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Topic: The idea of swapping kind of scares me  (Read 1543 times)
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« on: January 15, 2009 03:20:09 PM »

Well, I'm not really all that new to craftster, but I've never posted or anything.
I've gone over the swap rules and I think it'd be pree fun.
But the idea of a swap scares the bajeebers out of me! Embarrassed
Like is the shipping expensive?
How trustworthy is it to give my address to some decievingly annonymous organizer?
And for people who are ish at most things (like sewing, knitting, and sculpey) Do you have to be some brilliant artist like some I see here?
Oh, and how willing are people to trade with 14 year olds?Lol
Maybe I should just stay away from swapping for now....
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2009 06:47:53 PM »

Like is the shipping expensive?

Depends on what you're shipping to where. I sent an OTT swap item within Australia = no more than AU$5 shipping. I sent a 2kg package to the US via expedited delivery coz I was running late = AU$100+ for shipping.

Stick to partners within your own country only, and try to aim for the smaller-sized swaps. Like a book mark swap or the OTT (one tiny thing) or the pincushion swap.

How trustworthy is it to give my address to some decievingly annonymous organizer?

I can't answer that for you. I have no problem, because most of the people who organise my swaps live on the other side of the world. If they wanted to stalk me or rob my house or steal my identity, it wouldn't really be worth their time. All they're getting is my 'name' and address - not any of my personal numbers... they're not even getting my personal email address, I give them my internet email.

In addition, you can always have your parcel sent to your parent's workplace, or to a PO Box number if you have one.

As an organiser, all I can say is that I couldn't give a rat's arse about what your address is. Considering that Craftster logs IP addresses and such, stealing enough addresses via a swap is not the smartest criminal move. 'sides - what personal details would you be giving to a swap organiser that you wouldn't also be giving to a seller on eBay or Etsy??

And for people who are ish at most things (like sewing, knitting, and sculpey) Do you have to be some brilliant artist like some I see here?

Another toughie. I don't consider myself a brilliant artist - but at the very least I like to send out something that's well made. If you're beset with doubt about your own skill level and its suitability for swaps, this is my suggestion:

1) You'll need to make up another 15 or so posts before you can qualify to take part in a swap. USE THOSE POSTS to post pictures and photos of the things you've already made. A good organiser will stalk each swap participant and try to match for skill level as well as the other things. When your work is shared on Craftster, that allows us to see what sort of ability level you're at.

2) Do you have one particular thing you do better than the other stuff? I'm a so-so knitter and crocheter, a bog-standard bookbinder, absolutely crap painter, but I'm getting better and better and better at making bags. 9 times out of 10, any swap partner of mine is going to get a sewn item from me, because sewing is my 'thing', and it's perfectly suited for how I do swaps. The more I work on my sewing, the more confident I become that it's something that a partner of mine will desire and yearn for. Pick your one thing, and practice at it to build up your confidence level.

3) When you do join a swap, tell the organiser of your concerns. And talk it out with your partner as well.

Oh, and how willing are people to trade with 14 year olds?

I'd give it a go. It'd be like crafting for my cousin. And I've organised swaps before with high schoolers in them. But it's a little nerve-wracking from a partner/organiser perspective because I imagine we come from the assumption that as a 14 year old you have no transport, no time during business hours to get to a post office, nor independent income with which to pay for supplies or shipping. It would then be incumbent upon you to prove and demonstrate that you CAN overcome these hindrances - say by letting the organiser and your partner know that you do have the supplies, and that you can get to the post office and pay the postage.

My biggest and best suggestion for you would be to become more active on Craftster. Post more, discuss more, be a part of the community - it will make you feel more comfortable with the idea of swapping, whenever you choose to join in.

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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2009 12:04:27 PM »

That's really good advice, Kitten Wrangler. I would like to add that because of your age, roflmaool, you really need to talk this over with your parent(s). Because you will need transportation to the PO to ship out if you do decide to swap, it's very important that they are supportive of you swapping. Have them look over the swap signups and some of the galleries. Discuss whether they'd feel safer if you had packages sent to a PO box or to their work address instead of to your home. Above all, make sure that you have their full permission before jumping in.

Meanwhile, as Kitten Wrangler suggested, start posting some projects!  Smiley

« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2009 04:08:28 PM »

I totally know how you feel. I was terrified of joining a swap, but I just joined the Twilight Swap Round 6, and now I am psyched. As for talent, I am only moderately good at some things(sewing, stenciling, screenprinting, etc...) and I can't draw or paint at all. But I think it all comes down to creativity, for instance, even though my talent is minimal when compared to most people on Craftster, I have come up with some great ideas for the swap that my little sister is threatening to steal.
As for the age, pick a swap that involves something teenagers might be interested in. If your a fanpire, join the twilight swap; if you like Tim Burton, I know that there is a Coraline swap being organized. Basically, just find something you can have fun with.

Hope I was able to help!

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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2009 04:31:06 PM »

I'm nervous too.  I'm bursting with creativity but some of my technical skills... are still being polished, let's say.  And what if my partner doesn't like it?  I'm new, too, so will I drive everyone up the wall with my endless newbie swapper questions?  And my digital camera is pretty old and doesn't take great pictures, either.  So if I take pictures of my own projects, they'll be all fuzzy.  But it's worth a try!  Right?

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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2009 04:31:06 AM »

I'll tell you that I'm seriously old, and my partner in the last OTT was 17.  She honestly sent me one of the best and most thoughtful things I've ever received in a swap.

Cool!  I made the Best of 2009 twice!   Check 'em out! 

Yo-Yo Dress of Doom http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=299010.0

Smart Santa Hat http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=330595.0
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2009 04:36:52 AM »

I love swapping and can totally understand your anxiety..but really we are all crafters and at least for me I dont really judge how something is made or what your age is..

as previously suggested I'd ask your parents if you can start swapping then after you have met the requirements(time and amount of posts) go ahead and sign up for a small swap..

I do think some have age requirements but MOST do not..

be sure to communicate TONS to your partner as that can give you a better idea on what you can make for them..

good luck..

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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009 07:46:51 AM »

I've belonged to Craftster for a bit over a year now, and I just now joined my first swap. The idea of making things for someone else who may have way fancier skills scares me too.    Undecided

Another thing that worries me is, as I've been looking through random people's swap feedback on their profiles, seeing things like "sent twice; package lost" over and over again. Do things get lost that often? Should I be worried about it?

This question might warrant starting another topic, but I figure as long as people are addressing concerns, this can be lumped in.
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009 08:01:35 AM »

Don't worry, I'm scared too (and I'm not 14 anymore!). I'm scared my crafting skills aren't good enough to other swappers', I'm scared nobody will want to swap with me since I don't live in the US, I'm scared my package gets lost... But I've already taken part to a few (non-crafster) swaps and I know things mostly go well. I've never been disappointed by what I've received and I hope I haven't disappointed anybody. Just put your heart in whatever you make for your partner, ask them questions about their likes and dislikes and I'm sure there will be no problems!
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009 09:19:38 AM »

One thing I've noticed is that a lot of you who are nervous only have a few posts - it's really helpful to get yourself out there and establish a presence before you start your first swap (obviously it's not required, but definitely helpful). This is in part because communication is really key with swapping, and spending a lot of time looking at other swaps can give you a good idea of what to expect from the swap experience.

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