Make sure that you are REALLY committed to running a PAT swap. These swaps are a huge undertaking and you will have to stay on top of things every single day, be super organized with your lists and mail arriving at home. There is no such thing as too much communication.
You must be very clear about how it will run. Give all the details that you can think of and ask for help if you are not sure about something or need input. Ask someone to proof read the information to be sure that it is clear.
Experience has taught us that we will need to have:
- Your real life name.
- A real home address.
- A real working phone number that we can contact you if we need to.
You must submit this information before you are approved to host. If you will not give us this personal information we are sorry but we can not approve you to host a Pick-A-Theme swap.
You need to require participants have an established positive trader rating of +5 in order to join these swaps because if just ONE person flakes out in a group you will have a problem. No exceptions! (Even an experienced member can flake out but this will keep a new member with little or no experience from causing a calamity.) Those with the required iTrader ratings at ATCsforALL.com will be allowed to apply their positive iTrader ratings to an IllustratedATCs.com PAT swap.
You must have a signup date deadline and a mail by date deadline. Strictly enforce your deadlines.
Your groups will be easier to manage if they stay at 5 participants per group. They can join more than one group if they want to. (Each group will produce 20 cards total.)
No more that 8 groups per PAT swap. That is a lot of cards (160) to keep track of. Certainly you can have less than 8 groups in your swap.
Like other swaps, PAT cards should be mailed out within two weeks of the swap ending date. Occasionally, members of a PAT group within the swap will mail early, resulting in that group's cards being turned in well before the ending date. In such a case, swap hosts may choose to swap out individual groups as soon as all cards are received. In no case should mailing a PAT group's returns be delayed beyond two weeks after swap closing date.
When a participant misses the deadline, you need to let the late sender know that SHE or HE is now responsible for mailing those cards. The late sender must get addresses and pay for postage to mail each other group member the required card. You should still give the late sender a neutral rating, and you should also let the late sender's group members know that they have the option to assign a neutral rating.
Hosts are limited to hosting only two PATs at one time.
Feel free to direct participants to these guidelines if they try to ‘fudge the rules’; please don’t risk your good standing to accommodate them.