Swap Hosting Help

This portion contributed graciously by ©Jessica Miller


 

  • Decide on your "theme" and the number of participants maximum that you will allow.
  •  

  • Post your request to host at www.soapnuts.com
  •  

  • KEEPING TRACK OF THE PARTICIPANTS
  • ~ I keep a folder in my mail devoted to just the particular swap I am hosting.

    ~ When you get signups, email them to confirm and request their shipping address.

    ~ I create a Word document with their name and address in separate columns on a table.  This makes it very easy to mail merge the names and addresses later.   I also add a column for Group (if there is more than one group participating), Paid, Questionnaire, Item, Received.   This document will end up veeeerrry important with all the swap info on it.

     

     

     

     

     

    The questionnaire needs to be sent fairly early in the swap process, just so you can be sure to get them all back in time to assemble the book.   Use your own discretion when asking questions, but the basics are usually name, company name (if they have one), email address, website (if applicable), the name of the swap item, and the recipe.     Lots of times the other questions go along with the "theme" of the swap, if there is one.  Have fun with this part.  The swap booklet is a favorite and loved part of the swap.
    The book itself is assembled from the completed questionnaires.  I use MS Word to create the booklet, and either print it at home or take it to be printed at OfficeMax or somewhere similar.   This totally depends on the size of the swap, but I find it much, much easier to be printed elsewhere.  The cost can get surprisingly high this way, so watch the number of pages you end up with.   The cover can be a folder/ binder, paper, laminated; whatever would look nice and be long lasting. 

     

    Get all your outgoing boxes marked with the recipient's name.  To fill up the boxes, I like to have them all out in a big area, with the swap items (still grouped by sender) in one place.    I pick up one of the groups of swap items, and carefully put one in each recipient's box.   Be sure not to give the original sender back one of their own items!    If everything is done right, you will come out with no leftovers.  :)   Don't forget the swap book!



    Have fun!   A lot of hard work goes into hosting a swap.  :)

    Helpful Tips and Pointers

    Contributed graciously by ©Denise Washburn

    Tips and Pointers:
    1.  I keep different legal tablets at the computer...one for each group in my swap.
    2.  As the folks sign up, put them into a group, you can always move them around later.  Don't be afraid to giggle the groups around until you get it just right.
    3. I did everything in pencil and make sure you have a big eraser!  LOL You're going to need it!
    4. Keep hard copies of everything; don't save all your swap info on the computer, it just might *eat* it!  :)
    5. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it!
    6. Be prompt in returning folks emails and answering their questions.  Let them know when their package arrives and when you receive their questionnaire.
    7. Be prepared for drop-outs and no-shows.  I had three folks on 'stand by' to fill in at a minutes notice if necessary.  Also, be prepared for bouncing email.
    8. Don't be afraid to let everyone know you have a time-table and that you intend to stick to it.  I was on another list's swap and waited four months after the expected delivery date for the swap box because the hostess kept waiting on all the stragglers!
    9. HAVE FUN!