Blythe On A Budget: Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Swaps

Written on March 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
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I’ve talked about participating in organized/group swaps before, but a great way to get something new is to find someone to do a personal swap with! You will need to be able to offer up something of equal or seemingly equal value, of course, because that’s the way that swaps work. But done right, a personal swap can be very rewarding to both parties.

What the cost is to you:

  • Things that you already own (and therefore expenses have already been paid for)
  • Things that you can make (and make customized for your swap buddy) – Keep costs low by using what you have available
  • Cost of postage (with or without tracking and insurance – be sure to discuss how your swap partner will be sending your things to you!)

I know, it’s great! You could be getting a few great new clothing items or a few pairs of shoes without having money needing to trade hands (beyond shipping costs). But you first need to find someone to swap with. Who should you consider?

  • Someone who runs an Etsy/Artfire shop if you happen to run one as well (makes the trade value easier to figure out)
  • Someone that you have talked to in the past (eg. online friend)
  • Someone that you’ve met in person before (like at a Blythe Meet)

When initiating the idea of having a personal swap with someone, remember to be polite and courteous! The worst that someone can say is no and don’t be offended if they do – it may be because they don’t think that they have the time to devote to going through their dolly things or time to craft or they have other priorities to deal with first. It does help if you’ve spoken to them before, or they at least know who you are! Don’t just become friends with someone for the purpose of wanting to trade things with them – it can be a little perk that comes up later, but no one wants to be friends with someone who just wants things from them.

I find that personal swaps are a great way to get something new or “new” while honing my own crafting skills without hoarding everything that I make for myself (and my dolls are thankful too that they get to wear something made by someone else!).

The Personal Swap Do’s Round-Up:

  • Be polite and courteous when asking someone if they want to do a swap with you.
  • Try to match the swap items with them (by number of items and/or overall perceived monetary value).
  • Discuss shipping details ahead of time – if you both decide to use tracking, then pay for tracking.
  • Let your swap partner know when you’ve received your package.

The Personal Swap Dont’s Round-Up:

  • Don’t be cheap! While it may be fun to get new things for not a whole lot of money, it’s not fun for your swap partner if you don’t actually send them something that would be fun for them. So don’t send things with rips or tears or stains unless you’ve mentioned it to them first (and they’re okay with it!).
  • Don’t ignore the agreement between the two of you. If you said you would ship by a certain date, you should follow that. If you said you would ship with insurance and tracking, then do so.
  • Don’t forget to let them know when you’ve shipped out the package, they may not be home when the package arrives otherwise or not even know to expect one.
  • Don’t feel pressured into going through with the swap. If neither of you have sent your packages yet and there’s suddenly a reason why you cannot fulfill your swap package (either by emergency or conflicts), let your swap partner know! Communicate at all times to let them know.

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