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

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Jacco Versteeg
United Kingdom
Crewe
Cheshire
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Hello Santa,

Just in case you are keeping an eye out: confirmation when something has actually been shipped would be very welcome. Just in case more things go wrong and the parcel ends up getting lost.

EDIT: and of course, as I get home I find a card from the post office. Attempted delivery of a parcel.
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Gerald Rüscher
Germany
Paderborn
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Essen 2012 - yay!
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quelf elf wrote:
It seems Russia is its own particular case, but thought it worthwhile to describe my experience.
[...]
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.

The majority - yes. But not all. My primary target this year was from Kiev/Ukraine and I found it more or less impossible to buy a game online in Ukraine. Foreign language, Cyrillic script, no English etc. Even if I'd managed to decrypt a Ukrainian website in non-western script I wouldn't have dared to order anything without knowing whether they fully understand me. So I took the hard way, bought the games in Germany and sent the packet via surface mail which cost me €80 for the games plus another €35 for shipping. Plus, I had to prepare customs declaration. All went well, but it somehow felt wrong to put so much money and effort just in shipping and bureaucracy rather than preparing a nice gift. When I volunteered as a replacement Santa, I was lucky and got a fellow geek from Switzerland as my 2nd target so ordering online was no problem.

Bottom line: For the next Secret Santas, we should probably point out more cleary that "international" means "INTERNATIONAL" i.e. that your target can be from any country all over the world and that this may lead to significantly increased costs and handling efforts. Furthermore, we should realize that there are countries which do have online stores selling games but none for the typical Geek. I guess that it's not a problem to buy a copy of Risk or Monopoly almost anywhere in the world but finding an online store in Greece or Lithuania which sells a new copy of Nexus Ops might turn out to be a little bit difficult.
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Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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gruescher wrote:
The majority - yes. But not all. My primary target this year was from Kiev/Ukraine and I found it more or less impossible to buy a game online in Ukraine. Foreign language, Cyrillic script, no English etc.


I understand what you're saying, but that's not the best example, as Ukraine was on the provided list of countries with local game stores: Item for Geeklist "Secret Santa Shipping and Duties/ Buying INFO"

The language issue is troublesome, but it's the one thing I'll use Google Chrome for, as it translates automatically. Using it, it's very easy to go on to those pages and add a game to a cart and check out.

But yes, folks should expect capital I international (literally anywhere in the world) if you don't set which countries you're willing to ship to in your preferences when signing up.
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Shayne Gray
United States
Akron
Ohio
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
gruescher wrote:
The majority - yes. But not all. My primary target this year was from Kiev/Ukraine and I found it more or less impossible to buy a game online in Ukraine. Foreign language, Cyrillic script, no English etc.


I understand what you're saying, but that's not the best example, as Ukraine was on the provided list of countries with local game stores: Item for Geeklist "Secret Santa Shipping and Duties/ Buying INFO"

The language issue is troublesome, but it's the one thing I'll use Google Chrome for, as it translates automatically. Using it, it's very easy to go on to those pages and add a game to a cart and check out.

But yes, folks should expect capital I international (literally anywhere in the world) if you don't set which countries you're willing to ship to in your preferences when signing up.


I did not know that Chrome auto translates! Another reason to use it more often.
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Gerald Rüscher
Germany
Paderborn
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
gruescher wrote:
My primary target this year was from Kiev/Ukraine and I found it more or less impossible to buy a game online in Ukraine. Foreign language, Cyrillic script, no English etc.


I understand what you're saying, but that's not the best example, as Ukraine was on the provided list of countries with local game stores


Ok, I didn't use Google Chrome, I used Google Translate plus the help of a Russian friend who has at least some basic knowledge of the Ukrainian language and script. But still I didn't feel confident enough to risk 100+ Euro on a transaction I do not fully understand. So actually Ukraine is a pretty good example for the fact that providing a gift for a foreign geek might turn out a little more complicated than expected.

Maybet here are two lessons learned:

1. If you volunteer for international SS, prepare to get a target from an "exotic" country which may lead to increased costs and efforts.

2. If you volunteer for international SS and live in an "exotic" country yourself, prepare to get a gift which might be worth significantly less than €100/$100 simply because your Santa has to pay exorbitant costs for shipping and handling

Having said that, I'm really looking forward to Secret Santa 2012 laugh
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Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Also note that credit cards from one country may not be accepted in another, depending on the processing network. Debit cards are even more iffy.
 
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Digger Cook
United States
Topeka
Kansas
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Have replacement Santas been assigned? I signed up but never heard ...
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Matthew M Monin
United States
Branford
Connecticut
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BGDigger wrote:
Have replacement Santas been assigned? I signed up but never heard ...


I'm on (hopefully) one of the last waves now. We've had WAY more volunteers than we had need for, thankfully!

Thanks for being a volunteer!

-MMM
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Jeff Overweg
United States
ZEELAND
Michigan
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Hmmmm....
I got GeekMail from my replacement Santa on Jan 22 and 23. That was 4 weeks ago, and I haven't heard or seen anything from him since. I hope that some fate did not befall him as that of my original secret Santa.
In the mean time I have been keeping the faith alive and hoping everyday to see a package from him.
My wife doesn't mind though since I am not buying any new games for myself until I see what Santa sent/sends me.
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yog-eggnog-sothoth
Christmas Island
Dunwich
Massachusetts
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gruescher wrote:
I guess that it's not a problem to buy a copy of Risk or Monopoly almost anywhere in the world but finding an online store in Greece or Lithuania which sells a new copy of Nexus Ops might turn out to be a little bit difficult.


For ninjas and Outer Gods, however, it's a breeze...
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David and Natalie
New Zealand
Wellington
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Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help out! After our initial Santa got drunk on eggnog, the replacement one came to the rescue in a very generous way - thanks so much! thumbsup
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Jeff Overweg
United States
ZEELAND
Michigan
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Since my last post Santa has been in touch, some great things have arrived and I posted them to the geeklist. Santa also told me to expect one more package tomorrow and another one in June! Thank you very much secret Santa 2.0!
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Don D.
United States
Miami
Florida
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my Santa never came through unfortunately. however I still feel like this was a positive experience overall. I'm glad that I got to make someone else happy and I will probably do it again next year.
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