I mentioned this in my last email to subscribers because it impacts them the most, but I wanted to take a moment today to mention it here as well because it also impacts those who enter the frequent giveaways on the site. Here is the quote from my email that summarizes the situation:
“Due to some research I was doing over the last few weeks, I realized that it would be nearly impossible to continue the monthly giveaway for non-US residents. The red tape involved in meeting the rules and regulations for every country would be impossible for me to manage, not to mention I’ve read some horror stories about getting mail through the customs in some countries. For that reason I will be limiting the monthly giveaway and all other giveaways to US residents only. You can still stay signed up for the newsletter if you are not a US resident, but I would understand if non-US readers wanted to unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of the email since they will no longer be able to win the monthly giveaway.”
Now understandably, many of you not located in the US were upset by this decision, but let me address few questions and comments I recieved via email regarding the decision:
- No, this does not mean I dislike your country, nor do I think the US is a better country than your own. I have no particular love/hate for any one country, in general I find the majority of the residents of most countries to be lovely people.
- This has nothing to do with the individual shipping cost of sending one package to any country. There have been winners from several different countries before, and I have shipped to them with no cost issues whatsoever.
- No, I can’t make “just one exception” for any one particular country because in my experience, “just one” exception to a rule frequently turns into multiple exceptions, and quite frankly it wouldn’t be fair to others to make that one exception.
So that is a lot of negative language there, and I don’t want it to come off as unfriendly, or unsympathetic to the issue, because regardless of giveaways, I’m very appreciative of every visitor that has ever come to the site. If you had asked me in late 2009 when I started this site, I probably would have told you that having 500 people per month visit the site would be a stretch, and without getting into the specific numbers, to this day I’m still in shock at how many of you come to the site on a daily, let alone monthly basis.
The simple fact is that almost every country has (or has the potential to have) their own rules, laws, and even taxes on giveaways and items shipped into their territory, and with just short of 200 countries in the world, I can’t even come close to trying to research and abide by all of these rules. Admittedly, I will agree that it “isn’t fair” that I have to limit the giveaways to US residents only, I would love to keep it open to everyone, however all it would take is for me to miss one of the rules somewhere and who knows what sort of issues I could run into. Not being a lawyer myself, and not wanting to be in a position to need to hire one, I simply needed to limit the giveaways in a way that doesn’t put any undue financial or legal risk on myself. Just to give you an idea though, at the end of this post is the list of countries (in alphabetical order) that had at least one visitor hit the site in the last 30 days, so you can see how trying to abide by the laws and regulations of all these countries could become a huge burden.
I will leave the comments open for this post because I want to address any additional questions or concerns that you might have, however lets please keep it civil, which has never been an issue here anyway.
Regardless of what country you are from and regardless of if you can win a giveaway, I know there are not any laws about saying “thank you” and letting you know that your support of the site is greatly appreciated.
And here is the list of countries that visited the site in the last 30 days…I thought it was interesting:
|16||Bosnia And Herzegovina|
|52||Iran, Islamic Republic Of|
|63||Korea, Republic Of|
|76||Moldova, Republic Of|
|98||Saint Kitts And Nevis|
|109||Syrian Arab Republic|
|113||Trinidad And Tobago|
|116||United Arab Emirates|