STS (Shop The Swap) 2022 Fall Market Discussion

Who’s up for another round of STS?

@Bluebird will be hosting this round!

This year we will shake things up with a couple of new rules.

Instead of a 3 point system, we will go to a 5 point system! No need for those pesky 1/2 points.

We will also require three new items be added to your shop in order to start. Let’s keep the market fresh! :leafy_green:

This round will be US only. Sorry to all the international swappers, but if you would like to organize your own, you are encouraged to do so. You can contact @gozer for a spreadsheet to keep track of points.

Signups will start around September 1st, with a two week sign-up peroid. But we don’t have to wait to open our shops and start swapping! The swap will end mid-October or early November depending on the number of people we have join.

Let us know if your planning to join and go ahead and start your discussion here!

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Here are the rules. These are basically the same with a couple little tweaks.

FAQs

What happens if I am away from my home base during the swap?
If you are traveling or otherwise unable to keep your shop open, you can close for a short period of time (a week or so). Please be sure to message your swap organizer so that everyone is in the loop.

Can I offer custom items in my shop?
Custom items can be offered, but they must be finished and sent in a timely manner (so keep this in mind and only offer custom items that you can finish quickly). When completed, custom items should be posted and reserved on hold for the person you made them for. The person can then submit a formal claim for the custom item.

Can I offer items that are not crafted by me?
A small amount of handcrafted items from other people may be offered in your shop, but the majority of the items should be made by you. Please be mindful of the potential of hurt feelings when selling items made for you in other swaps. Crafted items from others must be credited with the name of the creator or you will be requested to remove that item.

How do I price my items?
Charge what you think is fair for your crafted item! It might be worthwhile to take into consideration factors such as time invested, supply cost, popularity, etc.

How do I generate sales?
There are no guarantees that claims will be made from your shop. To make a sale you may need to adjust your prices, restock your shop with new crafted items/supplies, or run special promotions such as flash sales or weekend specials.

What should I offer in my shop?
Use the discussion thread for brainstorming any new items to offer in your shop! Or talk about what you can make to gauge interest from your fellow STSers. And if you’re in the market for something you’d like, go ahead and post your request in the discussion thread. Someone may be able to make it happen!

Can I put an item on hold if requested to do so?
Putting items on hold (for a short duration) in your shop is at your discretion. Only items that are currently listed in your shop can be put on hold. Holds should only be accepted when your shop is open. If a shop is closed and you are itching to claim something, please message the shop owner and ask that they let you know when they reopen so you can claim. Please do not ask people via private message to hold items for you until you can submit a proper claim; this is not an acceptable way around the “first properly formatted claim wins the item” rule.

My points/claims don’t match what I think they should.
Is something wrong?
If it has been awhile since you made the claim, or if the organizer admits to having been sloshed/sick/tired/attending to life in the real world since the points tally and/or claims list was last updated, go ahead and send her a message. If your claim is a few days old and has not shown up on the claims list, please send her a message to inquire about it. No worries, we’ll sort things out.

Do I have to list my claims (bought and sold items) in my shop?
Aren’t you keeping track of my points?
Yes! I am keeping track of your points, and in any disagreement, mine is the list that counts (just kidding, or am I…). Seriously though, it makes it easier to resolve any discrepancies if I can compare your list to what I have in my records. I do go through the shops on occasion to add up points and make sure we’re all on the same page.

And a special shout out to @loves2experiment who kept this market rolling for so long!

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Reserved

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DATES:

Signups will run 09/1 (Thursday) through 09/16 (Friday)

Set up your shop no later than 09/26 (Mon)

Claims accepted from when you’ve set up your shop through 10/16 (Sun) Preliminary. May be extended.

Last call (over/under) from 10/17 (Mon) through 10/22 (Sat) Dates will change if we extend it, but will still be approx. a week.

:fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping: :fallen_leaf: :shopping:

GENERAL INFO

The Shop the Swap (STS) is a different kind of swap in that we start with finished items. The swap is basically set up like a virtual craft fair, where participants buy/sell crafted items (using points). Items are priced between 1 to 5 points. When you have mailed out claimed items, the points become available for spending. Just like the real world, we can’t spend points we don’t have (no overdraft allowed). To keep the economy going, you can’t hoard your points (you must close your shop and go shopping when you have accumulated +12 points). All swappers must promise to maintain excellent communication.

SHOPS

  • Once you have been approved, post your shop in this thread with at least FIVE (5) finished, handcrafted items for the other swappers to choose from. You can also post a small amount of craft supply items at the bottom of your shop. AT LEAST THREE (3) ITEMS MUST BE NEW AND NOT FROM A PREVIOUS ROUND OF STS.
  • All shops need to be open for business by 09/26/22 (Mon).
  • Your shop must be ready and open for business before you can spend your points in other shops.
  • Need an example of how to set up your shop? Check out this sample shop .
  • Be sure to mark your shop as OPEN or CLOSED (as needed).
  • Make sure every item has a short recognizable title that can be used in claiming.
  • Items should be priced between 1 and 5 points. Groups of items can be priced at a choice of 2 for 1 point (or 3 for 1 point, and so forth).
  • If you are offering multiples of an item, be sure to indicate how many are available.
  • When items have been claimed, mark the items as SOLD .
  • At the end of your shop please have your claims list and point tally (see sample shop for example). Please use the headings of CLAIMS FROM MY SHOP , CLAIMS MADE BY ME and POINTS (refer to POINTS section for an explanation of how to keep track of your points).

POINTS

  • Every participant starts off with 5 points to spend. This is a STS loan and at the end of the swapping period, you must have at least 5 points in your bank for positive feedback.
  • Your POINTS tally should reflect your current / pending / total in your bank.
  • Current points are your spendable points (a combination of the 5 loaner points you start off with and any points you’ve earned from claims you have sent out).
  • Pending points are non-spendable points from claims you have not sent out.
  • Total points refers to the combination of current and pending points (when this number is greater than 12, you must temporarily close your shop by marking it as CLOSED and go shopping with your current points. When you spend down to 7 or less points, you may re-open your shop to accept new claims.

CLAIM/SENT/RECEIVED MESSAGES

  • All claim/sent/received messages must be sent to the organizer and the person you are claiming/sending/receiving from.
  • Please mark the subject line as STS2022 Claim , STS2022 Sent or STS2022 Received .
  • All messages must be in the proper format to be valid.
  • If/when there are numerous claims for the same item, the FIRST properly formatted claim wins the claim (subject to claimant having sufficient spendable points for the claim).
  • Example of Claim Message (submitted on April 22)
    To: @loves2experiment @LC4Life
    Subject: STS2022 Claim
    Send by April 29
    LC4Life to MissCrafty - miniature felt plushies - (2)
    Jane D. Oh
    123 Veggie Patch Field
    Anywhere, ZZ 987645
    USA
  • Example of Sent Message
    To: @loves2experiment @MissCrafty
    Subject: STS2021 Sent
    Send by April 29
    LC4Life to MissCrafty - miniature felt plushies - (2)
    Tracking # 1234 2345 3456 4567 5678 00
    Sent this afternoon, hope they get there quickly!
    Jane, thanks for the claim from my shop!
  • Example of Received Message
    To: @loves2experiment @LC4Life
    Subject: STS2021 Received
    Send by April 29
    LC4Life to MissCrafty - miniature felt plushies - (2)
    Thank you! I love my new plushies, they are perfect!

I am also going to ask that you send the tracking number typed out on your message. You can also include the image, but to help me speed things up, it is easier for me to copy and paste into the spreadsheet. Please help me out. Hosting this is a lot of work.

SHIPPING

  • You have ONE WEEK (i.e. 7 DAYS) to ship from the day you receive a claim.
  • All items are to be shipped AFTER an official claim is received; please do not ship custom items before we receive an official STS claim for them. Items shipped before they are claimed will not be honored as official claims.
  • Per Lettuce Craft swap rules, tracking numbers are required on all swap packages (if eligible). If your item has not been received within a reasonable time (3-4 weeks domestic) an angel can be arranged if you are able to provide proof of shipping.
  • If any prior claims go missing you may be required to remake/refund the points/offer something else in your shop if you can’t provide a tracking number for the package or a copy of the shipping receipt.

COMMUNICATION

  • It is your responsibility to keep relevant people informed of your shop status (either CLOSED or OPEN) and claims/sends/receives.
  • All claim/sent/received messages must be sent to the organizer as well as to the person you are claiming from/sending to. If in doubt, please check your outgoing messages to verify that everyone has received a copy!
  • Repeated poor communication may be noted in your feedback. This includes not informing the organizer/other swappers of claim status via the correct claim format, not posting in the discussion thread, etc.
  • Do participate in the general chatter in the STS FALL MARKET 202 DISCUSSION THREAD (this is it). It’s where you’ll learn about shop sales, swap announcements, etc. It’s also where you can highlight new items added to your shop, get a feel for what else you can do to generate sales for your shop, etc.

FINISHING THE SWAP

  • LAST CALL (10/17 through 10/22) takes place after the swap is closed for claims in general. During this time, participants with greater than 5 points ( over ) will claim items from participants with less than 5 points ( under ) to even things out.
  • Positive feedback will be given after the swap closing date of October 22, 2022 if you have 5 points and all your claims have been received.
  • Negative feedback will be given if you leave this swap with less than 5 points and/or for not sending claims made from your shop.

:fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf: :fallen_leaf:

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This sounds so fun! What are the dates again?

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Signups will start around September 1st, with a two week sign-up period. But we don’t have to wait to open our shops and start swapping! The swap will end mid-October or early November depending on the number of people we have join.

I have also opened up the discussion to see if anyone has a preference on it being longer or shorter.

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I keep saying, “Maybe this year I’ll try it…” I do have a few things finished and ready to go, but not a lot.

Can someone remind me of the minimum number of items to offer…? I know I can also supplement with a few craft supplies, yes?

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Five items.

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I added the rules of the shop to the top for the new people (and myself).

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I’m in! Pretty sure I already have enough for the new item requirement, but I’ll check since I have to figure out how to re-point everything to the 5 point scale.

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I’m wanting to join in. I’ll be deciding and making stuff to put in my shop. So excited! :smiley:

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I shortened my original swap dates by about 2 weeks. This way people can restock their shops more frequently instead of spreading it out and they can join more swaps. Also, Fall usually has more swaps going on and as a mod I will be tracking several swaps, not just this one. I am sure I will need a break. LOL!

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It’s been years since I did STS and I’m excited to play again this year!

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@bluebird has offered to host so I will hand this over to her from here on out! Thank you Bluebird!!!

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You’re welcome! :blush:

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Yay! Thanks for offering to host, @bluebird. I have more finished items on hand than I thought I did. Plus there’s time to make more, so I expect to be able to play this time.

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I am currently making a list of things to make. It would be really helpful if people gave me some ideas! I mainly sew and draw.

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In past rounds, zip pouches have been popular. Also Teesha Moore style patches, I think?
I would also be charmed by ATC cards or maybe illustrated postcards?

I’m debating about joining, since my main craft is knitting & it’s hit or miss some years on what folks want. I have quite a few things that I’ve made for test knits in the past year or 2 – mainly baby items with a couple of cowls thrown into the mix.

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I might choose a cowl if the colors were right. You want some knit ideas? I’d love some knitted socks (but I have large-ish feet and legs), or some little knitted animals (kittens, rabbits… I’m thinking simple ones like @Dooney’s “kitten nuggets”), or some dishrags. I think @gozer said she wanted a hat. Somebody else mentioned boot toppers, I think. You should definitely play! The more, the better!

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Those little cat nuggets are amazing. I was gifted one by @magpie. It’s adorable!

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