They have some weird rules.
I’ve been in swaps off and on for seven years, so I have an idea about how things run smoothly, and in my opinion- this group is not doing things the most efficient way. The bad part, however, is that they have the most interesting swaps; so I might be stuck being mildly annoyed for each swap.
I was introduced to this swap group, because someone posted about a Firefly swap in a Firefly group I’m in. I love Firefly (and pretty much all things Joss Whedon), so I thought that was a great idea, and I was on board. So here are the things they do oddly:
1. Some swaps run for 1 1/2 to 2 months, yet they only require for you to have one handmade item in your package. (You can have more, of course, but only ONE is required.) In the past, in other groups- if a swap lasted for more than a month- you were required to have two to three handmades in your package. There was also usually a size requirement- something large (shawls, sweaters, blankets), medium (hats, scarves), and small (fingerless gloves, socks, stuffed toys, mug cozies, etc).
I don’t particularly like the long swaps, as I get a little antsy about the halfway mark. I consider myself to be a good swapper (I try to stalk my partner and get at least a few of his/her favorites in every package); but having to wait an extra two to three weeks JUST to be able to ship seems a bit excessive.
2. When partners are picked, you only get your partner’s Ravelry name- no address. I figure that this is because you don’t want people shipping too early. This is not explained ANYWHERE, so I had to ask. You receive your partner’s address about two weeks before the absolute ship out day. This just creates more work on the moderator, especially if you have a lot of people doing a swap. Just set a limit- no shipping out before THIS date.
3. Check-ins are mandatory, but you basically have to check-in BEFORE the check-in due date. In other swaps I’ve participated in- you either check-in ON the due date, or you have that whole week to check in. In the Firefly swap- you had to check-in via some sort of survey, and the survey closed the morning of the due date. So when you went to check-in- you couldn’t. This wasn’t explained beforehand, EITHER.
Now there is one thing that they DO do, that I like: They have some sort of shared document, so each moderator can see who has been emailed their partner info, and who hasn’t. I know this, because the moderator of my current swap dropped the ball on that, and another mod had to give me my partner’s address. And I wasn’t the only person missing an address. I could say that my mod had an emergency or something, but no- according to her posts- she was just chatting away in other groups. She probably had the Don’t Wannas; but that’s not professional. You agreed to be in charge of this swap- SEE IT THROUGH.
I do have another group that does something else I like- all the tracking numbers have their own thread. So I can see when you shipped, and the tracking number is there. I don’t have to go through a couple dozen Ravelry messages, worried that I may have accidentally deleted it. It’s all right there in the thread.