Christmas Gift Exchange

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SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
The cowboy board I belong to does this every year. Everyone who wants to participate can, those that don't, don't.

You don't buy anything, you pick something that you have accumulated that is either useful or funny and you send it to the person you drew in the exchange. This can be something you bought and changed your mind. This could be something you built then replaced. This could be a door prize you won. You get the picture.

I'll even coordinate it if you want to do it. Just sign in below. It's a little late so we'll cut it off a week from now on the 15th. That still gives you a chance to drop it in the mail in time for Christmas.

Everyone should think in terms of emailing me or PMing their snail mail address (and email address) so I can forward it to the right person. People will be assigned by lottery.
 

Lady_Railfan

House Mother, Cheerleader
I visited the cowboy site to see how this works. Sounds like fun. I guess I'm just spooked at the prospect of giving out my personal info. Any chance we could make it a "virtual" gift exchange? Post a sticky list of Santas and "kids", then let each Santa describe what they "gave" their kid. That way, Santa could give me something really flashy like diamond earrings....... :D

?????
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
Lady_Railfan said:
I visited the cowboy site to see how this works. Sounds like fun. I guess I'm just spooked at the prospect of giving out my personal info.
My thought exactly. Although I know some of you have personally met each other, the majority of ya'll are strangers to the rest of us :rolleyes: (Seriously, as much as we interact and enjoy each other's company online, you just never know; there are too many stories on the news of problems resulting from giving out info like that). I know it sounds kinda rude, and I don't mean to offend anyone or single anyone out, so please don't take it that way. You guys are my best e-friends :)
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Let me get this straight. You guys give your address out to guys on eBay. Send them a check to pay for it. But you don't want to give out your address here.

The cowboy site I found to be much more trusting. Their philosphy is much more like the TV cowboys than mainstream America. You know, word is bond. Don't lie. Handshake, etc. With the tight knit community here I thought it might be similar. You can buy a $1000 gun sight unseen off the cowboy site, send a check and expect 100 times out of 100 that the gun will arrive and be the way it was described. The cowboy community is like that.

My question is, why isn't our community like that?
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
Well, with eBay there is a "governing body" or "big brother" involved. If you don't get your item (or your money if you're a seller), you tell eBay, and they help to take care of things. If you go through PayPal you're generally covered both ways (I don't like PayPal, but that's besides the point). You also have feedback ratings to judge the legitimacy of the seller/buyer. If a seller has 0 or very few feedbacks, you'll generally see fewer bids and a lower ending price.

On the forum there is no "big brother" to watch over you. It's also probably a valid point that while many of you guys know each other from the MR forum and have had more time to "connect," there are still a lot of new faces for those of us who never really visited the MR forum.

(IMO) In today's cyber-age, it's human nature to be skeptical. It's not necessarily right, but it's human nature...
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
I'm just not exactly sure what you think the down side is. You give your address to someone, what is the worst they will do. Sell it to a mailing list?

Really, what do so think can happen?
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
SpaceMouse said:
I'm just not exactly sure what you think the down side is. You give your address to someone, what is the worst they will do. Sell it to a mailing list?

Really, what do so think can happen?
I don't know what could happen, which is EXACTLY why I wouldn't give my address out...
 

modelbob

Administrator
sushob said:
I don't know what could happen, which is EXACTLY why I wouldn't give my address out...

Gee, what about all the people who buy stuff from YOU on the internet? What if they felt the same way you did? Then where would you be?

You ask other people to give you their address every day, but you don't give out yours? Think about that...

Meanwhile, you're right, there's no governing body here, aside from me, and I probably won't try and track down Spacemouse if you don't get something in return. Then again, the rules of this said you give away something you have and don't want/need, not buy something new. So you send somebody a car worth $5 or so, is that really a huge risk? I agree, there are lots of ripoffs on the internet but I really don't think this is one of them.
 
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modelbob

Administrator
Meanwhile, since the only folks who responded are people who don't want to participate, looks like this one is a no-go, at least for this year.

Maybe we can make it a semi official thing next year, and work out some of the bugs. I guess would could have everyone send things to one place, and then have that person send them out, (and only send gifts to those who sent one in return) but that would take some cooridinating etc that we just don't have time for this year.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Thanks Bob,

For the voice of reason.

What people worry about is identity theft, whether they can put a name on it or not. The people who worry about the most are the ones that don't take the time to understand it. Giving out an address to one person is about as riskless as you get, especially when you know the person is involved in a hobby to the extent that they frequent the board. Most no-gooders make a hobby/lifestyle of identity theft and don't ahve time for this kind of stuff.

You are more likely to be ripped off by the waiter you give you CC or check to. He has the info you need for identity theft--especially if he asks for you licencse. Something we do all the time. Likewise sending a check to pay for an eBay item or mail order item is a much a risk. What's to say the guy photo copies it and sells it to someone else in another state. This is a much bigger risk, but we do this all the time.
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
modelbob said:
sushob said:
I don't know what could happen, which is EXACTLY why I wouldn't give my address out...
Gee, what about all the people who buy stuff from YOU on the internet? What if they felt the same way you did? Then where would you be?

You ask other people to give you their address every day, but you don't give out yours? Think about that...
As soon as an auction ends I get an email with the buyer's name, address, email, and phone number. They also get an email with my name, address, email, and phone number. It's an even exchange, and again, eBay plays the role of "big brother," as they have everybody's name, address, email, phone number, and in most cases, credit card info. The feedback rating also influences decisions like that. I have 872 positive feedback from 499 unique users, with no negative or neutral comments. Most eBayers have no problem mailing me a check. The majority of my customers also have excellent feedback ratings, and I in turn have no problem giving them my address. The 2% or so that have blemished feedback do make me a little apprehensive. I do have the choice to cancel bids if I feel it is necessary, but for the most part deadbeats aren't removed before they mess up anyone else's lives (I've only had 2 or 3 deadbeats in all of my eBay experiences...the one user (non-paying bidder) I persued is no longer a registered member of eBay--sellers have some power when it comes to reporting abuse of the system).

Hmm....that tangent extended a bit beyond my intention...my apologies.

modelbob said:
Meanwhile, you're right, there's no governing body here, aside from me, and I probably won't try and track down Spacemouse if you don't get something in return. Then again, the rules of this said you give away something you have and don't want/need, not buy something new. So you send somebody a car worth $5 or so, is that really a huge risk? I agree, there are lots of ripoffs on the internet but I really don't think this is one of them.
I agree. As a dealer I have lots of odds and ends lying around, and I could certainly send out some sub-$5 items without any regrets. While I wouldn't be upset if Spacemouse didn't send me anything in return, there would always be that nagging little voice in the back of my head saying "that guy has your address." So what? Probably nothing. Anyone with an internet conection and a name can find an address. But for a mild skeptic and somewhat paranoid (sp?) person like myself, I just wouldn't be very comfortable knowing that I purposely sent out my address. I know it wouldn't be a problem with any of the members on this forum, it's just the concept that kinda bugs me. (I know I know, I'm weird. Maybe I should just got a PO box...)


SpaceMouse said:
Thanks Bob,

For the voice of reason.

What people worry about is identity theft, whether they can put a name on it or not. The people who worry about the most are the ones that don't take the time to understand it. Giving out an address to one person is about as riskless as you get, especially when you know the person is involved in a hobby to the extent that they frequent the board. Most no-gooders make a hobby/lifestyle of identity theft and don't ahve time for this kind of stuff.

You are more likely to be ripped off by the waiter you give you CC or check to. He has the info you need for identity theft--especially if he asks for you licencse. Something we do all the time. Likewise sending a check to pay for an eBay item or mail order item is a much a risk. What's to say the guy photo copies it and sells it to someone else in another state. This is a much bigger risk, but we do this all the time.
Identity theft is a huge problem, and it's a very covert and unsettling reality. As you said, anyone could make a copy of my check and hypathetically (sp?) attempt to steal money out of my account. But that's why the Post Office (and the grocery store and the gas station and Wal-Mart...) sell money orders. I also have an online account with my bank that allows me to view all the ins and outs on a day-to-day basis (basically just a live checking statement), so it's not hard to spot a problem and cancel/correct it.

Perhaps, like Bob said, we could establish one central point/person to send all the gifts too. If they're as paranoid as me, they could rent a PO box for a month for ~$8 and use that to receive all of the packages, and as a return address for sending them to individuals. The problem there is trust again. One person will have everyone's address (everyone who is willing to participate), which might be 'worse' (again, for paranoid people like me) than a simple one-on-one or round-robin type exchange.

I really don't know any more about identity theft than anyone else does, so I guess it's not even worth talking (typing?) about.

-----

Wow...I never talk this much. Okay, maybe I should just start over. Here 'goes;

A Christmas gift exchange would be cool. It would bring the forum community closer together, and probably spark a few laughs too.

I have no problem mailing out sub-$5 items, but I'm a little apprehensive to give out my own personal info.

Maybe we could just keep the exchange between people we already know, or have had other contact with? For instance, Grandeman bought an engine from me and already has my info; and I, his.

Or maybe I'm just crazy to be apprehensive about sending my address to someone who I only know through text, and should just shut up now...:rolleyes:
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Because of my business--mail order/ Internet vitamins I have a mailing list of over 200,000 people. I could get myself out of debt simply by selling the list a $.50 name to a list broker. I belong to an organization the in which a banker regularly gives us info about identity theft and how and why it occurs.

Less than 10% is via the Internet.

The idea that identity theft would happen via a Christmas gift exchange is absurd. First of all with just an address, there's not much you can do. If you are that paranoid, you better start tearing up your junk mail so no one steals that.

Oh yeah, your name is sold 10-20 times a year. Klambach has already sold your name to Walthers and Atlas. Worrying about giving out your address to one individual is absurd.

And eBay does nothing if you get cheated at eBay. I tried to get their help once. It was a waste of time.
 

modelbob

Administrator
> Or maybe I'm just crazy to be apprehensive about
> sending my address to someone who I only know
> through text, and should just shut up now...

I wouldn't say you're crazy (or that you should shut up) but I would say there's a definite double standard going on here. You give out your address on ebay, but don't want to do so here.

To be honest, I'd be exactly the other way around. I'd probably give my address out to people I "know" from the forum, but if I had an ebay store I'd definitely do all of that correspondence via a PO box. My suspcision is that you'd run into far more potential for fraud there than you would here.

Granted, there's no guarantee in either case, but that's just the way I look at the two places.

I suspect in most cases the people are honest. I placed an order with a fellow who mistakenly neglected to ship one item. I dropped him a note, and he sent the item to me, without any problems.

I guess while I'm careful, I try to trust folks as much as I reasonably can.
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
modelbob said:
> Or maybe I'm just crazy to be apprehensive about
> sending my address to someone who I only know
> through text, and should just shut up now...

I wouldn't say you're crazy (or that you should shut up) but I would say there's a definite double standard going on here. You give out your address on ebay, but don't want to do so here.

To be honest, I'd be exactly the other way around. I'd probably give my address out to people I "know" from the forum, but if I had an ebay store I'd definitely do all of that correspondence via a PO box. My suspcision is that you'd run into far more potential for fraud there than you would here.

Granted, there's no guarantee in either case, but that's just the way I look at the two places.

I suspect in most cases the people are honest. I placed an order with a fellow who mistakenly neglected to ship one item. I dropped him a note, and he sent the item to me, without any problems.

I guess while I'm careful, I try to trust folks as much as I reasonably can.
Most folks on eBay, as is everybody on here, are honest and willing to help however they can. I've had a few cases where an item I purchased was needed in a timely manner...I dropped them a note saying I mailed a check, and they sent the package the same day. I've also done that for a few of my own customers. As long as their feedback is good, it's usually not a problem.

Fraud potential on eBay itself isn't terrible, but it isn't nonexistent either. I've read more PayPal horror stories than anything. Personally I think users should have to take some kind of competancy test to join...most dispuits are caused by new users who don't understand the system. Paying a small one-time membership fee would probably help too, as it would detur banned users from returning under new 'aliases,' but it would also decrease new potential customers...

I don't know that I'm really 'giving' my address out on eBay. It's a business. Someone buys an item (creating a legal contract to pay for the item, and in turn, receive the item), so I have to provide a mailing address to receive the payment. No different than any other hobby shop website with a posted mailing address. Nothing you can do to get around that.

I am certainly willing to trust people, but I haven't even learned the names of all of the new members here yet. :rolleyes: Our population seems to have tripled, and my computer time seems to have been halved. It's great to see new faces (metaphorically anyways), but it also takes some time to get to know everybody. A lot of you guys know each other from the MR forum, but I rarely visit that site. By this time next year I'll probably be much more familiar with all of the new members, and therefore more comfortable with sharing info. This certainly isn't meant to step on anybody's toes...I've always been a bit hesitant to new things, and it just takes me awhile to adapt.
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
SpaceMouse said:
Because of my business--mail order/ Internet vitamins I have a mailing list of over 200,000 people. I could get myself out of debt simply by selling the list a $.50 name to a list broker. I belong to an organization the in which a banker regularly gives us info about identity theft and how and why it occurs.

Less than 10% is via the Internet.

The idea that identity theft would happen via a Christmas gift exchange is absurd. First of all with just an address, there's not much you can do. If you are that paranoid, you better start tearing up your junk mail so no one steals that.

Oh yeah, your name is sold 10-20 times a year. Klambach has already sold your name to Walthers and Atlas. Worrying about giving out your address to one individual is absurd.

And eBay does nothing if you get cheated at eBay. I tried to get their help once. It was a waste of time.
I've known the name-selling practice since I started receiving letters from insurance agencies and lawyers...at age 12 :rolleyes: LoL

eBay has helped me a few times. While the service is disgustingly slow for a multi-billion dollar company, it does exist. Powersellers supposedly get "prioritized email support," but it usually still takes 24-48 hours to get a response. As a Store owner, I also have a 1-800 number to call. I haven't tried it yet, but I might the next time I have a question, just to see what it's like. I'm expecting it's just an automated system though.
 




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