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Topic: Making a Swap US only, with options?  (Read 3751 times)
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Saturn
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« on: January 18, 2010 10:31:53 AM »

Ok so I hosted my first swap and it's something that I might want to host as a re-occurring swap.  Smiley

We had a small circle of participants and all but one of them were U.S. and answered NO to international shipping. So I got stuck with shipping to our one international participant, which is fine, but it is a bit tougher on my budget. I'd rather not ship out of country every time I organize because the vast majority of participants do not want to ship out of the country. I'm worried that I'll get stuck with sending internationally every time I organize.

I think most would agree that we'd rather spend that extra cash on craft supplies and crafting without worrying about the weight of what we're making. So there's always the option to make it U.S. participants only, which I'd like to do. But it makes me feel kinda bad to exclude people.

I had an idea, and wondered if anyone else has done anything similar. What if I made it U.S. only, with the option that if you are out of country you could choose to partner up with another person out of the country beforehand, or someone willing to send international to you before signing up? Then the two of them could sign up already having their partner and could still participate in a swap limited to the US? I really hope that makes sense. I guess another way to say that is: International swappers must choose their partner before signing up? That way it's not completely limited, and maybe they can find each other through the swap thread and sign up together.

Any thoughts?  Huh
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010 02:03:25 PM »

I've never had an issue having people say they'd send internationally, but I can see that sometimes it could be a problem.
You could specify in signups that if there's no one who will volunteer to send internationally, that international people may have to be dropped from the swap. One thing I might do if you find you have an international sender and no one has volunteered to ship out of the states is post on the signup thread and ask if anyone would volunteer to send to them. Often if people know that someone may get excluded, they will step up and agree to ship internationally.

I think your way could work, but it might take a little of the fun out of it for the non-US swappers.
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010 01:55:21 PM »

I know as a Uk swapper (who happily ships internationally), I sometimes see posts in international swaps begging for someone to join from the Uk or another specific country to be matched up with a person from that country who can't ship internationally. I then am  reluctant to join that swap, as I don't want to be matched with someone incompatable purely because of making shipping easier or cheaper.
I want to be in a swap where I am matched with someone whose questionnaire will interest and challenge me, not by default alway matched with my countrymates.

So while I sympathise with those unable to post abroad, I don't want to feel like others are penalised because of their needs.
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010 07:41:15 PM »

I agree with rackycoo, usually someone doesn't mind doing it, but they just answer 'no' automatically.  I love to ship internationally, even though it's pricier - my partners always send me extra goodies and I do that same for them.

I suppose you could also say that if you join it is with the understanding that you may have to ship internationally.  Ofcourse that may deter some swappers too.

I've never really had this issue in a swap either.
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2010 10:11:34 PM »

It's really random, I had two or three swaps in a row where 95% of the people said no to shipping internationally, but one I'm running now everyone but one said yes.

Oh wait, maybe not so random, I just realized the swap where everyone said yes was really light items (crocheted motifs) but the other swaps were more traditional, heavier things to ship.

I occasionally run North America only swaps to make them finish up more quickly and save on headaches of shipping internationally. But then the next round of it is open to everyone. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010 07:36:47 PM »

Pairing "international" partners all the time isn't fair either. I was a regular swap participant on another site, and I got stuck posting to Australia all the time! VERY expensive. I live a 1/2 hour from Buffalo! Maybe restricting by continent would be more appropriate.
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2010 12:42:44 PM »

I usually ask for a partner within europe if that's possible. It's cheaper for me that way and if I'm lucky the package gets there quicker (but that depends very much on the land it's going to). But I'll take any partner... I know most are in the US and a good match is more important than postage.
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2010 05:38:44 AM »

Pairing "international" partners all the time isn't fair either. I was a regular swap participant on another site, and I got stuck posting to Australia all the time! VERY expensive. I live a 1/2 hour from Buffalo! Maybe restricting by continent would be more appropriate.

Except if you're Australian. Every other country is overseas here.
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2010 08:06:33 AM »

I agree with Annchen - I prefer a good match over where I ship.  I don't really care where I ship to in Europe, it always seems to be about the same cost and time.  I've sent to a bunch of different countries and it's always fun!
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jaders
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2010 11:44:26 AM »

As a Canadian, I have some issues with US-only swaps.  I'm on the westcoast (in BC) and for me to ship to Ontario (where a vast majority of Craftster Canadians are) it is more expensive for me than for me to ship to most anywhere in the USA.  In fact, in my last swap, I sent two packages of about the same size and weight, one to Ottawa and one to Philadelphia, and the one to Ottawa cost about $5 more to ship.

I would also appreciate being paired up with someone that is a good match over than just by geography.  My standard answer to "would you be willing to ship internationally?" is "yes, but i would prefer to stick to north america.  however, if you have no one else willing to ship out of continent, i would be more than happy to pay a little extra in shipping!"
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