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Subject: Secret Soloist 2015 Gift Exchange is LIVE! rss

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Ryan
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Below is a reproduction (with bold text to highlight important parts) of the exchange rules found on the registration page.

2015 Secret Soloist Gift Exchange Guidelines (aka the fine print)

1.) First and foremost, Secret Soloist is all about the giving. Getting is fun too, but be prepared for the possibility that the person who is sending you a gift may disappoint you. Most people do a good job, but there are always going to be a handful of unfortunate situations that come up.

If you sign up for Secret Soloist treat it as a responsibility and make it a priority. Those who sign-up but don't send gifts will face the possibility of account privileges being suspended as a result.

2.) You will have until 31 March 2015 to sign up. If you have second thoughts after signing up, you also have until that deadline to delete your registration.

3.) Keep your wishlist (NOT want list) of games updated. The expectation is that your Secret Soloist will send a new* game from your wishlist. Please have at least twenty currently available games on your list, and try to have most of them fall within a reasonable price range. If you have a small, expensive, or difficult-to-fulfill wishlist then don't be surprised if you get something that isn't on your list. The more you have on your list the easier it is for your Secret Soloist to find something for you.

4.) Since some solitaire players play multiplayer or co-op games solitaire while others do not, you are expected to mark each game in your wishlist with a brief comment that describes whether it is a valid target for this exchange. I might not mind playing a four player game solitaire with variant rules, but someone else might not enjoy that at all. Something like, "Solitaire Game Exchange" or "Secret Soloist Exchange Game" will suffice. Just make it obvious. Bold helps.

5.) When it comes to sending, the expectation is that you will buy a new* game from your target's wishlist. The total cost of the games you send (including shipping) should be at least $50 USD.

If the game is currently in print, a new game is expected. If your target has a list of classic but out of print games on their wishlist and you have a used copy that you would be happy to receive as a gift yourself, then that's acceptable too.

There is no problem, of course, with going above and beyond - sending two, three, or even more games. The generous Soloists are the best remembered! And you can make it truly special if you can personalize the gift somehow.

6.) This is an international Secret Soloist. Anyone from any country is welcome to join. You may opt to have a target only within your country, or you may opt to participate internationally. If you choose the latter, recognize that you very well may be given a target from a foreign country, so be prepared to factor international shipping into your gift. You can ship internationally but may choose within that what destination nations you are willing to ship to. In a lesson learned from last year, if you are outside the US but may be the only registrant from you nation, consider shipping internationally to the US. Games are widely available due to so many online retailers and probably among the cheapest you will find them in the world; shipping is also fairly cheap. It's quite easy to find a US online retailer and ship to a target within the US for cheaper than you can order a game locally and then pay for expensive international shipping.

Also, if you are from a country that has only a few participants then I also strongly suggest you not limit your country options or you very well may end up with the only other person who entered from your country. If you are the only registrant from your country and your chosen shipping option is "within country" the entire gift exchange will be held up until you choose to ship internationally, remove yourself from the exchange, or are removed from the exchange by the exchange manager.

7.) The only prohibition on participation is that someone with a "New User Badge" will not be allowed to join during the sign up period.

8.) Once registration closes, all participants will be geekmailed with their individual targets. At that time each participant will also be given the password for the Secret Soloist account. Use this account to protect your identity if you wish to participate anonymously. This account should be used to communicate with your target.

9.) Deadlines:
1st March - Registration for the 2015 Secret Soloist Gift Exchange commences.
31st March - Registration for the exchange closes. Target geekmails disbursed.
15th April - Deadline to send your target a geekmail so he or she knows a Secret Soloist is assigned.
17th May - Deadline for your target to have received a gift (unless you have mutually agreed on a later date due to a justifiable reason).
18th May - The Geek Exchange Manager will work with anyone who has not received a gift to find a satisfactory resolution.

10.) Most importantly, have fun! This is supposed to be an enriching activity - not a stressful one.



Important links
2015 Secret Soloist Gift Exchange
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Ryan
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Re: Secret Soloist 2015
When targets are assigned everyone will also receive a password to access the Secret Soloist account. You'll use this account to anonymously communicate with your target.

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If you have any problems with the exchange (likely only because your Soloist hasn't communicated with you or sent you a gift) send a geekmail to the Soloist Helper account. I will monitor this account for any messages. I also have some anonymous helpers who monitor the account in case I'm away due to work for a few days. So if you have any problems please message the Soloist Helper account, not my personal account.

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If you end up having a Grinchy Soloist (unlikely but could happen) don't let it ruin your day. Contact the helper account and it will all work out for you. We had a problem last year that was resolved happily for the recipient. So no worries.
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Ryan
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Re: Secret Soloist 2015
Shipping

To reiterate a point above, you can ship internationally and select only the nations you wish to ship to. It doesn't have to be all or none (though that's a fun way to do it). I recommend you use that option if cash is tight and you might be the only participant from your nation. If you're from outside the US and don't have the money to pay for international shipping, it may be a great option for you to select the United States as a destination as you can likely buy and ship from within the US for cheaper than you can pay for just shipping across an ocean. We had such a problem last year but this option allowed the person to participate instead of dropping out.

To help alleviate such situations, I will post and update a list of the number of registrants from each nation as time goes on. I'll be in touch with anyone from a nation where they are the only participant so make sure they know to adjust their shipping option accordingly.

81 Currently Registered
As of 23 March 2015 2100 PST (GMT -8)

US 49
Canada 7
UK 4
Germany 4
Australia 3
Belgium 2
Latvia 2
Portugal 1
Italy 1
Poland 1
Switzerland 1
Russia 1
India 1
Ireland 1
Netherlands 1
Brazil 1
Japan 1
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Ryan
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Re: Secret Soloist 2015
Privacy

In the age of digital information our privacy is important. With that in mind, here's what I've learned from last year:

1 As the exchange manager I can see your address and contact information as soon as you register. If you delete your registration before it closes I won't be able to see it anymore.

2 Once targets are assigned, I can see your address and contact information in perpetuity unless you delete your account. Even once the exchange is over and retired BGG still allows me to view that information. I know of no way to eliminate my access to it. So please bear that in mind if you have any strong privacy concerns.

I will not provide your information to anyone, with this caveat: If you have a Grinchy Soloist it will likely be more than one person involved in ensuring that you get a gift (No Soloist Left Behind). With your advance permission, I may recruit someone to help ensure a gift gets to you, especially if you live outside the US.
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Ryan
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Re: Secret Soloist 2015
Reserved
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Henry Grumet
United States
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Yes yes yes, I want in!!!

Willing to ship domestically to the U.S.

Also willing to have a blast researching and then deciding what to buy my target.
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Arne Hoffmann
Germany
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Signed up!

Now only to select appropriate games for my wishlist. But hey, have all of March for that.
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Ava Jarvis
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Sign me up. Shipping USA, UK, continental Europe, Japan. I will be using either Amazon.com, CSI, Anazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.jp. And or recommended international stores. ^_^

Would it help in general if a list of OLGS in various countries was around the forum? If there is something for that already of course then maybe a link? It might help widen the field, so to speak.

ETA:

I have to pull out. My bank account was compromised and the windfall money I had planned for this (and other expenses) is gone.
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Andrew L.
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Missed out on this last year, but Boom! I'm in...

Now to find games for my wishlist...
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Lorenzo Strambi
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BilboAtBagEnd wrote:
Sign me up. Shipping USA, UK, continental Europe, Japan. I will be using either Amazon.com, CSI, Anazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.jp. And or recommended international stores. ^_^

Would it help in general if a list of OLGS in various countries was around the forum? If there is something for that already of course then maybe a link? It might help widen the field, so to speak.


+1 for the list!
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Lines J. Hutter
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I'm in!

Preferred within the EU.

Great idea!
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Suzy Vitale
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BilboAtBagEnd wrote:
Would it help in general if a list of OLGS in various countries was around the forum? If there is something for that already of course then maybe a link? It might help widen the field, so to speak.


I'm in, and willing to ship anywhere in the world! I'm seconding Ava's comment above. For last year's BGG Secret Santa, it was up to the non-US participants to list their favorite "local" online game stores to help their Santas out, but a general list would be awesome too.

I'm really looking forward to this!
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Ryan
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BilboAtBagEnd wrote:
Would it help in general if a list of OLGS in various countries was around the forum? If there is something for that already of course then maybe a link? It might help widen the field, so to speak.

Such lists exist from previous BGG Secret Santa exchanges. They're not too hard to find. If someone doesn't mind find the links and messaging me I will be happy to include them in the original post.

Or someone can create a new international shipping advice geeklist like one I mentioned above. As a group we can add items about shipping and shopping locations in our own countries. I've shipped to four different nations before on four different continents. It's been helpful to read advice by others about preferred online stores, stores that communicate in more than one language (English + local), and shipping advice or pitfalls.

If you're interested in doing either of those message me and I'll make sure it's advertised to increase its utility and to mobilize any community help if necessary.
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The Human Garynome
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Hooray!

Signed up. Happy for a target from anywhere in the world.
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Ian Davies
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Just signed up. This month is going to drag waiting for the targets to be assigned.
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Stefan Schneider
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I'm also in. Didn't want to buy another boardgame this soon acutally, but hey, its for someone else! So I can justify that, nobody can blame me for buying presents for others
Looking forward to it and thanks for organizing this!
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David Auxier
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I've signed up. I am really looking forward to this. I can't wait until the end of March.
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Benjamin Tieman
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In! Woo!!! Can't wait to get my target! Now on to writing a letter to my future secret soloist and update my wishlist...

Edit: Anywhere in the world baby!
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Ryan
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Last year we had 26 participants. I just tallied 27 registrants, all within the first 12 hours!
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Travis Hill
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Ok twist my arm! I'm in!
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Aigars Grēniņš
Latvia
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I'm in!
First time meeple
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Jason Leidich
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I'm registered as well. Looking forward to my first Exchange on BGG. meeple
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Julius Besser
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I'm also registering.
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Rahul Chandra
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I'm in for my first exchange, too! There are a few decent Canadian online stores, so international entrants can ship to Canada relatively easily too. I've assumed I can do the same for Europe too but haven't looked into it. Sadly the exchange manager makes you choose 1 country at a time from an awkward list so I only picked a few of the major European countries.
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Lorenzo Strambi
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rchandra wrote:
I'm in for my first exchange, too! There are a few decent Canadian online stores, so international entrants can ship to Canada relatively easily too. I've assumed I can do the same for Europe too but haven't looked into it. Sadly the exchange manager makes you choose 1 country at a time from an awkward list so I only picked a few of the major European countries.


Hope there's Italy in your list cool
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