Saturday, October 24, 2009

Swap-Bot question

I know a few of my correspondents do swaps via Swap-Bot. I was kind of intrigued to learn that you can do a postcard swap or a letter swap, which basically just entails writing and sending someone a postcard or a letter! So isn't that kind of like a pen pal exchange? Seems like it to me.

Anyway, I'm curious - who out there does Swap-Bot? Do you really enjoy it? I just signed up for a couple of postcard swaps - what should I watch out for?



  1. I've been enjoying swapbot for a few years now. I choose swaps of handmade postcards or other artwork. If the swap is just for a postcard ( unspecified type ), then for sure, you will get three postcards of downtown St Petersburg, FL. You need to be selective. Some of the artwork I have received has been amazing. There are zine makers, painters, fiber artists... all sorts on swapbot. Right now, I am working on a traveling mailart kit swap, just like in the book Good Mail Day.


  2. Thanks for the feedback, Carroll! I am laughing and preparing myself for the postcards of downtown St. Petersburg, FL. I'm doing a few postcard swaps just to get my swap ratings so I'm not a "newbie" anymore.

  3. Not to sound like an art snob, but you're sure to get messy glued magazine images as collage and the like in art exchanges. There are also people who fail to follow through on their commitment, so don't always count on getting something in return for what you send. If you're up for the randomness of it, they take the chance! I've been on SB for years but have stopped the open and random swaps because of "flakers" and the inequality of trade. It can be disheartening to put a couple of hours into an artistic item to get something rather juvenile in return.

    HOWEVER, if you're talking about a store-bought, touristy type of postcard swap, you'll do well.

    In SB's defense and to back up Carroll's comment, there are amazing artists swapping on the site. Whatever you do, avoid the forums because that is like detention hall at a really bad junior high.

  4. I, too, have been curious about swap bot. Think I'll follow you over. postcards seem like an easy place to start, since I already do Postcrossing.

  5. Oh well I do swap bot but mainly sticker or tea swaps . and I really do enjoy the sticker swaps so that I can deco my envies to incorporate my stickers and mail art . I really do enjoy the swap but you do have to be carefull of flakers . Flakers are ppl who dont send anything and then get something . if they flake they mess up their rating and they usually get suspended . so enjoy swap bot just be carefull .

  6. Thanks, Juli, for the great advice - I love the comment on the forums. HA! In general I avoid forums (except for The Fountain Pen Network) for that very sort of reason.

    phonelady - duly noted. I have gotten the undertones there that flakes do happen - such is life - so I'll be ready to accept that.

  7. When I did my year of mail swap-bot was an easy way to fill in the days.

    The big difference between it being a pen-pal sort of situation and just a swap situation is the investment of time.

    As has been noted by several people here already is the fact that you can put a lot of time into a swap, reading a profile, caring a whole bunch, and then get back something less than interesting or inspiring.

    I am not a terribly arty kind of person and have gotten several really amazing things from swap-bot, but have also been seriously disappointed by the lackluster interest and efforts of others. I stopped (I do only a couple a year) a while back because of the rabid nature of some of the swappers and as Juli put it the junior high nature of some of those said swappers in dishing out punishment.

  8. I have done swap-bot for ATC cards. I think mainly it is a one time thing with most of the swaps, usually under a theme. But the description of the swap should tell you exactly what is entailed.

  9. I also swap on swap bot but some swaps have the strangest demands and I usually stay away from those ;) but it's fun because you can choose swaps you like

    for postcards I also found you send a card to a person and receive a card from another person

  10. Hi Henderica - I stay away from the nutty ones, too! I've been quite intrigued just reading some of them. Yes, I do Postcrossing - it's linked in my resources section on the left sidebar - and I've talked about it on this blog occasionally. It's a lot of fun, and I've gotten some great postcards (and stamps!) from around the world this way.

  11. I have been on swap-bot for over a year now and decided to stick with postcard swapping and card swapping for now. In the past when I first started I ended up with either no swap in return or others who don't follow through. So far just swapping postcards and cards has been fun.
    There is also is also a fun site to exchange postcards with others from all over the world.
    Have a happy Halloween! Stephanie