JIGSAW PUZZLE SWAP EXCHANGE









Frequently Asked Questions

Memberships

Do I have to join?
No, You can just ship puzzles to any of our members any time you want. Keep in mind you will always have to initiate a trade as your name will not be on the list to receive puzzles. You also need to submit a shipment notice with tracking number.

What happened to the free trial membership?
The free trial membership was discontinued in November 2015. The puzzle exchange was so popular that we ended the promotion.

Why is there a membership fee?
The membership fee covers the cost of maintaining and marketing the website. It also helps protect the membership from individuals who would sign up just to get puzzles without providing a return.

If I cancel, can I get a refund?
No, membership fees charged are minimal and after processing charges paid to PayPal and marketing your area, there is nothing left to return. It is best that you go on HOLD for the duration of your membership term just in case you change your mind.

Do I have to swap puzzles?
No. When you sign up you are asked if you are willing to trade. You may choose No if you like. Choosing "No" will put you in the "Donations Only" group. Anyone can send a puzzle to you and you are not required to return one but you can if you like. It would be nice to send them a thank you note. Members that do not trade do not recieve as many puzzles as members who do trade.

How do I swap puzzles?
When you sign up, check the box that you are willing to trade. Most of our members prefer to trade and will choose another member based on this category. If you select that you are willing to trade and you receive a puzzle that requests a swap, you are required to trade. If you do not suspended until all delinquent puzzles are returned.

Why do some memberships include used puzzles?
We thought that perhaps some people may not have many puzzles or even a collection and may want to get one to get started. This is an easy way to get a member involved. You do not have to choose a membership with a puzzle if you do not wish to. The puzzles are generally used and are limited to one puzzle of up to 1000 pieces. Depending on your preferences, we will ship a puzzle to you that is compatible with your choices. We also have an instock library where you can select the ones you want and one of your choices will be chosen for you. Due to shipping costs, we cannot ship puzzles outside the USA.

Why are some members ON HOLD?
This could be any of the following:
The member has decided to take a break from receiving puzzles, they can become active again at any time.
The member's membership has reached the renewal point and they were notified 10 days or more ago that it is time to renew and have not yet done so.
If you see ON HOLD following the street address of a member, please do not send a puzzle to them at this time.

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Puzzle Library

What is the Puzzle Library?
The Puzzle Library was created for members who like to choose what puzzles are sent to them. The library lists the puzzles in our collection by Piece Count, Dimensions, Brand, Title, Photo, Age Group, and the members who have requested them. The puzzle library was just launched in June of 2015 and is fully accessible only to upgraded memberships.

Who can visit the Puzzle Library?
The Puzzle Library was created for members who like to choose the puzzles that are sent to them. The Library is visible by the general public and functional only to full memberships and due to the 90 day term of a trial (discontinued) membership, it is not feasible to offer it for a 90 day term. You are automatically given access to the Library when you renew to a 1 year or higher membership.

How can you request puzzles?
A member can request any puzzle by clicking on the Title/Descripion Link and then sending their name, City, State, Zip, Country by email. The member's name will be placed on the waiting list. As the puzzle becomes available, it will be sent to the waiting member. If you do not see a clickable link, then you are not a member of the library or are not using the provided "members" link to access it.

Who do you choose from the Library?
When you are ready to send a puzzle that is part of the Library, visit the library and find the puzzle you have. Scroll to the Requested By column and choose any member that in in the waiting list for that puzzle. If there are no members waiting for that puzzle, either hold the puzzle to send at a later date when a member requests it, or send it on to a member that is a library member or send it back to JPSE (the Exchange) for another puzzle. We have added a DO NOT SEND TO: column for those members who have already worked that puzzle or who have said they do not want it.

How do I know if a puzzle is from the Puzzle Library?
The puzzle will have a white sticker on one of the side panels of the box with www.JigsawPuzzleSwapExchange.com
ID # XXXX
printed on it. Where XXXX is the ID number.

Who can add puzzles to the Puzzle Library?
Anyone can add puzzles by filling in the appropriate form with the puzzle information from the original box. A photo is required to be uploaded as well. We will send you stickers in the mail to apply to the boxes. Once the stickers arrive you can place the appropriate number on the matching puzzle box. If you have more than a couple puzzles to add, send an email and request the donation spreadsheet as it will make things easier. Then just email it in along with the photos. More detailed instructions are available in the forms library.

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Puzzle Swaps

What is a puzzle swap?
A puzzle swap is one puzzle initiated and one puzzle returned. It does not go back and forth indefinitely. If you choose to continue swapping with a certain member, you must initiate a new puzzle swap. If they tell you they do not want to continue swapping, please do not initiate another swap with them. We have lots of members, choose another close by.

What kind of puzzle should I send?
This is a hot topic. The puzzle you send MUST be compatible with the recipients puzzle preferences. As a general rule, you should send the kind of puzzle you would like to receive in return. If you send a good quality puzzle, you should receive the same. If you send a dollar store puzzle, don't expect a high quality Ravensburger.

Do I need to send the same puzzle back to the sender?
No. You should send a different puzzle back but it should be comparable in quality, size, and piece count. Most people do not want to work the same puzzle more than once. Also, do not trade a puzzle that you want to keep as it may never come back to you. Check the puzzle journey sheet in the box before sending the puzzle out and don't send it back to any member on that list.

Who to trade with?
You have a lot of choices here. There are several factors to keep in mind. Size, Shape, Quantity, and Distance. Look at what you have to trade and then find a member that fits that puzzle type. If you have a 1000 piece round puzzle you should not send it to someone who 1) does not want shaped puzzles or 2) only wants under 500 piece puzzles or over 1000 piece puzzles. Keep in mind that the further the recipient, the more expensive it will be to ship AND they may not be able to afford nor want to expend that amount of money to ship it back to you. So think about your recipient as well.

What if I don't return a puzzle in an exchange?
When you receive a puzzle from anyone, you are expected to return a similar puzzle to them within 30 days. The only exception is if YOU are Donations Only or they request NO EXCHANGE. If you do not return a puzzle within 30 days, your name is removed from the recipients list until you have corrected the deficiency and then you can either return to active status or be changed to "Donations Only" until such time as you decide to return to active.

How many puzzles can I ship?
You may ship as many puzzles to one person as they agree to receive. Due to shipping costs most people only want to receive one at a time.

What if I don't want an exchange?
You may send your puzzles to any of our members. If you do not want one in return make sure you include that message on the shipment notice form AND in a note inside the puzzle.

Do I have to fill out a shipment notice?
Yes. This form lets the recipient know that a puzzle is coming their way and when to expect it. It also helps us issue timeliness points for you. If you do not file a notice with tracking number, you will lose half of your rating points. Any swap without a tracking number will require delivery confirmation from the recipient to stay active.

Why should I use a shipment notice?
For 5 very good reasons.
1) This form is generated to let the recipient know a puzzle is headed their way. It lets them know if you expect a puzzle in return and what types you would like.
2) In addition, it contains information concerning the carrier and tracking number which we use to update the transit board.
3) It also tells us when a puzzle is delivered and we can follow up with the recipient and remind them to return one to you.
4) It is used to generate rating points to you and to keep rating points by the recipient. 5) If you don't file a shipment notice and you do not get a puzzle back, we cannot take action against the recipient.

What if I sent a puzzle and did not get one in return?
We want to know about it. This program is based on the honor system and intended to be fun. It is very irritating to send a puzzle and get nothing in return. If this happens to you, file a report right away so that we can take action to ensure that this does not happen to any other members. The tracking # also helps us monitor your shipment to a member and we can keep track of when they should send one out to you.

Why did I get a notice about a return puzzle?
We do not like to have to remind you to return a puzzle but sometimes people forget, therefore , we have a series of notices that are sent out. At two weeks, a return reminder is sent. At three weeks, we send a final notice and we remove your name from the recipients list until you mail back the puzzle. This is an indicator that you may be too busy and we want to help you catch up. After another week, we send another notice letting you know that it is your last day to mail the puzzle. Then there are other notifications that get sent out letting you know that your membership is in jeopardy of being suspended until you clear up the definquent returns. If you are delinquent, you will not be able to receive puzzles from members.

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Shipping

What shipping service should I use?
That is entirely up to you. Everyone has their own preferences. Compare rates with the ones you like and see which one is least expensive, faster, etc. Here are some of the most popular:
United States Postal Service
Canada Post
Federal Express
United Parcel Service
I have found that Priority mail is not too much more expensive and sometimes even less expensive than USPS standard post as long as the size fits within the guidelines. 9 of 10 parcels are cheaper using USPS than FEDEX or UPS. An average puzzle costs about $10.00 to ship. NOTE: FIRST CLASS MAIL DOES NOT INCLUDE TRACKING!

Do I have to use a tracking number?
It is required to calculate rating points, update the transit board, and help you with delivery problems when they ocurr. They are helpful in letting us know the status of the shipments that are in transit. If a tracking number is provided, we can use the scan information to update the transit board. Tracking numbers are not always included in postage (First Class). Sometimes you must purchase them as an upgrade.

How should I package my puzzle?
Remember that all packaging adds shipping weight. The best way to ship your puzzle is to use a Priority Mailing Box. Unless you are mailing two puzzles in the same box, you should use this box. If mailing more than one, use one of the Priority FLAT RATE BOXES. I used to say that just covering the box in brown paper was enough. Seeing those puzzles after two or three shipments they look like an elephant sat on them. The Priority mailing boxes from the Post Office are free, they are super strong and will not tear or crush. With the recent postage increase, it only costs about $.50 cents more to upgrade from 1st Class mail to priority. Always place your puzzle pieces in a ziplock plastic bag this way if a box rips, pieces don't go flying. Usually a 1 gallon ziplock will do the trick. Also, fill the ziplock with as much air as possible. Believe it or not, this will help keep the box from getting crushed as it is basically FREE FILL. AIR! Who would have thought it could be used as packing material?

Do I have to use the puzzle label?
No, this is an easy shipping label you can use if you want. It does not need to be in color.

What is the puzzle journey sheet for?
People like to know where all the puzzle has been before it came to them. In addition, you can look at the form and make sure the puzzle does not get sent back to any of the previous members before you send it out. When swapping puzzles locally, the form could be responsible for a new member joining. WARNING: if you send the same puzzle back to anyone on that list, or in the DO NOT SEND TO column of the REQUESTED PUZZLES page, you WILL get an infraction and either be required to send a replacement puzzle or lose one of your Quality Rating Points permanently.

What is the transit board?
This is an exciting new item that is similar to the arrivals/departures board that you would find at an airport. It is a great way to see all the activity going on between members. It is updated at least twice per day as puzzles pass through sorting stations as reported by the tracking numbers. It shows the most active members, puzzle swaps currently in progress, and the members who have not returned puzzles. A puzzle stays on the transit board until 1 week after it has completed a round trip swap. It is an easy way for members to see if they have any puzzles owed to other members as well. If a tracking number is not included, it gives a way for the recipient to log in the puzzle when it arrives.

What are the letters I, D, R, and O on transit board?
These letters are symbols for the status of the swap. I = and Initiated swap, the first half of a new swap, D = is a puzzle Donation, R = stands for a Returned swap, the last leg of the swap. O = can be many things. It can be membership puzzles (a puzzle purchased or included with a membership subscription) that is being sent. Usually if they originate in Palm Coast, FL 32135 this is the case.

What if there is no box for the puzzle?
You may only ship puzzles without a box to members who are listed as willing to accept puzzles with no box. We have received a lot of complaints by members receiving puzzles in plastic bags with the box cut apart and a copy of the picture. DO NOT DO THIS!

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Rating System

What is the rating system?
The Rating system is a tool to help members determine which members to trade with. Ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest.

Why are there two ratings?
One is for the timeliness of a return, the other is for the quality of a return.

How does it work?
The rating system works based on other member's experiences with a specific member. A good experience means the recipient member keeps their points where as a bad experience means they lose points. A recipient who does not return a puzzle at all will be downgraded to suspended until all delinquent puzzles are returned.

How do you determine to suspend a member?
This depends on the member's type of membership. If they have purchased a membership, they are suspended until they return all delinquent puzzles. They can then be returned to full "Will Swap" status. Their rating points will not be restored, they will need to earn those back based on performance. In addition, a member who does not return a puzzle is removed from the recipients list until they return ALL delinquent puzzles.

How do I get rating points?
Your first return is THE MOST IMPORTANT!
You get rating points in one of two ways by initiating a swap or by returning a puzzle. You can receive 5 to 10 points immediately by initiating a swap. Not providing a tracking number will cost you 1 point. If you initiate a swap with a member marked as NEW, you get 10 points. When you return a puzzle, based on the date you mail it is how your points are determined as you lose .1428 points for each day you wait to return a puzzle. In a nutshell the scale looks like this:
Returning a puzzle within 7 days of receipt earns 4 to 5 points.
Returning a puzzle within 8-14 days of receipt earns 3 to 4 points.
Returning a puzzle within 15-21 days of receipt earns 2 to 3 points.
Returning a puzzle within 22-28 days of receipt earns 1 to 2 points.
Returning a puzzle within 29 or more days of receipt earns 0 to 1 points.
Not returning a puzzle at all gains you no points and you will be suspended until you complete all delinquent puzzles.
If you are listed as Donations Only, you cannot get points until you have brought your membership back to good standing by returning all puzzles due to senders. You must use a shiping notice and tracking number for us to give you points.

What is the quality rating?
This is about the quality of a puzzle either in a return or an initiated swap. The bottom line here is that the quality is the same as the puzzle received or the puzzle initiated is acceptable to the recipient. Quality rating points are for the duration of your membership. You receive 5 quality points with your first puzzle return. For each complaint or dispute filed against you, you get 1 opportunity to correct the issue or you forfeit a point. The point can never be recovered. If you have multiple complaints in the same dispute form, you automatically forfeit the point. This practice shows that a member has little regard for the rules of the program and members should be aware of the risks of trading with these members.

How does the quality rating work on an initiate puzzle?
When a member joins they specify what types of puzzles are acceptable to them. This is what is listed on the recipients list. If they only want 500 - 750 piece puzzles and you send them a 1500 piece, AND THEY FILE A RETURN RATING, you will lose 1 point for each violation. A violation is any one of the categories on the recipients list. The recipients list changes daily, so check before you send. The rule to follow is to make sure you only send puzzles that the member has agreed to accept because you cannot make up this point.

How does the quality rating for a returned puzzle work?
The puzzle you return should be as close to the same quality as possible. If you don't have equal, send BETTER. If you get a White Mountain puzzle, don't return a Puzzlebug or one with a missing piece. If the recipient files a rating return, you will be given the opportunity to replace the puzzle you sent with an acceptable one or lose 1 point for the violation.

Can I get more than 5 points?
No, 5 is the maximum.

Why do my timeliness rating points change?
We average member's points every week. Your swap initiation points and your return swap points are averaged together to determine your total rating points. This score is averaged over the course of a calendar year. The score you have on Dec 31 is the one you start with on Jan 1. If you lose points during the year, you can initiate puzzle swaps to increase your average.

What if I have between 1 and 4 points, can I bring that up to 5?
Yes, as long as you are not Donations Only. You will receive 5 points for each of the swaps you initiate. This will help boost your total points. We would prefer that you send puzzles to new or not rated members before sending to others. As long as you return (mail) each puzzle within 7 of receipt, you can easily maintain a 5 point rating.

Why are you using a rating system?
It is very frustrating to members who want to participate when they ship a puzzle to another member who does not return one. That is what this website is all about, swapping. Then there is the expense. A member ships one of their puzzles, and loses out on both the shipping cost and the cost of the puzzle. It pretty much makes people not want to participate at all. So the rating system is a way to quickly determine those members who said "Yes, I will swap" but then for whatever reason chose not to honor their commitment. The Shipping notice forms help us track puzzles to calculate rating points.

Why are members rated NEW?
These members have not participated yet and have not been awarded points. Members who have been sent their first puzzle are removed from the recipients list until they return their first puzzle to complete the swap.

What are Swap notices?
We send out a variety of notices about swaps. You will get a notice when a new puzzle swap has been initiated with you and also one when a return puzzle has been sent. In the meantime, if you have not returned a puzzle after you have had it for two weeks, we will send a reminder. On the third week, a final notice will be sent letting you know you only have one more week to return a puzzle. At that point, your name will be removed from the recipients list until you have returned the puzzle. The biggest problem we have in this program is people not returning puzzles and this is the reason for the membership fees and all the required forms. We have identified typical signs that have become indicators for predicting whether a member will be a good participant or not.

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Puzzle Swap Meets

What is a puzzle swap meet?
A puzzle swap meet is for members to get together to trade puzzles in person. This is a new feature of the program and will invariably save members much money in shipping costs.

How can I participate?
You must be a member of the exchange to participate in swap meets. You should change your preferences to include participation in swap meets. This helps us identify safe locations for you and other members nearby to meet.

When are the meets scheduled?
The puzzle swap meet is planned every other month. It is scheduled for the third Saturday of the month starting at 9:00 AM. It should not take longer than an hour. Make sure you arrive on time as members will trade and leave. If you arrive late, you could miss the fun.

How does it work?
Select the puzzles that you want to trade. Make sure they have a puzzle journey sheet inside the box. Use the trunk of your car as your display table. Arrive at the designated location on time. Drive to a remote outer edge of the parking lot where you will not be in the way of people visiting the establishment. Park your car, get out and stand behind your car. As others arrive, they will see you and know that you are part of the swap meet. They will then park next to you and you can begin looking over each other's puzzles. You may trade by any means that are acceptable to you. You can trade puzzle for puzzle, or by number of pieces. Whatever works for each of you. You do not need to file a shipping notice. If a library puzzle is involved, you should visit the members library and report that you are in possession of it, especially if you have requested it. Library puzzles are NOT to be traded with non-members. A Puzzle library card will be created for you to be able to identify members and non-members. You must present a library card to be able to receive a Library puzzle.

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Miscellaneous

Why don't you use Facebook to administer the swaps?
Faceook is a great advertising medium but there is no good way to operate the exchange just by using Facebook. Members cannot find each other to swap with and unfortunately there is no easy way to connect members and organize a swap. Therefore, it is simply used for marketing and publicity.

Where can I get puzzles to trade?
You don't have to buy new. There are many places to get used puzzles. Garage sales sometimes have them. Call your local public library, they usually will have a couple book sales per year and generally will have used puzzles for $.50 to $2. or more to sell. Don't go to the dollar store and buy cheap tiny puzzles. While they don't cost much to ship, they are flimsy and the pieces are tiny. The recipient of such a puzzle may never trade with you again.

What kind of puzzles can participate?
Just about any kind of puzzle is allowed. It has to be a jigsaw puzzle. The SMALLEST edge should be greater than 11" and the LONGEST edge should be at least twice that (with the exception of children's puzzles). As a general rule, a standard puzzle piece is about 3/4 to 1" square. One easy trick to determine an appropriate size puzzle piece is to multiply the short side by the longer side and divide the total by HALF the number of pieces. A average puzzle will come out to be .80 to 1.0, whereas a small puzzle will result in .50 to .79. Anything less than .50 should not be traded. For example the typical dollar store puzzle that is 500 pieces is 11" x 18". So (11 x 18) / 250 = .79. Additionally, these small pieces are flimsy, will bend easily, are not good quality and should not be traded. If a puzzle is missing more than one piece, it should be thrown away. If you receive a puzzle with missing pieces and are not listed as willing to accept them, file a Return Rating form. We will alert them that the puzzle is missing a piece. If the piece cannot be located, it should be discarded and a return puzzle should not be returned. So please be carefull when packaging puzzles and sending them out.

I have a puzzle with a missing piece, can I ship it?
Yes, but there are certain conditions. If a puzzle has more than one missing a piece, it should be thrown away. If there is only one missing piece, you should circle the area on the box where the missing piece is located. On the box, write missing 1 piece. On the journey sheet, use one line to make a notation that the puzzle is missing one piece. On the next line write your name, city, state, Country and Date. This will go a long way toward helping the recipient not pull their hair out looking for it. Only ship puzzles with one missing piece to members who have stated that they are willing to receive them.

Who can I send a puzzle with a missing piece to?
This is our #1 problem, so please follow these procedures carefully. On the recipients list, you will notice a column for missing piece. If the box is empty, it means "NO". A member that is willing to accept a missing piece will have "Yes" in the box. Only these members can receive puzzle with a missing piece. If you are using the puzzle requests list to determine who to send a library puzzle to, you must check the recipients list to make sure they are willing to accept a puzzle with a missing piece. If you initiate a swap with a missing piece to a member not willing to recieve them, it will be considered a donation and no return will be required of the recipient. Additionally, a new line item has been set in place on the initiate a swap form. This is like an affidavit that you must state the condition of the puzzle pieces when you send the puzzle.

What happens if I find that a puzzle sent to me is missing a piece?
The first thing you do is to check the bag it was shipped in, search the area, and then file a dispute form. A puzzle piece can go missing when it is being placed in the bag for shipping and when it is unpacked to assemble. Either party could have lost it and not known. If you cannot find the piece, file the dispute form. Then under the name of the person who sent it on the journey sheet write "Found to be missing 1 piece" and enter the date. On the next line, write your name, city, state, country and date. This will document where the piece was found to be missing. Because it is one members word against another, we cannot be 100% certain who lost it. All parties must be especially careful in packing and unpacking the puzzles. That is the only way to reduce this problem.

What are special needs?
Some members have conditions that require certain types of puzzle pieces. Arthritis, Color Blindness, etc. If you have a condition that dictates that you cannot work all puzzles, let us know so that we can assist you in getting ones you can work. Members always check this category before sending a puzzle to a recipient.

What is a Private Listing?
We have had some concerns about privacy and addresses being published. It is for this reason that we only publish your first initial. If you have privacy concerns, we are testing a new feature where your street address must be requested. The only people that can receive this information are current members. The request is emailed in, and as long as the senders email matches the email of the member requesting the address, it will be returned. This prevents outsiders from obtaining this sensitive information. In addition, this will not be a free service. There will be a $12 per year charge for a private listing and it is currently only available to one and five year memberships.

Who we are

Puzzle enthusiasts just like you who have accumulated puzzles over time that we want others to enjoy.

Rather than selling them at garage sales, we would like to share them with people that want them.

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A bit of history

Puzzles are a big part of our life. The entire family would sit and enjoy each others company while working together.

Puzzling can also help strengthen mental skills and keep the brain healthy.

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Jigsaw Puzzle Swap Exchange