't the only one that feels that way... my friends who swap feel the same way as she does. I have the same worries as they all do.

I am sure that this has been a topic that has been discussed many times over. I am hoping on finding a renewed confidence in good swappers. We are the swappers who do not ask much, some of us are quite chatty and others try not to bother too much. Even though some of our partners do not follow all the rules/guidelines of the swap, we honestly fear that if we complain, we may not get anything back. Maybe this is my worry, I just can't help it. I love swapping, and I want great partners again. The same ones that I can chat with, and get to know and look forward to their packages. I miss that... no more worries, just pleasant experiences.

Am I selfish in wanting better experiences? Are there more people who want the same? Am I alone in this?
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Im Sew Silly
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009 07:09:15 AM »

no you are not alone. I enjoy a chatty swap partner as well. Actually, the more talkative my partner is, the more I enjoy the swap as well as feel better that I will not be flaked upon. I am also usually the one who sends the first hello and tries to keep the flow of communication going...and its irritating when communication becomes like work rather than an enjoyable and friendly effort between partners.

I dont know if its a money issue that causes things to happen, or life in general gets in the way, or some lose interest along the way during the swap? I know there is life outside of Craftster..lol,,although I am quite addicted to it myself and am on here daily...um, several times haha.

Here is hoping that things will look up soon and swaps will start going much better for all who have run into some issues.... & remember there are still some awsome swappers out there  Wink.
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009 08:10:50 AM »

I know there is life outside of Craftster..

There is? Shocked Grin

Maybe the people you got paired with are just a little shy or don't know what to type - I on the other hand can go a little crazy with PM's and may annoy my partners Roll Eyes I've only completed like .. 3 swaps so far and I've been really lucky as all my partners are really nice chatty people who spoil me rotten Cheesy I hope things look up for you soon Smiley
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zatanna
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009 09:00:50 AM »

Just to give some alternate perspective on part of your concern...

I think some people just are not chatty, not swapping for a social experience, or are maybe just shy. And that is perfectly legitimate...differ ent people get different things from swapping and I don't think that either way is the 'right' way. They may take attempts to 'pry them out of their shell' as a negative in their swap experience.  Cheesy That's why I think it's nice when organizers have a question about chattiness levels in the questionnaire, so people can be matched with partners that suit their preferences/needs. Most swaps have a section where you can write misc. things...maybe it would work for you to mention in that section that you would really enjoy having a partner that likes to chat? Alternately, have you tried any of the 'make a friend' or 'invite your partner' swaps? I would assume those swappers have chatting as a high swap interest for them.

I know for me, I just have a hard time communicating on a personal level with people, as I am kinda of a closed off type, and this is especially true when it comes to communicating with women. I have been attempting to be more open when swapping, but it's not an easy thing by far!

Side note: I am talking here about people that are not chatty, not people that aren't having adequate communication as required for swapping. There is never an excuse for that whether you are pming 100 personal chats a day or 0!
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poyupop
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009 10:30:31 AM »

Thank you zatanna for your perspective! It is very helpful, and I will definitely concider that next time I join a swap.

Although I am interested in a chatty partner... I am willing to take a partner to which isn't quite as chatty. However the expectations are still the same. A hello, all is well, my progress level is here. My not so chatty partners haven't been good at that.

You are right though, requesting a chatty partner is definitely up my alley! Once again thank you on your perspective.

BTW as a female... I don't always share the same interests, however I meet everyone on the same crafting fun. Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009 10:37:22 AM »

I'm sort of inbetween. At the beginning of a swap, I'm more than willing (and able Cheesy ) to pm partners to get info (what size of x, do you like this style, how about this design). After that, I'm less likely to start a PM conversation that's basically 'status updates' or 'hi, how's your day going?' I do answer PMs and I'll post updates on the swap thread. I don't know if that's what you'd consider chatty or not  Huh

I actually get a little nervous when I get PMs (almost) daily saying nothing more than 'I worked on your project for an hour today!' or tells me about the life-crisis-of-the-day because that's the kind of PMs I got from one partner who flaked, and from other partner who came really close to flaking.

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MandyLikesPie
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009 02:04:27 PM »

I wonder, too, if a person's excitement level about a swap influences how much/frequently she communicates. When I first started swapping I was really chatty because the whole experience was new and exciting, and I got really into the swap. I've done quite a few now and, sad as it might sound, I still enjoy swapping but I don't get excited about it anymore because it's become routine. I've found that my communication is still good when it comes to keeping in touch about progress and deadlines, but I just don't have much motivation to chat with my partner because I'm busy with other things. For me, swapping has become less about the social experience and more about the crafting.

That said, I totally agree that some level of communication is necessary for a good swap experience. In one swap I had to PM my partner twice to see if she'd even received the package; her entire response was "it's great, thanks"; and I had to post photos myself of what I sent. That made me feel truly crappy and like I wasted my time.

Fortunately my good swap experiences far outweigh the bad, and I hope that's the case for most others too. 
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poyupop
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009 05:54:51 PM »

That said, I totally agree that some level of communication is necessary for a good swap experience. In one swap I had to PM my partner twice to see if she'd even received the package; her entire response was "it's great, thanks"; and I had to post photos myself of what I sent. That made me feel truly crappy and like I wasted my time.

Fortunately my good swap experiences far outweigh the bad, and I hope that's the case for most others too. 

Your example is a lot like what I have been having. Honestly, my experiences are not all that bad... the level of communication is necessary to have a good experience. This is what I have been missing... as a swapper I am not expecting a PM every day... 1-2 times a week is preferable, but I will stick with one.


I'm sort of inbetween. At the beginning of a swap, I'm more than willing (and able Cheesy ) to pm partners to get info (what size of x, do you like this style, how about this design). After that, I'm less likely to start a PM conversation that's basically 'status updates' or 'hi, how's your day going?' I do answer PMs and I'll post updates on the swap thread. I don't know if that's what you'd consider chatty or not  Huh

I actually get a little nervous when I get PMs (almost) daily saying nothing more than 'I worked on your project for an hour today!' or tells me about the life-crisis-of-the-day because that's the kind of PMs I got from one partner who flaked, and from other partner who came really close to flaking.

The status updates are great... as well as a "Hi". My main concern is the lack of both... I do the same thing in the beginning... and then I start crafting... after that... Status updates, and or hi, I'm still moving. These are simple requests... I would love to have someone who is chatty... (although I am sorry to hear about your experience with someone chatty) but I also would like someone who is capable of typing a hello.

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Kitten Wrangler
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2009 07:03:16 PM »

I'm with Mandylikespie. Swapping for me is now more about the craft rather than the socialising.

My horrid confession is that I bloody hate constant 'chatting'. The thought of having to constantly reply to someone just stresses the hell out of me. Even the requirement "You must post once a week in the swap thread" has often been enough to make me decide against participating in many swaps.

And I've often gone completely cold on partners based on little more than what they say while they're trying to be 'chatty' with me:
Them: "Oh! How could you hate Harry Potter??!!!"
Me: *DEATH STARE*
With all the emphasis on communication, I've actually become paranoid that I'm considered 'not a good communicator', because I don't do much beyond what is needed to run the swap.
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2009 04:09:50 AM »

This is all rather random.  but where my head went when I started reading your post.  I think we all have a certain level of woes when it comes to swapping.  For me I am a very self concsious crafter/swapper, even after someone tells me they love what I sent them, I'm almost dead positive they secretly hated it and were just being nice. 

 I'm a chatty rambling nut, the best way I can explain to a partner is the more you talk to me the better and idea I get of you and the better I will be able to make things that are just for you.  It works 50% of the time. But after I feel that I have a good feeling for you I pretty much go silent while I work and don't send another message till I've shipped.

I didn't have the best experience with the make a friend type swaps either.  Kind of hard to make friends with someone who has no desire to talk at all - even when you're asking questions relevant to what you are working on for them (and their answers would directly affect what you would or wouldn't send). 

I thought maybe it was the types of swaps I was joining and decided to give the 'other' style swaps a try.   I have tried the 'sell' type swaps (like the ongoing ones, the offer what you have, and the sweat shop) but really thus far, cannot say that I would do any of those types again.  Lessons learned however and I know that while the people that do them regularly are very chatty with eachother, being the newbie in those swaps feels very isolating. 

And typically when I ship a package out I have a sense of pride and accomplishment, I haven't experienced that feeling with these types of swaps. And talk about minimal partner communication Smiley  I looked over the wish list swap a few times too and see where people will claim someone for $2 of supplies then have a list of all large complex items.   Hate seeing someone blatantly trying to get something for nothing.

If you're not a chatty person my advice is have a good wist, make notes about the items in it in the section they allow for that, and PM your partner ways to stalk you so that chatty people can make you a great package based off the information you already have out there, rather than you feeling that you have to chat up a storm.  (if sizes and such are the big issue, make yourself a notepad or wordpad document with the information there and laid out so that you can easily copy and paste in your first message to anyone you swap with.  Or post it on your website, or blog, or myspace, or somewhere that someone can find what they need to know about you. 



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