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How to SkillSwap
Welcome to Swapaskill! Our aim at Swapaskill is to bring back the community spirit of trust, giving and sharing. A community where people use their skills and talents to do favours for each other and enrich each others' lives. By using the things that you're good at and enjoy doing, you can get as much pleasure, if not more, out of the giving as you can out of the receiving.

As a Guest member you can register your skills for free, receive skills matches and search for other members who have the skills you need or who are looking for the skills you have. As a Full member (6 pounds for a month with discounts for longer periods) you can contact as many other members on the site as you like.

RECOMMEND TWO FRIENDS AND GET FREE FULL MEMBERSHIP FOR A MONTH! Simply email two friends and invite them to join Swapaskill, copy us in on the email (admin@swapaskill.com) and we will give you a month's free membership.



HOW TO SWAP SKILLS AND EXCHANGE FAVOURS


1. Register your own skill

 

Think about the skills and talents you have, something you are good at and enjoy doing. You don’t have to be professional or qualified. For example, you may be good at gardening, and enjoy gardening and be prepared to do some gardening for someone in exchange for something they do for you. Or you may be good at cooking and be able to offer cooking lessons or cook and serve for a dinner party. You might enjoy driving and offer chauffeuring or love dogs and offer dog sitting. The idea is that you enjoy the giving as much as you do the receiving. Remember to make your profile as attractive as possible. Tell people what you can offer as well as the skill you have. So for example, your skill might be driving and with this skill you may be able to offer chauffeuring, lifts from the pub, lifts for disabled people etc. If your skill is cooking, you may be able to offer catered and served dinner parties, cooking lessons or cooked meals in packs that can be frozen. Use your imagination, think what services you can provide with the skills you have and put it all in the EXPERIENCE AND WHAT I CAN OFFER box in your profile. To make your profile more appealing to other members we recommend that you upload a photo of yourself or of the skill you're offering. If you don't have a photo, contact us and we will help you.

 

2. Find someone who is interested in your skill
  • i) When you register your skills the system will automatically show you your matches. It will give you exact matches (people looking for what you're offering and also offering what you are looking for), people who are looking for what you are offering who are offering other skills (they may have skills you're really interested in but haven't considered) and all other members in your area regardless of what they're offering or seeking. Also, we will notify you by email with suitable matches when new members join that match your profile.
  • ii) Search for people in your area looking for your skills by clicking on SEARCH FOR A FRIEND WHO NEEDS YOUR SKILL at the top of the site.
  • iii) Search for people in your area who are willing to swap a skill and may consider swapping their skill for yours by clicking SEARCH FOR A SKILL YOU NEED

Remember that many people will be willing to consider swapping their skills in exchange for different things and even though they haven't specified they're looking for your skills, they may still be interested in them. Therefore, if you're interested in what they have to offer, contact them to see if they're interested.

3. Message the person and build a friendship
When you feel ready you can exchange contact details and chat about doing each other a favour. When you have built friendship and trust you can start talking about the favours you can do for each other. For example, 'I need my windows cleaning and in exchange I can fix your car'.

 

4. Agree together what you think is a fair exchange
Agree timescales for doing the favours for each other. See 'guidelines for a fair exchange' to help you.

 

5. Carry out your skill exchange favours!
Remember to write each other a testimonial if you are happy with the favour that was carried out and remember to tell us your stories!

 

Please note!
This site is for exchanging favours only and not for the sale of goods or services. Anyone attempting to sell goods or services will be excluded from the network. If anyone tries to sell you goods or services, please let us know by hitting the 'complain' button on their profile.

Guidelines for a fair exchange:

 

Making the exchange fair for both parties
Whilst it is up to you as friends to decide on what is a fair exchange, below are some guidelines and important things to consider to help you.


What is a fair exchange?
To enter into the spirit of friendship and trust, we suggest that when you are deciding on what is a fair exchange, you base it on the time you give each other rather than the market value of your skill. Market value changes constantly but time is something that is equally valuable to all of us. Ultimately, what is important is that you are both happy with the agreement you have made. remember

 

Checking capabilities
You may want to acquire evidence of each other's expertise. For example, if someone is offering to take photographs because they are good at photography, you may ask them to show you examples of their work. Or if someone is offering singing lessons, you may contact people they have previously provided lessons to for a reference. If at any time you have any doubts about the trustworthiness or the competence of another member, we strongly recommend that you withdraw communications and contact us with details. Trust your instincts!

 

Agreeing timescales
Both parties should agree the timescales within which they are going to carry out the favours for each other. Agree specific dates that the favours will be done on and both parties diarise the dates.

 

Helping each other to build trust
One way in which you can build the trust between each other whilst you are doing each other a favour is to review your progress as you go along. So for example, if someone is knitting you a jumper and you are painting them a picture and you have agreed that you will both do your part within 2 months, you may want to get together after a month to show each other how you're getting on. This helps to develop your friendship as well as reassuring each other that the favour is being carried out as agreed. It also helps you to agree whether any adjustments need to be made along the way so that you are both happy with the final outcome.

 

What is expected of me when I enter into an exchange agreement?
Being part of the Swapaskill community means you are signing up to being honest and trustworthy at all times. If you have agreed to swap skills and do each other a favour, you must both honour your agreement unless you jointly decide otherwise. This site wishes to promote friendship, fairness and goodwill. Anyone accepting a favour who has promised to do one in return and doesn't carry it out, will be (unless there are, in our view, exceptional circumstances) excluded from the site. If you experience another member behaving in a dishonest and untrustworthy manner, please make a complaint to us by pressing on the 'complain' button on their profile.

Feedback and testimonials are important as they help to build your good reputation and will enable you to attract more people who want to do you a favour, in turn opening a whole world of new opportunities for you. If you are happy with the favour you've received, remember to write a brief testimonial.


MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS

Guest membership

Guest Membership is free. Guest membership allows you to register your skills, search for other members who have the skills you're looking for and who need your skills. You can also receive email notifications of new matches and receive messages from other members.

Full membership

Full membership gives you all of the benefits that you have as a guest member and also allows you to send messages to other members on the site. Full membership is 6 UK pounds for 1 month which allows you to contact as many other members as you wish. There are discounts for longer membership periods. To upgrade to full membership go to EDIT PROFILE in your profile.


 

Your safety
In order to exchange favours it is likely you will need to meet other members. In any community there is an element of risk when meeting new people. Whilst we continuously endeavour to make this community a safe and trusting environment, your personal safety is your own responsibility. To help you, below are guidelines that you should follow to minimise any risk.

Safety guidelines

 

Be vigilant
Look for odd behavior or inconsistencies both online and offline. The person at the other end may not be who or what he or she says. Trust your instincts. If anything at all makes you uncomfortable, don't agree to meet the person or if you are with them walk away for your own safety and protection. If instinctively you are unsure about the person in any way or suspect they are being dishonest about their skills or capabilities, cease contact with them.

 

Talk on the phone first
A phone call can reveal much about a person's communication and social skills. Consider your security and do not reveal your personal phone number to a stranger. Try a mobile phone number instead or use local telephone blocking techniques to prevent your phone number from appearing in Caller ID. Only furnish your phone number when you feel completely comfortable.

 

Only meet when you feel comfortable
The beauty of meeting and relating online is that you can collect information gradually, later choosing whether to pursue the friendship and exchange favours in the offline world. You never are obligated to meet anyone, regardless of your level on online friendship. And even if you decide to arrange a meeting, you always have the right to change your mind. Trust yourself. Go with your instincts.

 

Watch out for warning signs
Pay attention to displays of anger, intense frustration or attempts to pressure or control you. Acting in a passive-aggressive manner, making demeaning or disrespectful comments or any physically inappropriate behavior are all warning signs. You should be concerned if the other person exhibits any of the following behavior without providing an acceptable explanation:
  • Provides inconsistent information about age, interests, appearance, marital status, profession, employment, etc.
  • Refuses to speak to you on the phone after establishing an ongoing, online friendship.
  • Fails to provide direct answers to direct questions.
  • Appears significantly different in person from his or her online persona.
  • Refuses or tries to avoid producing examples of their work or relevant references

Meet safely
When you choose to meet offline, always tell a friend where you are going and when you will return. Leave the name and telephone number of the person you are meeting with your friend or family member. Never arrange to be picked up at your home. Provide your own transportation, meet in a public place at a time with many people around (a familiar restaurant or coffee shop is often a good choice), and when the meeting is over, leave on your own as well. Refrain from drinking excessively, as it could impair your ability to make good decisions. If at some point you and you both decide to move to another location, take your own car.

 

Getting out of a difficult situation
Never do anything you feel unsure about. If you are in any way afraid of the person you are meeting, use your best judgment to diffuse the situation and get out of there. Excuse yourself long enough to call a friend for advice, ask someone else on the scene for help or slip out the back door and drive away. If you feel you are in danger, call the police; it's always better to be safe than sorry. Never worry or feel embarrassed about your behavior; your safety is much more important than one person's opinion of you.

 

Remember!
While liars, cheaters and imposters certainly ply their craft on the Web, you'll also find them on the streets, in nightclubs , cocktail parties or even sitting across from you at your local cafe. Regardless of where you meet someone, meeting new people is never a risk-free activity, but a little caution will reduce your risk. Be vigilant wherever you are!
   
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