The hostess sets up rules, as to what type of swap she will be hosting, states the rules of the swap, how many items to make, postage required, due date, how many you will get back, etc.
All participants send their submissions to the hostess, who then sends a package of swap items, back out to each of the swappers. Sometimes you have to make a item for everyone that signs up, and other times - .you send 5 for 5, or 6 for 5. When a extra is required, the extra usually goes to the stamp company owner/list owner, or the hostess may keep one for all the effort that goes into hosting a swap.
If a swap is small, most likely you will get one back from all participants. In large swaps you don't get art from all that participated.
There are also one for one swaps - someone sends you artwork, and you send them a card, or whatever in return.
RAK - Random Act Of Kindness:
This is a card, or some type of stamped artwork that is sent out to a individual, and that individual does not have to send anything back.
The sender does so because she wants to brighten someone's day, or add a little cheer.
The hostess states the rules, and takes sign ups via email. When the swap is closed the hostess will post a list of the swappers. You send to the person whose name is above yours on the list. The first person to sign up sends to the hostess, and the hostess sends to the last name on the list.
You ONLY need to make ONE item, and that is sent/mailed out directly to the person who signed up before you.
This is usually a smaller group of swappers - rules are set depending on the type of swap: such as - .a unmounted round robin. The hostess either starts a package of unmounted stamps, or she has all the participants who sign up send in a set amount of unmounted rubber stamp images to get the package started with a good selection of images for the swappers to chose from.
A list of swappers will be announced. If there are lots of participants, then the hostess may decide to send out more than one package at the same time. So the swap package/packages goes around much quicker.
A list of names and addresses, and address labels are in included so everyone knows whom they send to, and names can be checked off.
The hostess then sends to the first person, she takes out a X amount of images, and puts back into the package a like amount of similar sized images back in the package, and sends it on to the next swapper on the list.
Usually the hostess will ask that you only include first quality rubber, and not to include stamp images that no one would ever want to use.
The box of unmounteds eventually comes back to the hostess. If the group had been split, when the packages come back, the hostess will ask if the swappers want to continue the swap with the package of images going to the opposite group.
OR - like in the altered books swaps - small groups of swappers are assigned, the hostess works on her book, and sends it on. Everyone does work in their own book first, and then sends it to the next people on their groups list. The book eventually makes its round of having had all the participants in the swap work on their book. Then the last person sends the book back to its owner.