As I mentioned before, I have been swapping on Makeupalley for roughly 8 years now ( I believe going onto 9 years), and I have had some wonderful swaps, and some really ugly ones too. So I thought of some guideline rules for newcomers into the swapping world.
If you are interested in swapping and don't know how to swap, or worried about swapping, here are some tips:
1. Determine which items you want to swap, make sure that they are not stale, old, expired makeup. The last thing you want to do is swap something and have the other person ask to reverse the swap.
2. Be honest about your products, list how much is used, and take photos in well-lit places. People are more inclined to swap from a photo than a description
3. Your notepad is a free form area that you can write anything you'd like.
My notepad states the following:
* I recycle all packaging
* I do not ship with minors
* I prefer to ship domestic, but will entertain int'l as long as it's something off my wishlist
* I ship with recorded delivery (tracking)
* I have a 20lb furry pomeranian
* Comes from a non smoking home
These are just an example what what I feel that I need to tell someone I am swapping with. Also, make the habit of reading people's notepad before agreeing to a swap. They may write things like, "can only mail once a week", if you want something urgent than obviously this person is not for you.
4. Their website is very self-explanatory, you can add items to your swaplist, and a wishlist and you can browse all the added items, so if you find something you are interested in, you email that person (from your Makeupalley email).
5. When you first start swapping, you will have zero tokens and it is just a unstated swap rule that you have to ship first. In order to avoid people from swaplifting you, until you get to about 30 tokens, please swap with only members with a lot of tokens.
6. People include "extras" in packages, it is not necessary, but always appreciated
7. During swap negotiations, don't disappear, or the other person may swap that item with someone else
8. I prefer to get tracking or some proof of shipment, so that you can prove you sent out your end
9. If your item is dusty, or dirty, please clean it before shipping out. It's not pretty to get a package and is covered in makeup
10. Bubble wrap your items. Don't trust the postal system to care for your item. You don't want you item to arrive damaged and you don't want you receive an item damaged either. Don't trust toilet paper or paper towels. I always package an item securely, because I expect the same too. It shows that you care that the item arrives safely, not just throwing away your unwanted products.
11. Be polite, and just be courteous. If you are abrupt and rude, the chances that someone will swap with you is slim to none and you may even get a negative token. Don't get offended if the person doesn't want to swap with you. Just because they say "no" now, doesn't mean they will say "no" in the future. Don't leave an ugly first impression.
12. Try to work out all problems before leaving negative feedback. Negative tokens can be undone, so if you work out with the other person, they can remove negative tokens and you can also.
13. Send emails with completely sentences. A lot of people don't like it when you email them and say "wanna swap". Once again, it just shows you don't care.
14. Keep open communication. When you are swapping, it is wise to check your MUA account once a day at least. Email the other person when you ship your item and when you get your item too. This shows once again that you care that the swap goes smoothly. If the other person doesn't hear from you, they will be concerned that you aren't going to send your item (wouldn't you?).
15. When valuing your item, don't go by the retail price, especially if you have used it. The minute you test your item, the value drops. This of course doesn't work for everything. For instance, you have a rare polish like Chanel Jade, used or not, it will hold it's value, but most times it will be devalued. And don't be stingy. If it is a product, you will never use, why hoard it? Just keep an open minded and don't be a dollar for dollar swapper. It annoys me when someone said, "well I paid $50 for this item", yes you may have spent $50, 5 years ago, but it is also used and some items don't hold it's value.
16. Sanitising products - If you choose to swap for used lipsticks, lipglosses, mascaras, eyeliners. It is wise to sanitise your items with alcoholic wipes. If it is a lipstick, cut a chunk off, if it's an eyeliner, sharpen it, if it's a lipgloss - wipe the wand with wipes. Just do what you can. It's not that other person has a disease, but bacteria can brew easily. I personally don't like to swap for mascaras and lipglosses.
17. Shipping at the same time - If you swap with someone with the same amount of tokens as you, you can request to ship at the same time. The biggest pet peeve of mine is people who agree to this and then wait to ship until they get the package. This is a violation of the shipping agreement and grounds for a negative token
18. Once you exchange addresses, it is considered a finalised swap. Make sure you request and negotiate everything prior to swapping your address. If you back out of a swap afterwards, the other person has grounds to send you a negative token.
19. If your gutt tells you that you aren't happy with the swap or you think the other person isn't swap-worthy. Politely decline and move on your way :)
20. Lastly, Enjoy yourself. This is a great opportunity to unload your unwanted products for products you want to try.
Ok so those are just a few of the rules that I go by.
I hope that helps! Swapping is fun as long as everything goes smoothly, otherwise it's a PITA. Be polite and have a great time!