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Are These Commercial Caches? Why Or Why Not


Salvelinus
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I have been noticing caches being approved that strike me at being commercial. They seem to be located in parking lots or sometimes in close association with businesses. I've recently seen caches approved at a prominent Sporting Goods Store, a prominent chain of convience stores, a major restaurant chain, department store, Coffee Shop, and gas stations. ..you get the picture.

 

Cache guidelines about commercial caches states: 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. Examples include for-profit locations that require an entrance fee, or locations that sell products or services.

 

I'm curious as to why or why not cachers interpret these locations as being commercial or not. Please try and avoid OT discussions about the merits or rational for placing these "types" of caches...that is a different thread. I'm just wondering if the community thinks these are breaking the commercial guidelines. Approvers opinions are VERY welcome.

 

Salvelinus

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My personal interpretation would be:

 

If you're gonna have an urban cache, it's like to be NEAR a business of some sort. Last weekend I found caches next to or near an engraving shop, a Black Angus, a Target, a Sam's Club, and a privately owned public golf course. That alone, in my view, doesn't make it a commercial cache. I was free to find the cache without having to enter the business or have any encounters with the business employees. Proximity alone, in my opinion, doesn't promote the business. I didn't feel pressured to have lunch at Black Angus just because I happened to be near one.

 

However, writing up the cache page to say "Hey, this cache is near my favorite Chevy dealership, home of the longest-lasting, toughest trucks on the road! Come check out the cache and while you're at it, stop in and talk to their sales manager who can offer you great deals and flexible financing!" is a different story.

 

Requiring someone to enter a business to find a cache makes it commercial for obvious reasons that I don't think many people would question.

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Judgine solely on the basis of 'cache pages alone, I don't see anything commerical about them (As far as 'caching is concerned). Like the 3-eyed kitty said, what are the chances that an urban micro is not gonna be close to some sort of commerical enterprise. One of my own micros is hidden at the base of a sign for a large local grocery chain. Is that commercial? Not to me, I just chose it 'cause it was ferrous metal and all the lamp posts where aluminum!

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I don't interpret them as commercial since I don't tend to view driving or walking through a business parking area to be a solicitation to enter the store.

 

If a cache was right at the front door or placed in a way that made me feel obligated to make a purchase to be there, then I would be uncomfortable and feel that the cache was commercial. I suspect that in most cases aspects such as those would not be apparent from the cache page.

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I'm gonna go with the freaky kitty on this one too, although I think theSporting Goods Store one is pushing the limits a tad. (and why is someone from FL hiding a cache in PA anyway. Its not like there aren't any other caches in the area. ). I'm not overly fond of those types of caches, but then, I personally think as long as there is no commercial intent, even a off limits commercial location might be ok.

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I reviewed each and see nothing as commercial. Now if the cache is filled with coupons for the store or restaurant they are near then I would say otherwise. If the micro were actually inside the business this would also be considered commercial. But as has already been repeated, what urban micro is not near some type of business.

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As a cache reviewer, my thought process is exactly as stated by Team PerkyPerks. Having handled the review of many of these caches in Pennsylvania, I can tell you that when the description goes "over the top" from "this cache is in the XYZ Store parking lot" to "XYZ is the best place in town to buy widgets!" I will insist that the description be edited. It hasn't been a problem. I've also denied numerous submissions sponsored by businesses themselves, or by a geocacher who's a good customer. These tend to take the form of "come into the ZZZ store/restaurant/tavern, tell the person behind the counter the magic word, and the cache will magically appear."

 

It is important to note that the cache reviewers assume that "adequate permission" has been obtained by the cache owner. When there is a published policy like our State Parks and State Forests have, we can verify whether the requirements of the policy have been fulfilled. In the absence of a policy it is up to the cache owner. As far as I know, Wal-Mart and Target and Starbucks do not have published geocaching policies. (If anyone can link me to one, I'd be grateful for that information.) I am also aware of several hides of this type where the owner expressly states that they checked with the store manager and were told that everything was cool. Always a good idea.

 

Finally, as for the listing guideline regarding clear permission for caches placed on "private property," we view places like mall parking lots, etc. as being quasi-public, as the public is invited to be there. We do not grill the cache owner about permission the same way that we would if the cache was in an apartment complex or planned community. I recently denied a cache at a senior citizen's center on this theory. But if the business' parking lot was posted with signs saying "parking for customers only," I would hope that cache owners would take note of that when selecting a cache location, just like they ought to notice "posted" signs when scouting a hiding spot in the woods.

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I don't interpret them as commercial since I don't tend to view driving or walking through a business parking area to be a solicitation to enter the store.

 

If a cache was right at the front door or placed in a way that made me feel obligated to make a purchase to be there, then I would be uncomfortable and feel that the cache was commercial. I suspect that in most cases aspects such as those would not be apparent from the cache page.

You mean like ON a gas pump?

 

Just to clarify...The guidelines do say "either directly or indirectly". What if your caching and happen to hunt a cache hid at a convience store. You notice you need gas and maybe a soda and you buy it there. Is that cache not indirectly attracting business, from geocachers, to that store rather than the convience store down the street?

 

Around here (College community) there are several comepeting stores of this type built almost right next to each other. If I (as a cacher or someone who knows about it) owned one of those stores, you bet I would have a cache there! Now is it commercial? Is putting business logos on your cache pages advertising and thus commercial as well?

 

I'm not saying these caches were placed for that purpose, but the potential is there depending on the interpretation of the guideline. Also, if you read some of the finders logs, there is, at times, business coducted at some of these locations that would not of occured if the cache had not been there. For example, taking a break for a coffee or ice cream cone.

 

I'm just looking for a better rational than "the cache does not pressure me to buy anything". I never feel pressure to buy anything anyway, and IMO that is not what the guidelines say.

 

Enough of me...opinionate away!

 

Salvelinus

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I don't interpret them as commercial since I don't tend to view driving or walking through a business parking area to be a solicitation to enter the store.

 

If a cache was right at the front door or placed in a way that made me feel obligated to make a purchase to be there, then I would be uncomfortable and feel that the cache was commercial. I suspect that in most cases aspects such as those would not be apparent from the cache page.

 

You mean like ON a gas pump?

 

On a gas pump would bother me. I lump that in with my example of a store entrance or something that would make me feel like I would have to make a purchase to be there. I didn't notice that from the cache page description though. I do see complaining in the logs.

 

The solution in those cases is to contact the local reviewer so that he or she can look into it.

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If a cache was right at the front door or placed in a way that made me feel obligated to make a purchase to be there, then I would be uncomfortable and feel that the cache was commercial. I suspect that in most cases aspects such as those would not be apparent from the cache page.

You mean like this cache or this cache?

 

Edit: - fixed incorrect link

Edited by Gorak
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I have since taken the time to follow the links to each of these cache pages. Two of them merit comment:

 

1. I would not have listed the restaurant cache with the store logo set up as a background image. I have no way of knowing whether this was added later by the owner (often the pages are "dressed up" after being listed) or if the reviewer didn't notice it (we see the new cache pages in a manner quite different from how they appear on the site) or if the reviewer wasn't troubled by it (there is no explicit guidance on this issue).

 

2. I was well aware of the gas pump cache, as a friend of mine sent me an e-mail about it. Had it been in my review area I would have archived it. I deferred to the Maryland volunteer, not knowing that he was in the process of resigning, so the cache received no official attention. Had someone posted a "should be archived" note, it would have. As a result of that cache, which I believe to be a poor choice of location, I now quiz the hider when a new cache page suggests that the cache is at a gas station. When I did that last week with a northern Ohio cache, the owner quickly wrote back and explained that the cache was in a picnic area adjacent to the gas station/convenience store complex. No problem - that cache was listed.

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If a cache was right at the front door or placed in a way that made me feel obligated to make a purchase to be there, then I would be uncomfortable and feel that the cache was commercial. I suspect that in most cases aspects such as those would not be apparent from the cache page.

You mean like this cache or this cache?

I would view those as commercial would likely choose not to do those caches. Of course, I have chosen to pass up many parking lot caches too, not because they seemed commercial to me but because I just didn't feel like finding them.

Edited by carleenp
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If a cache was right at the front door or placed in a way that made me feel obligated to make a purchase to be there, then I would be uncomfortable and feel that the cache was commercial. I suspect that in most cases aspects such as those would not be apparent from the cache page.

You mean like this cache or this cache?

Gorak, had those caches been submitted for review in my territory, I would not have listed them in the form in which they appear. But it would appear to be water over the bridge or under the dam at this point. :)

 

There are also numerous older examples from 2001 or 2002 where one is required to go into the business establishment and interact with the employees. While those caches are grandfathered, similar new cache submissions would not be listed today.

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I think Gorak's 2 examples cross my line into commercial intent.

 

Now that I look at the gas station one again, I see it's one that one of the finders mentioned in chat. I said it back then that putting the cache on the gas pump (besides being a stupid location that could have triggered a huge bomb scare) made it commercial, since most people felt they needed to purchase gas to search for the cache. I'll also note that the finder that pointed it out in chat DID post an SBA on the cache (and wouldn't even log it as a find, though he did find it). I guess with the the MD reviewer resigning it slipped through the cracks.

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If a cache was right at the front door or placed in a way that made me feel obligated to make a purchase to be there, then I would be uncomfortable and feel that the cache was commercial. I suspect that in most cases aspects such as those would not be apparent from the cache page.

You mean like this cache or this cache?

Gorak, had those caches been submitted for review in my territory, I would not have listed them in the form in which they appear. But it would appear to be water over the bridge or under the dam at this point. :)

 

There are also numerous older examples from 2001 or 2002 where one is required to go into the business establishment and interact with the employees. While those caches are grandfathered, similar new cache submissions would not be listed today.

The Krispy Kreme Kache (KKK?) and the Timbits Cache were both placed in 2004. Did you happen to notice that they both request that you enter the place of business and purchase donuts? I'm not sure how any approver could construe these caches as not being commercial even under the broadest of interpretations and certainly not the narrow interpretations of the guidelines that are more common.

 

I mean, how can these caches not be interpreted as commercial when in this thread a request (not a requirement) for people to bring toys to a cache event for Toys For Tots was shot down by the approver?

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The Krispy Kreme Kache (KKK?) and the Timbits Cache were both placed in 2004. Did you happen to notice that they both request that you enter the place of business and purchase donuts? I'm not sure how any approver could construe these caches as not being commercial even under the broadest of interpretations and certainly not the narrow interpretations of the guidelines that are more common.

 

I mean, how can these caches not be interpreted as commercial when in this thread a request (not a requirement) for people to bring toys to a cache event for Toys For Tots was shot down by the approver?

It looks like several people here would not have listed those. But obviously they were listed and what has happened has happened. If thier existence is bothering you, post a should be archived note so that it can be brought to the proper person's attention.

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Uhhh, did you read my post, or just automatically assume that I would disagree with you?

 

I said I would not have listed those caches.

Of course I read it. This comment,

 

But it would appear to be water over the bridge or under the dam at this point.  :)

made no sense to me in the context of the topic and was interpreted by me as to mean, "it's too late to do anything about it because they're already approved. You then went on to imply that these caches may be somehow grandfathered.

 

This is not the first time that these caches have been mentioned as an example of approved commercial caches, yet they are still active caches. I have to assume that despite your position that you would not approve them "in the form in which they appear", other approvers disagree.

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If a cache was right at the front door or placed in a way that made me feel obligated to make a purchase to be there, then I would be uncomfortable and feel that the cache was commercial. I suspect that in most cases aspects such as those would not be apparent from the cache page.

You mean like this cache or this cache?

Gorak, had those caches been submitted for review in my territory, I would not have listed them in the form in which they appear. But it would appear to be water over the bridge or under the dam at this point. :)

 

There are also numerous older examples from 2001 or 2002 where one is required to go into the business establishment and interact with the employees. While those caches are grandfathered, similar new cache submissions would not be listed today.

The Krispy Kreme Kache (KKK?) and the Timbits Cache were both placed in 2004. Did you happen to notice that they both request that you enter the place of business and purchase donuts? I'm not sure how any approver could construe these caches as not being commercial even under the broadest of interpretations and certainly not the narrow interpretations of the guidelines that are more common.

 

I mean, how can these caches not be interpreted as commercial when in this thread a request (not a requirement) for people to bring toys to a cache event for Toys For Tots was shot down by the approver?

Curious... wouldn't commercial intent make you pick one over the other? Although possible, I doubt that the two donut shops have the same owner. I suspect that that the hider just like placing caches in location that are more than just a cache. I would think the intent was to enjoy donuts and the outing, not that you need to spend money at that particular establishment. $.02 :)

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It looks like several people here would not have listed those. But obviously they were listed and what has happened has happened. If thier existence is bothering you, post a should be archived note so that it can be brought to the proper person's attention.

I've seen lots of caches get archived after previously being approved because it was later discovered that they violated the guidelines. "What has happened has happened" is a pretty lame excuse, IMHO. I have no intention of posting a SBA note to those caches. The approvers are aware of them and shouldn't have to wait for someone to post an SBA so that they can go back to the cache owner saying that they had to be archived because someone complained, making them look like a reluctant enforcer and deflecting the blame away from themselves and onto a fellow cacher.

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Curious... wouldn't commercial intent make you pick one over the other? Although possible, I doubt that the two donut shops have the same owner. I suspect that that the hider just like placing caches in location that are more than just a cache. I would think the intent was to enjoy donuts and the outing, not that you need to spend money at that particular establishment. $.02 :)

The cache owner has no affilation with those business whatsoever. Their intent when placing the caches was just as you described, to enjoy donuts and to celebrate the first Krispy Kreme store in Western Canada. The cache owner is a well respected cacher that has a lot of really great caches - some of the best in the area, IMHO. That doesn't change the fact that the caches violate the listing guidelines by promoting a commercial enterprise, especially when you see how that guideline is applied elsewhere.

 

My intent is not to have these caches shut down, only to point out the seeming hypocracy in how that particular guideline is implemented and enforced.

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Just want to mention that starting this thread was not intended as an attack on KA, my approver. He does a outstanding and very fair job for us in PA.

 

I raised the issue because a fellow geocacher (who is also a family member) recently did a geocache like the ones I mentioned, willingly went into the establishment, and is now "hooked" on their product. :)

 

Now, whenever he is "enjoying" that product he brings up the fact that he never would of found out about it without geocaching. This made me curious, so I re-read the commercial guidlines closer and was wondering if caches like this can be interpreted as indirectly commercial like the guideline says.

 

I still think anytime a cache takes you on commercial property, they are, at a minimum, indirectly commercial. But, at least now I know, and can understand the opinions and rational why others don't think so. Particularily from a well respected approvers perspective. I just wish the guideline was a bit more "cut and dry" to assist ALL the approvers in applying it equally.

 

Salvelinus

 

edit: added a thought and clarification

Edited by Salvelinus
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Did you happen to notice that they both request that you enter the place of business and purchase donuts? 

Not only that, the cache pages even refer to cachers as customers.

No stuffing the ballot box by posting multiple notes for your favourite – only one note per customer! Have fun, and may the best donut win!!

I don't care how much Canadians like their donuts. Those two caches are commercial in nature and should be reviewed.

 

No offense to my buddies north of the border. :):)

 

Edit to stay on topic:I don't think any of the caches linked by the OP are commercial in nature. There is no solicitation involved, and I didn't even notice the mention of product on any of the cache pages...well, maybe soda, or coffee, or service, but that's pretty generic.

Edited by sept1c_tank
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Curious... wouldn't commercial intent make you pick one over the other?  Although possible, I doubt that the two donut shops have the same owner.  I suspect that that the hider just like placing caches in location that are more than just a cache.  I would think the intent was to enjoy donuts and the outing, not that you need to spend money at that particular establishment.  $.02  :)

The cache owner has no affilation with those business whatsoever. Their intent when placing the caches was just as you described, to enjoy donuts and to celebrate the first Krispy Kreme store in Western Canada. The cache owner is a well respected cacher that has a lot of really great caches - some of the best in the area, IMHO. That doesn't change the fact that the caches violate the listing guidelines by promoting a commercial enterprise, especially when you see how that guideline is applied elsewhere.

 

My intent is not to have these caches shut down, only to point out the seeming hypocracy in how that particular guideline is implemented and enforced.

OK then write an email. Or complain loudly enough in the forums and hope the correct person sees the caches and archives them. All have the same effect I suppose.

 

"What has happened has happened" is the truth of the matter. Perhaps those caches should not have been listed, but they were and that is life. Mistakes happen. I would be inclined to say that without serious complaints to let the caches stay, but archive them if there are complaints. I suppose someone at some point will make a decision on that, likely in part because of this thread.

 

Anyway, that is the end of the matter for me. I have no intent to take part in further angst over those specific caches.

Edited by carleenp
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OK then write an email. Or complain loudly enough in the forums and hope the correct person sees the caches and archives them. All have the same effect I suppose. 

 

"What has happened has happened" is the thruth of the matter. Perhaps those caches should not have been listed, but they were and that is life. Mistakes happen. I would be inclined to say that without serious complaints to let the caches stay, but archive them if there are complaints. I suppose someone at some point will make a decision on that, likely in part because of this thread.   

 

Anyway, that is the end of the matter for me. I have no intent to take part in further angst over those specific caches.

Agreed!

 

Please refrain from pointing out "bad" caches. We all know they are out there. My examples were only to show the types of caches/locations only...not to get caches archived. Please keep comments limited to interpretations and opinions of the commercial guidelines and how they should be applied...not to specific caches.

 

Thanks,

Salvelinus

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Please refrain from pointing out "bad" caches. We all know they are out there. My examples were only to show the types of caches/locations only...not to get caches archived. Please keep comments limited to interpretations and opinions of the commercial guidelines and how they should be applied...not to specific caches.

I appreciate where you are coming from, Salvelinus, but it is pretty hard to discuss the commercial guidelines and how they should be applied without citing specific examples, especially when the topic strays into inconsistent application of those guidelines. However, this is your topic and I'll abide by your wishes not to discuss specific examples regardless of the fact that you cited no less than 6 specific caches in your original post. :)

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  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. Examples include for-profit locations that require an entrance fee, or locations that sell products or services.

 

I think the key words here are, “Commercial caches attempt to use (the website) to solicit customers,” and “locations that sell.”

 

Advertising is solicitation, so mentioning the name of a business may be considered solicitation. Even mentioning that products or a service are available could be considered solicitation.

 

“Locations that sell” may be harder to determine. IMO this could be interpreted as point of purchase (cache register), close proximity (picnic table outside a business) or general area (a parking lot, mall or group of businesses).

 

Point of purchase caches, where you would be required to stand near a “ cache register” or interact with an employee of the business should probably be examined very closely. Other locations very near or even inside a business are and should be allowed assuming there is no pressure to purchase product.

 

Having said this, I invite you to review one of my own caches that could be perceived as commercial. On the cache page, I point out numerous types of business and services that are available within walking distance.

 

The cache is located near a business guide sponsored by the local chamber of commerce. There are numerous posters and brochures available for the many business in the area.

 

Please be gentle! :):)

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Having said this, I invite you to review one of my own caches that could be perceived as commercial.  On the cache page, I point out numerous types of business and services that are available within walking distance.

 

The cache  is located near a business guide sponsored by the local chamber of commerce.  There are numerous posters and brochures available for the many business in the area.

 

Please be gentle!  :)  :)

Your cache seems fine to me because it does not require a person to patronize a business to find the cache. The mention of many nearby businesses (especially when done generically like you do) seems OK to me.

 

I don't know that providing a list of nearby businesses by name would be all that bad either, as long as it is clear from the context that the list is just addded for helpful information and that a person finding the cache is not required to go there or make a purchase as part of the process of the cache find. I see your point about that though. I suppose it could become a fine line at times to determine what is general information and what is outright advertising.

Edited by carleenp
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Your right Gorak...I wrote that knowing it sounded a bit hypocritical.

 

But, my initial examples were only examples of caches I was preparing my comments for. I did not want to or expect to hear about other caches that are out there like these...or even worse than these.

 

I don't think it is difficult to comment on the commercial guidelines or application of them without citing specific caches. Particularily since I have presented examples of the types of caches I was curious about in my initial post. No offense...but others were able to do so with no problem. I just do not want this thread to become a cache witch hunt. I (or hope a moderator) will lock the thread if it goes that way.

 

I value your thoughts since you seem to kinda agree with me. I just wanted to stimulate some community thinking about commercial "type" caches and cache guidlines, to possibly help improve this game for the future.

 

So now that we are back on track, your thoughts are still welcome!

 

Salvelinus

Edited by Salvelinus
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Here's the short answer:

So long as you don't have to go IN the business or buy anything, it's fine.

 

I agree - mostly - with what Keystone is saying.

 

There is one cache, however, that I think he should have let be approved.

The cache owner went to downtown - which this downtown in question is failing miserably. There are a few mom-n-pops shops that are doing okay, but other than that, there are numerous buildings empty. The hotel shut down years ago, the movie theatre is now a senior center, the largest retailer down there is gone and a flea market type vendor leases the bottom (of 6) floors. This cacher managed to convince the merchants to let her put rocks in their front windows with cords on them. You never had to go into any of the buildings, you simply had to walk down main street. Some of them had also donated - without her asking - gift cards for a free sundae at the icecream parlor or other such things.

 

In order to get the cache approved, she had to make it so there was only one rock in a window and forego the gift certificates alltogether. cache

 

I think when the cache sends you into one specific business that it's commercial. But I think that when a bunch of people have offered things just because and you never have to do anything other than window shop that it's not really a commercial cache.

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I think when the cache sends you into one specific business that it's commercial. But I think that when a bunch of people have offered things just because and you never have to do anything other than window shop that it's not really a commercial cache.

That is getting closer to a fine line for me. On one hand it appears that no purchase is required etc. Yet by placing the rocks on widows, people are compelled to "window shop" and in a sense it seems like advertising for the businesses. Kind of a tough call for me, but I lean toward it sounding commercial. It is the examples such as these that are interesting because it shows how a determination of what is comercial isn't always going to be cut and dry.

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I've seen lots of caches get archived after previously being approved because it was later discovered that they violated the guidelines. "What has happened has happened" is a pretty lame excuse, IMHO. I have no intention of posting a SBA note to those caches. The approvers are aware of them and shouldn't have to wait for someone to post an SBA so that they can go back to the cache owner saying that they had to be archived because someone complained, making them look like a reluctant enforcer and deflecting the blame away from themselves and onto a fellow cacher.

Oh, so you're now suggesting that reviewers step out of their territory and feel free to archive caches far, far away if they happen to notice a guidelines violation? That seems quite inconsistent with past positions taken when a reviewer has tried to do that. I am smart enough not to fall into that trap, not needing another forum thread about overstepping my bounds. I won't be the reviewer who takes any action here, and that is what I meant in my prior post, accompanied as it was by a smiley emoticon. It's not a "lame excuse," it is paying attention to the jurisdictional boundaries that cachers scream at us to respect.

 

Prior to listing, I could have provided input on these caches. The local reviewer did not bring them to the reviewer forum for discussion, so my chance to have a say about them has passed. If Groundspeak headquarters or a reviewer who *is* responsible for this area wishes to take action concerning these caches, why then by all means they should feel free to do so. But first the matter needs to be brought to their attention. Thanks for doing that, and please enjoy the doughnuts of your choice.

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Seems like most think that a cache crosses the commercial line when you are directed into the place of business. My thoughts are that the line is crossed when 1. The business' name is given or implied in the cache "theme" and/or 2. You are directed to the business' property to find it.

 

Salvelinus

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My intent is not to have these caches shut down <snip>

That may very well be the result. :)

Actually, I think the concept is cool. They would not have to be shut down...just remove the logos and other soliciting language, including the sample part, unless the businesses wish to offer a free sample. :D:)

Actually Tank, I did send them an email. I would rather give the cacher the chance to ammend the pages then just shut them down outright. I am tired of seeing those caches thrown in our face by a certain cacher though.

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...It is the examples such as these that are interesting because it shows how a determination of what is comercial isn't always going to be cut and dry.

At the risk of digging something I'm not ready for, my cache is certainly commercial. I'm arguably encouraging (advertising) travelers to visit my community and use the products and services (spend money) available in the immediate vicinity.

 

There is nothing really interesting or otherwise redeeming about my cache (it is a clever hide).

 

On the other hand, I stand to gain nothing personally from this cache. It appears that the cache mentioned by fly46 would fall into the same category as mine.

 

I think the intent of the cache owner should also be considered. In the case of the caches mentioned by Gorak, it appears that the cache owner would be innocent in intent, too. After all, he's "advertising" for two competative businesses.

 

Of course there is that little matter of Groundspeak's policy language (intentionally or non-intentionally). :):)

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Seems like most think that a cache crosses the commercial line when you are directed into the place of business. My thoughts are that the line is crossed when 1. The business' name is given or implied in the cache "theme" and/or 2. You are directed to the business' property to find it.

 

Salvelinus

I agree that once directed inside, it is commercial. For your other two, if the business is part of the "theme" then yes, I also agree it is commercial. On the property could depend. I don't necessarily view a lightpole cache at the back of a parking lot as commercial. But put the same cache at the front entrance and I might feel differently. I suppose it could also depend on factors such as whether people inside the business could see me search for the cache. That might make me feel compelled to buy something to feel comfortable being on the property. Often a factor like that can't be figured out from the cache page and if I come across such a cache while out caching I tend to skip doing it because that sort of thing makes me uncomfortable.

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I think the intent of the cache owner should also be considered. In the case of the caches mentioned by Gorak, it appears that the cache owner would be innocent in intent, too. After all, he's "advertising" for two competative businesses.

 

Of course there is that little matter of Groundspeak's policy language (intentionally or non-intentionally). :):)

Yep, there is that little bit of language.... :D

 

I suppose ideally intent of the owner would be a nice test. The problem is that knowing another person's true subjective intent is next to impossible. Anyone could simply place a commercial cache and lie about their intent. So an objective standard really seems the best to me.

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The reason I even mentioned the cache I did is this is a discussion of what should possible constitute a commercial cache and by reading the hint and the logs if this one is not a commercial cache then it is defiantly taking advantage of a grey area. I figured that reading what is there every one in this discussion could come to there own conclusions. As one of the logs points out that this is not a cache saturated area and there are a lot of place to hide a cache without placing it in the place of business. The business it’s self is in the middle of no were and probably would still profit from geocachers being in the area. So having the cache container moved out side of the building would probably have been a better solution to the cache hide. Just to put this in a little bit better perspective of were I’m coming from; I grew up in this area and even know the family that runs the business. The geocachers that placed the cache are not from the local area and only have 3 finds and 2 hides, so that might figure in to the factor of were the cache was placed. With a topic like this preventing a cache from actually getting archived, is not a realistic goal and the topic probably shouldn’t of been brought up in the first place.

Edited by Ray&Rose
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I think when the cache sends you into one specific business that it's commercial.  But I think that when a bunch of people have offered things just because and you never have to do anything other than window shop that it's not really a commercial cache.

That is getting closer to a fine line for me. On one hand it appears that no purchase is required etc. Yet by placing the rocks on widows, people are compelled to "window shop" and in a sense it seems like advertising for the businesses. Kind of a tough call for me, but I lean toward it sounding commercial. It is the examples such as these that are interesting because it shows how a determination of what is comercial isn't always going to be cut and dry.

Most of the businesses aren't the type that you would go in on an impulse buy. I know that of the businesses on mainstreet, from her start cords, there's political offices (ie, republicans come the elections), a local office for a cleveland newspaper, a computer repair shop, the chamber of commerce, a tire store, a tattoo parlor - most aren't the type that seeing something in a window would make you go in and spend a couple bucks.

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I have been noticing caches being approved that strike me at being commercial. They seem to be located in parking lots or sometimes in close association with businesses. I've recently seen caches approved at a prominent Sporting Goods Store, a prominent chain of convience stores, a major restaurant chain, department store, Coffee Shop, and gas stations. ..you get the picture.

I see nobody has addressed your caches directly. First of all, just about every cracker barrell has a cache at it. Mine is called "All You Crack Heads Meet Up Here" (i'll save you the story behind that name). I found 2 on a numbers run.

 

SBUX has caches at Starbucks everywhere simply because she likes their coffee. Not one cache page says anything about going in and getting yourself one - that's why it's not commercial.

 

You pointed out a wally world cache. There's one in just about every wal-mart lot, too. And target for that matter. Just because they're easy to grab while you're there anyway.

 

That's why these aren't commercial.

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I am tired of seeing those caches thrown in our face by a certain cacher though.

Who might that be? icon_eek.gif I've only ever mentioned them in the forums today. :)

 

Oh, so you're now suggesting that reviewers step out of their territory and feel free to archive caches far, far away if they happen to notice a guidelines violation?

It's been known to happen on occasion. :)

 

At any rate, I don't want to derail this topic further but I'd be happy to continue this sort of discussion in another topic or via PM.

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I think it's pretty easy to decide where to draw the line. If you must enter the business to log the cache, or make a purchase then it is a commercial cache.

If you merely need to pull into the parking lot, or visit a nearby guard rail it isn't.

If the business is explicitly mentioned in the cache page that is getting too close to the line, but still not across it. I'll agre with CarleenP, or was it fly46, that said intent is a big part of where this line falls, although it may be difficult for the reviewers/apporvers to determine that sometimes.

 

I have five caches within .25 miles of my place of business; a restaurant in the downtown area. It is also the only place open on weekends at this end of town for lunch. Could they be considered commercial caches? :)

Of course not. They exist to point out various downtown attractions, humor me, and challenge you. :D

The downtown attraction that my restaurant is in isn't even the site of any of these. :)

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So, let me see if I've got this straight.

If the cache hider is determined to have made an error or misjudgement in his/her cache description, the approver will - should he like this particular cacher - suggest a change in the description.

If the cacher hider is not well liked then the cache will be archived.

If, in the extremely unlikely case that an approver should have made a mistake or error in judgement in approving a cache, then we just consider that water under the bridge or what has happened has happened and nothing is done.

 

Sounds somewhat like Mount Olympus to me. :)

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So, let me see if I've got this straight.

If the cache hider is determined to have made an error or misjudgement in his/her cache description, the approver will - should he like this particular cacher - suggest a change in the description.

If the cacher hider is not well liked then the cache will be archived.

If, in the extremely unlikely case that an approver should have made a mistake or error in judgement in approving a cache, then we just consider that water under the bridge or what has happened has happened and nothing is done.

 

Sounds somewhat like Mount Olympus to me. :)

You know, I've read this thread, and it seems to me that Gorak is really pissed (perhaps because one or more of his caches were rejected, that were similar to the ones he mentioned that were approved?), and will only complain about it in the forums. Seems to me that this is not the place to piss and moan about other caches like this. Do we want these forums to turn into a "tattle on others" zone, where we see countless threads devoted to people whining about why this or that cache got approved?

 

Then I look at the approver's responses, and they seem unwilling to do anything about it, when it's presented in this forum. Know what? I don't blame them. If they rewarded this behavior by archiving the cache mentioned, then it would only encourage a hoard of other people to do the same thing.

 

That's what the request to be archived feature is for, and it should be used instead of whining on a forum here where the complaints don't even effect most of us, and so we really don't care one way or the other, what the outcome is.

 

I don't want to wade through tons of threads like that, and I bet others don't either. So, if it bugs you that much, then request that it be archived, instead of throwing a tantrum all over the forums.

 

Sorry....just had to say it *puts on flame retardant suit*

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Then I look at the approver's responses, and they seem unwilling to do anything about it, when it's presented in this forum. Know what? I don't blame them. If they rewarded this behavior by archiving the cache mentioned, then it would only encourage a hoard of other people to do the same thing.

 

Gorak didn't ask to have those particular caches archived. Seems to me he was asking why the rules for approvals are not consistantly applied by all approvers.

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