[ Ancient Forge ]
Joined: April 22, 2008
|Birthday Club - INFO PAGE, UPDATES [Outdated]
|Posted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:55 pm || Last edited by gawthfrawg on Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:27 am; edited 2 times in total
|Link to Post:
| [Moderated By Cynake - On request of the new Birthday Club coordinator, unstickied]
As per a discussion with Deidre this will be the current birthday club thread as it will have all of the rules, the form needed to sign up if more people are interested over time etc. This thread will also serve as our general chat thread with regards to the club, reminders will be sent both by PM and by thread posting just as a gentle nudge to stimulate your brains into remembering when your gifts are to be sent out.
Any photos you'd like to share of the item(s) you've received should be done over here:
Now a copy of the rules:
Without further adieu the rules:
A coordinator is picked for the entire year. With a list of alternates/backups should the coordinator be unable to fulfill his/her duties.
2. Anyone can join the initial signups. And anyone can petition to join as the year goes on, say once they get more financially stable. (see below for further explanation)
3. Anyone can drop out at any time without penalty; except they cannot drop out for 30 days after they receive their gift(s) (see below for explanation of how this will be handled)
4. How people are paired up: Coordinator would make a list of all participants; each person sends to the person below them on the list; the last person would send to the first person. To compensate for changes in sending each year: If the list is the same people; each person would send to the second below their name; then the new people would be added at the bottom of the list before the previous last person was assigned a partner; continuing the list down to send to every 2nd person.
How would it work for international participants:
This will be a bit long of an explanation but I hope this is the simplest way possible to do this....
Simply put they'll be included like everyone else in the list. I did price comparisons for in-country & foreign shipping for the countries I see most represented on the forums. UK, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Australia, US, Canada, and i threw in Argentina since we have one member from there and it gave me a base for south-american pricing.
I looked up each country's postal service website, and with the exception of Belgium, 99% of them were in English & quite easy to follow. The Belgium one took a while but I was able to locate the info I needed after about an hour of clicking random links in an effort to figure out what the words meant, as babelfish was of no help.
After I looked up each country's postal information I entered what I considered a standard package weight including shipping (thank you ED for your post about weights). I chose 7 ounces or 200grams as the standard weight I would look things up with. ED's post of weights was a good indication that 5oz with packaging wouldn't be quite enough; but 7oz should cover extra padding etc.
I then spent quite a bit of time researching basic or first clas shipping on a 7oz package from each country to each of the other countries listed above; along with each country's in-country shipping.
Here's the info I determined to the best of my ability...
US USPS Int'l Postage
7oz/200g package; including packaging
First class/Airmail (Prices in USD)
US to Canada $2.62
US to Argentina: $5.90
US to Australia, Belgium, Finland, England, Germany *& most other countries*: $6.20
UK - England & Northern Ireland
7oz/200g pkg including packaging
First class within country: 145pence or $2.11 USD
Airmail to rest of Europe from England: 1.90£ or $2.75 USD
Airmail to rest of world & US: 2.80£ or $4.05 USD
7oz/200g package including packaging:
First or base class in country: $7,00 ARS (pesos) or $2.02 USD
First or base class to US: $12,00 ARS or $3.45 USD
First class to rest of world: $14,00 ARS or $4.03 USD
7oz/200g package including packaging:
First class within Australia $4.20 (Australian dollars); or $2.99 USD
Sea mail to all other countries listed above $6.65 (AU dollars) or $4.73 USD
7oz/200g package including packaging:
In country via Taxipost LLS 0-2kg = 5.50 euro/ $7.62 USD
Eu – UK, Finland, Germany (several other countries) >350g = 5.50 euro/$7.62 USD
Rest of world - >350g = 8.25 euro/11.42 USD
7oz/200g package including packaging:
Small packet Airmail to US: $6.45 CAD/ $5.30 USD
Regular parcel within country: $11.45 CAD/$ 9.41 USD* (this seems wrong that the price in country is twice what it is for mail outside the country, can someone in Canada verify this info for me please?)
To All other countries listed above: $7.52 CAD/ $6.18 USD
So that being stated: Only a couple of these prices are higher than what any of us would pay for shipping within our own country, and in some cases less than we would pay shipping in-state so to speak. Therefore it doesn’t seem logical to make those in other countries sit out or have to play within their own country when they could get to know others in the community just as easily as those of us who are on this half of the planet would. Of course anyone wishing to join would need to be aware of the fact that they may have to send to someone overseas, if they absolutely cannot do that it would be up to the coordinator to either let them in and make sure they can send to someone not-overseas, or giving them the option of sitting out etc (it would be easy in my opinion for the coordinator to simply change someone’s name around in the initial ordering of things; so the one person who cannot send internationally is situated above a non-foreign person).
How would ‘replacement’ gifts work:
If someone did not reply to the repeated emails on board about sending out to their partner, the coordinator would have a list of ‘backups’ that they could choose from and email them to see that they could get something out to the person whose birthday was coming up and the coordinator had not heard back from the party responsible for their gift.
This would be a group of volunteers who would be available at a moment’s notice to make something for a participant whose original gift giver has not replied to emails and is thought to not be sending a gift. This is entirely voluntary, though it would be in addition to their regular gift-giving responsibilities. If someone on the backup list is contacted, by the coordinator and not able at that time to step up, then coordinator would simply go down the list of backups until one is able to send out something to the person celebrating.
*backups would be on a rotating basis; the list of backups would be all volunteer, when one is needed and utilized their name would be pulled from the top of the list and recycled back to the bottom of the list* -edited 1/5/09 11:38pm eastern; Thanks to ED for reminding me of this*
Please, keep your gift(s) a surprise until the recipient has received their gift. We’d like you to have fun with giving your gift, if you can send a small bit about yourself with the gift, that way your recipient can learn about you and thereby we build a stronger sense of community. If you’d like to wrap your gift, feel free to do so but it is not required. You’re welcome to send anything you want within reason to your partner, you do not need to be below the weight listed above (7oz/200g) that is set only as a guideline for pricing; if you do go over this that is your choice; please make sure you fill out customs forms properly so that the recipient doesn’t have to pay duty/customs fees on your gift. (any questions you can generally ask your post office, tell them yes it is a gift).
How to handle new additions/dropouts
If someone emails the coordinator and wants to join after the names have already been assigned; the coordinator has a couple of choices; either (a) email someone who has a partner assigned later in the year and see if they would mind changing their partner to someone else; or (b) wait and see if a second new person wants to join, and then have the two send to each other
If someone drops out due to financial chaos, unforeseen events, medical reasons etc, the coordinator can simply re-assign the gift recipient if they have not already received their gift, or if they choose the coordinator can choose to send something to that recipient themselves.
Drop-outs will be dealt with on a case by case basis, and each is subject to the coordinator’s judgment though the coordinator may ask others within the program who had mentioned wanting to be the coordinator, what they would do in the situation.
“extra” gifts: Each participant is assigned to one partner for the year; however, if they want to any or all participants may email the coordinator at any time and ask for another name that they can send to, they can do this as many times as they wish, this way if someone is being extra creative and wants to share more with others they’re encouraged to do so but not required.
Communication: All communication will be done through the email system on the message boards. This way no one is left out of the loop and no emails are sent to the wrong email address etc. Please respond to your emails from the coordinator in a timely and appropriate manner. Communication is key, please make sure you email the coordinator when you: receive your partner in email to confirm receipt; when you’ve shipped out their package. Recipients please email coordinator when you receive your package, and post to the thread, with photos of the gift if possible. If you know you’re going to have problems getting your package out on time, let the coordinator know, either by a forum post or by email; this lets the coordinator notify those affected by your being late. There are valid excuses but use them only if they’re true.
Timing packages: While we try to have the list compiled, and out in a timely manner, some may find birthdays coming up very close and may run into a late situation; if this occurs please email the coordinator and let them know the situation, and how you’ve posted the package (if you have in fact mailed it, if its 7-10 days this is fine, letting the coordinator know this enables them to let the recipient know the package is on its way and the estimated delivery date). This same scenario works for those later in the cycle, should you be having supply issues, illness, injury etc, everything is fine as long as you let the coordinator know IN ADVANCE that there may be a delay so they can let the recipient(s) know. Yes some people may receive packages after the actual birthday but they will receive something, and that’s the point of this is to receive a gift on or about your birthday, we all know the postal systems are human, and sometimes mistakes do happen, you may not get it on that exact day (especially if your day happens on a Sunday LOL), but you’ll get something near that date.
International senders/recipients: If you have problems sending overseas let the coordinator know they should be able to match you up with someone either in your own country or closer to your country that wouldn’t be as high shipping wise.
Price/value of packages: This is at your discretion, choose a gift you think your recipient will enjoy, something they’ll wear/use, it can be one item, a set of items, rings, etc, the choice is yours. The gifts need only be from you to your sender, everything else is up to your imagination and within the limits of the postal system. That said if you do send something of value (gold/sterling, make sure its legal to do so, make sure you can send the package insured in case something happens, send it insured if possible, keep receipts until package is confirmed received by the recipient. There is no set price limit to this program, if you can afford to send sterling or something more expensive and you’d like to do so, go ahead, but if you can only afford a simple bracelet don’t feel as though your gift isn’t good enough, it is if it was made by you.
A note on pricing: No matter where you are: choose the cheapest & fastest way to send your package. In the US this would likely be First Class Mail…Airmail to other countries; both are reasonably priced, secure, and if you want tracking on them you can have the tracking…just costs extra. For participants; sending Priority is optional at your discretion; as most of us are ‘broke’ the cheaper Airmail/first class is probably the way to go. I sent both of my Secret Santa gifts out for $3.50 because I insured them; but without the insurance would’ve only cost me $1.50 or so to ship each one, and that included a bubble envelope, and a padded box inside the envelope. Use your best discretion; when you ship make sure the item won’t get scratched or broken if manhandled by the postal system (worldwide).
Info to be sent to coordinator by each participant:
First & Last name:
Full Address: (format the address as it should look on an envelope, as formatting varies by country)
Bob Q Smith
123 Happy Tree Lane
Happy Falls HI 94980
SN you use on the boards:
DOB (month/day) *year-optional
Willing to ship to multiple people:
This must be filled in completely; anyone not filling in completely, will receive an email once asking for it to be completely filled out, so they can participate. This info will be sent to your partner; and if you’d like possibly more than one gift, note that in the section “other” that you’re ok with having your name given to other participants if they want to send out more than one gift; If you do not want to have your name given out to others please list this in the ‘other’ section as well, this lets the coordinator know if she should put your name into the ‘share’ list; that will let people send to more than one person if they so choose.
Any questions you can email the coordinator at any time.
Joining the Birthday Club: Once a coordinator is chosen; those interested would email the coordinator and have their name added to the list, the coordinator/group would choose the cut-off date for initial signups, and would then work on organizing the list, and coordinating who gets paired with who; along with creating a jpg calendar of the month’s birthdays.
If you’d like to participate and your birthday has already passed, you’re welcome to join anyway. (if I am chosen as coordinator I have a secret plan about how to handle said situation, that will be revealed only if I am chosen).