So this year I'm doing the dog swap a little earlier than I did last year. Just because it's my swap, so I can do what I want... Look for the post on Monday with all the deets on how to join in the fun.
I asked for feedback at the end of last year's swap and the one of the things that stood out the most was that there should be more time to promote/enter the swap. Last year, I allowed two weeks to enter, this year I'm allowing for three. Another blogger said that the swap due dates were in between paydays, so she wasn't able to participate. Last year, there were 12 shopping days. This year, I'm allowing four weeks.
Is this enough time for everyone?
Another question I have is about minimum/maximum amounts. I've always set a maximum amount. Rather than a maximum amount of money that can be spent on a swap, should I set a minimum amount instead? One of my first years of doing the swap, I set up two bloggers as partners; Partner 1 and Partner 2. Partner 1 bought several items. Partner 2 only sent one item in return. It didn't seem very fair to Partner 1, and that bothered me. But at the same time, the rules stated Partner 2 didn't have to spend up to the max amount, she just couldn't spend anything over it. Should I say no less than $20, but no more than 30, or something to that effect? What if it's more than one pet? Should it be no less than $20 per pet? It's hard to set limits, because I know some can afford to buy gifts much more easily than others can. I don't want to eliminate anyone by making minimum amounts too high. I do think some price limits need to be set though - whether it's minimum or maximum amounts, or both.
I've learned a lot from past swaps, and have this basically down to a science now. Is there anything you like and want to continue? Is there anything you don't like and don't want to continue? There are some things I will insist upon, such as providing tracking numbers for mailed packages if you're in the US. Others, I'm much more lenient on, such as setting minimum/maximum amounts. If you have any ideas on how to improve the swap, please share. I want to make this a fun event for everyone.