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Thread: Comments about the Trading Post and free giveaways

  1. #1
    xscd's Avatar
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    Free giveaways--Some general comments

    This year I have given away many dozens of healthy young Venus Flytraps of various varieties both privately as well as in my public free giveaways.

    I think a free giveaway for a modest shipping charge is a good deal, and I enjoy sending my young VFTs to good new homes. That's why it is disheartening when people try to turn a good thing into something else, like--


      * wanting to pick and choose from the varieties I have or ask whether I have a particular variety, and customize the "order" instead of accepting the free offer as it is;

      * turning the offer into free, private technical support by asking questions about how to grow carnivorous plants (VFTs in my case), both before and after the free plants are sent, when there are numerous places to get expert information without imposing on my own private time; I'm giving away free plants, not free growing advice or free time;


      * wanting to make special arrangements or wanting me to make exceptions regarding paying the shipping fee. From my own point of view, requiring the shipping fee to be paid in advance via PayPal was a way I figured out to make it easy on me, after some bad experiences in the past.[/list]

      Without mentioning names or nicknames, here are a few extracts from private messages I received in response to my latest free VFT giveaway, by way of hopefully gently chiding those who wrote them and others who might be inclined to do a similar thing, and giving examples of my points above, without publicly embarrassing the people who wrote them--

      Quote Originally Posted by [b
      Quote[/b] ]
      "... And not to push my luck, but if it's at all possible for you to toss a royal red seedling my way, I'd REALLY appreciate that as well (it's one of my must-haves :P)."
      The person above wrote to me asking for my next offer before it was posted.

      Quote Originally Posted by [b
      Quote[/b] ]
      "Can I have both offers? I would like have offer #1 and #2. Thanks!"
      The person above has already received free VFTs from me in the recent past. Some others may wish to receive some free VFTs too. *smile*

      Quote Originally Posted by [b
      Quote[/b] ]
      "I am interested in the free VFTs, preferrably Offer #1. Hopefully, I can get the offer!!

      I do have a question regarding VFTs. I've got 1 growing outside and a couple weeks ago we had a particularly bad heatwave, all my upright leaves immediately became droopers like nepenthes. They were kept on a higher watertable but could this be because of heat exhaustion? It's something that really bugs me but at least now the VFT is reverting back to producing upright leaves ..."
      Aside from not being an "expert on call" to answer VFT culture questions (unless I want to answer questions or provide my own take on the issue in the public forums where more than one person may benefit or be able to consider the information), there are so many possible explanations, and this person didn't mention crucial details, like what the climate and humidity is like at his location and how it varied during the "heat wave", exactly how the VFT has been grown and is being grown and for how long (just a vague "I've got one growing outside"), etc. This "free tech support abuse" *smile* is beginning to affect me like my Windows computer using friends who want me--an exclusively Linux guy--to help them fix their broken Microsoft boxes. *grin--ain't gonna happen; "I don't do Windows." And I'm not waiting in the "Venus Flytrap Care and Information" booth with bated breath eager for the next person's question.*


      Quote Originally Posted by [b
      Quote[/b] ]
      "... Also, I do not have a paypal account, but do have a credit card with which to pay online. I've never used paypal (that I know of, I do periodically make purchases on amazon), so let me know if this is all I need to seal the deal."
      Uh--no. I figure I do all the work, grow the plants, divide them, pot them up individually and care for them until they are healthy and vigorous and ready to ship, and then I pack them up and ship them, all for just a modest shipping fee. If a person can't do the shipping fee the easy way I prefer, then-- I guess it's flattering that this person apparently thinks I must be a big commercial enterprise that has paid for and set up a credit-card processing system, instead of just a home hobbyist and enthusiast, but ...


      Best wishes, Steve / xscd
    Be happy in the travel--there is no destination

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    Gee, Steve, I guess you should have put a disclaimer at the end of your offer.
    17 Nash Rd.
    North Salem, NY 10560

    YOU! Outta my gene pool!

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    whoo! i'm glad i wasn't on the list of bad traders!

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    xscd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (schloaty @ Aug. 31 2006,8:00)]Gee, Steve, I guess you should have put a disclaimer at the end of your offer.
    Am I being too gripe-y or grumpy?


    Most people I've sent VFTs to have been great--really nice people, polite, friendly, enthusiastic about CP--and I am glad to have gotten to meet them and get to know them a little.

    Over time though, I tried to learn from each giveaway how to make them organized, fair and easy and answer all the usual questions and avoid all the special requests up front.

    Despite that, some very minor annoyances are bound to continue and I guess all these little things just kind of build up and get to you a little after awhile. I guess I ought to back off and breathe--relax--enjoy the day, let my cares float away ...

    Speaking of free giveaways, does anyone happen to have a Sarracenia x excellens (a hybrid of S. leucophylla x S. minor) that they might be willing to part with?!
    Be happy in the travel--there is no destination

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    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    Haha, give 'em an inch and they want a freakin mile. Your trades are all so well organized but some people just don't get it.

    Anyway dude don't let this get you down. There is always going to be people who are either stupid or like to push their luck. Its just life.
    My life sucks

  6. #6
    BANNED
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Am I being too gripe-y or grumpy?
    Not at all Steve. You do free giveaways, you are NOT a store that needs to offer any form of a service for people (requests or otherwise) other than going to the post office to mail off their plants. People often have problems following directions and hopefully this will all work out in the end because I really enjoy your plants and would hate to have you stop the giveaways.

    To the people being annyoing: you're going to ruin a good thing here.

  7. #7
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Another typical story of someone trying to be the nice guy and getting stiffed for it....thats why I gave that up!

  8. #8
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Yeah, I started using in built in ways of making sure people read the directions in my giveaways. You can be as organized as you want, but some people don't want to spend the time it takes to read your message, but are plenty willing to take up more of your time. I have people use a certain title for the PMs they send me- if they don't have it as the title, I know they didn't read the directions.

    FOLKS: READ the directions! It makes it a LOT easier for people doing the giveaways, and makes us look foreward to future ones. If you're following directions, then that's great, please continue to do so!

    Thanks for posting this, Steve. I hope that you continue your generous services on these forums without letting the small things get to ya- though I know they add up.
    \(_o)/ ಠ_ಠ
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