2018 Holiday Gift Exchange, RSVP Required

Cbean08
Cbean08 Posts: 1,092 Member
Hey all, @pancakerunner asked in another thread if people would be interested in doing a Secret Santa. If people are in, let's do it! I can set it up through a website called Elfster.com.

Just a few heads ups before we get started-

You do need to create an account and you need to RSVP for the exchange. Once the RSVP date has passed, the exchange is closed and we can't add more members.

You need to be willing to give a shipping address to send the gift to. This also means you have to pay for shipping, which is not included in the price limit. Another note- The moderator is able to see who is paired with who, so if you are trying to get away with getting a gift and not sending one, well... don't.

Also, we have members from all over the world. Take that into consideration. But, you could also end up with some cool treats from a different country!

As participants, you do get to create a Wish List. So if you are gluten intolerant or you hate peanut butter or you really really really want a certain protein bar, you can add those notes and your Secret Santa can see.

This is going to be a fun way to celebrate the holidays with each other and I hope we can get this to work out. Some things we need to set beforehand-

1. spending limit (this does include the cost of shipping).
2. type of gifts. Should we limit it to just food? Should we open it to anything and everything? I think it would be cool if everyone includes something small that represents where they are from. Maybe a brand of candy that is unique to your area or something like that.

Questions? Concerns? Who's in? Let's smooth things out and then I can post the link to sign up.

Replies

  • mommacara82
    mommacara82 Posts: 15 Member
    Sounds like fun! I’m in! Just send a DM/mail if y’all decide to with the info! Honestly I say because of shipping, Lee it smaller like to $20 or something 🤷🏻‍♀️ that and it makes you be more creative and the idea of including something local would be cool.
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    I'm probably not going to participate because I know myself well enough to recognize that I'm very good at putting off going to the post office and would likely not send a package in a logical time frame. That said I did want to bring up some things that aren't so much concerns so much as things to be aware of. This is based off of a. shipping packages internationally on a regular basis (to friends) and b. watching threads on other forums where swaps are a regular occurance.
    • Shipping internationally is probably going to be the biggest challenge depending on where people are shipping things to and from. It would make sense for people to say whether or not they're willing to ship something. I realize that it doesn't necessarily seem fair, but I also realize that shipping something from Oregon to Florida costs significantly less than shipping that same thing from Oregon to Austria (where I typically send international packages). The cost of shipping a medium sized priority flat rate box from Oregon to Tampa is $13.65. The same sized flat rate priority box is $69.00 if I want to ship it to Austria.
    • Shipping things, especially food, internationally is mildly complicated. In short - read the instructions at your post office/your post office's website, don't attempt to lie about the cost value of what you're shipping just so the recipient doesn't have to pay a customs fee (that's illegal in most of the world it seems, and logically so), and google what you can and can't send into the country.
    • Things will likely get lost in the mail and at least a few people will probably skip out on shipping their package for reasons that may or may not be in their control.
    • Related to the above, you might want to require that people pay for tracking, especially if they're shipping domestically (I'm assuming most countries people would be participating in have some sort of tracking that you can pay for that will work at least domestically. That would save a lot of hassle if someone's package does get lost in the mail.
    That's all I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure I'll think of other things. Like I said, I have no skin in the game with this one. I've seen a lt of swaps go really well and I've seen some people totally flake out. I also send packages internationally at least a few times a year.
  • Cbean08
    Cbean08 Posts: 1,092 Member
    In response to @aokoye

    1. We could make an exchange to US only. And then if other countries would also like to set up their own, we could have multiple ones going. I know we have a big Canadian, Australian and European presence on the boards too!
    2. As with any exchange on the internet, there is a small risk. I'd hope that for those who participate, everyone is honest and uses this to share the holiday spirit. Also, knowing that the moderator can see who everyone is paired with means that you can't skip out and no one would ever know. The moderator also has some control on the back end, so if something happens and you are unable to fulfill your gift, let me know privately and I can take it out of the exchange.

    Because it is a Secret Santa with people we don't know in person, it is smart to keep the spending limit low, 20 to 30 dollars.

    Just be wise about what you send because places in the US do have weather problems right now, so bubble wrap, Saran Wrap, ziplock baggies and other water proofing layers are advised. Also, there are flat-rate shipping boxes. Making sure your gifts fit into a flat rate will help cut down on the cost of shipping. The other option is to gift directly from Amazon or another website. If you know your person really just wants a box of Quest bars and nothing else, send them directly from Amazon using free shipping with a gift note inside.
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    edited November 2018
    Cbean08 wrote: »
    In response to @aokoye

    1. We could make an exchange to US only. And then if other countries would also like to set up their own, we could have multiple ones going. I know we have a big Canadian, Australian and European presence on the boards too!
    2. As with any exchange on the internet, there is a small risk. I'd hope that for those who participate, everyone is honest and uses this to share the holiday spirit. Also, knowing that the moderator can see who everyone is paired with means that you can't skip out and no one would ever know. The moderator also has some control on the back end, so if something happens and you are unable to fulfill your gift, let me know privately and I can take it out of the exchange.

    Yeah most of the groups that I've seen do swaps have done enough of them to have a list of "bad swappers" - which is to say, people who have a history of not sending packages in a timely manner. It only takes a few swaps to start making that list. I do think that it would be a good idea to give people the option whether or not they want to send stuff to other countries though. Getting goodies from various countries is fun (as is sending people things). I just think it's more equitable to give people the option as to whether or not they want to send something to another country given the extra expense and hassle. I suspect you'll also get more people that way.
  • Noreenmarie1234
    Noreenmarie1234 Posts: 7,493 Member
    Count me in!
  • pancakerunner
    pancakerunner Posts: 6,137 Member
    Sounds like fun! I’m in! Just send a DM/mail if y’all decide to with the info! Honestly I say because of shipping, Lee it smaller like to $20 or something 🤷🏻‍♀️ that and it makes you be more creative and the idea of including something local would be cool.

    Agreed. I'd say $25 max including shipping?? That's fair. Also like the idea of including something personal from our part of the country/world :)
  • pancakerunner
    pancakerunner Posts: 6,137 Member
    edited November 2018
    I mean, if shipping in the US... USPS flat rate is the way to go. That's like max $10 on shipping costs... not too bad. I normally hate paying for shipping, but this is different because the person sending your gift has to pay too... what goes around comes around :smiley:
  • Idontcareyoupick
    Idontcareyoupick Posts: 2,812 Member
    I'm interested with U.S. Based exchange. Sorry international ppl.
  • pooglecutie
    pooglecutie Posts: 22 Member
    Cbean08 wrote: »
    Hey all, @pancakerunner asked in another thread if people would be interested in doing a Secret Santa. If people are in, let's do it! I can set it up through a website called Elfster.com.

    Just a few heads ups before we get started-

    You do need to create an account and you need to RSVP for the exchange. Once the RSVP date has passed, the exchange is closed and we can't add more members.

    You need to be willing to give a shipping address to send the gift to. This also means you have to pay for shipping, which is not included in the price limit. Another note- The moderator is able to see who is paired with who, so if you are trying to get away with getting a gift and not sending one, well... don't.

    Also, we have members from all over the world. Take that into consideration. But, you could also end up with some cool treats from a different country!

    As participants, you do get to create a Wish List. So if you are gluten intolerant or you hate peanut butter or you really really really want a certain protein bar, you can add those notes and your Secret Santa can see.

    This is going to be a fun way to celebrate the holidays with each other and I hope we can get this to work out. Some things we need to set beforehand-

    1. spending limit (this does include the cost of shipping).
    2. type of gifts. Should we limit it to just food? Should we open it to anything and everything? I think it would be cool if everyone includes something small that represents where they are from. Maybe a brand of candy that is unique to your area or something like that.

    Questions? Concerns? Who's in? Let's smooth things out and then I can post the link to sign up.

    I'm in!!!! <3
  • Cbean08
    Cbean08 Posts: 1,092 Member
    bumping this in case others are interested
  • pancakerunner
    pancakerunner Posts: 6,137 Member
    I'm in for US only :)
  • swirlybee
    swirlybee Posts: 497 Member
    Is this the RSVP thread or is there a separate RSVP thread? I'm in. I'm in the US but I'm ok with international.
  • Cbean08
    Cbean08 Posts: 1,092 Member
    swirlybee wrote: »
    Is this the RSVP thread or is there a separate RSVP thread? I'm in. I'm in the US but I'm ok with international.

    I'll make a separate thread with the link to join on Elfster. This was just to see if people are interested.
  • Noreenmarie1234
    Noreenmarie1234 Posts: 7,493 Member
    Are we doing this guys ?