Clear and Concise Trade Emails Please

soilent_greenNovember 24, 2010

The only problematic issue I have come upon in being on this fun website is the following: People send rambling emails asking for a trade and mentioning other things and the weather and this and that and how their flowers grew and the cucumbers didn't do well and by the way I would love some of this also and I grew this new thing and have a few seeds if you want some...

By the time I get to the end of the email I am often confused with just what they are requesting and what they are offering in return.

I set up trade emails with the usual details and then make the trade offer clear such as the following:

Tom requests from Jane:

(25) Some flower

(25) Some other flower

(15) Some vegetable

(20) Some other vegetable

Jane requests from Tom:

(20) Some flower

(20) Some other flower

(25) Some vegetable

(20) Some other vegetable

This format can then be adjusted by the other trade partner until a trade agreement is reached.

I have absolutely no problem chatting with folks - in fact I rather enjoy hearing what others are doing with their gardens elsewhere around the United States. All I ask is to please keep the chatting separate from the trade deal in the email.

Lastly, as mentioned in forums elsewhere, please state your GW nickname somewhere in your first contact email at least. It helps for future reference as well as for referencing your seed lists while the trade deal is being negotiated.

Thanks and have a Great Day!


Here is a link that might be useful: My Seed Lists

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Thanks so much for this suggestion Tom. I tend to be one that 'rambles' in emails. After reading your post I started doing as you suggested. Everything in a tidy list so hopefully both parties will be happy with the trade. Now, I'm not saying I dont add a paragraph or 2 about weather, etc. But then, I like learning from others experiences and hearing their stories.
Thanks again :)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 12:42PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I tend to be one that 'rambles' in emails.
But I love how loquacious you are in your nice newsy rambling emails...but then we aren't working a trade

I do agree though Tom...a recap of exactly what is being sent each way is a good way to help keep things straight, especially if a smaller trade ends up growing into a bigger trade.

Sue...another very loquacious one

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 4:20PM
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The gift of gab is most certainly a trait common to most gardeners, especially when it involves their particular interests. Start talking to me about my gardening interests and I will bore you to tears. :-)

The main reason for my original post is that I ended up in a few trades where I got the impression that feelings got hurt because of poor communication. I simply did not understand completely what they wanted or were offering, and may have gotten a bit curt in my emails. When 6 emails have gone back and forth and I still do not know with certainty what is going on, I admit I start to lose patience. It is just a seed trade after all. I feel like dropping the whole thing but I do not want to hurt any feelings by doing that. So I plod through it until it is completed to their satisfaction.

And yes, my emails do get long winded at times. But my experiences have taught me to spell out every detail regarding what is expected of me and my trade partner. One reason I do this to get it recorded in the back and forth email correspondence so either trade partner can refresh one's memory at a glance of what has been discussed or agreed on. The second reason is to reduce the amount of back-and-forth emails (this has worked well). The third reason is to help inexperienced trade partners so that they have a fun, hassle-free trading experience with me.

I now must stop for I am again being rather garrulous. ;-)

Thanks for your comments, NancyPlants and Sue. My goodness - I posted the original comments back in November. Seems like ages ago...I can't seem to stop talking...winter storm watch for my impatiens seeded...maple syruping season starts in a couple of weeks...dishwasher broke down yesterday...


    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 12:20AM
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oh goodness, I recently discovered I am 'loquacious'.
And now I find out I'm 'garrulous' as well!
(yep, I had to use the dictionary) hehe
Ya know Sue, I thought of you as I typed the above post. But you're the exception, honest, maybe hahaha
Tom, you cracked me up with your maple syrup and broken dishwasher. My kitty is looking at me like I'm nuts!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 2:39AM
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I can agree Tom! I think in a few of my trades we have gotton off track because we are talking so much and we started off with one trade in particular, then we'll get to talking about some of the other seed's that we have in our "stash", then onto something in our home life, then gardens, etc, then back to the stash. LOL then finally we'll get back to the trade, so it would be easier to lay it all out, and keep the chatting very separate. One of my trades was smart, she'd always start an email with the trade we had at the beginning of it, and if we added anymore to it, she'd put it at the top, (sometimes we'd come across that i had a seed that she wanted or vice versa) by the end it was a good trade and it went well!! LOL but always with that trade up at the top of the email! LOL Long winded huh....don't know anyone like that??!! **grin**

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 1:32PM
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