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The Return of the MYSTERY BOX - Can we do it? What are your thoughts????
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Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of geoffbovey
posted
Hello, everyone…..

Now, before you all turn yourselves inside-out with excitement, please realize that 1) I have never done this before except as a participant a few times and running ONE box of my own a few years ago on another forum, and 2) I am consulting with powers greater than me on this forum on how to do this so this may take some slow, methodical planning.

To me, the thing that make this hobby as fun as it is for all of us is the “unknown treasure” aspect of card collecting. In its purest form, when you buy a pack of cards, the idea is you have no clue what’s inside, but you know wherever it is, it will be stinkin’ cool, right?

So, in that spirit, I want to create a new Mystery Box community that will give us all a healthy activity that is fun for all of us and maintains that spirit in which trading cards were first created – the treasure hunt. I will want to ensure that the box (or boxes) is treated with respect and fairness as best as possible, so planning this will take some cooperation and patience from everyone.

With that said, I have done some research on what happened a few years back when Mystery Boxes were in full force on this Forum, and so I am going to start from ground-zero and see what happens now. I am putting together two boxes, but I will refrain from detailing what they contain, how big they are, and what – if any – theme they may or may not have. Instead, if YOU guys are interested in this – and my gut says many of you are – please indulge me with answering my questions below. If you decide to answer the questions below, please make sure you answer ALL of them, not just some of them – or interpreting the data will be harder. This information will help me to understand where I can and cannot go with this resurrection of the Mystery Box. I also encourage you to please add comments to your answers if you can. Thank you!!!

Geoff

Question:
Would you be willing to sign-up for a Mystery Box that is USA-only?

Advantage: shipping would be much cheaper;
Disadvantage: fewer cards from special sets, fewer participants

Choices:
Yes
No

Question:
Would you be willing to sign-up for a box that contains ONLY commons?

Advantage: much easier to trade and stock the box;
Disadvantage: fewer cards of interest, risk of box being stacked with garbage somewhere along the way

Choices:
Yes
No

Question:
Would you be willing to sign up for a box that contains chase cards ONLY? No commons at all!

Advantage: Possibly much greater selection of cool cards;
Disadvantage: much bigger risk of theft or risk of box being stripped by a participant somewhere along the way

Choices:
Yes
No

Question:
Would you be willing to sign-up for a global Mystery Box?

Advantage: many more participants, many more obscure and special cards could be included;
Disadvantage: pricier shipping, much longer circulation time, greater risk of loss and/or theft

Choices:
Yes
No

Question:
In US dollars (even for you non-USA folks), how much would you be willing to spend on shipping?

Remember: the greater the shipping, the more cards will be in the box; the less the shipping, the less I can start this box out with!

Choices:
under $10 only, I can't afford more than that!
between $10-25
between $25-50
NO LIMIT! I'll pay anything!

Question:
What country are you from?

Choices:
United States
Canada
United Kingdom
Italy
Germany
European country not mentioned above
Japan
South Korea
China (including Hong Kong)
Asian country not mentioned above
Australia
New Zealand
Mexico
South American country
African country
other

 

This message has been edited. Last edited by: geoffbovey,
 
Posts: 617 | Location: Sandy, UT | Registered: May 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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Geoff

I have one question
How would you expect the mystery box be treated by the revenue folks re import taxes etc?

regards

John Levitt

____________________
 
Posts: 1886 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: October 14, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
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I voted chase cards only. One of the things that killed the boxes last time was that people were putting base cards in the boxes so making them less intresting and much heavier and costly to send on.

If i remember rightly there used to be 100 cards in the box and it was very easy ( i did so myself ) to think, well i've got all these spare cards, i will put these in aswell but of course everytime someone did this the box got heavier and more exspensive to post.

Also people promised that if they recieved it they would send it on within a week or so but then someone would get it and six months later they still had not sent it on, this again just killed the intrest. At one point there were six boxes out in the world and not one of them was in the post to anyone, some just vanished.

I'm all for giving it another go but lets try not to make all the same mistakes again. Smile

____________________
Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
 
Posts: 28564 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of william291077
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Howdy,

I think this sounds cool!

I think base cards would devalue the project though by increasing shipping and making the contents less interesting overall.

TTFN

____________________
Kelly Kelly! So nice they named her twice!
 
Posts: 457 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom | Registered: August 20, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of geoffbovey
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by JOHN LEVITT:
Geoff

I have one question
How would you expect the mystery box be treated by the revenue folks re import taxes etc?

regards

John Levitt


I have no clue. I suspect from some of the research I've already done that sending the box over multiple borders was a big part of the original problem. I'm still thinking about that one.
 
Posts: 617 | Location: Sandy, UT | Registered: May 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of geoffbovey
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by wolfie:
I voted chase cards only. One of the things that killed the boxes last time was that people were putting base cards in the boxes so making them less intresting and much heavier and costly to send on.


This is one of the reasons I am considering keeping chase and non-chase separate.

quote:
Originally posted by wolfie:
Also people promised that if they recieved it they would send it on within a week or so but then someone would get it and six months later they still had not sent it on, this again just killed the intrest. At one point there were six boxes out in the world and not one of them was in the post to anyone, some just vanished.


I doubt I will allow more than one or two boxes out there at once. One thing I plan to post in the rules is that participants will have to agree to a lot of extra email communication from me or perhaps others if the circulation gets delayed for any reason that doesn't constitute an emrgency.
 
Posts: 617 | Location: Sandy, UT | Registered: May 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of tangent
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As one of the international people, I think it's worth noting that it's unlikely that making it international will actually increase the variety. Pretty much everyone is collecting US originated sets now. You might get some oddities due to different collecting interests (eg Phantom in Australia, Dr Who in Britain), but the days of different sets are really gone.

One possibility is a promo box. Food premiums etc is one area where there is still some differentiation between countries.

____________________
Trade list (mostly comics and scifi). Also lots of sketch cards.
 
Posts: 1574 | Location: temp UK, usually Australia | Registered: July 31, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of geoffbovey
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by tangent:

One possibility is a promo box. Food premiums etc is one area where there is still some differentiation between countries.


I think this is an EXCELLENT idea! In fact, I have a large enough supply of food and other product-tie-in promos from around the world (thank you, US Navy deployments) that this might be worth pursuing, either as a promo-only box, or mixed in with chase. I also have many foreign-language dupes that I picked up on multiple two-week gigs to Italy and Japan. At first I didn't think there would be many people interested, so I deliberately didn't ask the question, but I could be wrong!! How do others feel?? Thoughts, anyone???
 
Posts: 617 | Location: Sandy, UT | Registered: May 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of hcbrewer
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by JOHN LEVITT:
Geoff

I have one question
How would you expect the mystery box be treated by the revenue folks re import taxes etc?

regards

John Levitt


I believe as long as the contents are called samples -
there would be no duty - and the value is marked as under $10
 
Posts: 438 | Location: Toronto | Registered: August 30, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of piper_rulez
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How many cards could fit in a small flat rate priority box? Maybe if they weren't put in top loaders you could fit more. That would keep shipping costs somewhat low (at least in the US).
 
Posts: 1112 | Location: Boston, MA | Registered: March 23, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Moderator
Picture of miket999
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I would be interested in a promo only box as well.

Mike.
 
Posts: 5347 | Location: Warrenton, Virginia, USA | Registered: January 08, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of btlfannz
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As one of the internationals as far away as I could possibly be, could I say that if I am willing to meet the postage costs from my end why is that a problem being reciprocal?

I have just sent 90 cards to one of the card talk members and I did this by stacking a couple of old nine-pocket pages with five cards to a pocket. Then I put them into a manilla folder and into an A4 sized envelope and sent it letter rate airmail
It cost me $NZ 2.50 (which is about $US2.00
Postage overseas is not a problem.

Secondly, the survey asked about a preferenjce for all commons or all inserts. Isn't the obvious choice a mix of both?

Frankly the height of my interest would be a box that had a few food premiums, half a dozen inserts, a handful of promos and a few (less than common) commons.

Put me down for being a player in this game.

Sean

____________________
My dog is a RotweillerXLabrador. He'll bite your leg off but he'll always bring it back to you.
 
Posts: 509 | Location: Auckland New Zealand | Registered: January 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of tangent
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quote:
As one of the internationals as far away as I could possibly be, could I say that if I am willing to meet the postage costs from my end why is that a problem being reciprocal?


Because it's not a few cards and it gets mailed many times so needs to be packed properly. If there is to be sufficient variety for people to be able to pull a few cards and put a few in, then you would want a few hundred cards.

I just hit the Australian Post website and a box to US with 300 or so cards is $37.50 airmail. I assume postage in the other direction is similar. That's a lot of money for someone to pay for the possibility of a few cards.

Update - just did a few different weights on the website. Postage prices Aust to US for a box is:
$10 <250g
$17 250-500g
$24 500-750g
It looks like it goes up quickly at the lower weights, so maybe an international box would work if it was only promos/inserts (no commons) and the box only takes 100 cards or so so the weight is always <250g (other people might want to check their post offices to see where the weight cutoff is).

This message has been edited. Last edited by: tangent,

____________________
Trade list (mostly comics and scifi). Also lots of sketch cards.
 
Posts: 1574 | Location: temp UK, usually Australia | Registered: July 31, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of btlfannz
posted Hide Post
quote:
Also people promised that if they recieved it they would send it on within a week or so but then someone would get it and six months later they still had not sent it on, this again just killed the intrest. At one point there were six boxes out in the world and not one of them was in the post to anyone, some just vanished.


The way around this is to make players qualified to participate. Here are some possibilities
1. You must have been a Card Talk member for at least 6 months.
2. You must have completed a trade/purchase with another Card Talk member.
3. You must have a minimum of 10 posts to your name on this forum.
4. All participants must be vetted and approved by a Moderator

I'm not suggesting we adopt all of these but it may be a method to keep out the less than genuine participants. Maybe a penalty of being publicly flogged, defrocked, demoted and sent to Australia as a common criminal for anyone who fails to pass a box on.

____________________
My dog is a RotweillerXLabrador. He'll bite your leg off but he'll always bring it back to you.
 
Posts: 509 | Location: Auckland New Zealand | Registered: January 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Juelle Lou
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by btlfannz:
quote:
Also people promised that if they recieved it they would send it on within a week or so but then someone would get it and six months later they still had not sent it on, this again just killed the intrest. At one point there were six boxes out in the world and not one of them was in the post to anyone, some just vanished.


The way around this is to make players qualified to participate. Here are some possibilities
1. You must have been a Card Talk member for at least 6 months.
2. You must have completed a trade/purchase with another Card Talk member.
3. You must have a minimum of 10 posts to your name on this forum.
4. All participants must be vetted and approved by a Moderator

I'm not suggesting we adopt all of these but it may be a method to keep out the less than genuine participants. Maybe a penalty of being publicly flogged, defrocked, demoted and sent to Australia as a common criminal for anyone who fails to pass a box on.

That's a good idea.
Also, what if there was a thread dedicated to the movement of the box and every time someone ships it out again they post in the thread to say that they have sent it.(but then again, that's my naivety, thinking that no one will lie about sending it off though Roll Eyes)
Or we could just sign up to a list for the box stating that we will pay registered post, that would at least be proof of shipping. But, it would be expensive Twak

I have to say, the idea of the food premiums sounds good. Not that I collect most things like that, but I'd be on the lookout for things in the Supermarket that "I could put in the Box" for other collectors.
 
Posts: 1512 | Location: Australia | Registered: October 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
well what about less being more…
what i mean is, have more boxes/envelopes(bubble mailers) out there with less cards in them so as to keep the postage low? There are those little hard plastic boxes that can hold only about 35 cards in them. They only are about $2.50 to ship (first class with DC). I know having more out there might be alittle hard to keep track of but it would be better because of postage.


Of course downside is that when you get it you dont have as many cards to look through but i think in these hard times, $2 shipping makes it easier to play. And shipping internationally isnt really much more expensive than that when the package is light.

One upside would be, we could make "themed" boxes/envelopes. If you love one tv show, you could sign up for that shows mystery box/envelope. I know there's a chance that more people would sign up for one tv show as opposed to the other but ya know it would be better at least you know there's a possibility there is something you might like that will be in the mail. We could start multiple threads, one per package, that people could sign up for which packages they would like to receive.

what do you think?
 
Posts: 116 | Location: USA | Registered: January 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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oh i forgot to say i like the idea of a promo box… would it have to be all cards? i could find different promo stuff that arent card related to put in the box.

and i think it would be fun to get stuff from all around the world. Smile I said in the survey that i wasnt interested in doing packages from around the world but i think ive changed my mind (as long as the postage is under $10).
 
Posts: 116 | Location: USA | Registered: January 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of geoffbovey
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by btlfannz:
quote:
Also people promised that if they recieved it they would send it on within a week or so but then someone would get it and six months later they still had not sent it on, this again just killed the intrest. At one point there were six boxes out in the world and not one of them was in the post to anyone, some just vanished.


The way around this is to make players qualified to participate. Here are some possibilities
1. You must have been a Card Talk member for at least 6 months.
2. You must have completed a trade/purchase with another Card Talk member.
3. You must have a minimum of 10 posts to your name on this forum.
4. All participants must be vetted and approved by a Moderator

I'm not suggesting we adopt all of these but it may be a method to keep out the less than genuine participants. Maybe a penalty of being publicly flogged, defrocked, demoted and sent to Australia as a common criminal for anyone who fails to pass a box on.


I love this post!! Aside from being funny ("Maybe a penalty of being publicly flogged, defrocked, demoted and sent to Australia as a common criminal...."), it's great feedback. one question:

How do I track the trade history of another member?
 
Posts: 617 | Location: Sandy, UT | Registered: May 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of geoffbovey
posted Hide Post
quote:
Also, what if there was a thread dedicated to the movement of the box and every time someone ships it out again they post in the thread to say that they have sent it.(but then again, that's my naivety, thinking that no one will lie about sending it off though Roll Eyes)


Actually, this is exactly how it was done on the Star Wars Collectors Connection where Mystery Boxes ran successfully for quite a long time. Very good suggestion.
 
Posts: 617 | Location: Sandy, UT | Registered: May 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of geoffbovey
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Firebird: what about less being more… what i mean is, have more boxes/envelopes(bubble mailers) out there with less cards in them so as to keep the postage low?


Thank you for this suggestion. It's very creative and I can see how it might be fun. However - WAAYYY too much work for me starting this out. I want to stick to one or two boxes for starters.
 
Posts: 617 | Location: Sandy, UT | Registered: May 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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