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FTF Prize Etiqutte

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I've been wondering about some of the FTF prizes I've won over the years.


Most are minor, but I've picked up several geocoins as well. I know these things are costly, but my understanding is that they are given as prizes and not as trade items. I try to leave something nice behind, but not equal to the value of the FTF prize. Still, do cache owners expect you to leave an equal value of swag behind?


If not: then there are some very generous COs out there.


If so: then I have a dilemma. Many times, the cache containers are way too small to hold much of anything. Would I leave money? Pretty lame, I know. I've even found nanos where the FTF prize was left at another coordinate. Then, what should I do?


I often trade up or leave nice swag at empty caches (sometimes quite a bit!), so overall I improve the swag situation in the game. I hate to think about what I've spent on swag in the past year! It HAS to be in the hundreds of dollars.


So, what do you think? What do you DO?

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A prize is a prize so I would not expect it to be a trade item. As a CO, I do not leave prizes for the first since there is a blank log and they have a pick of trade items - if I leave a prize it is for the third or fifth to find. But I do not expect any trade in return.


As a CO it is annoying when the first simply takes a trade item as a prize.

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So, what do you think? What do you DO?
I was handed a FTF prize by a Cache Owner once: a box of Girl Scout cookies. So if she'd then said "Hey bucko, where are you going? That's FIVE DOLLARS a box!", I'd have known what that CO expects. :anibad:


I try to leave nice things, even if I'm FTF. If it's an unactivated Geocoin, I'd leave a lotta nice things. But COs designate a FTF Prize as a gift.


Realistically, people expect that the cache contents will degrade to nothing. They just hope maybe it takes a long time to happen.

Edited by kunarion
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As a CO it is annoying when the first simply takes a trade item as a prize.
Yes! That happened on my very first cache placement. Turns out that prize wasn't necessarily the coolest thing in there. So my future caches may be "just paw through the junk and grab something". With that clean, new log to sign.
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This is another case where my behavior as a seeker is a little different from my policy as a hider.


As a seeker I try not to take all of the FTF prizes I see, because I'd rather spread some of that 'wealth' around to the rest of the community. But occasionally I do find a prize that I know my kids would go gaga over, or perhaps the cache itself was far more effort than the typical one, in which case I'll happily take the prize as a memento. In those cases, I know that the prize is a gift, but I will often try to leave something pretty nice in the cache anyway as a way to 'pay forward' the generosity shown by the CO.


As a hider I tend to leave pricey FTF prizes (especially for my more difficult puzzles). They are intended as gifts, and I'm not offended when people take them without making a trade. I do think it's a nice gesture when they leave something nice behind for the other finders though. But "think it is a nice thing to do" is different from "expect them to and get mad when they don't", and so that's where I try to hang out mentally.


I will admit that as a CO, I like it when people say "thanks" for the prize, and get a little bummed when it doesn't happen.

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I've given way more FTF prizes than I've ever found and I never expect anything to be left in exchange; nor do I leave anything behind for a FTF prize I've received. A prize is a prize; usually given for achieving some form of accomplishment, without any strings attached. It is nice when the prize receiver posts something other than a "TFTC" log online, but there are no stipulations that says they have to.

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On a park and grab:


"Small cash prize for the FTF, equivalent to the difficulty of the hide."

FTF log:

"Thanks for the dime!"


FTF prizes are rare around here though a new one a couple of days ago had $5 in it for the FTF.


We had a guy that placed 25 Altoids tins along a mountain trail, all with 1$ coins in them. I made 25$ that day.

If you put money in a cache, I'm taking it. Have to get it back in circulation to help the economy.


Seriously, except for money or a geocoin, I usually leave the FTF prize for the next guy. In fact, if a bunch of caches are placed on a "in and out" trail, I'll find every other cache going in. This way, if there is a cacher five minutes behind me, he can FTF the ones that I skipped. I can always get the caches that I skipped, going out.


I like FTF's, but my motto is, once the boots are off, I'm going nowhere.

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Thanks for all the replies!


Looks like there are a lot of generous cache owners out there, satisfied just to get a nice cache log and a well-deserved THANK YOU from the lucky FTF cachers.


I've logged my share of FTFs, but few have had even small token prizes. But I've always wondered about the rare "super prizes" such as geocoins.


Again, thanks for the replies.

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