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A $2.00 Trade Item Minimum


Toron
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$2.00 value should be the minimum for a trade item.

 

I can feel the flames warming my toes already, so let me explain a bit before the flames grow to reach less comfortable places.

 

1. yes, it's about the hunt more than the swag.

2. this is not a proposal for a "policy" (more on that in a moment)

3. cache degradation is a fact of life. This won't eliminate it, but it can have an impact.

4. this doesn't mean that someone would be spending $2.00 on every cache. You guys know how it works--leave item, take item--use taken item to trade on the next cache. In theory, a one-time investment of $2.00 could be all you need forever.

5. Yes, there are some items of tremendous local interest that cost less than $2.00, and there are many (some of the best, actually) trade items that are found or crafted and never have a price tag on them. That's why norm can work where policy would fail.

 

How many topics have we seen about crappy trade items? (Please don't try to answer that. Numbers that large make my head swim.) Perhaps I am an optimist, but I believe that some of the trading down does result from a lack of understanding from some cachers rather than some nefarious plot by some to accumulate wealth for early retirement.

 

A policy for a $2.00 minimum is unenforceable, but that amount can become a well understood expectation in the geocaching community through discussion. Yes, there are trade items out there worth much more than $2.00, and trading down would surely still occur. The $2.00 norm, however, could help reduce the number of .10c baseball cards that are exchanged for $5.00 geocoins.

 

Finally, I think a general discussion of "don't trade down" is too vague to be effective. A specific amount as a norm is a harder to overcome with justifications than a vague and highly subjective "don't trade down" concept.

 

So there it is. Your responses can help make or break the establishment of a norm. I propose $2.00. Am I full of it?

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<_< I think this is a very bad idea. The moment you try to put something like this in place you open the door for more bad feelings against those that don't wish to follow a dollar limit, suggestion or what ever. We already have enough of shoulds associated with this activity.

 

The number of people that trade using lesser value items would probably leave or not log their finds.

 

As for me, I don't pay any attention to dollar value. I have some things that I put in caches that cost me around $.25, but seem to be liked and taken. The most common item I put into a cache is a hand carved pin. My cost, very little in materials and a bit of time. Dollar value, not much. Desirability seems to be quite high.

 

I simply won't trade at all if anything like this is ever put into place.

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Regarding some of the responses already about hand crafted items.

 

[/quoteThe most common item I put into a cache is a hand carved pin. My cost, very little in materials and a bit of time. Dollar value, not much. Desirability seems to be quite high.

]

 

I agree completely. That's the reason for ...[/quote5. Yes, there are some items of tremendous local interest that cost less than $2.00, and there are many (some of the best, actually) trade items that are found or crafted and never have a price tag on them. That's why norm can work where policy would fail.]

 

I like to make clay disks that I fire and glaze in my pottery studio to use as trade items. I think they are nicer than any $2.00 item I could find.

 

I am talking about the trade items that I KNOW you all have come across. The crackerjack toy that was traded for the plasma screen television.

 

I would gladly trade a cash valued item for a nice hand crafted item. When I have a $5.00 geocoin, however, and the only stuff in the cache is a college sports schedule and a chipped plastic ruler, it's a bit of a downer. (but hey, like I said, I still enjoyed the actual hunt!)

Edited by Toron
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Embracing this "norm" (and I hate embracing Norm, he's pretty ugly) would effectively force all "Dollar Stores" to go out of business, or to respond by hiking the prices on all items to two dollars in order to recapture the geocacher trade. Either way, there will be a resultant hew and cry from the residents of trailer parks nationwide, comparable in its seriousness only to the fact that God targets trailer parks when plotting out tornado paths.

 

(Off topic: In Arkansas, how are tornados just like divorces? Either way, somebuddy's gonna lose a trailer.) <_<

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Even if $2 were to become to the accepted norm, your still going to have those that value things differently (and those that just don't care if trades are even anyways). Maybe the ultimate solution is to make all caches in largish micros stuffed with duces and placed in the parking lots of the dollar stores (ok 2dollar store, Lep :D ).

"Took $2, left $2 since the cache was full and wouldn't hold anything anyways, signed log".

Then before the person leaves they can go into the store and buy themselves a lot of the things they may have otherwise found in the cache.

 

OR

 

Have everyone puts priced tags on their trinkets so everyone knows how much it will cost to trade fair......

but then we might end up with more pocket change in the caches <_<

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No need for setting a minimum if people just used their heads a bit more....

 

What would you like to find in a cache?? Go buy a few of them and put whatever that is in your next few finds...

 

If everyone followed that, the world would be a happier place (or maybe at least these forums would be <_< )

 

edit: spelling

Edited by Doc-Dean
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A mandated trade item minimun is a bad idea. First, it would discourage a lot of people from ever trading. Also spending more than $2 doesn't guarantee you're getting anything great and spending less than $2, or even $1 doesn't mean you're getting junk. I picked up a bunch of new Matchbox cars for 75 cents each. I think they're great items, because a lot of kids love them. I found emergency rain ponchos on sale at Walmart for 99 cents. They seem to be pretty popular, because they're often the first item traded out.

 

How this for a "rule". If it's something you would have ordnarily thrown in the garbage, throw it in the garbage, not in a cache. Beyond that, leave it up to to geocachers to decide what they want to put in caches and how much they want to spend.

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How this for a "rule". If it's something you would have ordnarily thrown in the garbage, throw it in the garbage, not in a cache. Beyond that, leave it up to to geocachers to decide what they want to put in caches and how much they want to spend.

Nicely put! I completely agree.

 

I would also add that I think that a lot of Geocachers are honest and fair traders and a lot are not. I've known people to take nothing and leave great booty-nuggets, I've known people to make decent trades and I've known others to clean out a cache & leave junk or nothing at all.

 

There is no perceivable reason to implement a policy that cannot be enforced. The choice is yours . . . either don't trade at all or take the risk of trading with inconsiderate poopheads.

 

That is my opinion . . . such as it is.

 

Happy caching and stuff! <_<

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Hmmm, many of the posts so far ring familiar. Yes, people value things differently, just trade items you like, etcetera. I am not disparraging those thoughts at all. In fact I agree absolutely. I just think that the vagueness results in people valuing fastfood ketchup packets as trade items. (I am not making that up by the way)

 

Okay, before I get lost in the details of that debate, let's have a John Lennon moment and just Imagine. (and while we're at it, let's imagine we can overlook the fact that he was shot for those types of sentiments)

 

Imagine if a typical geocaching explanation to a newbie included something like "and then you take an item worth about $2.00, or more if you like, and trade it for another item." Whether or not you value things differently, a three-tooth hair pick with two of the teeth missing could hardly be valued at $2.00. (again, I am not making this up.)

 

Sure, then we could complain on the forums about trade items that were worth less than $2.00 when they showed up. That's an improvement over ketchup packs and busted hair picks.

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I agree that an actual minimum $ amt is not going to cut it but the thought is a step in the right direction.

I think that just as we cachers practice enviromental freindliness ( cache in/trash out )

I think that those of us that hold the conviction that these little plastic containers that we place all over the world do not become more than a legitimate way of disposing of our own trash ( parking lot swag )

That we as responsible cacher's do the right thing.

That is , when we find a cache that is loaded with trash, we simply and quietly remove it and "trash out'.

I do not mean take all that is not cool to you, I mean ( and I think you all have seen this stuff ) wadded up tattos from a cracker jack box, or chewed up golf ball, or a squirt gun that was run over in the parking lot, and a cacher picked it up so he could take something from the soon to be discovered cache.

 

Lewbert

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I like the "leave something that you would like to find rule".

 

BTW, kids often gravitate towards things that are less than $1.00 sometimes. My boys favorites to find in a cache: hot wheels cars (approx $.88), little plastic animals, frogs or lizards (approx $.30) and even (GASP!) the dreaded McToys (in the original packaging, of course).

 

Cacheola Crew Mom

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Well, Team Yatta's sig buttons (which we had made by a button co.) cost us 50 cents a piece.

 

There is a party supply store and a dollar store near my house and I buy a lot of trade items there. These items cost me 15 cents to 2.00 a piece. No one has ever complained about finding them in a cache. In fact, a lot of people message me and leave in tehir logs that they really like my trade items and ask where I got them.

 

I don't think there should be a limit on the dollar value of our trade items. As someone stated earlier, leave something in a cache that you would like to find and things will be just fine. <_<

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Posted on Mar 18 2004, 12:25 PM

  The "rule" has always been "don't trade crap." The people that trade crap already know it is crap, so adding anything further will not be productive. 

 

I respectfully disagree.

 

"don't trade crap"=vague

Application of rule: Cacher to self--"hmm, this chewed up baseball I found on the way here still rolls. Of course it IS pretty crappy looking, and part of the leather is peeling off (inner conflict, inner conflict). Hey! It would make for a GREAT fetch item for someone's dog--and lot's of geocachers have dogs. Wow! This isn't crap! It's like, well, probably the most valuable cache item EVER! Shoot, I'm really going to increase the value of this cache by trading this really useful, non-crap baseball for the nifty collabsable hiking stick.

 

$2.00 minimum trade item=more specific

Application of norm: Cacher to self--[everything from before, then] but nuts, nobody would pay two bucks for this baseball. They could buy a brand new rubber ball for their dog for a buck fifty. nuts. I guess I'll just TNLNSL or come back with something that fits with cache item guidelines.

The different cacher that comes an hour later: "Hey! I usually just find crap in these caches, but I'm sure glad I've made a habit of bringing a nice trade item just in case. This heartrate and calorie burning monitor is a good trade for the hiking stick."

 

Yes, there will always be people out there who knowingly, willingly, and even bitterly trash caches. I just think that it's a very small minority. I certainly don't think that's what's behind the voluminous number of devolving trade items.

 

The examples above are overdone, obviously, but I DO think that a lot of cachers make irrational justifications about trade items.

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There is a party supply store and a dollar store near my house and I buy a lot of trade items there. These items cost me 15 cents to 2.00 a piece. No one has ever complained about finding them in a cache. In fact, a lot of people message me and leave in tehir logs that they really like my trade items and ask where I got them.

 

BTW, kids often gravitate towards things that are less than $1.00 sometimes. My boys favorites to find in a cache: hot wheels cars (approx $.88), little plastic animals, frogs or lizards (approx $.30) and even (GASP!) the dreaded McToys (in the original packaging, of course).

 

I love the kind of items you guys described. Some of my favorite items have been really unique pencil toppers. I had someone leave some of those little decorative erasers in a cache of mine, and they couldn't have cost for than .20c each, but he left a whole baggie of them as a single trade item. Likewise, I found one of those sticker dispensers that are at every convenience store, but this one had some really cool metallic stickers with a theme that really caught my attention. They only cost .50c each, so I put several of them in a baggie to justify them as a trade item.

 

Point is, a $2.00 norm doesn't preclude any of the cool items mentioned. And remember, this doesn't mean you're spending a fortune on geocaching. This stuff can be traded forward at the next cache.

Edited by Toron
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Point is, a $2.00 norm doesn't preclude any of the cool items mentioned. And remember, this doesn't mean you're spending a fortune on geocaching. This stuff can be traded forward at the next cache.

 

It can be, but I don't think that is the norm for many people. For example, when I trade, it is often because I want to keep some silly little thing that I found in the cache. Often that silly little thing is worth about $.25 as well. I don't intend to put it in a different cache.

 

Instead of a monetary guideline, I like the guideline of leaving something that you honestly think another will enjoy. E.g., something that you might trade for yourself.

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Hey! I resemble that trailer statement lol. My son and I do live in a mobil home (shudder) until one of you nice men deciede to start sending me your paycheck to buy a real house :blink: .. but even still there are very few things that I trade that cost less than 2-3 dollars now. I usually put something in the in the several dollar range and a few things for kids in as trade.. I take something and my son does as well.

 

However, my feeling is if you could afford to spend 100-400 dollars on a GPS then you probably can afford decent swag.. There was a "how much are you worth when GPS'ing thread" I recently saw.. most of us have a thousand dollars (or more) on our bodies in the woods for petes sakes! Digital camera, cell phones, gps, etc etc

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There are a lot of great trade items that cost less than $2.

There are a lot of items that cost more than $2 that would be crappy trade items.

I agree with what your rule would be trying to accomplish, but it just wouldn't work.

 

Edit: Spelling

Edited by AC Student
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I don't like the idea of trying to put a monetarty value on trade items. There's always going to be some disagreement or unsatisfaction for some over what gets traded for what, and how to give those items due value. Some items have a high intrinsice value that you simply can't put a dollar value on. It's all up to the individuals doing thier trades who decide what is worth what. Accept that and enjoy the game.

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A lot of the responses have been about the low dollar value of some of the favorite trade items, signature buttons that cost 50 cents, Matchbox cars for 75 cents, etc. I agree, it's not the cost, it's the value to the cacher that counts.

But let's have an example that goes the other direction. How about a $6.00 item in a cache? I pulled a coupon out of one of my caches that was for $6.00 off the price of a carton of cigarettes. I consider it to be a bad trade item, but some would say it's good because it's worth $6.00.

 

RichardMoore

 

PS Why does my keyboard have a dollar symbol ($) but not a cents symbol? And don't say that it's because I don't make any sense (cents)!

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I think a step in the other direction would work far better if the ultimate goal is to put an end to disappointment over junk in caches.

 

:lol:Throw out the idea of trading fairly. Openly endorse the practice of leaving items of lesser value for really nice or expensive stuff. :lol:

 

:bad: At first, this might seem like heresy, but when you look a little deeper, you will see that it makes perfect sense. As it stands, there are many generous, fair, conscientious cachers who leave nice items in caches. :lol: They do this knowing full well that these items will eventually get traded down. There are also people who treat caches like their own personal garage sale, and make ridiculously unfair trades. This will never change. :lol:

 

By completely abandoning any expectations of other people, we can avoid being let down when they don't do as we hoped. The generous people who trade fairly will continue to do so, because that's the kind of people they are. :bad: Consider it a blessing when one of these cachers visits your area. But don't get upset when you find a cache full of junk. After all, what did you really expect to happen when you leave a container of neat baubles and trinkets out in the woods, and publish it's location? :blink: Asking for people to trade up all the time is almost the same as just putting a piggy bank out in the woods with the words "please put some money in me" emblazoned on the side. Eventually, someone will actually take money out of it. :lol:

 

I like to put neat stuff in the caches I place (when they are full size and have the room). I don't expect them to stay full of valuables, so I don't get upset when they get traded down. It's going to happen. That doesn't mean I can't have a laugh when someone makes a ridiculously stingy trade. :(

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I just wonder how many of you whiners actually find that many McDonalds toys and baseball cards. So far I've seen only 2 or 3 caches with cards, and only a handful with McDonalds toys. If you don't like the items in caches then take your $2, drive out to a store and buy your own stupid prizes and stop complaining. I'm 20 and I've taken a McDonalds toy! Unlike some people I guess I just take something, anything, from a cache just to trade. I don't go out expecting to find something worthy of framing and hanging on the wall.

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$2.00 value should be the minimum for a trade item.

 

I can feel the flames warming my toes already, so let me explain a bit before the flames grow to reach less comfortable places.

 

1. yes, it's about the hunt more than the swag.

2. this is not a proposal for a "policy" (more on that in a moment)

3. cache degradation is a fact of life. This won't eliminate it, but it can have an impact.

4. this doesn't mean that someone would be spending $2.00 on every cache. You guys know how it works--leave item, take item--use taken item to trade on the next cache. In theory, a one-time investment of $2.00 could be all you need forever.

5. Yes, there are some items of tremendous local interest that cost less than $2.00, and there are many (some of the best, actually) trade items that are found or crafted and never have a price tag on them. That's why norm can work where policy would fail.

 

How many topics have we seen about crappy trade items? (Please don't try to answer that. Numbers that large make my head swim.) Perhaps I am an optimist, but I believe that some of the trading down does result from a lack of understanding from some cachers rather than some nefarious plot by some to accumulate wealth for early retirement.

 

A policy for a $2.00 minimum is unenforceable, but that amount can become a well understood expectation in the geocaching community through discussion. Yes, there are trade items out there worth much more than $2.00, and trading down would surely still occur. The $2.00 norm, however, could help reduce the number of .10c baseball cards that are exchanged for $5.00 geocoins.

 

Finally, I think a general discussion of "don't trade down" is too vague to be effective. A specific amount as a norm is a harder to overcome with justifications than a vague and highly subjective "don't trade down" concept.

 

So there it is. Your responses can help make or break the establishment of a norm. I propose $2.00. Am I full of it?

I see a real problem with a $2.00 minimum. For this sport to keep growing lots of young people will be needed. Some of them my not has lots of money to spend on geocaching. IMO a $2.00 minimum would do more bad than good. I like to trade items, if I do not see anything of interest to me, I will just sign the log and not take anything. At least I fond the cache. My girlfriend and I have quite a collection of little animals, there cheap but we don't really care.

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God. You people really need to stop complaining about the crap you find in caches. While some stuff is definitly cooler/worth more than other stuff, none of that matters. I "only" have 90 something finds. If each time I traded, I had to spend $2.00, I would definitely not be caching. I understand you stated this differently, so maybe not 2.00 for every cache, but 2.00 would definitely not last me indefinitely.

 

I'm sorry if I come accross as a jerk, and I have not read nearly all the posts in this thread, but it just seems in the last few days, many threads have been popping up with these topics.

 

There is the "cache evolution" thread, the "crappy caches" thread, and now this one.

 

Just start caching for the journey, and stop expecting to find anything more than McToys in the cache. Then when you do find something cool, it will be that much cooler. And, as others have said, the best thing you can do, is put something in the cache you would like to find. Maybe others will start doing that, maybe not. Either way, you know you are at least doing your part, and you get a lot of satisfaction out of that.

 

That's all I have to say! Well... until my next post anyway... :blink:

 

No offense to the original poster, but I'm glad to see that none of you that replied agree with the idea.

Edited by SBPhishy
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