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Business Cards In Caches


knlcox
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OK, I'm new to caching and my whole family seems to be enjoying it. We've only done about 31 caches but there is almost always a business card in them. Well, my wife sells Avon so I thought it would be cool to leave her card & offer a free gift as well as a discount to any Cachers that called. We're not talking some dumb little $0.50 gift but usually something pretty nice. Anyway, you do not have to call or buy anything... it's your choice. Well, I've been getting rude emails this evening from another cacher that found our card in our own cache & was apparently offended by it. We're not trying to commercialize the hobby, only to offer good things to good people. So I'll briefly post this for review to the caching public for constructive remarks. If you think it's wrong to drop her card, I'll stop as we've only done it about 5 times anyway. I don't mind other people's cards but I'm not the only person involved with Geocaching. So once again I through myself to the wolves for input... :lol:

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The guidelines say:

 

Commercial caches attempt to use the Geocaching.com web site cache reporting tool directly or indirectly (intentionally or non-intentionally) to solicit customers through a Geocaching.com listing. These are NOT permitted.

 

I can see why some people might see the card you left as a solicitation.

 

That being said, you will find all kinds of solicitations in caches varying from religious tracts to coupons. If you choose to leave them, others are free to ignore them, or use them. So ignore the spoilsport who is giving you a hard time. He obviously needs a hobby.

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Yes, you are on touchy ground with that. Many people ignore the commercial offers for nice things at a discount. Others will see it as advertisement and as an agenda.

 

Regardless of your intentions, it is pretty thin ice. I know folks who get upset if they see someone's business card for electrical conduit installation.

 

Enjoy the sport! The idea is to get out and away from everyhting else and explore the world around you.

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There are plenty of caches that have plugs for commercial enterprises in them. There is one near to where I live that costs about $7.00 per person. The cache is outside but there is a plug to go in there and pay the money, this one is for a good cause but never the less it is a plug.

I would recommend this place to any one who asked as it is really cool and they have helped us out a few times by removing some sizable critters.

Check it out

I am thinking of placing near a spot that does an excellent service and is in desperate need of financial support. They save about 100 lives a year, I will not place it on their property but near it and give a subtle plug for the place.

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When I do cache maintenance I remove business cards but so far none of them have been offering something free on them, that might make a difference. I may not use the card to get the free item myself, but for someone out there it may be the best trade item they ever found.

As others have said it is on sketchy ground.

 

I have placed a coupon for a free large pizza from a local pizza place once. I never thought twice about it, however, I have no affiliation with the place and would not profit form the finder going there and having a few colas with their meal either.

 

You can try it for a while and see what the actual feedback is from those that find the cards and that will help you decide if it is worth it or if it is more of a hassle.

 

Happy Caching

GEO.JOE

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Once our group left a picture of one of the cachers with his phone number on the back ... touchy ground, too, of course.

I wouldn't mind finding such an item, or a business card -- as long as it's not only a card or picture. There has to be something of value with it, a funny story, or something similar.

 

The particular cache has not been found yet (it's been 9 months now).

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Great feedback from everyone, thanks.... I guess despite the understanding from everyone on this topic, I'll probably stop dropping the cards to eliminate the fuss. I guess what I thought to be a nice idea can be a bad idea to other people.

oh and we don't just leave the card, we do the usual swag swap and throw those in seperately.

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My opinion: If you are a finder, so what? You are not emailing through Groundspeak, which would be a violation. You are not MAKING caches for the purpose, which is a violation. Is leaving a McToy an advertisement for McDonalds? Is a gift certificate to a local restaraunt or store (sometimes a FTF prize) commercializing a cache?

 

Seriously, I see no problem with leaving a personal business card in caches you find. How silly that someone would get upset over that.

 

Please laminate them, though. Wet business card are nasty, I've seen my share. Blech.

 

Just my opinion.

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There is a fine line I see here, but I think it boils down to can the person who tries to use the card get the item for free without any obligation or pressure to purchase more stuff.

 

I've dropped coupons for free rubber stamps in caches and they seemed to be a hit. They had a redemption code and you simply emailed me your artwork and I mailed you back the stamp. You didn't even have to visit our website.

 

I think this works if you want to give a custom item, something of high value you don't want to risk being muggled, or an item that wouldn't be a good idea to leave in a cache.

 

OTOH, solicitations for a free weekend at a resort while having your arm twisted to purchase a timeshare, well, I think a lot of folks will consider that trash and CITO it out.

 

So, my take is:

  • Free with no pressure or obligation - Okay.
  • Discounts, obligations, or other requirements - NOT Okay.

Hope this helps.

Edited by CoyoteRed
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I love the challenge of the hunt and how everyone uses their imaginations in their caches. It's fun to find the loot and sift through. Even though I rarely ever take anything, I still always try and leave something if there's room. And I like fun and funky.

 

But...

 

Nothing personal, but if I'm in need of a specific service or person that does the service I'll check the bulletin board at the local coffee shop or crack open the yellow pages. Business cards aren't that imaginative, yanno? JMHO

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I'm liable to get slammed here but...... I remove personal business cards from every cache where I find them. Period. There is no place in caching for solicitation of business.

 

Free coupons, bottlecaps for free soda, etc. are NOT something I consider to be personal solicitation. They are more in the vein of a prize and I think folks appreciate them. However, when I find cards for insurance agents, window repair, or any "buy my stuff" type of card (including caching related sales such as hiking staff sales, etc.) I CITO it. I don't watch television and one reason is the commercials. Why in the world would I want to find commercials in caches?

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I'm liable to get slammed here but...... I remove personal business cards from every cache where I find them. Period. There is no place in caching for solicitation of business.

 

Have to disagree with you on this. I've found more than my share of caches with busniess cards and have never viewed them as a solicitation. I have always viewed them as a way for someone to log the cache. Instead of leaving a sticker in the log book they use a business card. Removing busniess cards should be left up to the cache owner, not the cacher.

Edited by magellan315
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I'm liable to get slammed here but...... I remove personal business cards from every cache where I find them. Period. There is no place in caching for solicitation of business.

 

You seem to be assuming that a business card is always something used for soliciting business. If a business card simply identifies a person, and ways to reach that person (e-mail, phone...), I don`t see how that is solliciting business. Most of the population doesn`t have a job that involves personally finding clients, so even a business card identifying someone`s job is not automatically business sollicitation.

 

As for cards from someone who might be looking for clients (be it a plumber, taxi driver or lawyer) I wouldn't be bothered by it unless they left multiple copies in one cache. Then it would truly be using a cache as cheap advertisment.

 

I think that business cards are not worst than most other small signature items. Not very original, maybe, but that`s allowed.

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My personal feeling is, if it doesn't have anything to do with geocaching, it doesn't belong in a cache...

Almost everything I have ever found in a cache has nothing to do with geocaching except that the stuff was left in a geocache by a cacher. Having said that, anything found in a cache has to do with geocaching (exceptions could include material left by muggles or vandals).

 

I am not at all offended by business cards, however they are pretty pedestrian. :lol::D

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Business cards are tacky. I used to leave my wifes Biz card on occasion since it doubled as day pass to the YMCA which had some pretty nice facilites.

 

They are still tacky even if the prize is cool. I don't know if anyone ever used the card. The cards I do like to find are calling cards that are designed by the cacher to leave as their signature "I found it" card. I've got a few of those I've kept.

 

Nobody should yell at you for putting one in a cache. It is a calling card regardless of anthing else about it.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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I'm liable to get slammed here but...... I remove personal business cards from every cache where I find them. Period. There is no place in caching for solicitation of business.

 

Let me see If I got this right. You find a cache and empty it of contents that you don't like. D0 You trade for these items, or just yank them?

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OK, I'm new to caching and my whole family seems to be enjoying it. We've only done about 31 caches but there is almost always a business card in them. Well, my wife sells Avon so I thought it would be cool to leave her card & offer a free gift as well as a discount to any Cachers that called. We're not talking some dumb little $0.50 gift but usually something pretty nice. Anyway, you do not have to call or buy anything... it's your choice. Well, I've been getting rude emails this evening from another cacher that found our card in our own cache & was apparently offended by it. We're not trying to commercialize the hobby, only to offer good things to good people. So I'll briefly post this for review to the caching public for constructive remarks. If you think it's wrong to drop her card, I'll stop as we've only done it about 5 times anyway. I don't mind other people's cards but I'm not the only person involved with Geocaching. So once again I through myself to the wolves for input... :D

Having come back to this thread and having had a little thought.

 

I don't think that people would object too much to having avon stuff in a cache. Not a discount deal, I mean just stuff.

 

Just make sure that it's not fragrant. Critters smell things differently than we do and they can (and have) mistaken scented stuff as possible food.

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Come to think of it, BEANS are a bad item, too. Critters love beans... :D

 

I have been pondering this issue since the topic was started. First, I have not noticed any business cards in caches. Then again, if I have found one, I probably would have ignored it, and gone on my happy way, thus forgotten the card(s).

 

If I noted an Avon card (or any other similar business), I may raise an eyebrow. It would probably be fine by me if the card stated something like "call for a free gift, no strings attached." As long as there was no sales pitch or sales-person follow-up after the free gift was sent, I do not see any harm in placing the card. You are giving something away. I would probably leave off the "XX% discount to geocachers", since that indicates a possible solicitation.

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I have encountered business cards in caches, but not in the immediate area where I live. I'm neutral as long as they were not used to trade swags in the cache.

 

You have to wonder about people who need to use Geocaching to solicit their businesses. :D

Edited by budd-rdc
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You have to wonder about people who need to use Geocaching to solicit their businesses.

Some folks are always "on." They are generally successful in rounding up business.

 

As <at a loss for the right word, "unpleasant?"> as it is, it works. Just like the Nigerian emails and Paypal spoofs. There are enough responses to make it worthwhile.

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I am a brand new Geocacher. I thought about business cards as well - I am a skydiving instructor and thought I might add a few people to the sport of skydiving that way. After reading the guidelines, my interpretation is that a commercial business card is not appropriate to leave, even if it offers something free.

 

IMHO the general idea of leaving a card is a novel one if it is a generic name/address card or a card specifically designed to leave in caches.

 

John

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How big an issue is this, really?

 

Of over 1600 logged and hundreds I didn't I swear I can't remember seeing more than maybe 10 business cards and even fewer religious tracts.

 

I wasn't counting, but I expect I have seen less than 50 discount or free offer certificates, even counting free gift certificates used for FTF prizes.

 

As long as it's not particularly harmful or smelly I don't much care what folks put in caches or use for trades - I am a huge fan of the 'play it your way' theory of geocaching (if within common practice and the guidelines!).

 

Besides, the OP made it clear the business card wasn't a trade - he used regular trade trinkets and then dropped in a card.

 

Me, if I find a cache with trade items and can also pick up a certificate for a free bottle of Avon Skin-So-Soft I'd be delighted! I'm po and that's good bug-stuff! That I'd have to contact his Avon-reseller wife to claim it wouldn't be a problem, as I'd feel no obligation to buy anything else. If she required me to attend an Avon party to collect it, now that'd be a whole 'nother story!

 

That some folks take public action to carry out their personal beliefs...something like "I remove all religious tracts because they offend me" does worry me a bit, as I can't see that being a big step from there to burning down a church across the street because it offends them, or driving steel spikes in trees so lumberyards can't use them, but that's just me.

 

My advice, if anyone cares, is trade up, trade even or don't trade. Leave a card if you want, I'll call ya if I am interested.

 

Sissy-n-CR are among many cachers that do geocaching-related items for sale, I don't think they leave cards but wouldn't have a problem with it if they did.

 

Lastly, several posts here worry about commercial or agenda caches, and I agree they should be carefully managed if not outright banned, but remember that what a finder places in a cache doesn't set the theme of the cache itself - if some finder drops in 20 business cards it doesn't make the cache commercial, but if the cache owner does it, then it might.

 

Have fun,

Ed

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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From what I gather, all of you are talking about leaving business cards in caches in the US.

 

I guess it's a different ballgame in other parts of the world. Since there are so few caches here in Turkey and most of the geocachers who find them are actually tourists, I always try to leave business cards of places that I've been to and enjoyed as a way to help other geocaching tourists find a good restaurant or place to stay or a cool shop to visit where the salesmen weren't pushy but rather polite. Of course, I leave these cards in addition to the regular items that I exchange.

 

I've never had any complaints about business cards. In fact, I've gotten some rather appreciative emails from German and Dutch geocachers thanking me for passing along some information that helped make their visit more enjoyable. I'm going to continue leaving business cards for the geocaching tourists.

 

Just my two kurus....

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Greetings,

 

I’m glad this topic came up. I was thinking of doing a theme cache involving Business cards. Since we are a community if you will, it might be nice to share expertise. I was planning to have a business card folder with a few cards. Cacher’s could add or trade cards. It could be your own card or someone that you have dealt with that offers a good service. I also would have items to trade, but thought this may be way of fellow cachers to pass the good word of local services or vendors. The Cache would be named appropriately and the description would spell the theme out.

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Greetings,

 

I’m glad this topic came up. I was thinking of doing a theme cache involving Business cards. Since we are a community if you will, it might be nice to share expertise. I was planning to have a business card folder with a few cards. Cacher’s could add or trade cards. It could be your own card or someone that you have dealt with that offers a good service. I also would have items to trade, but thought this may be way of fellow cachers to pass the good word of local services or vendors. The Cache would be named appropriately and the description would spell the theme out.

Actually, it's a good idea.

 

Most folks see the "loose" cards as trash. They get dirty and wet and become litter.

 

If you have a special container to hold them, protect them, and keep them organized, then they do not become trash. Don't let this thread be the reason you don't try.

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I used to leave my business card in caches. It's pretty cool looking, but on the back, it does offer one month's free instruction (I teach Taekwondo). After I did it for a while, I got to thinking that this might be misconstrued as leaving advertising. Even though that wasn't my intent, I decided to stop leaving the cards.

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I find that the quality of items in caches is low. It seems that people empty their junk drawers into the caches. I ignore business cards and actual am disappointed when all I find is that sort-a-thing.

 

My immediate thought, when I see a business card in a cache, is that the person is trying to sell me something. I find that totall to be outside the point of geocaching.

 

I was at a geocaching event locally last month and one geocacher handed out a business card to everyone advertising his home alarm business. I found that annoying.

 

However, if I need an automechanic, I would like to use one (assuming that they are all the same) that I like. One of those factors would be geocaching. So if i had to choose between two automechnics that had the same skill and price, I would pick one that is a geocacher.

 

Many Christians have the same problem: they would do business with another christian if they could. But it creates a problem for a church. The members of a church have jobs and would like to sell products to each other, but is it ok to use the church directory to mass-mail to the congregation? My church has said "no."

 

What the church did, and I think a better approach, would be to have a section of these forums that would be a "yellow pages" idea where you could list your business or services available. If you like to do business with a geocaching plumber in your area you could find one in this part of the webpage. This is what my church does: we print a separate directory called "Christian Business and Services" and anyone that is a member of the church that has a business or service (and who wants to be listed) is.

 

DJ the Not So Ordinary

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I tend to ignore business cards, but I DO always remove religious stuff from caches--that stuff ALWAYS offends me.

That's ridiculus... From now on I'm going to remove all the McDonalds toys because they offend me.

 

Come on people... We're all different and we believe different things... Something might offend you but might be of use to someone else... If it offends you, then IGNORE it.

 

Also, remember what people leave often times have something to do with the person. So, you're removing something that the person felt reflected their personality. And everyone worries Big Brother will come from the religious end...

 

As for the business cards, don't mind them at all... Once again, we're a community and I'd much rather support someone in the community then some big business...

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I dont like religious items in caches, but I would not remove them(or throw them away) unless it is a trade, as it really is not my business to remove stuff that I dont like, and others do. Business cards I do like if the cacher has their username on them, as it is always nice to meet other cachers.

Edited by 4wheelin_fool
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