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Thread: Swap Hosting FAQ

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default Swap Hosting FAQ

    Swap Hosting FAQ

    For additional information, please check our FAQ. The answer is most likely there!

    Information required for swaps at iATCs:

    Please clearly label your swap title as: "Swap Title DUE Due Date"

    Put at the top of your swap thread:
    • Swap Due Date - Month Day
    • Sign up by date - Month day
    • Withdraw by date - Month day (same as sign up by date or later)
    • Number of Items - 3 for 3, etc.
    • Number of participants -
    • MEDIUMS Accepted -
    • For your thread title, please use this format: "Black & White Swap DUE January 1. (If you don't do it correctly, our helpful Moderators will fix them for you as they find them)

    IMPORTANT: Please add your swap due date to the Calendar!

    What is the maximum swap length?
    All ATC and Mail Art swaps should be completed within 90 days. This allows plenty of time for sign-ups, creation and mailing. The maximum length allowed for swaps on is 5 months (150 days) and that INCLUDES the two week grace period for mailing out returns. There are no exceptions to this rule except special or group projects (collaborative journals, Secret Santa, etc.).

    Who Can Host a Swap?
    Hosts must be active members of this site for at least 3 months prior to hosting a swap and have a positive iTrader rating of +15. New hosts may only host one swap and if that is successful, then full hosting privileges are granted. We also accept iTrader ratings and membership lengths from our sister site, AFA (

    How Many Swaps Can I Host?
    You may host no more than 6 swaps at one time across the 2 affiliated sites - and

    How Do I Start a Swap?
    Swaps must be started in the Open Swaps Forum. Please open a thread with the name of your swap as the thread title. Include information on the theme, the number of cards to submit and a due date for submission. If this is your first time hosting a swap at this website, please supply your full contact information (full name, address, telephone, email) to by emailing or sending a private message to a moderator. Please include your home telephone number. Your information will not be made public or shared with members of this site. Your contact information is only required in case we need to contact you offline regarding your swap.

    Sending Out Returns
    Hosts must send out return ATCs within 2 weeks of the swap closing date. Please return any late cards to the artist.

    Commitments of Hosting
    Hosts must be prepared for the time and financial commitment of hosting a swap. Most players in the same country will send you a SASE for their returns. However, international participants will not be able to do this. You must be prepared to cover the postage of returns to international participants. If funds are short, please limit the total number of participants in your swap rather than not accepting international participants.

    Hosts who do not send out the cards received from swap participants will be asked to leave the site and permanently banned. If you are unable to fulfill your hosting duties, whatever the reason, just contact us and we will take over your swap for you and pay to get the cards from you to a new host. We do want to help if you're having a problem. Please don't run away with other peoples' cards.

    Uneven Swaps
    Hosts cannot host uneven swaps. If the artist is required to send in 3 cards for the swap, then they must receive 3 cards in return. Please do not ask participating artists to send you extra cards in lieu of postage. An extra card is a gift should the participating artist want to thank you for hosting.

    Hosts have the right to:
    • Return poor art quality cards received in swaps but please refer to our section on Sub-Par Cards before doing so. The appropriate Art Panel must be contacted first.
    • Return damaged, flimsy or falling apart cards, cards that are not on theme, etc.
    • Swap quality for quality or whatever other swapping method you want to use - random, out of a hat, etc.
    • If low on funds, hosts may limit the number of participants in their swaps as a whole - not by singling out internationals.

    Hosts cannot do the following:
    • Turn anyone away from a swap because the host thinks their art isn't good enough. Everyone got in here fair and square so all swaps are open. If it turns out that the cards submitted are sub-par, then please refer to our FAQ on sub-par cards.
    • Turn away a swap participant because they're new and don't have an iTrader rating (unless it's a PAT of course or other swap where iTrader is required by iATCs, see list below).
    • Set your own iTrader ratings for swaps. Please refer to our iTrader Requirements List below. If your type of swap is not listed there, please contact an Admin for help.

    Hosting in the Open Swap forums - Special Considerations
    Open Swap forums allow members of both divisions (P&P and MMA) to participate in swaps together. However, participants must submit artwork for the swap in the medium for which they were accepted. If they are a member of both divisions, then they can submit any medium they'd like. We guarantee to our members that everyone has been juried in to this trading site which is why we insist that people submit work only in the mediums for which they were accepted. If one of your participants submits cards in a medium that they were not accepted for, please contact an administrator.

    Concerns about Sub-Par Cards - What to do as a host

    Craftmanship: This is a juried site and artists' artwork should reflect that. If an artist's work exhibits a lack of effort or poor craftsmanship, hosts can contact the Art Panel who will assist in returning the cards to the artist. Please do not return cards without consulting the Art Panel. We want decisions to be as objective as possible and that is better achieved with 7 people rather than just 1.

    Decisions about sub-par artwork must be based solely on what we know the artist is capable of compared to their other gallery offerings. DO NOT compare their artwork to the art of others.

    Art Panel - Send PM to an admin

    Late Cards - What Should a Host Do?

    Host are obligated to send out returns within 14 days of the due date. No exceptions. You cannot wait for cards beyond the two week mail out date.

    Please be understanding of each other first and foremost.
    • Artists: Please stick to the due dates as people are waiting on you. Respect everyone's time and efforts and withdraw rather than hold up swaps (except for PATs).
    • Hosts: You may mail out cards the day after the due date or you may wait up to 14 days for cards still in the mail. This two week period is to be used at your discretion. You are not obligated to use this time if you don't want to. Please try to be flexible if cards are in the mail and were mailed before the due date. Sometimes mail mishaps happen. However, the final choice is yours.

    The two week mailing out period is NOT for swappers who want to send cards at the last minute. It is to be used by hosts at their discretion. Hosts are not obligated to wait for any cards after the swap due date and they are not obligated to use any of the two week mailing out period.

    Swap mailing guidelines
    • Domestic: Mail cards at least 4 business days prior to swap due date
    • Canada / USA: Mail cards at least 7 days prior to swap due date
    • International: Mail cards at least 14 days prior to swap due date

    Negative ratings are reserved for PAT cards that do not arrive at all or are sent directly to players from the participant. In this case, only the host would leave a negative. In the case of PAT cards that are not sent to the host nor direct to the participants, a negative iTrader should be given by both host and affected group members.

    Administrator Given Neutrals for Late Swappers

    Artists must send in their swap cards before the due date. It is recommended that participants make their cards prior to or just after joining swaps in order to get them in on time. It is unacceptable to mail cards on or after swap due dates. Artists who do this will receive an Administration given neutral for holding up swaps, regardless of the hostess given rating.

    Artists who do not finish their PAT or CAT cards on time should mail directly to their group members at their own expense. Their returns will be sent out by the hostess, AFTER their group mates have received their cards. The late sender will receive an Administration given neutral for holding up the swap, regardless of the hostess or group member given ratings.

    Any artist who receives 3 or more neutral ratings for late swapping will be suspended from trading here for a period of 3 months.

    iTrader Requirements for Swaps
    • Open Swaps = 0
    • One on One Trades = 0
    • Play it Forward (PIF) = 0
    • Chunky Pages OPEN (like a regular ATC swap, no limit on participants) = 0
    • Pick-A-Theme (PAT or CAT) = +5
    • Holiday Gift Exchange = +12
    • Chunky Pages Pick-A-Theme (PAT) = +15
    • Chunky Pages with limited participants = +15
    • Moleskine Journal Collaborations = +25 plus 3 months active participation in iATCs

    Sister Site iTraders (iATCs) is a sister site to (AFA).

    If a member of iATCs earns a negative iTrader while trading at iATCs, that negative will also "count" at AFA, just as regular iTrader points count when applying to swaps that require a minimum iTrader needed, such as PATs, Moleys, and Circle Journals.

    If a member of AFA earns a negative iTrader while trading at AFA, that negative will also "count" at iATCs, just as regular iTrader points count when applying to swaps that require a minimum iTrader needed, such as PATs, Moleys, and Circle Journals.

    We also accept membership lengths from both sites for swap hosting and trading requirement purposes.


    Any other questions? Check our FAQ first. If you can't find an answer, then please ask an admin!

    Last edited by kosmicgirl; 03-04-2019 at 01:40 PM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    This has been updated so hosts, please check above. If you have any questions please post in the forum in a new thread since this is a sticky
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