In a universe-first here at Gimme we've had a fantastic article written for us by one of our members! Read on and learn how to avoid disappointing swaps, and get the most out of Gimme Your Stuff (except you can't have my computer or anything...)
SWAPPING ON GIMME
After a few disappointing swaps, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a few hints and tips to try to help others avoid the frustration of getting a parcel full of things you just don't want! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just my hints on how to get more out of your swapping and to get what you want every time!
Take time to learn a little about your swap partner. If you don't, you could end up sending things that they won't like or use. Likewise, if you can exchange a few emails and work in a few of your likes and dislikes into the conversation, you could avoid disappointment.
Don't be afraid to be honest! If your swap partner mentions that they are going to send something that you plain hate, speak up! If you are honest from the outset about your hopes from the swap parcel, you should hopefully get what you want!
Agree a theme and/or value for your package. If you and your swap partner have similar interests, e.g you are both knitters or you both are avid cat lovers, then why not make your swap themed? If you don't have a particular hobby, you could even make your swap chocolate themed or even swap stationery. If you don't want to go for a theme, it's a good idea to agree on an amount of money to spend on each other to ensure an even swap.
Plan ahead. If you're swapping at a busy time, for example Christmas, then make sure you leave plenty of time to post in time for your agreed "send by" date. It's also a good idea to do a bit of quick research into postage times/costs before agreeing your swap, or you could be in for a nasty surprise! It's worth bearing in mind that postal costs to overseas destinations in some countries are very expensive compared to others, so a "light items" theme could come in handy sometimes!
Remember why you're doing this! It can be easy after a disappointing swap to become downhearted or for you to even not want to do another - but by remembering why you got into this in the first place, you'll soon be back on the swapping horse!
Swapping is a great way to learn a little about another culture or country, be it through food, clothing, stationery, craft stuff, photos ... the world really IS your oyster!