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Subject: Testing the Percentages - A Games Only Math Trade - Discussion Thread rss

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Jack K
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aksosa wrote:
Sicaria wrote:
You know life is easier if you stop caring what others do.


QFT. There's a reason people don't generally discuss salaries with co-workers. As long as you are happy with what you earn, it shouldn't matter what someone else gets paid.


I stopped caring about other people's wants a long time ago. At first it bugged me to see my untraded items which are worth $x having people offering no more than $x-10 (often much less). What bugged me was the people who did it with GCs - they were already getting a deal because of not having to pay shipping but to undercut the value that much - to refuse to offer even close to value for the item - knowing they were getting free shipping in the deal, when they had GCs in the trade which were of that value just annoyed me.

Then I decided "who cares". They're not getting it and I've lost nothing. If anyone missed out it was them. Since then, it's just become a source of amusement to me.
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dcorban wrote:
tumorous wrote:
Indeed. How does it hurt the trade to offer more options?

If you want the best math trade, you should encourage people to post as many games for trade as possible, and then to be as open with that trading as possible.

This is absolutely true. The logical conclusion is that we should allow absolutely every possible item to be entered (shoes, clothes, electronics, and other garage sale type items).

However, some people enjoy the idea of trading strictly board games. While this will clearly result is fewer items trading, the voluntary participants may have an increased enjoyment of the trade as a whole.

I wasn't writing about offering other items -- I specifically wrote "post as many games for trade as possible." I was responding to the criticism of "crazy" wants.

I have the first Thunderstone promo pack in this trade. It probably won't trade, but there's a chance that someone might really be interested. As long as I have a game that I want to trade, I see no reason that I should not submit it into the trade. And as long as it's in the math trade, you'd better believe I am going to list every single thing I might want for it. That's the process of a math trade: list what games you would be willing to receive in exchange for each of your offerings.

I'm the one getting repetitive strain injuries clicking the checkboxes... if I want to have "crazy" wants, that's my problem, not yours.
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Jason Arnold
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dcorban wrote:
Now all we need is to turn back the clock another year before that, before people started the "I only cover the first $10" type shipping policy.


I'd prefer they do this than not offer shipping into Canada at all (which many do)....
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Savage Josh
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Monkeyman wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Now all we need is to turn back the clock another year before that, before people started the "I only cover the first $10" type shipping policy.


I'd prefer they do this than not offer shipping into Canada at all (which many do)....


No kidding. At LEAST offer a comparable amount of shipping internationally to what you're willing to pay in-country...
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Bazin wrote:
Monkeyman wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Now all we need is to turn back the clock another year before that, before people started the "I only cover the first $10" type shipping policy.


I'd prefer they do this than not offer shipping into Canada at all (which many do)....


No kidding. At LEAST offer a comparable amount of shipping internationally to what you're willing to pay in-country...


In people's defense slightly, it's vastly more inconvenient for most people to ship internationally than domestically here. I sent out a game this morning on my way to work, and I could just use a machine to weigh and sticker the box - in, out, no problem. Besides filling out the forms, you need to go to the post office when they're open, which is a hardship for a lot of people. I can take my lunch break whenever I want and am near a post office, so I can just head out at 2:00 in the afternoon when there's no line when I'm shipping to Canada, so I offer it, but I understand that's not an option for a lot of people. I've been to post offices during "regular" lunchtime exactly twice, and I'll never do that again; both times, I was in line over an hour.

I mean, it does suck for our Canadian friends, but I understand why.
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Jason Arnold
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VolcanoLotus wrote:
Bazin wrote:
Monkeyman wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Now all we need is to turn back the clock another year before that, before people started the "I only cover the first $10" type shipping policy.


I'd prefer they do this than not offer shipping into Canada at all (which many do)....


No kidding. At LEAST offer a comparable amount of shipping internationally to what you're willing to pay in-country...


In people's defense slightly, it's vastly more inconvenient for most people to ship internationally than domestically here. I sent out a game this morning on my way to work, and I could just use a machine to weigh and sticker the box - in, out, no problem. Besides filling out the forms, you need to go to the post office when they're open, which is a hardship for a lot of people. I can take my lunch break whenever I want and am near a post office, so I can just head out at 2:00 in the afternoon when there's no line when I'm shipping to Canada, so I offer it, but I understand that's not an option for a lot of people. I've been to post offices during "regular" lunchtime exactly twice, and I'll never do that again; both times, I was in line over an hour.

I mean, it does suck for our Canadian friends, but I understand why.


You typically don't see a lot of Canadian traders refusing to ship to the US though.
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Stoic Bird
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Monkeyman wrote:
VolcanoLotus wrote:
Bazin wrote:
Monkeyman wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Now all we need is to turn back the clock another year before that, before people started the "I only cover the first $10" type shipping policy.


I'd prefer they do this than not offer shipping into Canada at all (which many do)....


No kidding. At LEAST offer a comparable amount of shipping internationally to what you're willing to pay in-country...


In people's defense slightly, it's vastly more inconvenient for most people to ship internationally than domestically here. I sent out a game this morning on my way to work, and I could just use a machine to weigh and sticker the box - in, out, no problem. Besides filling out the forms, you need to go to the post office when they're open, which is a hardship for a lot of people. I can take my lunch break whenever I want and am near a post office, so I can just head out at 2:00 in the afternoon when there's no line when I'm shipping to Canada, so I offer it, but I understand that's not an option for a lot of people. I've been to post offices during "regular" lunchtime exactly twice, and I'll never do that again; both times, I was in line over an hour.

I mean, it does suck for our Canadian friends, but I understand why.


You typically don't see a lot of Canadian traders refusing to ship to the US though.


True. I have no idea if your post offices are as persnickety as ours. Regardless, I certainly wouldn't fault anyone for doing so; people can ship wherever they want.

A sad truth about these unrestricted (by country) trades is that the majority of users are in the U.S., so a Canadian refusing to ship to the States will be hurt much more than the other way around.

I really don't understand why so many people who use the USPS won't ship to Alaska or Hawaii, though; it's no more effort, and for almost everyone, it's no more expensive than shipping to the opposite coast.
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Richard Keiser

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Here is a suggestion to those that aren't happy with this flavor of Math Trade...

Run, moderate, and administer your own.

Fixed.


dcorban wrote:
tumorous wrote:
Indeed. How does it hurt the trade to offer more options?

If you want the best math trade, you should encourage people to post as many games for trade as possible, and then to be as open with that trading as possible.

This is absolutely true. The logical conclusion is that we should allow absolutely every possible item to be entered (shoes, clothes, electronics, and other garage sale type items).

However, some people enjoy the idea of trading strictly board games. While this will clearly result is fewer items trading, the voluntary participants may have an increased enjoyment of the trade as a whole.
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Daniel Corban
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Masterhit wrote:
Why would I trade a $30 game for a $30 gift card if I have to end up paying $15+ to ship it? More if the game is very heavy or over sized.

I'm not questioning you personally, but it did make me think. How is the game "worth" $30 if it will always cost $15 to ship? Unless you are selling it via a personal meeting, it will always cost $15 to ship, and therefore the game is actually "worth" $15, isn't it?

That is to say, if the game is "worth" $30 and no more, then no one would pay $45 for it, inclusive of shipping. If they would, then the game is "worth" $45.

Assuming no one will pay $45, and no one will come pick up the game in person, then the game is indeed worth $30 in gift certificates.
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Richard Keiser

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Perhaps the Canadian postal system educates its customers better on the methods to ship to the states, thus a high level of comfort with a Canadian's desire to ship to the states.

Just an idea.

Monkeyman wrote:
VolcanoLotus wrote:
Bazin wrote:
Monkeyman wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Now all we need is to turn back the clock another year before that, before people started the "I only cover the first $10" type shipping policy.


I'd prefer they do this than not offer shipping into Canada at all (which many do)....


No kidding. At LEAST offer a comparable amount of shipping internationally to what you're willing to pay in-country...


In people's defense slightly, it's vastly more inconvenient for most people to ship internationally than domestically here. I sent out a game this morning on my way to work, and I could just use a machine to weigh and sticker the box - in, out, no problem. Besides filling out the forms, you need to go to the post office when they're open, which is a hardship for a lot of people. I can take my lunch break whenever I want and am near a post office, so I can just head out at 2:00 in the afternoon when there's no line when I'm shipping to Canada, so I offer it, but I understand that's not an option for a lot of people. I've been to post offices during "regular" lunchtime exactly twice, and I'll never do that again; both times, I was in line over an hour.

I mean, it does suck for our Canadian friends, but I understand why.


You typically don't see a lot of Canadian traders refusing to ship to the US though.
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Daniel Corban
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Monkeyman wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Now all we need is to turn back the clock another year before that, before people started the "I only cover the first $10" type shipping policy.


I'd prefer they do this than not offer shipping into Canada at all (which many do)....

Yes, I suppose my grievance is that traders always offered shipping to Canada in the past. It wasn't even mentioned! People just did it as part of the process.

It does seem like so long ago that this was the case. The relatively large increase in shipping costs and math trades going more "mainstream" made the current shipping policies inevitable. It may even be possible that the increasingly restrictive shipping policies are partly responsible for the increase in participation!
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Savage Josh
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dcorban wrote:
Monkeyman wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Now all we need is to turn back the clock another year before that, before people started the "I only cover the first $10" type shipping policy.


I'd prefer they do this than not offer shipping into Canada at all (which many do)....

Yes, I suppose my grievance is that traders always offered shipping to Canada in the past. It wasn't even mentioned! People just did it as part of the process.

It does seem like so long ago that this was the case. The relatively large increase in shipping costs and math trades going more "mainstream" made the current shipping policies inevitable. It may even be possible that the increasingly restrictive shipping policies are partly responsible for the increase in participation!


You mean decrease in participation, not increase, right? For me, often I'm not able to 'bid' on items I want because of shipping restrictions.
 
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Daniel Corban
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There may a decrease in participation among Canadians (I am one who has retired from math trades strictly due to American shipping policies), but overall, math trades are much more frequent and have many more participants.

Personally, it just isn't worth my time when 9 out of 10 items I want are either "US only" or would be cheaper to purchase outright, used or new.
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Jason Arnold
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darthhugo wrote:
Perhaps the Canadian postal system educates its customers better on the methods to ship to the states, thus a high level of comfort with a Canadian's desire to ship to the states.

Just an idea.


Speaking as a Canadian who has shipped to the US....there's no campaign to educate us. We just go to the post office and mail it out.
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Joe Huber

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Bazin wrote:
Monkeyman wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Now all we need is to turn back the clock another year before that, before people started the "I only cover the first $10" type shipping policy.


I'd prefer they do this than not offer shipping into Canada at all (which many do)....


No kidding. At LEAST offer a comparable amount of shipping internationally to what you're willing to pay in-country...


FWIW, I no longer offer overseas shipping for most items simply because I don't keep a lot of boxes around, meaning that the difference between shipping to the US (where I use Priority Mail boxes) and to Canada is either (1) tedious, because of the amount of additional work involved, or (2) too expensive to make sense, because of the cost of international priority mail.

On multiple occasions, I've explicitly offered - if someone outside of the US really wants something I'm offering in the mail trade, send me a mail. I'm happy to work something out; I'm in no way constitutionally opposed to sending games overseas. But - in most cases, it's unlikely to make sense.

One of these days, I'm going to run a truly international math trade again. With, I fear, limited participation, but still...
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Nathan Ehlers
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The recent promo only MT was international and went over very well. But in that people were shipping things in small envelopes and spending a few bucks to ship anywhere in the world. At the point where you're talking more than $20 for US/Canada, more than $40 for Europe, and even more for the rest of the world, it just makes more sense to buy the game you want outright. It's the problem of supply change logistics and why we still have massive freighters hauling things around the world on water.
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Adrian George
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sirgalin wrote:
The recent promo only MT was international and went over very well. But in that people were shipping things in small envelopes and spending a few bucks to ship anywhere in the world. At the point where you're talking more than $20 for US/Canada, more than $40 for Europe, and even more for the rest of the world, it just makes more sense to buy the game you want outright. It's the problem of supply change logistics and why we still have massive freighters hauling things around the world on water.

I don't know what the deal is but shipping to Canada in particular is really expensive. I've sent similar packages to various parts of Europe for significantly less, and with less paperwork.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Monkeyman wrote:
Speaking as a Canadian who has shipped to the US....there's no campaign to educate us. We just go to the post office and mail it out.

Are Canadian post offices run more efficiently? I happen to have a pretty good PO near me, but most folks down here really do have to budget at least a full hour for a PO visit if they need to talk to a human at the counter. Plus the open hours tend to be inconveniently short, especially on weekends.

I really am curious whether or not the PO experience is dramatically different up there.
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peakhope wrote:
Are Canadian post offices run more efficiently? I happen to have a pretty good PO near me, but most folks down here really do have to budget at least a full hour for a PO visit if they need to talk to a human at the counter. Plus the open hours tend to be inconveniently short, especially on weekends.

I really am curious whether or not the PO experience is dramatically different up there.


I only ever use 2 post offices around here (one near work and near home). Both are pretty efficient and I'm normally in-and-out within 5 minutes. Tack on a few more minutes to that if I have to fill out a customs form for any parcels shipped to the U.S.
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Pete Hooper
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In my experience, as long as the package is under four pounds, shipping to Canada isn't much more expensive than shipping in the US. That's why I always offer to pay "at least this much" of shipping. If something costs me, say, $15-16 to ship to Canada, I'll likely absorb the whole cost myself. But if it creeps over four pounds, the postage goes much higher compared to in-country shipping (I went over by four ounces shipping to Canada recently, and the postage jumped to about $35) and I'm likely to pick up half the cost instead.

EDITED for clarification.

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Jason Arnold
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peakhope wrote:
Monkeyman wrote:
Speaking as a Canadian who has shipped to the US....there's no campaign to educate us. We just go to the post office and mail it out.

Are Canadian post offices run more efficiently? I happen to have a pretty good PO near me, but most folks down here really do have to budget at least a full hour for a PO visit if they need to talk to a human at the counter. Plus the open hours tend to be inconveniently short, especially on weekends.

I really am curious whether or not the PO experience is dramatically different up there.


That sounds shockingly bad. I mean they vary here but I typically don't spend more than 10 minutes in one, including all paperwork.

The non-CAN shipping isn't a huge issue to me as I have access to a US mailbox, but I'm just talking about the situation overall for Canadians who may very well not be as lucky as I am.
 
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Will Morgan
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dcorban wrote:
Masterhit wrote:
Why would I trade a $30 game for a $30 gift card if I have to end up paying $15+ to ship it? More if the game is very heavy or over sized.

I'm not questioning you personally, but it did make me think. How is the game "worth" $30 if it will always cost $15 to ship? Unless you are selling it via a personal meeting, it will always cost $15 to ship, and therefore the game is actually "worth" $15, isn't it?

That is to say, if the game is "worth" $30 and no more, then no one would pay $45 for it, inclusive of shipping. If they would, then the game is "worth" $45.

Assuming no one will pay $45, and no one will come pick up the game in person, then the game is indeed worth $30 in gift certificates.


I guess my meaning is when you sell a game the buyer generally pays shipping. Sure you can adjust your mental 'game value' in a trade for a GC but the game itself is not any more or less valuable so that is just an accounting illusion.

This isn't true, however, for a trade that is of equal (or nearly equal) value because both parties incur the cost of shipping.

Gift cards would then inherently be worth $8 to $15(+) more than their face value - if you disregard shipping as the GC holder pays no such price on the sale.

To me gift cards are worth $GC - $USD cost to ship game. Whereas games are usually pretty much at parity or within a couple of $USD.

Also GC holders don't have to drive to post, package the games in packing materials, fill out custom forms and wait in lines...

That's how I see it anyway.
 
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Daniel Corban
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As someone who lived in the USA for 26 years then immigrated to Canada, I can tell you that the wait times at even relatively small post offices in the USA are terrible. I dreaded going to the post office when I lived there.

The post offices here in Canada usually require only a few minutes wait, if any. It's a huge difference.
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Daniel Corban
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Masterhit wrote:
That's how I see it anyway.

I agree. Math trades are a very economically inefficient method of getting new games. If everyone could sell their games, then just buy the games they want (new or used), we wouldn't even need math trades.

If you have a game worth $30, and it will actually sell for $30, and you would be willing to accept a $30 game in trade, then you should probably just sell your game and buy the new game.
 
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dcorban wrote:
As someone who lived in the USA for 26 years then immigrated to Canada, I can tell you that the wait times at even relatively small post offices in the USA are terrible. I dreaded going to the post office when I lived there.

The post offices here in Canada usually require only a few minutes wait, if any. It's a huge difference.


It must be because of where I live then because I almost never have to wait in line at our post office. Yesterday I shipped my game from the last math trade and there was no line and I was in and out in less than two minutes.

Might have something to do with living in the highest income county in the country.

They must not have included my income when they did the math or it would be way lower.
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