Swaps abound within our little bloggy community. Whether organized on a blog, flickr, or some other means, we've all seen them. You might have thought it would be fun to join in, or you might have several under your belt already.
Most swappers are generally very courteous people. They follow the swap rules, they send their partner's gift out on time, they receive their own swap gift graciously.
If your swap mama has laid out some ground rules, and they ALL do, please read through them and be sure to adhere to them. These rules are there for a reason and following them makes for a better swap experience for all. The rules are usually based on common sense and thoughtfulness.
If you swap mama says to ask her (so she can ask you partner) if a food gift would be welcomed, do that. Some people have allergies, while others aren't keen on eating something made by someone they don't actually know. It would be a shame if your gift went to waste.
Always send your gift out as quickly as possible. Yes there is always a "send by" date, but your partner is waiting excitedly for a gift to appear in their mailbox. The more time that goes by, the more they'll worry that it's been lost in the mail. As well, always include your contact information. Your partner needs a way to reach you so she/he can thank you and to let you know your gift made it there safely.
When you receive your gift, please contact the maker as soon as you can. It's good manners to thank them for their hard work, and they'll be wondering if their creation made it to you. It's no fun to be left wondering.
Everyone has a life outside of swapping, and of course that life comes first. If something comes up that prevents you from seeing the swap through, contact your swap mama right away. There is always someone who will happily step in for you, and no one will think poorly of you for it.
The most important thing to remember is that there are real people involved in the swap. One is working for you, and one is waiting for you. Let's all consider the people on the other ends of the swap and help make it more enjoyable for everyone.