Doll Swaps – How the Numbers Work

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question markWhen you’re participating in a doll swap through an online group or community, the numbers may confuse you.  Here are some tips to help you understand how doll swaps work.

Aisling’s note: I posted this explanation at the WildArtDolls group at Yahoo Groups, where — in the past — people regularly swapped dolls. As of mid-2015, that group hasn’t been active for years, but we may re-energize it in the future.


When a swap is 3-for-3 or 10-for-10 or anything like that, it means you’ll receive the same number of dolls that you sent.  You’ll send four dolls and receive four in return, or whatever.

It does not mean that you’ll receive one doll from each player.  When hosts organize swaps, they have no idea how many people will play.  So, a 5-for-5 swap means you’ll send five dolls and receive five in return, even if 150 people are in the doll swap.


Many swap hosts figure that organizing the swap is enough work.  They don’t necessarily want to make something for the swap, too.

The swap will be announced as 5-for-4 or 10-for-9, or something like that.  The first number is how many dolls you’re sending.  The second number is how many dolls you’ll receive in return.

You’ll send the requested number of dolls, and the swap host will keep one of them (as a thank-you gift) before sorting the dolls to send out.

At the present time, most swaps seem to be organized that way.  So, if you sent 10 dolls but received 9 in return… that’s exactly what you were supposed to receive.


Some doll swaps are organized for fun, but also to benefit a specific group, usually a women’s shelter or a children’s hospital, or something like that.

The charity is always specified in the swap announcement, and a link usually helps you understand why this is an important charity or organization to help.

However, we’re generally careful not to sound like we’re trying to recruit people to join or support the charity.  It’s a fine line, but an important one when the charity is related to a particular religion or political group.

Generally, if you don’t want to contribute one swap item to that charity, you should not participate in the swap.  It’s considered rude to say, “I’d like to swap with members, but that’s all.”

Those doll swaps may be something like 5-for-4 or 10-for-9, but they may be 7-for-5 or 10-for-8, or something different.

So, you might send 6 dolls and receive 4 in return.  One of your dolls might be kept by the swap host as the usual thank-you gift, and one of your dolls will be donated to the charity.


Though I can post tips like this, every doll swap is different.  Always read the rules carefully, and follow them to the letter.  That will make the swap more fun for everyone, including the swap host and you.

If you have a question, comment, or a suggestion about doll swaps, post it as a comment, below.question mark

[Note: I  may earn a commission if you purchase something I’ve linked to.]

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