Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
There are quite a few features and services available on the Swip Swap St. Augustine website, and this page should answer any lingering questions you have about it. Of course if it doesn’t, please feel free to submit your own questions to us through our contact page.
Who is Swip Swap St. Augustine?
Who are we seems to be what everyone wants to know.
Swip-Swap St. Augustine was founded by a few people after getting kicked out of a Facebook trading group. The administrator was on a power trip, he performed a mass ban, and some of us who were exiled went on to start a new group, and have expanded it to this website.
At the time of this writing, the three people responsible for this site have never all met each other in person. We live within 5 miles of each other even.
Shawn, Karen, and David. We’re not hiding, ever. We’re all very approachable online. There’s a contact form on this website, or use the forums. We’re all listed as Admin on the Facebook pages and groups. If it’s a serious message, someone will respond to you.
Why did we build this site?
Swip Swap St. Augustine FL is the name of our first and busiest Facebook group. It’s where everything started.
Getting there was rough sometimes. We started with no rules, then slowly added a few. Then we added a bunch. Things got out of control with business advertising, charity requests, and things that were very far from the original intent of the site – consumer buying, selling, and trading.
We started specialty groups. Pets, Vehicles, Weddings, Electronics, Sports, Crafts, etc. Some took off, some did not. Just by watching the interactions in the group though, it was clear we needed to continue expanding. Before long, we had around 30 groups (over 50 today as I write this).
It wasn’t just us, of course. There are numerous other people running Swip Swap groups of their own. There are probably 1000 in north Florida alone.
So now we’ve got a flood of different content, and lots of different places to put it. It’s time for a website to keep the content straight.
That was the original goal of the site, just to organize the Facebook groups. When we did that, we noticed some great results for our groups in a Google search. The companies posting in our Advertising group were all ranking very high in their fields, and all the results were a direct result of being shown on our website.
That was all it took. We saw the opportunity to further help and promote local companies and services. We began implementing promotional and advertising tools on the website itself, and today it’s a very valuable tool to north east Florida advertisers.
Who can use the site?
Swip Swap St. Augustine is clearly intended for residents of St. Augustine Florida, and the county it resides in, St. Johns.
Our geographical area is north east Florida. We’re open to people ‘in the area’. Our main Facebook group requires you to do business in St. Augustine, or be willing to meet your customers in the area. The website, we’re a bit more flexible with.
Not too flexible. We’re sticking with north east to central Florida. We maintain Facebook groups for the following counties: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Union, and Volusia. Anything from these areas will be acceptable for the website.
If you are not in one of those counties, and you place an ad on our website, expect for it to be removed. If the ad you placed was paid for, we will not give you a refund, and instead will send you pictures of us eating the pizza we bought with your money.
What does the site offer?
There is a wide variety of tools on Swip-Swap St. Augustine to promote your goods with. We have tools for buying, selling, trading, promoting, socializing, and much more.
Start advertising in our classifieds. They’re the primary focus on our main page. Classified ads made a successful transition from printed newspaper to internet. It’s a great tool to get the word out.
Our business directory has something for everyone. Submit your company with a free lifetime listing. Review the place you had dinner at last night, or find a suggestion for dinner tonight. Moving into St. Augustine? Find out about our schools, government services, utilities, and more.
Want to find out what’s happening in and around St. Augustine? Check out the Event Calendar. Any registered user can submit a public event. Find something to do, and make the most of the weekend!
The Employment section, much like the Swip Swap St. Augustine Jobs group on Facebook, has quickly become one of the most active spots on the site. Find a job, post a job. Situations Wanted ads are ok. The job board is 100% free to post and respond. We also have integration with Indeed, and if there aren’t a whole lot of new posts from our users, Indeed picks up the slack and posts a bunch of employment leads. Get to work!
The Forums are a great place to meet your neighbors! We have forums for discussing Swipping and Swapping, we have local advertising forums, we have help forums, we have community forums…we’ve got a lot of forums. Anything you need to know in St. Augustine, this is the place.
And of course there are the Swip Swap St. Augustine Facebook groups. We’ve got groups that cover all the north east Florida counties, and we’ve got plenty of specialty groups. Through the groups alone, you can buy sell trade and promote almost anything.
The site offers much more than we can really detail in the response to this question. The main features highlighted above each have additional features to them that appeal beyond their advertised feature. For example, directory listings have user reviews. Great for both the customer, who wants to leave word for other potential patrons. Great for owners of the business, who want to know what customers are thinking, or to resolve issues.
So really, the best answer to ‘what does the site offer’ is, login for yourself and start playing, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you.
Can you tell me how to use...?
We have guides for most of the site features.
- Banner Ads
- Facebook Groups
- Event Calendar
- Paid Advertising
- Free Adverising
- Membership Packages
Some of those aren’t necessarily site features, but will instead help you use a combination of the services to get the best results for your time and advertising budgets. Read one, read them all. Use the site, and get your product out there.
Why do features of the site cost money?
When we were just simply Facebook groups, we experimented with different levels of business advertising among the consumer posts. And within no time, we had businesses competing with each other, posting numerous times daily, and getting friends to bump their posts. It was a mess, and consumer ads were buried.
We had to change the rules, and limit business posts.
With the website, we’re not going to go down the same road. We charge a small amount per ad, to keep it fair. If a business has to pay for ad space, they’re not likely to abuse the service. The per-ad price is just high enough to cover our processing fees, and a tad bit to the website hosting bills. We do offer advertising packages that give you more rights to post, and are much better for long term advertising.
There are plenty of free advertising options on the website, be sure to check into all of them before you do decide to make a payment for any of our services.
How is payment processed?
That depends on what, exactly, you’re referring to.
If it’s a service from or offered by Swip-Swap St. Augustine themselves, the answer is simply PayPal. If you’re buying a classified ad, a directory listing, or a banner ad, you’ll be transferred to PayPal to complete the payment.
Our PayPal account is verified, as you will see during the SSL secure checkout procedure. PayPal makes everything very easy for a business to use, from online accounting to smartphone credit card scanners, they’re the right answer for this small business.
If you are making a purchase through someone else on the site, it’s really up to them, and we have zero control over how it works. If you’re buying a product from a classified ad, the seller decides how payment is handled. Same thing if you go to an event from our calendar, or patronize a business from the directory – it’s up to them, and out of our hands.
At no time are you making a payment for any Google or Facebook services with Swip Swap St. Augustine. Their services are provided for free, we pass them on that way.
What's up with the Facebook integration?
Swip Swap St Augustine started on Facebook, it’s only natural to continue with them.
Logging into, or submitting any sort of content to the Swip-Swap-St-Augustine website requires you to use a Facebook verified account. The reason is simple – it helps us to prevent spam, and out of area advertisements. It helps keep our customers a bit safer, when they have the ability to look over someones Facebook profile before going off to meet someplace and buy something from a complete stranger.
And we do run a feed of the public groups here on the website. If you post an ad in one of our Facebook groups, there is a very good chance you will see that ad re-posted here. Exposure. Google and other search engines scan the site, read your ad, index it, and suddenly people who are not in the Facebook groups can see your item for sale.
This is done using Facebook Developer tools, access granted to us the ability to use specific Facebook data. We comply with all of their privacy features, and if you feel your content should not be shown on our website from a Facebook feed, it would be in your best interest to check your own Facebook Privacy settings. Also, if you do continue to participate in our groups, you are allowing us use of your data.
It’s all win.
The Swip Swap St. Augustine website does offer premium features, however, at no time are you paying for any sort of Facebook features, access, or anything. All Facebook features are free from them, we just pass them on exactly the same.
What's up with the Google integration?
The Google integration of the Swip Swap St. Augustine website is not quite as widespread as the Facebook features. Google is here more for promoting your content.
Google Analytics is integrated into the site. It keeps track of what’s happening, lets us know of any problems with the code, and gets your ad indexed for a Google search.
It’s also, like Facebook integration, all win.
No one responds to my ad?
Facebook Integration. Your account here is set-up via Facebook information. If the e-mail address you use in conjunction with your Facebook account is no good, no one can respond to your ads. Your best bet is to keep your Facebook information up to date. You can also change your e-mail directly on this site by visiting your Profile page. If it’s a valid e-mail, you’ll get the responses submitted for your ad.
What personal information do I need to give?
For most ads, the amount of personal information is up to you. Obviously your name, and Facebook account will be linked to the ad. You need a description. That’s about it. You can choose to put your address, phone, alternate e-mail, and more information, but none of it is required. Keep your own safety in mind before posting any of that information on what is, essentially, a publicly searchable website.
How does Swip Swap St. Augustine use my data?
We mostly don’t. There aren’t going to be e-mail newsletters, we won’t be selling our databases. There’s enough shady stuff happening on the web already, and we don’t want to add to that.
We do use it though, to promote the product, service, or whatever is in the ad. Your ads can be exported from here to our Twitter page, for example. Someone can be viewing your business in our directory, and click a Social Share icon, which will promote your business on the chosen service. That’s about it.