Swapping Protocol?!?

I feel as though I may have committed a swapping faux pas. I just recently started swapping and I realized I guess not everyone swaps the same way. I sent Missy like 6.5g of a tea today. Then, in my mailbox this afternoon, I found SIX samples!! I feel like a tea swapping deadbeat. Face palm! So as I say my apologies to Missy and the other people I have swapped with this last week, I would like to throw this out there to the community.

1. How much tea do you trade? Is it on an tsp to tsp basis? Cup to cup? Or do you just throw what you have in the mail and send it on with the understanding that it will get passed on down the line?

2. Do you normally send extra samples even if only one tea was discussed?

3. How do you ship? Regular mail or usp? Priority or standard?

4. Am I over thinking this? Lol

I do not want to be a stingy swapper!!

54 Replies
Azzrian said

First off I always TRY to send 2 cups worth of a tea just because sometimes we like to play with steeping parameters, cold brews, etc. But it is not necessary – send what you can or want! Sometimes I don’t have enough to send more than one cup!

Ship the way you want to! I use paypal shipping because I get the tracking # included for only 19 cents and sometimes they offer it for free! How you ship is your call though.

I always will toss in at least one or two other samples when only one is discussed but really that is again up to you! Some of us are over flowing with teas to share while some are only getting started! For me I love to introduce new folk to teas so I tend to be on the generous side but that is because I CAN right now. There may come a time I can’t and the generosity of others may have to save me from a slump but that is not why I send extras, just because I have so much I can’t ever drink it and I want to share so others can try new things! If you are not sitting there with a crud pile of teas don’t worry if you can’t be that generous.

If you are still feeling strange about it just tell your swap person what you can send.

With some of my swaps we will send each other a list of what we are sending and some people want to be surprised.
Others will send me a list of what they are sending but include a couple extra for the surprise element.

Sometimes, if I have a little goodie sitting around that I think someone will enjoy I toss it in – tea related or not depending on how well I know the person.

There are no set rules but you can always improvise and change things as you go along.

It is sweet of you to post this!

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Azzrian you are wonderful. Thank you.

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Azzrian said

Your so welcome ! :)

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Uniquity said

I swap very infrequently, but I tend to do it on a larger scale – several cups worth of each discussed tea, plus a bit of anything else I think they might enjoy. I also have been known to use swaps as an opportunity to move along things I don’t really enjoy. : )

As for shipping, Canada Post is ridiculous so I go for the cheapest option and pack everything securely. Luckily, tea lovers tend to be used to a wait!

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My gosh I agree. I cannot believe how much it cost to send to Canada. It’s crazy!

And UPS does it really take five days to go from California to Texas? total ship time seven days. I’m sure my tea will taste like dirt by the time it gets here.

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Azzrian said

Another helpful tip that I often use is to look at their cupboard and see what they really LOVE then look at their shopping list to see what they may want but not yet have. Then look at what you have to see what you could send on their wish list OR what you think they would love based on what they have highly rated!
Blah hope that made sense.

Wha?? Kidding. That is a great tip. Thank you.

Kittenna said

Also a good idea to ask about flavours they dislike when sending surprise samples. Nothing’s worse than sending a bunch of minty teas and finding out the person hates mint! (Not a true story, because I’ve told everyone I’ve swapped with that I don’t like mint!)

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rantHappy said

How do you all pack the tea? Just a zip lock bag(s) or what? I haven’t really seen tea centered zip bags, and I don’t tend to keep the original packaging. Sending a tin would seem expensive.

Uniquity said

I use small zipper bags like for snacks. It’s not ideal, but sufficient!

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Azzrian said

I double bag all tea samples. I get the SNACK sized baggies usually till I run out then use the sandwich size. Double bagging helps from cross contamination of flavors. Especially on stronger flavored teas like chocolate and chai!

Kittenna said

I’ve taken to double bagging particularly potent teas with a freezer bag instead of another small zip, if I can afford the space/weight in the package. I think they keep the smells in that much better. I double bag strong teas as well as weak ones. Medium-ish ones I sometimes don’t.

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It usually depends on what you discuss with your swapper, but I’ll usually swap the requested tea/requested amount, and then I throw in a few extra samples. Depending on what it is – if I’m swapping for several grams, I use ziplocs; if it’s just a cup or two, I have little 3×5 bags I got from Staples that I’ll fill up. Usually I’ll send off samples I’m trying to get rid of or that I think the person will like.

I’ll ship UPS or USPS. For bigger packages I usually ship UPS because we have a counter at my workplace and I get a discount on shipping prices and free tracking, but if it’s just a small envelope I’ll send it USPS with tracking (usually around 75 cents). I used a mail envelope to send a sample once, and my partner replied that it was a bit crushed and tattered, so in the future I’ll send them in padded bubble mailers.

Great tips. Thank you!!!

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When I do swap, I generally do so without much worry about what I will get in return … mostly because I have a lot of tea as it is, and so I’m not worried if I swap several teas to someone and only get one tea back in return. Generally when I contact someone to swap, I usually have a particular tea in mind that I’d really like to try, so as long as I get to try that tea, I’m really happy with the swap. You know?

As I said, I do have a lot of tea, so when I do swap, I usually include quite a few different teas, and this is especially true if someone has taken the time give me some ideas of what they’d like to receive. This makes it easier for me. But, I don’t usually expect an “equal” package – that is to say, I don’t mind if I send a package of like 10 different teas, and I receive only one or two, especially if, like I said before, it is a tea that I’ve been wanting to try. That is worth more to me than the 10 different teas.

What bothers me more than anything is when I receive a swap package from someone, and that person has simply thrown unwrapped tea bags in the package (as in bagged tea that has not been individually wrapped, and is now just tossed in a package without any kind of protection) … I don’t want to drink that! I do take some time and care into packages when I put them together, and I appreciate it when that same kind of respect for the tea goes into the package I receive.

I somehow think I’ve been babbling here… hopefully what I’ve said has made some sort of sense.

Lots of extra you say? Wanna swap? Lol kidding. I actually have a ton of samples and ordered tea I am receiving. I would like to swap more but I am full to the brim so to speak at the moment.:0)

I don’t really swap that often. Like I said, it is generally only if there is a tea that I’m interested in trying. I do, however, sell sampler packages on Tea Trade from time to time. Right now, I have one box available: http://liberteas.teatra.de/store/products/foodzie-box-size-sampler-lots-of-tea-one-small-price/

Wonderful site. $25.00 for 30 samples. Sounds great. I definitely plan on revisiting your site. Thank you.

30 is an under-estimate, it’s usually more. I like to under-promise and over-deliver. :)

Good grief. I guess I am going to have to look at your cupboard. Hopeless

Angrboda said

I agree with LiberTEAS here. Sharing can be as much fun as receiving, and so I usually throw in a few surprise extras. I have one especially that I almost always include because it’s my favourite to share, and like a previou poster mentioned, it’s also a good way to pass on things that I didn’t much like myself, because others might enjoy it. If the recipient then don’t like it either, they can bin it or pass it on again.

I usually try to include enough leaf for two or three pots (the way I make them), and I usually send some 4-6 different ones, I think. It doesn’t matter if I get the exact same amount in return. Some people are comfortable sharing a lot, others aren’t. That’s fine with me. It’s the fact that they would share with me in the first place that I like. :)

Azzrian said

LibraTeas I can never get your site to open for me.

The above page isn’t working any longer because the box is now sold out.

Azzrian said

Ah okay makes sense.

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