We_Swap_Snacks Community Rules & Information We see the code as more of what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.
How it Works: It’s pretty simple, really. We’ll announce a swap sign-up date. On that date, we’ll make a members-only post to the community with detailed instructions on how to apply for the swap. At that time, you’ll be able to indicate your preferred swap countries, any allergies or dislikes, as well as your preferred level of participation. (Domestic and international swap? More than one swap? Going over the dollar amount?) Then we shake up our computers like Polaroid pictures, light some incense and read our tarot cards, put a few bucks on Mega Millions and see where everyone ends up. Within a week, we email you your partner’s information and the fun begins from there!
Swap Schedule: Scheduled swaps, run by the moderators, generally occur every two months. We will notify our community members ahead of time as to when a swap is scheduled to begin. There will often be two or three posts about the upcoming swap, with instructions on how it will go down, before the actual sign-ups are underway.
Private & Mini Swaps: We encourage our members that would like to swap between scheduled swaps to advertise for private and/or mini swaps. However, these requests should be contained to the specific community post created for this purpose. Post submissions for this purpose will be rejected and you will be re-directed to the private/mini swap post. The moderators try to put up at least one, if not more, of these posts in between each scheduled swap round. These posts are locked down as members-only.
While the mods do not oversee these swaps in that we don’t partner you up with anyone or work out the particulars like ship date and dollar amount (that’s up to you and your partner), we still work as an intermediary if an issue should arise. Snackjacking and unreasonably late shipments will be treated the same as if it happened during a scheduled swap.
Domestic Swaps: We offer the ability to sign up for domestic swaps (wholly within the U.S.) with each round. This can be a low-cost alternative to signing up for an international swap. Members can sign up for both an international and domestic swap if they would like.
Demographic Realities: We will always have more American swappers than we do non-American swappers. It is what it is. This means that we can’t always guarantee that all Americans that sign-up for a scheduled swap will be paired with an international partner. Often we will have to close sign-ups for American applicants long before we close them to non-Americans. We do our best, but we can only work with what we’ve got. If you are a non-American swapper and it is feasible for you, we encourage you to sign up for more than one swap partner. We can almost always guarantee that you will get an American and a non-American.
Cost: Each scheduled swap has a minimum snack cost of USD $15. If you want to spend more, this is up to you, but if you expect more than USD $15 from your partner, communicate with them first to see if this is feasible for them. You should also expect to spend anywhere from $30-70 USD in international shipping. Domestic swaps (within the U.S.) are naturally less expensive and shipping from the U.S. to somewhere like the Philippines is naturally much more expensive. Check out www.usps.com (or your respective country’s postal service website) for current shipping rates and look into their flat-rate boxes. The USPS will send their free shipping supplies (boxes, labels, customs forms) to you at no cost.
Swap Etiquette: If you sign up to swap and are assigned a partner, you are expected to communicate with your partner and follow through with the swap. Snackjackers risk removal from the community, at the mods’ discretion. Things happen, we know that, but lack of communication compounded with a missing package usually equals badness.
A caveat belongs with this rule. If you never hear from your partner, don’t send your package. If you have made at least three reasonable attempts to communicate with your partner and have not heard back from them, please contact the mods immediately so that we can intervene. While it may end up that you don’t get to swap that round because someone decided to be a jerk, it’s sure a heck of a lot better than being out the package and shipping costs as well.
Snackjacking: We take this very seriously, plain and simple. When it comes right down to it, if you snackjack, you’ll be booted from the community and banned from participating in future swaps. You’ll be added to our spreadsheet of blacklisted members and if you join with a different user name, you’ll be removed from the community immediately.
Unreasonably Late Shipments: Late shipping, unless communicated and agreed upon by both parties, is uncool. We will treat everything on a case-by-case basis, but the basic rule is that you shouldn’t dick around your partner. We will consider this almost as/just as serious as non-shipment (aka snackjacking) and will handle as we see fit.
Drama: Save the drama for your llama. This community was designed with the intent of being a fun place to meet people from other parts of the world and to share in each other’s snacky goodness.
Moderated Admissions: This is not a measure to keep people out of the community – at least, not really. Through past experience of modding communities here on LiveJournal, we’ve found that moderated admissions help keep out troll journals, the serial adders and the folks that sign up with an empty LJ with the possible intent to swap and run. If you are declined and want to know why (although we always try to provide an explanation at the time you are declined), do not hesitate to contact the mods at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to let you know the reason for the denial, as well as provide you with an opportunity to dispute our decision. Believe it or not, we really do look at every membership request that we get!
Moderators: Your moderators are Jill (strryeyedgrrl), Mary (animimi), Brandi (intendent), Dani (danicia), and Brooke (nutmegdealer). Each of us have contact info in our user info, but we’d appreciate it if you reach out to us via the community mailbox. Our inboxes will appreciate you for it!
LJ Spotlight & Advertising: Please don’t suggest us for LJ Spotlight. We’re growing quite rapidly through word-of-mouth as it is and we feel that the sudden influx would cause more harm than good. Along the same lines, we encourage you to talk about the community and advertise as appropriate. However, if you are going to mention us to large community, outside website or a blog with a large following, please contact the mods first. We’re not saying that you need our permission, nor do we want to discourage new members from joining, but as we’re just two people and we’d appreciate the heads-up if we’re going to see a glut of new membership requests in our email.