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Atlas Quest

Help: LTC Trackers

  1. What do the attributes for LTC trackers mean?
  2. What should I think about before starting a LTC Swap (tracker)?
  3. How do I let others know I'd like to begin swapping an LTC?
  4. What should I think about before joining an LTC Swap (tracker)?
  5. How do I add my LTC to a tracker?
  6. Are we expected to help pay for postage for the host to mail out the cards?
  7. Are there any guidelines for hosting an LTC swap?
  8. What do the subtypes in an LTC tracker represent?

What do the attributes for LTC trackers mean?

A swap with no restrictions regarding what sort of theme can be done, and most likely, will have a wide variety of unexpected topics!
The opposite of a potpouri—these swaps have rules that require you to create cards based on a specific theme. (e.g. favorite books, Harry Potter, Christmas, etc.)
You can reuse old LTCs you've created in the past.
These swaps are intended to put the trade into Letterboxer Trading Cards. If you have duplicate cards or want to trade cards you've collected from other people with other people, these are the swaps to look for!

What should I think about before starting a LTC Swap (tracker)?

  1. Is there enough interest? How will I know?
  2. How many participants?
  3. How much lead time will be allowed?
  4. Am I willing to communicate with the swap participants?
  5. Should it be a 'limited' or 'open' tracker? Are you willing to work with folks you aren't familiar with?
  6. Is your theme clear?
  7. What is your policy on late arrivals? (this needs to be listed on the tracker)
  8. Have I participated in enough swaps to feel confident leading a swap?

How do I let others know I'd like to begin swapping an LTC?

First, list your LTC so others know you have one! Then post the tracker link and invitation to the LTC: Trades and Trackers board.

What should I think about before joining an LTC Swap (tracker)?

Be willing and able to:

  • Follow the rules and guidelines for the swap. Carefully read all the directions that the hostess posts for the swap. Make sure you understand what is expected of you to fulfill the swap.

  • Follow through with your swap commitment. If you sign up for a swap, you are expected to complete the swap. Other players in the swap are counting on you to submit your artwork. If you can not complete the swap, contact the hostess immediately. Allow enough time for the hostess to find someone to take your spot.

  • Be on time. Send your cards to the hostess by the due date. Pay close attention to whether the swap has a "send by" date, which requires you to mail by the specified date, or if you need to mail early enough for them to be in the hostess's hands by a "receive by" date. Making your fellow swappers wait for late cards is not fair to those who turned theirs in on time. Hostesses reserve the right to return late cards unswapped.

  • Respond to communications promptly. If hostess contacts you, please reply within 72 hrs. Monitor your AQmail at least twice a week when you join a swap.

How do I add my LTC to a tracker?

You can only add a card to a tracker if you are a member, so first make sure to join if you haven't already.

On the tracker page, press the "Add Box" button. You can specify the card either by name or by its unique box number. Enter one of these in the appropriate box and press the submit button. If there is only one matching card listing, it will be automatically added and you will be returned to the tracker page. If there were multiple matches, you will need to choose the correct card from the options provided, or enter a new name or box number.

Are we expected to help pay for postage for the host to mail out the cards?

When sending in cards for an LTC swap, you must include enough postage to get your cards returned to you. The host is not expected to pay any of the return postage. USPS rates & prices:

To work out exactly how many stamps you need you will need to know:
The size of your letter or parcel.
The weight in grams or ounces.
What class you need to send it.
The address you are sending your parcel or letter to.

Are there any guidelines for hosting an LTC swap?

These guidelines are designed to help people who want to host a LTC swap. These are not rules; rather, they are meant to be a commonsense approach to hosting.

Before You Host Your First Swap
Join and complete several swaps before you host your own. That will give you an opportunity to see how swaps work (and don’t work!).

Hosting Your First Swap
Once you’ve seen how swaps work, feel free to host one! Here are some helpful tips:

  • Before you create a tracker for the swap, look through the list of existing trackers to see if there’s currently another tracker out there with a similar theme. If there is, you may not get many signups for yours, which can be disappointing.

  • Size matters. The larger the swap, the more time-consuming it is, so it’s a good idea to limit the size of your first swap to perhaps 10 or 12 participants. This will give you a feel for how much work is involved.

  • Consider how many swaps you can comfortably host. Most folks prefer not to host more than one or two in any given month.

  • Consider the timing of your due dates. For example, if you know you have a big project deadline at work or will be busy coaching your kid’s soccer team, you may not want to have any swaps due during that busy time.

  • Swaps with due dates far in the future (6 months or more) frequently have a lot of drops, because people forget about them. For that reason, many hosts prefer a deadline of 3 to 4 months in the future.

  • Complete your first swap before you host another one. Once you’ve established yourself as a reliable host, you’ll find that more people are willing to join your swaps.

Completing the Swap
Once your swap is in progress, there are things you can do to make sure it completes successfully:

  • Communication is the key to being a successful host! If participants ask you questions, respond promptly. Also, a brief reminder that the swap is due in a few weeks is appreciated by the procrastinators among us.

  • Mail back the completed envelopes within two weeks of the deadline. Being prompt is probably the best way to develop a reputation as a good host.

  • While you’re waiting for that last set of cards to arrive, prepare the rest of the envelopes by removing old tape and stamps, if you didn’t do this when each envelope arrived. When you peel off your address label, look carefully: you may find a quisp tucked underneath! :^)

  • If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed due to personal situations (illness, work, family problems, etc.), be honest with the other folks in the swap, and know that there’s no shame in asking for help! You could cancel the swap and mail back the envelopes, or you could ask someone to take over the swap. In this community, someone is always willing to help.

What do the subtypes in an LTC tracker represent?

A singleton is a single LTC card that the tracker owner has available for distribution. Only the tracker's owner can add cards to the tracker.
An LTC swap is an efficient way to trade many cards with many people. Each participant in the tracker provides enough cards for everyone else in the tracker. The cards are usually sent to the tracker owner, who redistributes the cards and mails them back, making sure each person receives one of everyone else's card. Everyone in the tracker is expected to add their own LTC to the tracker.
No subtype is the wild, wild west of LTC trackers. It's not a singleton nor a swap, which are the most common organizations, but what it is is anyone's guess. There may be strange and unusual rules involved, so read the description of the tracker closely to see if it's something you want to get involved with. Anyone can add their own boxes to such a tracker.