One of the key ingredients in successful swapping online is communication. It is absolutely essential, before, during, and after a swap. I even included a paragraph regarding “communication” on my profile on http://www.swapstyle.com and http://www.rehashclothes.com. I noticed many swappers did the same too.
Before the swap
The initial contact is (1) expressing interest in swapping with a PM (private message) (ie. I like your________, would you like to swap/see anything you like?) or (2) if you’re on http://www.rehashclothes.com, you could use the “watch” feature- perfect ice breaker (ie.”I’m watching your_______, see something of mine that you like?” When a swap is proposed, you can either accept, decline, or negotiate (on http://www.dignswap.com- it’s called a “bid”, on http://www.swapstyle.com- it’s an offer- click on “respond to this offer”- from there, you can either accept it or decline it with a personal message included as well, on http://www.rehashclothes.com- you have those three options I mentioned- but your items are ‘held’ until the offer is accepted (meaning noone else can place an offer on it)). If the other person isn’t interested, I prefer getting a “Sorry, no thanks” or “It’s pending, but if it falls through, I will let you know” rather than not getting any response at all. It’s rude to keep people hanging. Since I don’t like it, I try not to do that to other people.
During the swap
Whoever has less karma (rehash)/tokens (swapstyle)/feedback (dignswap) ships out first (unless selling- only allowed on http://www.swapstyle.com). Address information is exchanged. If you’re using DC (delivery confirmation), it’s polite to let the other swapper know, on http://www.rehashclothes.com and http://www.swapstyle.com, you can leave this number on the swapper’s “comments” section on the profile. Some people will send another PM (private message). I like to know when the other swapper is shipping because it gives me an expected delivery time. When I get the package, I will leave feedback and ship out my end the next day. If there is a delay, I still would like to know. And I completely understand (things happen, life happens). But I am pretty cool about it. As long as the other swapper is letting me know what is going on with the swap.
After the swap
If there are any problems (ie. a mess during shipping), I work them out (ie. sending out more items) because I do not want to end up with negative feedback. I am so careful now these days, because I learned from my mistakes. Leaving feedback is so important, because this score is about the swapper’s trustworthiness (ie. honesty in the item/s description, condition of the item- no damage (ie. pilling/holes/stains), communication skills, shipping, freebies included, tissue wrapping/packaging of the item and how the swap went in general).
Other additional hints
If I want to give the other swapper more kudos, I write something extra in their “comments” section. You can also “friend request” a swapper (on http://www.swapstyle.com and http://www.rehashclothes.com) or place that swapper on your “favorite swapper” list (on http://www.dignswap.com and http://www.swapstyle.com).
In closing, I cannot stress enough how important communication is in a swap. Yes, there are just some people out there who lack communication skills. Sadly, this is a reality in all facets of life. If you have no/few problems with 80%-90% of your swaps, consider yourself lucky. Swapping is not perfect, but it can be fun, when the swaps go well. If an item is not the right size/fit/not what you expected/whatever, you can always place the item back on your swaps. If things go terribly wrong, you still have the following options: contact an admin, leave bad/negative feedback, if it’s a swaplifting incident- you can file a mail fraud report, contact the offender’s city police department, and list the name/address on the forums.