It seems to be universal- on two of the three sites, whoever has less in the deal, ships first. I am a seasoned swapper (going on four years), with over 129 feedbacks total on the three main swap sites (rehashclothes/swapstyle/dignswap), so I’ve got quite a few swaps in my history. This is after all, earned, with each and every swap- this score demonstrates the swapper’s trustworthiness. I actually have more than the true number (129) but was “swap-lifted” (term meaning, one person got the swap, and other being stiffed in the deal) a few times, so obviously the offending person did not leave me feedback.
What is the reason for this simple rule? To avoid being swap-lifted. The concept is similar to e-bay’s feedback rating, although, in recent years, the system has changed (one side cannot leave negative feedback). My husband always looks at the seller’s rating (100% is excellent) to see if he wants to bother bidding on an item. If the person’s number is iffy, he doesn’t bother. It’s the same with the feedback rating on swapping. I try not to deal with people with negative feedback. If someone is an alleged swapper (forums will out swaplifters), I don’t even go into negotiations. I politely decline.
Some swappers out there have obvious delusions of grandeur- she refuses to send out items first (breaking the first rule in swapping); it states so on her profile. I steer clear of people with outlandish demands. I don’t want to deal with a person who is a pain in the butt (comes of as rude on her profile) already, even before going into negotiations. Who needs that BS? Sorry, next! There are so many other nice swappers out there BTW.
Sometimes, things happen, I understand, that there will be a delay in sending (job/school/kids/illness), but if the swapper sends me a private message to let me know what’s going on, I will be ok with it. That’s called “good communication.” Sometimes, an item is not accurately described on the listing/posting. One time I got a sweater with so much pilling (a clothes shaver is needed), I didn’t even both trying it on. I ended up donating it. I noted that in my records book, and was weary in closing another deal with this person. This person has now lost credibility.
To summarize, please exercise caution and common sense, in dealing with swappers out there. If you practice the first rule, at least, you have some sort of protection from the awful reality, swaplifting. Also, if you want additional protection, use delivery confirmation when you use the US Postal Service. It costs an extra 75 cents in most cases, but at least, it’s more peace of mind. If you set up an account online, the DC is free- neat huh? You will need a printer to print out the label. I like using it (DC) for extra large swaps or for designer bags. In addition, make use of the forums (read it, if you’ve got some time); you should be able to get a feel for who the shady people are (you’ll see their names more than once).