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Subject: Priority Shipping Distance - Experimental Continental USA Math Trade Discussion rss

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Jeff Michaud
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For results see reply below or click here

Important! for this math trade want lists will be submitted only by using the OLWLG (online wantlist generator/editor) ... you may want to make sure you can login to that tool (no password required) if you haven't already.

Also Very Important!
You must read the Limits & Rules below before joining in on this math trade!


"Priority Shipping Distance - Experimental Continental USA Math Trade"
This is an experimental math trade that will be attempting to reduce the shipping distance of traded items. It will attempt to do this by using TradeMaximizer with EXPLICIT priorities where the OLWLG will assign the priority of each item equal to the distance between you and the potential sender of each item. Keep in mind however that TradeMaximizer's number one goal is still to have the most items trading as is absolutely possible, but with the priorities assigned it will find a result set where the average shipping distance is as low as possible with a couple of exceptions. First is that due to a limitation of TradeMaximizer individual items on a dummy's (duplicate protection) want list are ignored so the OLWLG will assign a priority equal to the longest distance shipping distance of any of the dummy item's wants. And second items that don't require actual shipping (gift certs, geek gold) are not treated any differently currently (I don't want to give them any special priority).

Related Geeklist (to add items to): http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/44511

Deadlines:
Submissions (add items to geeklist): Sunday, July 26th, 10:30pm Eastern Time
Want lists due: Tuesday, July 28th, 10:00pm Eastern Time
Results posted: Tuesday, July 28th, hopefully about or before 11:00pm Eastern Time

Limits: (per person)
* Max of 2 non-game items (that includes geek gold, gift certificates, etc) for each real game item you list for trade
* Geekgold offerings must be at least 75 GG

Rules:
0.1. * You must enter in a (or two) valid (as far as the OLWLG is concerned) zipcode on the OLWLG's home page as soon as possible (and definitely before the deadline for adding games into this math trade ends) or you will be excluded as it will distort the results (the OLWLG will assign a large distance, aka low priority, for your items).

1. * Non-game items must be added as "Outside the Scope of BGG" (game id 23953) or "Miscellaneous Game Accessory" (game id 5985), and you must within (at the bottom) of the item description put a "+altname+ Short Name Here -altname-" (minus the quotes) where "Short Name Here" for example would be "125 Geek Gold", or "$40 ThoughtHammer Gift Card", etc.

Note: this rule applies when you are offering an expansion or bonus items to a game which does not have it's own BGG entry (such as Le Havre bonus cards). Do NOT use the game id of the base game if it is NOT being included in what you are offering.

2. * "sweeteners" are to be listed using either the GAMEID formatting (prefered, example Hansa) or a link to the game's page (this will look like http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/8989). If you don't use this format your sweeteners won't show up in the OLWLG properly.

Note: do NOT include links in your listings to games you are NOT including in your offering that will be picked up as sweeteners by the OLWLG. See the FAQ below for how to workaround this.

3. * You must accurately describe your game's condition, language, edition, etc. If you do not then the condition will be assumed to be "like new" and complete, English language version. Do not simply say "as pictured" as it's not always obvious. When in doubt though, folks should post a comment to the item and/or geekmail the item's owner with questions.

3.5. * For games not brand new (in shrink) you must inventory the game's components and list anything missing. Do not assume it's complete (I've been on the receiving end 2 or 3 times thus far where the owner assumed and it wasn't)

3.6. * If the game and/or expansion you are listing is a "Print & Play" make that clear in the description (and I recommend you give specifics what it was printed on, mounted on, etc).

3.7. * If you are listing an expansion if you reference the base game in the description be clear one way or the other if you are including the base game or not.

3.8. * Q: what if I want to change my offering (downgrade), such as remove or change the item or sweetener(s), or make the shipping more restrictive, or discover the condition of the game(s) are worse than I originally stated?
A: edit the geeklist item for your lot and change the game id to 23953 (which is outside the scope of BGG) and replace the item description with:
+altname+ Item withdrawn/relisted -altname-
and then do just that, add a new item (bundle). and obviously submit a blank list for the old withdrawn item.


4. * Traders from all countries are allowed. (sorry not for this one)

5. * Specify your restrictions on shipping in your listing. If you don't it will be assumed you'll ship worlwide for free. (Note: if you list "mirror" shipping, or a limit to how much you will be pay toward the shipping, then you must state where you would be shipping from (zipcode for USA locations).

6. * If you are offering games that you do not have in your possession (ie. that you'll order and have shipped from an online retailer if it trades), you must state in your description that is what you are doing.

7. * No Geek-gold or Gift certificate arbitrage... that means you are not allowed to attempt to trade your geekgold for someone elses geekgold offering, or attempt to trade your gift certificate for someone elses gift certificate offering+++. However attempting to trade geekgold for a gift certificate or vice versa is allowed.

8. * I reserve the right to remove games from the list for whatever reason (though unlikely). If you are on the bad traders list, your games will be removed

9. * Use this forum thread for questions & discussions of this math trade (though for questions on individual items as those as comments to the specific geeklist item)

10. * It is strongly suggested that if you have more than one identical copy of an item you'd like to list that instead of listing them all individually to instead to list if only once and to add to the botton of the item's description:
%Options%
Copies: 2
(where 2 can be any positive number as appropriate)
%End%
This makes it easier for both you and potential traders. See here for more info

11. * If you feel the need to use them, keep disclaimers short and to the point so they don't make things hard to read. If you need to use a longer disclaimer, please include a link to it in each of your entries instead of copying the whole thing into each entry.

If you are unfamiliar with math trades, please read the BGG wiki page at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Math_Trades

By posting an entry on this list, you agree to abide both by the general math trade guidelines and by those specific to this math trade.

Trade Resolver: TradeMaximizer (trying to maximize number of trades)
* Duplicate Protection
* EXPLICIT Priorities

Note: only errors by the moderator will invalidate the results.

Note: in the case that there is a problem after the results are posted, at most it will only invalidate the affected trade chain(s) and not the entire results set. In addition if the problem can be resolved by the most directly affected party or parties, then that is perfectly acceptable.

Note: you can start putting together your want list(s) immediately, even before you enter your own items into the math trade

Some common questions/answers:
Q: Do the order of my wants matter at all?
A: nope. the OLWLG will be assigning explicit priorities to each item based on distance the sender would have to ship

Q: where is the "request" geeklist?
A: there isn't one... on the OLWLG home page for this math trade use the "statistics" link/page to see the list of games most wanted by those in this math trade but are not currently being offered

Q: How do I include a link to a BGG game page in my listing that is not an item I'm including in my offering?
A: use www.tinyurl.com (or similiar service) to create an alias link that will redirect to the game's page. For example, http://tinyurl.com/84kjm7 instead of http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/559 or Metro
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Jeff Michaud
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Additional info
New tool:

http://bgg.activityclub.org/olwlg/mtusers.cgi?listid=44511

this is a list of the users in this math trade and how far they are from you, and an average distance given at the bottom. Once the want list submission period opens this page will also show if/when folks have submitted their want lists.
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Jeff Michaud
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5 items did not have owners enter zips in time
ok, geeklist is locked, final snapshot taken

3 users did not get their zipcodes in on time and their want lists will not be accepted

hoop (3)
Stas (1)
SurfinDecoy (1)

Sorry guys
 
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Jeff Michaud
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results and "what if" results.... Priority Shipping Distance - Experimental Continental USA Math Trade Discussion
Results located in OLWLG.... http://olwlg.activityclub.org/ ... under "previous math trades" click on "results summary.

**************************

I also uploaded the "what if" which was generated by taking the official wants, stripping all the explicit priorities (=nnn after each want), changing priorities from explicit to linear and running trademax....

the trades summary script says that the "what if" average ship distance is 1,142 miles, compared to 1,090 miles for the official results using distance.

I'd be curious if anyone feels on the individual level if they are shipping a shorter distance (especially those more centerally located)?

TradeMax's #1 goal overrode priorities as usual (for what it's worth, the "what if" average cost was 23... as linear priorities were used that means the average depth into your wants it went was 23 items deep... which is relatively deep)

edit: forgot to mention how to see the "what if"... on the trades summary page go to the "top" and it will have a pink division with a link to show those what if results (ignore that it references geek gold arbitrage... that functionality was originally added for a specific math trade and it was the easiest to just use that functionality again but no easy way to customize the note )
 
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Jeff Michaud
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Post math trade back testing playing with trademax's nontrade-cost..... Priority Shipping Distance - Experimental Continental USA Math Trade Discussion
Ok, I finally got around to trying this out... playing with TradeMax's non-trade cost to see how many trades we lost at various levels and the average shipping distance.

The official results:

Num trades = 191 of 1148 items (16.6%)
Total cost = 225950 (avg 1182.98)

With non-trade cost of 500:

Num trades = 40 of 1148 items (3.5%)
Total cost = 12841 (avg 321.02)

With non-trade cost of 750:

Num trades = 58 of 1148 items (5.1%)
Total cost = 24791 (avg 427.43)

With non-trade cost of 900:

Num trades = 90 of 1148 items (7.8%)
Total cost = 51746 (avg 574.96)

With non-trade cost of 1000:

Num trades = 102 of 1148 items (8.9%)
Total cost = 63433 (avg 621.89)

With non-trade cost of 1100:

Num trades = 110 of 1148 items (9.6%)
Total cost = 71613 (avg 651.03)
Group sizes = 76 20 10 2 2

With non-trade cost of 1200:

Num trades = 112 of 1148 items (9.8%)
Total cost = 73843 (avg 659.31)

With non-trade cost of 1500:

Num trades = 148 of 1148 items (12.9%)
Total cost = 122276 (avg 826.19)

With non-trade cost of 2000:

Num trades = 172 of 1148 items (15.0%)
Total cost = 163989 (avg 953.42)

With non-trade cost of 2500:

Num trades = 177 of 1148 items (15.4%)
Total cost = 174491 (avg 985.82)

With non-trade cost of 3000:

Num trades = 184 of 1148 items (16.0%)
Total cost = 194109 (avg 1054.94)

With non-trade cost of 3500:

Num trades = 185 of 1148 items (16.1%)
Total cost = 197307 (avg 1066.52)

With non-trade cost of 4000:

Num trades = 186 of 1148 items (16.2%)
Total cost = 201140 (avg 1081.40)

With non-trade cost of 4500:

Num trades = 186 of 1148 items (16.2%)
Total cost = 201140 (avg 1081.40)

With non-trade cost of 5000 and 5500 and 6000 and 6500:

Num trades = 190 of 1148 items (16.6%)
Total cost = 219442 (avg 1154.96)

With non-trade cost of 6600 & 6700 & 7000:

Num trades = 191 of 1148 items (16.6%)
Total cost = 225950 (avg 1182.98)
 
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Adam Alleman
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Too bad, this sounds like a great idea. I am on vacation and won't want to be trying to figure out this on my i-pod. Hopefully this will be successful and I can catch the next one.
 
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Jeff Michaud
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Daddys_Home wrote:
Too bad, this sounds like a great idea. I am on vacation and won't want to be trying to figure out this on my i-pod. Hopefully this will be successful and I can catch the next one.

Yea, don't have an ipod but my guess is that the OLWLG won't work too well on a mobile browser

We'll have to see how it goes... because of the #1 goal of maxing the number of items trading 1st it may not make much of a difference. And if it does make much of a difference I already realize I'm at a disadvantage living in on of the 4 corners of the country and the folks who may benefit the most are those more centrally located....
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If we want to do a "Pick X of Y" entry, can we put links to all the games in our entry (this was not allowed in the last math trade). Or are the "Pick X of Y" entries even allowed in this one (I did not see any specific rules about this type of entry). Thanks for running an interesting Math Trade Jeff!

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You crossed out "traders from all countries". So who is "invited" to join?


 
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Jeff Michaud
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Howitzer_120mm wrote:
You crossed out "traders from all countries". So who is "invited" to join?

"Continental USA"

I do have some data for Candian zips but haven't put it in place yet... if this works within the USA then a Canada only version should also work... and if that works, then a USA/Canada one may work, I could add like an extra 5,000 miles for any trades that would cross the border.
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Jeff Michaud
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mbuckingham wrote:
If we want to do a "Pick X of Y" entry, can we put links to all the games in our entry (this was not allowed in the last math trade). Or are the "Pick X of Y" entries even allowed in this one (I did not see any specific rules about this type of entry). Thanks for running an interesting Math Trade Jeff!

I think they are ok... as long as you use outside the scope and an altname that clearly states "pick X" so when folks see what appear to be lots of sweeteners it should be clear from the item name.

also I'm not too keen on those pick X from whatever is left over from another pick X, if someone really feels the need then altname should be clear (maybe "pick X leftovers").
 
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Ryan Gatti
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I'm a bit confused about the premise of this trade. First, it seems like TradeMaximizer's preference for most items trading is at least an order of magnitude stronger than the priorities, so it will likely be difficult to tell whether or not this experimental parameter made a significant difference in the results (but at least it's a data point).

Second, while the goal is to decrease the shipping distance for each trader, it seems equally likely that the result will be favoring those with naturally shorter shipping distances (ie. Those in the center of the country have lower worst case shipping distances than those on the coasts/corners, so those in the center may be favored over cross-country trades.). This seems like an undesirable bias (especially since it doesn't look like you are using USERS-TRADING to maximize number of traders, which would at least favor a new/unique trader over a centralized shipping hub.).

Am I missing some obvious advantage that is clearly more likely than less desirable side effects?
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rgatti wrote:


Second, while the goal is to decrease the shipping distance for each trader, it seems equally likely that the result will be favoring those with naturally shorter shipping distances (ie. Those in the center of the country have lower worst case shipping distances than those on the coasts/corners, so those in the center may be favored over cross-country trades.). This seems like an undesirable bias (especially since it doesn't look like you are using USERS-TRADING to maximize number of traders, which would at least favor a new/unique trader over a centralized shipping hub.).

Am I missing some obvious advantage that is clearly more likely than less desirable side effects?


OK--I'm in BFE Iowa. But if there's not many people trading in the center of the country--and the "center of gravity" is, say, Pittsburg b/c there are far more people and traders in the East Coast--then people there will have the advantage. Or whatever....I don't think it benefits middle of the country necessarily.

Jeff, might it not have possibility to bunch East Coast and West Coast and Midwest trades together? Of course, it still maximizes the trades.
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Pete Lane
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Good point on "middle of the country" folks having an advantage... but I guess like in any Math Trade, it's up to the person to weigh the desire to participate. As for doing "east coast"/"midwest" trades, etc... at what point does it become a no-ship? I know there is a huge group of us in Minnesota.

Seems like a neat idea though, and one worth repeating if it successfully works the way you are envisioning.
 
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Question: I'm going to be gone over the weekend---and I have some items in the Wargame math trade. It is fairly limited...most likely won't trade anything, but I'm not pulling them.

Normally I would just wait to see if they traded--then post them there. But I won't be around. Any problems posting them here--and then if they do trade, I just pull them (but not erase them or delete--I know, I know).
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rgatti wrote:
I'm a bit confused about the premise of this trade.


For me, the premise is well understood (heck, it's explicitly stated). What is less well understood are the ramifications, as you mention. Will those who live in Lebanon, Kansas (say at the intersection of AA Road and K-191) have priority over those who live in Maine?

But more to the point... For the games I'm thinking of putting in the trade, I think I can use a flat-rate box for all of them. Thus, shipping costs--something that I presume this trade is supposed to minimize--are somewhat irrelevant to me.

But nonetheless, I look forward to seeing the results of this experiment!
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Really I think it's to encourage those of us who are a bit skimpy on our want lists due to fearing having to fork over $150 in shipping for games that may not be worth the cost and effort.
 
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Jeff Michaud
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rgatti wrote:
I'm a bit confused about the premise of this trade. First, it seems like TradeMaximizer's preference for most items trading is at least an order of magnitude stronger than the priorities, so it will likely be difficult to tell whether or not this experimental parameter made a significant difference in the results (but at least it's a data point).

we can always do a 2nd run with linear priorities (I think I'll have to remove the explicit priorities) and then compute average distance and compare.

rgatti wrote:
Second, while the goal is to decrease the shipping distance for each trader, it seems equally likely that the result will be favoring those with naturally shorter shipping distances (ie. Those in the center of the country have lower worst case shipping distances than those on the coasts/corners, so those in the center may be favored over cross-country trades.). This seems like an undesirable bias (especially since it doesn't look like you are using USERS-TRADING to maximize number of traders, which would at least favor a new/unique trader over a centralized shipping hub.).

See 5 posts above yours (ie. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3711683#3711683) where I already mention this (and in prior posts I did on this)... and I'm in one of those 4 corners (Northeast) so may indeed be at a disadvantage.

rgatti wrote:
Am I missing some obvious advantage that is clearly more likely than less desirable side effects?

Yea, you missed the keyword "Experimental". It may very well be it won't have any noticable difference. I did look at instead of running a math trade specificially to test this to instead back test it against the want lists for previous math trades... but that was even more work.

No one is required to participate in any math trade, even one labeled "experimental", but I sure hope it doesn't deter anyone, as I mentioned in the premise and you reiterated in your first paragraph, the number one goal is still to max out the number of items trading, so no one should be detered.
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Merkles Boner wrote:
Question: I'm going to be gone over the weekend---and I have some items in the Wargame math trade. It is fairly limited...most likely won't trade anything, but I'm not pulling them.

Normally I would just wait to see if they traded--then post them there. But I won't be around. Any problems posting them here--and then if they do trade, I just pull them (but not erase them or delete--I know, I know).

sounds ok to me
 
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carl67lp wrote:
But more to the point... For the games I'm thinking of putting in the trade, I think I can use a flat-rate box for all of them. Thus, shipping costs--something that I presume this trade is supposed to minimize--are somewhat irrelevant to me.

Flat rate boxes are certainly simple and easy... but from my experience priority or 1st class going under 500 miles can have signficant savings (even more savings than fedex online rates in those particular cases).

I also looked at running a math trade using another METRIC I had implemented (but looks like I didn't compile into TradeMax 1.4a)... to look for trade sets (obviously using ITERATIONS and no priorities) where as many items as possible could be be shipped together. That was easy to back test against Daisy's last math trade. I didn't get a whole lot of difference, 100 iterations it ranged form 3 to 7... and I also imagine that the more combined shipping the less users trading anything.
 
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JeffyJeff wrote:
rgatti wrote:
Am I missing some obvious advantage that is clearly more likely than less desirable side effects?

Yea, you missed the keyword "Experimental". It may very well be it won't have any noticable difference. I did look at instead of running a math trade specificially to test this to instead back test it against the want lists for previous math trades... but that was even more work.

No one is required to participate in any math trade, even one labeled "experimental", but I sure hope it doesn't deter anyone, as I mentioned in the premise and you reiterated in your first paragraph, the number one goal is still to max out the number of items trading, so no one should be detered.

I'm all for experimental math trades, but I just want to ensure that whatever data you gather from this experiment is relevant to the hypothesis you expect to be testing.

 
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rgatti wrote:
I'm all for experimental math trades, but I just want to ensure that whatever data you gather from this experiment is relevant to the hypothesis you expect to be testing.

why? this is not a scientific test nor rocket science, it's a math trade

for what it's worth, I'm not sure but I think it's the 1st one the OLWLG has supported that is using TradeMax's EXPLICIT priorities, even though the user themselves are not assigning the values (that we could try as well in a different math trade where users assign them)
 
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JeffyJeff wrote:
carl67lp wrote:
But more to the point... For the games I'm thinking of putting in the trade, I think I can use a flat-rate box for all of them. Thus, shipping costs--something that I presume this trade is supposed to minimize--are somewhat irrelevant to me.

Flat rate boxes are certainly simple and easy... but from my experience priority or 1st class going under 500 miles can have signficant savings (even more savings than fedex online rates in those particular cases).


True enough. But in general, I think most people (at least in the sample of {me}) only worry about the max cost, not necessarily how little they're able to spend. In my case, spending a lesser amount is a bonus; I worry first about getting the package there quickly and safely, and I know flat-rate boxes (generally) let me do that.
 
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carl67lp wrote:
JeffyJeff wrote:
carl67lp wrote:
But more to the point... For the games I'm thinking of putting in the trade, I think I can use a flat-rate box for all of them. Thus, shipping costs--something that I presume this trade is supposed to minimize--are somewhat irrelevant to me.

Flat rate boxes are certainly simple and easy... but from my experience priority or 1st class going under 500 miles can have signficant savings (even more savings than fedex online rates in those particular cases).
True enough. But in general, I think most people (at least in the sample of {me}) only worry about the max cost, not necessarily how little they're able to spend. In my case, spending a lesser amount is a bonus; I worry first about getting the package there quickly and safely, and I know flat-rate boxes (generally) let me do that.

Of course I and I assume everyone who factors it in takes when composing want lists, factors and covers full shipping (to where they will ship) in the max it could cost them to ship their item.

However saving money on shipping does not mean sacraficing speed or safety, you make it sound dirty to do so A flat rate box is no more safe than non-flat rate and in fact can be less safe as has been mentioned in other forums because some folks will use a flat rate box for games they shouldn't be using it for... ie. where the game fits snugly in the flat rate box giving no room for padding
 
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Carl Anderson
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JeffyJeff wrote:
However saving money on shipping does not mean sacraficing speed or safety, you make it sound dirty to do so


I posit that saving money on shipping can mean sacrificing speed, at the very least. How many times have discussions revolved around people suggesting to not use Parcel Post, after all? Sure, it saves money...but takes weeks, sometimes, to arrive.

But I will concede that saving money does not imply a sacrifice of speed.

The safety issue is one that I contend has more to do with the person preparing the package and less to do with the shipping method (your example seems to support this theory).
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