What’s a nail mail? How do I find a nail mail buddy? These are a couple of the many questions I get asked on Instagram. I am often dubbed as the nail mail fairy/queen on IG. Allow me to introduce you to the wonderful (and not so wonderful) world of NAIL MAIL. Let us begin with the basics.
“What’s a nail mail?”
There are two different types of nail mail.
1. Polish orders. You order some polishes online and it gets mailed to you. Some people on Instagram use this hashtag #nailmail to show their polish buys that they have received in the mail.
2. Nail mail with a nail mail buddy. You find a nail mail buddy to do some nail mail. You will send her a nail mail package and she will send you a nail mail package. Often, people on Instagram will use this hashtag #nailmail to show their amazing nail mail packages that they have received from their nail mail buddies.
“How do I find a nail mail buddy?”
There are several different ways in finding one.
1. People sometimes post on IG (Instagram) that they are looking for a nail mail buddy. You can reply to those posts. You can search through #nailmail or #nailmailbuddy on IG.
2. You can post on IG that you are looking for a nail mail buddy. Be sure to include the following hashtags #nailmailbuddy and #nailmail. It is important to include these so when a person that looks through pictures using these hashtags they will have better chances of finding your picture. Be sure to mention if you’re seeking a domestic or an international nail mail buddy.
3. Occasionally, I will post on IG allowing “experienced” nail mail buddies to adopt “newbies.” Be sure to keep an eye out for those posts! You can find me at justricarda on IG!
“Ok! I found a nail mail buddy, now what?”
Here’s some etiquette and tips to get you started.
1. You and your nail mail buddy will need to discuss and decide on a budget or number of polishes to send to each other. Be realistic and be honest!
2. It is considered rude to send USED polishes unless it has been discussed prior to the swap. In some situations, I have sent an used nail polish to someone because it was a HTF or a discontinued polish. I made sure that the other person was aware it was used and that the remaining amount in the polish bottle was acceptable to that person.
3. If you are looking for something specific, make sure that the other person is aware of this. Some people do share their wishlists. Having said that, it is also nice to be surprised.
4. Be FAIR! Don’t say you want Butter London polishes and you send her some Wet ‘n Wild nail polishes. I don’t have to elaborate further on this. It’s just common sense.
5. Agree on the date to ship it by and stick with it! Often, I hear stories about a nail mail buddy being very late in shipping theirs (like by weeks and months!). This is not acceptable.
6. It is important to ship your polishes securely. Wrap up your polishes in bubble wrap and tape it. They are often found at dollar stores and are cheap. This will protect your polish in the mail. Some people like to take the extra step and wrap the bubble wrapped polishes in some gift wrapping paper or tissue paper and tying it up with some ribbon or sticking some stickers on it.
7. Often, nail mail buddies will put in some non-nail related extras such as candies, lotions, makeup, jewelry, et cetera in their nail mail packages. It isn’t required but I am sure your nail mail buddy would love receiving those things in addition to the polishes.
8. Most importantly, communication is vital in making this nail mail swap a success!
“What are the pros and cons for nail mail?”
- You can try new brands that are not accessible for you (from other parts of the world).
- You can form new friendships! You and your nail mail buddy can find a common ground with each other and you may end up being friends for years down the line. I have some nail mail buddies that I consider to be my real friends – we not only talk about polishes, but we talk about our lives, kids, jobs, et cetera.
- Receiving sweet little surprises
- Trying different delicious foods and treats from different parts of the world. I have tried some amazing candies from other parts of the world! Sometimes I think I just do this for candy. LOL!
- You may receive polishes that you already have in your collection.
- You may have a nail polish buddy that do not ship your package in a timely manner.
- You may get burned. There are dishonest nail mail buddies out there! Please be sure to check the IG Nail Mail swapping list at http://ignailmail.wordpress.com/ Check this list out to see if your nail mail buddy is on the bad/good list.
- International shipping is VERY expensive! Please be aware of this. Often, people get shocked by how expensive it is to send a package overseas and may not be able to afford to send it.
- There is the risk of lost or damaged packages. I have received damaged packages and goods in the past due to rough mail handling by the post office or poor wrapping.
- There’s also the legal risk of shipping polish as many countries do not allow this.
If there is anything you wanted to know about that is not discussed here, please feel free to contact me on IG or email me! I do hope you will give this nail mail thing a try! It is fun … and VERY ADDICTING!