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Kawaii 101

A service of the I LOVE Kawaii! Group on Swap-Bot.com
by

Kate Conway

on 29 June 2013

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Transcript of Kawaii 101

How to be a
darling kawaii
swapper!

Communication is Key!
Kawaii 101
Kawaii, for our group, is defined as the "Japanese cute aesthetic". To further define kawaii, all of our swaps are "brand only" unless the swap
specifically
says otherwise.

Commonly accepted kawaii brands include:
San-X
Kamio
Crux
Q-Lia
Mind Wave
Pool Cool
Sanrio (be careful - see next step...)

If you're not sure if it's acceptable, ask your swap host!
Even when a swap says "sender's choice", you should still be considerate of your partner's likes and dislikes. Be prepared to see:
"Don't send Hello Kitty."
Many swappers are wary of low quality Hello Kitty items and choose to avoid her (and Sanrio) altogether.
"No Goth, no skulls, no ghosts, no poo..."
Be careful - some swappers consider Sentimental Circus from San-X and Kuromi from Sanrio to be Goth.
"I don't need any more [item type]."
"No items with photographs of real animals or people."
Be especially considerate of religious differences.
Not everyone celebrates Christmas. Watch for that especially in December when we're all caught up in the holiday spirit! "Sender's choice" is not permission to be offensive.
Use a greeting card, note card, postcard, or cardboard mailer to keep papers safe. When using other cardboard, be sure it's clean and isn't so small that papers can bend around the cardboard.
ATC or trading card sleeves are a nice way to present mini memos.
A small ziploc bag or mini envelope keeps sticker flakes from becoming lost or damaged.
Upcycled and reused packaging is easily dressed up with deco tape and memos to hide its former life.
Including a sweet note or swap card with your username and the name of the swap assures you can be rated promptly.
Be sure to carefully and neatly write your partner's address on the outside of the swap.
Delivery confirmation is recommended if you're sending something of high value.
#1 - Know Your Kawaii
#2 - Read Profiles
#3 - Package your Swap with Love!
By ColoradoKate
Created for and dedicated to all of the
Darling Kawaii Swappers in the
I LOVE Kawaii! Group on Swap-Bot.com
Last updated June 28, 2013
Be careful of these common kawaii faux-pas:
Restricted or Forbidden!
Sanrio can be tricky...
Dollar stores, hobby/craft stores, and Target carry low quality licensed (or even unlicensed, fake) Hello Kitty. Japanese Sanrio is often preferred.
Most swappers don't want Diddl, Disney, My Little Pony, Peanuts/Snoopy, Morning Glory, Precious Moments, Nintendo, or Angry Birds.
Swaps that call for sticker flakes do not allow for stickers cut from sheets or memo pads.
Do not send dirty, wrinkled, bent, torn, or otherwise damaged items. Sheets torn from spiral notebooks or composition/student books are not acceptable. Never send anything folded (even lettersets!) unless the swap calls for it or your partner specifically says it's okay.
Handmade items (from Etsy or otherwise) are not brand and are only allowed when the swap calls for them.
Send a PM to your partner to talk about what you're sending if you're unsure about his or her preferences.
If you can't send on time, we expect you to PM your partner BEFORE you're late. Late sending without communicating is very bad manners.
Only hit "send" after your swap is in the mail.
If you're sending a tag, it's proper to post in the "Sent/Received" group forum thread when you mail the items. It's also kind to make a comment on your partner's profile when you send.
NEVER send items that are damaged or smelly.
Before You Send
If it's been 2 weeks and your swap hasn't been received, it's a good idea to PM your partner to check on the status. Mail to other countries can often take longer than 2 weeks, but it's good to be proactive and show that you're mindful of your obligation!
Post on your profile if you're going to be away from Swap-Bot or your mail for more than a week. That way, no one will worry why you haven't rated them yet!
Get involved in our group forum by asking questions, participating in discussions, or tagging.
While You're Waiting
PLEASE rate your partner promptly and according to Swap-Bot's rules.
Hearts are TOTALLY optional. Reading profiles often helps earn hearts.
Sweet ratings describe your pleasure upon receiving your swap - everyone likes long, gushing praise when we work hard on a swap!
Give an explanation if you are rating a 5 but have some concerns. That helps group founders, hosts, and swappers.
It's nice to reply to ratings with a kind comment.
When you receive a tag, it's proper to post in the "Sent/Received" group forum thread. It's also kind to thank the sender on their profile comments.
When Swaps Have Arrived
Problems?
If you're not happy with the swap or it doesn't arrive after 2 weeks (longer if it's coming from another country!), contact your partner first. Give them a chance to make it right with a resend.
If you and your partner can't come to a solution, contact the swap host and a group founder.
DO NOT take your problems to the forums before trying the above. That just makes all parties less likely to negotiate.
It is very important to rate your partner according to Swap-Bot guidelines.

If your partner sent late without notifying you first, a 3 rating is appropriate, but a postmark just a day late may be the post office's fault!
You must rate your partner a 1 before requesting an angel.
Cabs or cabochons: Plastic shapes used in "deco" or decorating items.
Deco tape: Decorative tape often used to seal kawaii envelopes and provide decoration. Not always brand.
Letter sets or lettersets: Two of the same writing papers with a matching envelope. Paper size is generally A5.
Large memos: 4 inches by 6 inches or A6 size papers.
Mini memos: Roughly ATC size, 2 inches by 3 inches, A8
Sticker types: Flakes are die cut, PVC/epoxy/jewel are hard and 3D, foam are squishy and 3D. Sticker sheets are usually 7 inches by 3 inches long - ask before sending anything smaller.
Washi tape: More like masking tape. A subcategory of deco tape.
Kawaii Decoded
When Shipping Out of Country
Carefully fill out your customs form and save your receipt. Keep your categories generic ("stationery" or "toys").
Foreign addresses are sometimes formatted differently - check with your partner when in doubt.
Reinforcing seams and edges with packing tape can help your package weather the journey.
And Fill OUt YOUR Profile!
Consider telling us your preferences on:
Brands and characters
General themes (fairy tales, sweets, animals, French, floral, food with faces, Goth, gals, seasonal, forest/mori...)
Colors (bright? dark? pastel?)
Item types (pens, pencils, pencil caps, erasers, memo sizes, sticky notes, postcards, cell phone charms, key chains, sticker types, etc.)
We LOVE Our Officers!
Officers can invite new members and create swaps! We encourage creativity!!!
Invited members must meet our group membership requirements.
Swaps should have careful, detailed descriptions to avoid confusion.
We do not allow stuffed envelope or ziploc baggie types of swaps.
The rating requirement must be 4.9 +
Got a great swap idea? Become an officer! Just PM a group founder to get started.
Please direct any questions or comments to a group founder - we are here to help! Lots of group members are willing to mentor newbies and do private swaps to help them get started swapping kawaii. Also be sure to check out the
"Kawaii College"
thread in our group forum for more informative videos.

Just remember, above all, swapping is supposed to be a fun hobby. Let's make our partners smile!
Thanks so much for watching!
Best viewed in fullscreen - click on the icon on the lower right of this viewer.
If you've been asked to resend:
Resends happen! The postal service is imperfect. Here are some ways to protect your ratings:
Make sure a reasonable amount of time has passed before you resend. Your swap host or a group founder can help you determine that.
Photograph the items you are resending.
Send your package with delivery confirmation or as registered mail.
Save all associated postal receipts.
Full transcript