[This post is subject to change as I add in more helpful hints and tips below. If you have ideas you would like me to add to this, please Tree-mail me and I will include them below, along with credit to you for the idea!]
You can read the (generic) article I wrote on this topic here:
How to Use Swap Features
Before swap starts:
How do I add seeds to my list for trade?
Once you register and you're ready to start adding seeds to your list, go to "My Profile" (look for the green bar with links below it) and click on "Manage Your Own Swap List." From there, just fill out the boxes appropriately and click on "Add This Item to Your List" (green) at the bottom. (You can also 'View and Manage Your Primary Swap List' from the seed swap home page.) NOTE: Do not forget to change the "Availability" for each of your seed listings! You may create a seed entry, but if you forget to change the availability to "Show it and make it available for trade", no one can bid on it!
When adding a type of seed, it asks me for quantity-how do I fill this out?
This is sort of open-ended on purpose, because different people measure things differently. Typically, members will state an approximate number of seeds in the package (ex: "about 10 seeds"); but in cases where that is impractical, members may use different measurements (ex: "about 1 TBSP" or "about 1 gram").
I only have one type of seed, can I still join?
Yes. In order to meet the minimum packet requirements, just divide the seed you have into multiple packets so that more members may be able to dib on what you have to offer. (However, please do not join multiple, consecutive swaps with only the same, single seed type time and time again. Diversity of seed types is appreciated and encouraged in this swap and we don't want the options to become stagnant.)
How do I create a wishlist for myself so I remember what I want?
Within the swap, next to the "Your Profile" section, you will see a section labelled "The Swap" with a link that says "Access Your Wishlist for This Swap". Keep in mind that this list changes frequently as members add more and more seeds, so make sure to go back and update your list accordingly. TIP: Once you have gone through the list the first time and marked your favorites, you can keep tabs on new additions to the list by going to the "View Recent Events for This Swap" link.
What is a ticket?
A 'ticket' is a virtual ticket that you receive that allows you to claim dibs on a single packet of seeds. Please note that the system only allows each member a maximum of *ONE* packet of a particular seed. (If you want extra, you can always contact the 'seller' to see if they have more they are willing to add to your packet, though this is rarely necessary.)
How many claims will I be able to make each day?
This depends on the day. The system uses a 'multiplier', meaning that the number of tickets you receive each day goes up from the previous day. As of the time of this post, the host has selected a multiplier of '3', which means that the first day you will be able to bid on 3 seed packets, the second day you will be able to bid on 6, the third day you will be able to bid on 9, and so on... You can also earn extra tickets when people claim your seeds. Each time someone claims one of your seed packets, you receive a fraction of a ticket. The amount varies with each day...you earn larger fractions of a ticket for each item you 'sell' the earlier in the swap it is. (ex: The first day of the swap you may earn 0.5 tickets for each packet you 'sell', but the second day it might only be 0.25 tickets for each packet you 'sell'.) This is added incentive to offer seeds that other people want because the more of your seeds they 'purchase', the more tickets you can get!
Do I lose my tickets if I don't use them?
Tickets are rolled over from day to day. If you're gone a day, or don't bid for some other reason, those tickets will still be there for you later. Tickets, however, do NOT roll over from swap to swap. (Once this swap ends, any remaining tickets you have will be deleted and will NOT roll over to the next All Seeds Swap.)
Can I request seed types to be offered?
Sure! Get a discussion going in the threads about what you'd like. That doesn't guarantee you'll get it, but often if you mention that you want a particular seed, and someone else has it, they'll make sure to add it to their 'available seeds' list.
Why did the swap start early? / What time zone is the swap running in?
The *swap* runs on the website's server time. If you're like many members and want to be ready the moment the swap begins, you can use this link to convert the start times to your local time (Dave may have also updated this since the last swap): http://time.is/GMT
(Or use this handy time calculator tool: http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.c...
How do I know what the plant will look like?
Many seed listings will have a picture right there in the listing; but if one doesn't, NGA has a wealth of information in the database and the forums, so I would recommend opening a new tab or window in your browser, go to the plant database and search for the plant there, or go to the appropriate forum to ask the experts!
After swap starts:
I accidentally claimed a seed pack I didn't want, what do I do?
Once you click on a seed pack, your ticket is non-refundable, so please bid carefully! If, however, you bid on a seed packet that you really don't want, you may return the seed packet to the bidding pool, just look at the item on your list and select the appropriate button.
I thought I had more tickets left, but it says I'm out?
The system doesn't 'reset' your ticket count unless you go to the main page and click the refresh button. My suggestion on this is to keep track of what you claimed as you go, either in your head or on paper. If you claimed a seed pack and click the back button, it may appear as though you did not claim it even though you did. (This may have been fixed since the last swap.)
How did I end up with fractions (decimals) of tickets?
Each time someone claims one of your seed packets, you receive a fraction of a ticket. The amount varies with each day...you earn larger fractions of a ticket the earlier in the swap it is. (ex: The first day of the swap you may earn 0.5 tickets for each packet you 'sell', but the second day it might only be 0.25 tickets for each packet you 'sell'.) This is added incentive to offer seeds that other people want because the more of your seeds they 'purchase', the more tickets you can get!
After the swap:
How do I know where to send my seeds?
Once the swap has ended, you will be sent a Tree-Mail with the host's address (as well as a seed checklist).
What is the best way to keep track of who I owe seeds to?
The system will do this for you! At the end of the swap, you will receive a Tree-Mail with a list of the people who claimed your seed packs and exactly which seeds you owe them. Please check and double-check this list carefully so that you are sending the right seeds to the right members. Please organize these seeds in some way (typically a zip-loc baggy for each member) and send them in, along with your fee/payment by the designated date.
Other Tips and Tricks
• get (reliable) friends to sign up - the more the merrier
• purchase small, re-sealable bags online or at a store prior to the swap (use these to put your seeds into)
• find appropriately-sized labels for those bags prior to the swap
• divide your seeds prior to the swap so you have accurate packet/seed counts
• pictures help 'sell' seeds
• ...so do database links (I don't advise changing/breaking the database link to your item unless necessary)
• don't use permanent market on plastic bags - it rubs off
• know your top 5 favorites before the swap begins
• once you receive tickets, keep track of your remaining tickets in your head or on paper, the system (currently) doesn't update it properly until you have run out
• remember this is for FUN...you might not get everything you want, but you're almost guaranteed to get at least several things you *really* like
• after the swapping is finished, send your seeds in ASAP - the sooner they are all received, the faster everyone gets their seeds back
• use Zip-loc bags to organize the seed packets by swap member when sending seeds in
- Go here for advice on harvesting seeds, storing seeds, and many other seed-related questions.
- Looking to help recruit friends and other members to the swaps? If you see someone in here that could benefit from our seed swaps, feel free to invite them!