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Let's Get Rid Of "trade Even Or Trade Up"

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Sissy-n-CR used to say "Please trade kindly." and "Let those who behind you be as happy as you are."  It made a lot of sense to me.  Seneca’s concept seems to be saying basically the same thing, but with more words.

You are right - I get WAY too wordy. So my idea reworded, in a nutshell:


When trading do not worry about being even-handed.

Always leave something decent, but of course you can leave something great!

You can always take something decent, but if you find something great GO FOR IT!


I don't think its quite the same as your concept.

Edited by seneca
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One of our favorite items we found was a p-38 military style can opener. (Low monetary value, I am sure, but great sentimental value!) My husband was thrilled to find it, and keeps it on his keyring. I don't remember what we left, we usually leave more than we took. Another item my son found in a cache was a very nice Gerber Multi-tool... he is very proud of that! The cache owner had gotten a new multi-tool and left that one for someone else to find. Again, I don't remember what we left, but we left several items, trying to make up for the possible value. We usually leave a couple of trinket things (whistle, calculator, flashlight keychain), and a nicer item (tool item, camping item, something kids might like...). Eventually someone else will like what we left. We have a large bag of cache swag in our geocaching backpack, as well as a large (24" tall) rubbermaid box we usually take with us to restock the backpack if needed. Often, we leave things, and just sign the log.

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I try to leave my signature item at every cache I visit.....even If I take NOTHINg...it's about the hunt, not the treasure...but sometime the cache container is too full, too small, or just in too bad of shape.




PS to the State of Florida....I be very happy to hand over any and All treasure I find off the coast of your state, provided you Provide and cover all my costs associated with the finding of said treasure. But I understand, that you're not interested in that....so neither am I interested in handing over the results of My efforts. :lol:

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I'd like to get rid of it too, but for a different reason - the phrase trade up means exactly the opposite of what people here are intending it to mean, and they look rather foolish when they misuse it that way.


When you "trade up", it means that you end a trade better off financially than when you started. If I take a $100 watch from a cache, and leave a broken McToy, then I have just traded up. Big time.

It has the meaning you refer to because it has in general usage been used from the perspective of what one is taking for trade. Ever since I have been Geocaching, the term "trade up" has always been used (certainly in this forum) to refer to what one is giving in trade. I don't think the usage of "trade up" in this context has ever caused any confusion.


Language changes through usage. A good example: Look up the word "Geocache" in the dictionary you have referred to - its not there!!

Sorry but that doesn't hold water. The phrase "trade up" already had an established meaning. It was first used here by people who didn't understand it. There's no reason to perpetuate the ignorance.

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Sissy-n-CR used to say "Please trade kindly." and "Let those who behind you be as happy as you are."

Wow, I really like those sentiments.


I usually look for something to take for my kids. They love it when I come home with treasures. I don't really want anything for myself. Once spring gets here, the whole family is going out for "treasure-hunt" walks together. Our 5-year-old thinks the GPS is cool. He likes to hold it and watch the map track our progress when we're in the car going somewhere.


I've recently found some things to put into caches that are fun and/or interesting for kids, but not expensive. I usually take one thing for my kids and leave two things in the cache for someone else to find for their kids.


Besides, adults like to play with toys too (no, not those kind of toys -- get yer mind outta my gutter :lol:).

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If you happen to be the first person to find the cache after a very generous person left a new FRS Radio, and you really like the radio, then take it, and leave a Canadian Flag shot glass in exchange. (I'm sure you would want to contact the generous person and thank him for his great prize) At a future date, you might be well inclined to leave something particularly great in a cache (maybe on your 500th find!). My concept is to encourage meaningful generosity. I think that it would add to the game, while overall improving cache contents.

Maybe the rules/guidelines should read "Pay it forward".

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When trading do not worry about being even-handed.

Always leave something decent, but of course you can leave something great!

You can always take something decent, but if you find something great GO FOR IT!


I like this. From time to time I have left a particularly nice trade item in a cache. I didn't log it on the page or even in the physical log. All I did was left an anonymous note saying "this is a gift for whoever wants it, don't feel like you have to trade evenly in monetary value, just leave something another would enjoy regardless of cost." My hope is that the person who takes it enjoys it. If they don't trade "fairly" so be it. I like to do that for "special" caches such as ones that I really liked. I see it as giving back to the community for the fun that I have had and I just plain like to give things! If I see a log saying that someone picked up my item and enjoyed it, I love that much more than any neat thing I might ever find in a cache. If I never see such a log, that is OK too.

Edited by carleenp
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Personally, I see nothing wrong with the philosophy of trade up or trade even. From a very young age, I was tought that when you borrow something, you return it in better condition. I try to use that when I cache. If I trudge up the side of a mountain to find your cache, I have shown a special effort in visiting your cache. I'll admit, I like to find something useful/handy/cool when I get there. I hate getting to a cache to open it up and find bashed up candles, hair elastics, plastic spoons or other such items. Sometimes it IS about the little treat at the end of the path. Some of my favourite little items I have taken are, a mini coleman lantern zipper pull, a deck of cards, stuffed animals, pens, glowsticks, checkers game. The best one has been a keychain with a Boggle game on it. Cool! If I found an FRS, I wouldn't be able to trade up in monetary value, but I can guarantee that I would leave about 10 items for the next cachers who passed by.


When I place a cache, I try to put useful items in it to thank the person for taking the time to visit. I'd like to think that if someone took something, they would leave something of equal value, or equal usefulness as a treat for the next person. it also shows some respect for my cache. If I see a lot of TNLN TFTH, that to me indicates that I have some work to do on making my cache more enjoyable. Also, a lot of thought goes into what I buy to put in caches. When I see a log where someone took an item I left, I like to see what they left in return. That tells me what they thought my item was worth to them. Taking a waterproof map pouch and leaving a pencil is insulting to me. Sorry, it is. :lol:

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I'm not one to TNLN.

I enjoy inspecting the contents of a cache;

it's a reflection of our (geocaching) society, good or bad. :D


If the container is big enough, I will always leave someting I think is cool, like trinkets and souvenirs from other areas of the world, or handmade or antique items.


I rarely take anything, anymore.

So I guess the question of trading, for me, is a moot point. :D:lol:

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For me, I just enjoy finding the caches.

My son loves picking one thing out, but I am teaching him to trade fairly.

So I encourage him to bring a cheap mctoy as well as something a little nicer.

This way when he wants something nice, he has to make a decision.

It is great to see him learn as he makes these decisions.

When I am on my own, I pretty much TNLN...

My two mismashed cents... :lol:

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I subscribe to Trade up, Trade even or Don't trade. Personally I like to trade. For me that's a part of the game. If I don't see anything worth taking, I'll still leave something. Usually a few things to bring the cache back to life. I totally get what you're saying Seneca and it's a logical way of thinking. But for me, I prefer to go caching well prepared to trade even/up. I think that should be the norm. Ultimately though I don't think anything can be done to solve the problem of deteriorating cache items. That's one reason cache owners need to maintain their caches and a few finders need to kick in some upgrades. Actually it's not much of a problem for me. I like to see people enjoy my caches so I make sure they stay stocked.

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My philosophy is "make sure the cache has something cool in it before I leave". If it has something, great! If not, I will leave something.

I like that, and I always carry something to put in a cache, even though I rarely take anything. I end up (usually) leaving the item weather the cache needs it or not.

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