Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Free Stuff, Sort of...

"Night" cuff by samsstuff 

Today, I thought I'd talk about free stuff & who doesn't love free stuff, right? This post is a little different, though than the giveaway posts that I've done recently. Those were about entering/ putting together giveaways, for those who like to win fun, new stuff & those that want to promote the new stuff that they make, services they offer or the stuff that others make. This is about trading stuff, as a way to try out new products, experimenting with new product lines, advertising what you make & as a way to get new stuff that others make, are trying out as new product lines & advertising, so it's a win, win situation, without the stress of wondering whether or not you'll win some contest, out of the hundreds that have entered. The catch, of course, is that you must trade something to get something, so it's not truly free. Why do it, then?
Well, first it's a great way to get feedback on that new item/product line you're making, a way to gauge the reactions of the public, before actually listing. Second, it helps you get the word out about your product. You trade it to someone who can actually see, touch & use your items, not just look at them on a computer screen or worse, on a tiny phone screen. They can tell you about their experience & they can tell others that they know, helping you get the word out! You can tell whether your line will work or not. If there are any flaws, you have a chance to fix them, before releasing your products to the public.
You get to help out others, who are trying out their products & working on improvement or gauging public reaction. And the best part: it's fun to get things, it's like your birthday or Christmas, you get little surprises in the mail :) You never know exactly what you might find!
So, how do you get started? You can sometimes find blogs organizing trades. You can start a blog trade, yourself or you can check out some of the sites out there. One of the biggest is Swap Bot where you can sign up for all kinds of swaps & groups (not all craft related, so if you just want to trade quotes or postcards, for fun, you can do that too) or you can put together a swap of your own, which could be a good way to get some 'link love?'  I've been in about 10 swaps now & I think I've learned a lot, about my items, the items that others are making, plus of course, it's been fun. Maybe I'll start a swap of my own, I haven't tried that yet...

Here's my newest creation,  made for the Twinkle, Twinkle jewelry swap on Swap Bot. It's hand crocheted & hand embroidered. The removable moon button is by sharkskeepmoving on Etsy. The thread I used is hand spun thread by Dragonflylotus Designs (my winnings from a Unanimous Craft giveaway). Also included: a milky glass star, silver plated stars & an abalone shell star button

I've been making a bunch of cuffs lately. This one takes those a bit further, adding embellishments & embroidery, like the headbands I have been making. I wanted to try something new & was inspired by the twinkle/star theme of the swap.

This shows the mismatched two button closure

Try it! It could be fun & it's a great way to learn something at the same time :)  SAM


Debbie @ OtRD said...

I've done a swaps on Swap bot and always enjoyed them!

(Love the colorful stitching on your newest creation!)

Alexis of NorthOnHarper said...

I have never hear of swap bot before--- this is a super interesting concept-- off to check it out!

Marie Noelle said...

Swap are always fun!!! It's like a gift exchange!!!!!!

And your cuff is really pretty!!!

Lisa Taylor said...

I've heard of this but never stopped to find out the details. It sounds fun - thanks for the the information. I love all the things you make! Actually crafted. (I'm a hot glue gun + yards of fabric = curtains kinda girl. Not what I could call true craftsmanship