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Subject: BGG Secret Santa 2011 Wrap-Up and a call for volunteer Replacement Santas rss

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Matthew M Monin
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manymoodys wrote:
Wow! Just received Shipyard, Taj Mahal and Acquire from Secret Santa. Not totally sure if from old Santa or new Santa, but thrilled nonetheless. Will post on the other list as well, but wanted to get this right out. Please take me off the "nothing but a lump of coal" list!!!


We aren't at the point of reassigning people yet - so this was from your original Santa!
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Warren Adams
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jonocop wrote:
I understand that life gets in the way (heck that's the reason I backed out this year because I knew things would get complicated if I went in). But the person who didn't send anything still GOT something!
It is an interesting point. Spend nothing, get something.

I guess at the very least they could forward the gift that they have received on to their target and explain via the santa email why they have done that.

In the grand scheme of things, the substitute secret santas are the people that are really just buying a gift for those that ended up not sending anything.

We are just balancing the exchange by adding something into it without taking anything out, to cover for those that have taken something out without putting anything in.

I signed up for the DT secret santa substitute (although I wasn't in the secret santa), but if you still need another substitute here let me know.
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Zé Mário
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I didn't get anything this year. So it it's even more obvious to me how amazing is the fact that some people are stepping forward to provide a second opinion on my behavior this year.

So to all, thank you.
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T B
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tallboy wrote:
I guess at the very least they could forward the gift that they have received on to their target and explain via the santa email why they have done that.


Yeah, I like this option. Postage is a pain in the rear, but if your finances have deteriorated so rapidly that you can't afford to buy and ship a game, this is potentially a solution.

Now, I wonder (and I may be way off the mark here) whether some folks just got intimidated by the complexities of using the postal service. Yeah, I know, it's not difficult... but it takes time and effort and can be intimidating for novices.

Would a BGG postal guide (with sections about posting to and from each country) be something that would assist said novices? Does such a guide already exist?

I'm not a BGG SS participant, as much as I would have liked to, because I knew I couldn't afford it - therefore I don't know if you get handed all this info on a platter, and if so, excuse my ignorance.

CRC
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Eric Kuha
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CapnRedChops wrote:
tallboy wrote:
I guess at the very least they could forward the gift that they have received on to their target and explain via the santa email why they have done that.


Yeah, I like this option. Postage is a pain in the rear, but if your finances have deteriorated so rapidly that you can't afford to buy and ship a game, this is potentially a solution.

Now, I wonder (and I may be way off the mark here) whether some folks just got intimidated by the complexities of using the postal service. Yeah, I know, it's not difficult... but it takes time and effort and can be intimidating for novices.

Would a BGG postal guide (with sections about posting to and from each country) be something that would assist said novices? Does such a guide already exist?

I'm not a BGG SS participant, as much as I would have liked to, because I knew I couldn't afford it - therefore I don't know if you get handed all this info on a platter, and if so, excuse my ignorance.

CRC


It would certainly be interesting to see if such a guide would reduce the number of delinquent Santas. And, since so much of this hobby is centered around trading to begin with, such a guide would just be a damned good idea in general.

That said, I don't think that's the reason for most Santa delinquencies. It's an interesting theory, but my gut tells me it's not the real answer. My thinking is, if someone is intimidated by the postal system, then they likely would just not sign up.

That said, the real benefit of this postal guide would actually be a little different. I think that by posting this guide in the call for Secret Santa in October, might just attract more participants and make this a bigger, more awesome event. If people stay away from SS in general because they are intimidated by the way it has to be implemented, a nicely presented, easy-to-follow guide to all things shipping might just allay some fears and attract more participants.
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Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
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The barebones Santa:

1. Check the box that says "pick a recipient in my country" (or any popular country)

2. Pick an OLGS in the target's country.

3. Order a gift from their wishlist on the web.

No shipping know-how required.
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Adria D
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CapnRedChops wrote:
Now, I wonder (and I may be way off the mark here) whether some folks just got intimidated by the complexities of using the postal service. Yeah, I know, it's not difficult... but it takes time and effort and can be intimidating for novices.

Would a BGG postal guide (with sections about posting to and from each country) be something that would assist said novices? Does such a guide already exist?

I'm not a BGG SS participant, as much as I would have liked to, because I knew I couldn't afford it - therefore I don't know if you get handed all this info on a platter, and if so, excuse my ignorance.

CRC

I'm not sure a separate shipping guide is necessary...

There is already a very extensive list of online stores for various countries. There is also a geeklist - separated out by country - that lists these stores, as well as some customs information. Users have also added customs/shipping info to this list, and some BGG users from notoriously-hard-to-ship-to places have offered their assistance to anyone who asks for it. Some Santas have even had success with directly asking their target for assistance via the Santa account.

If one is unsure of how to go about international shipping, they could either choose to have a target from their country, or they could shop an online store in/near the target's country and have the store ship it.
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Don D.
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How deep is the need for secret santas to have targets from other countries? I selected that this year and got a target in India. Shipping was $45 using USPS 21 day arrival or $145 using fed ex 7 day arrival. It really hurt to spend so much on shipping when I could have spent that money on more games for my target if it was a more local target. I tried to fight the sick feeling by hoping that there is a huge need for people in the US to take on targets from outside the states!
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I'd be curious to know the country breakdown of people who were slighted by Santa versus the breakdown of the exchange overall.

(And yes, I know that there are countries where package delivery is less reliable than others.)
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Murray Fish
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dond80 wrote:
How deep is the need for secret santas to have targets from other countries? I selected that this year and got a target in India. Shipping was $45 using USPS 21 day arrival or $145 using fed ex 7 day arrival. It really hurt to spend so much on shipping when I could have spent that money on more games for my target if it was a more local target. I tried to fight the sick feeling by hoping that there is a huge need for people in the US to take on targets from outside the states!


I am not (nor have I ever been) an American, but I had a similar experience in that my target was in Russia and it was a real effort to find an online shop that was willing to negotiate postage that was only the same price as the game I purchased from them. Most shops quoted over a hundred US dollars for postage to the capital of the former Soviet Union.

Like yourself, I was somewhat vexed at paying the price of a new game for postage for one item.

Not sure how to address this other than participate in the Australia/NZ SS next year and not worry about the international one.
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Gerald McDaniel
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muzfish4 wrote:
dond80 wrote:
How deep is the need for secret santas to have targets from other countries? I selected that this year and got a target in India. Shipping was $45 using USPS 21 day arrival or $145 using fed ex 7 day arrival. It really hurt to spend so much on shipping when I could have spent that money on more games for my target if it was a more local target. I tried to fight the sick feeling by hoping that there is a huge need for people in the US to take on targets from outside the states!


I am not (nor have I ever been) an American, but I had a similar experience in that my target was in Russia and it was a real effort to find an online shop that was willing to negotiate postage that was only the same price as the game I purchased from them. Most shops quoted over a hundred US dollars for postage to the capital of the former Soviet Union.

Like yourself, I was somewhat vexed at paying the price of a new game for postage for one item.

Not sure how to address this other than participate in the Australia/NZ SS next year and not worry about the international one.


My target was also in Russia, but my online game store (Time Well Spent) shipped my order for about $50 US, and it got there reasonably quickly and well ahead of Christmas. It shipped through the U.S. Postal Service, and I tracked it online all the way through Russian customs and to the target's locality, which was a nice surprise to me.
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Chuckhazard
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Will it be announced when targets are assigned? I ask because my wishlist has been more or less frozen for two months, and I don't want to make any purchases or trades if rescue Santa is already perusing my wishlist.
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chuckhazard wrote:
Will it be announced when targets are assigned? I ask because my wishlist has been more or less frozen for two months, and I don't want to make any purchases or trades if rescue Santa is already perusing my wishlist.


+1
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Matthew M Monin
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chuckhazard wrote:
Will it be announced when targets are assigned? I ask because my wishlist has been more or less frozen for two months, and I don't want to make any purchases or trades if rescue Santa is already perusing my wishlist.


Yes - I will let you know. Most re-assignements won't happen until the end of the month.
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Abraham Drucker
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muzfish4 wrote:
dond80 wrote:
How deep is the need for secret santas to have targets from other countries? I selected that this year and got a target in India. Shipping was $45 using USPS 21 day arrival or $145 using fed ex 7 day arrival. It really hurt to spend so much on shipping when I could have spent that money on more games for my target if it was a more local target. I tried to fight the sick feeling by hoping that there is a huge need for people in the US to take on targets from outside the states!


I am not (nor have I ever been) an American, but I had a similar experience in that my target was in Russia and it was a real effort to find an online shop that was willing to negotiate postage that was only the same price as the game I purchased from them. Most shops quoted over a hundred US dollars for postage to the capital of the former Soviet Union.

Like yourself, I was somewhat vexed at paying the price of a new game for postage for one item.

Not sure how to address this other than participate in the Australia/NZ SS next year and not worry about the international one.


I had a similar experience last year with a target who was in Russia. My first attempt was to try an navigate a russian game store site, but even with a native russian on the phone with me, that proved difficult. My target was actually extremely helpful and offered up Boards and Bits (an american OGS) as an alternative (where he bought his games). Shipping was still expensive ($40 or so), and it took about 6 weeks to get there, but I spoke frequently with him to update him on the status of the package. It actually ended up being cheaper to order from B&B than to order it from a Russian store and have it delivered to him.

I think some countries are just really difficult to get games to, whether or not you live there. For the target, he had to go through the same rigmarole to buy games for himself, so even though a lot of money was spent on shipping, games in Russia are just more expensive than in other parts of the world.

I feel a little bad about it, but this year, I limited it to the US.
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Yes, I had a Russian target this year (US last year, so I guess it evens out), and s/he too recommended B&B as his/her source; according to the tracking info it arrived before christmas, but no acknowledgment yet from him/her, which is a little worrying.
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Curtiss Cox
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What should a user do if they originally requested assistance, but since doin so they received their package?
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Matthew M Monin
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CheddarLimbo wrote:
What should a user do if they originally requested assistance, but since doin so they received their package?


Geekmail me!
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Douglas Glisson
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I had a target in Russia this year as well. I spent 125% of the cost of the game to ship a $65 game there. To me, that's part of the fun of the Secret Santa exchange. Helping a Comrade in the FSR get a hook up on a game that's difficult to get where he lives. I was able to see the tracking info all the way to the delivery. The Russian site was of no help to me and so I shipped from North America. Too bad as I would have liked to spend more on the recipient instead of shipping. soblue

Kraken Fan #69
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Todd Walden
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Every year I participate in the full international Secret Santa, and for the last few years I've gotten targets all over the world. I wonder, though, because I've seen a lot of comments about limiting to US only, if each year I become less and less likely to get a target IN the US. It seems that as people bow out, I'm more and more likely to get an international target.

I LOVE sending stuff overseas, but because of the shipping, I rarely get to be one of the "hero" secret santas. It'd be nice to do that again, but I also like the mystery of not knowing where my target will be in the world. I guess, in other words, I'm a bit worried that the mystery has been replaced by "WILL get an international target."

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It seems Russia is its own particular case, but thought it worthwhile to describe my experience.

I know 8 BGGs, all of us had faraway secret santa targets. All of us used local game shops and paid domestic shipping. One guy clicked on the flag and found a BGG in his target's country to help with a game store whose language (French) he didn't understand. The Santa threads were full of posts pointing out retailers in target countries so no international shipping would be necessary.

I sent my target (6000km away) something personal from here, and two mid-sized games from a FLGS near their house. Total shipping paid: 20 bucks.

I'm not saying anyone's not a good Santa--obviously the program shows the opposite is true. I'm saying BGG and its members provided ample information so the vast majority of people would have required no international shipping.
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Zolotarev Vladimir
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I'm from Russia...

And so went my first exchange. My "target" got a present from Santa and said that he was very pleased. What I can not say about myself. My Santa forgot about me. ;( No letters from Santa... Neither any gift...

This is a very sad experience. I am glad only that I was able to bring joy to my "target".
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Michelle Sim
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Hi guys,

Just to share with u!
I got an USA target for SS2012 and I bought my games from USA online store and paid for the shipping of abt USD8-10 if I remember correctly to get the parcel to my target.

Bogas - www.bogas.com.sg offers free shipping anyway in Singapore for purchase of more than SGD75. My Secret Santa sent me 5 small games from Bogas with the free shipping thrown in!

Cheers,
Michelle
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Carlos Couto
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I'm still without Santa these year... cry
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Nikki Ebright
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JesterPoet wrote:
I LOVE sending stuff overseas, but because of the shipping, I rarely get to be one of the "hero" secret santas.


I think with so many people afraid of the international shipping, the fact that you do send things to our fellow geeks overseas means that you are a hero secret santa, every year.
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