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Update for Everyone on Giveaways

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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:

1 Albania
2 Algeria
3 Argentina
4 Armenia
5 Australia
6 Austria
7 Azerbaijan
8 Bahamas
9 Bahrain
10 Bangladesh
11 Barbados
12 Belarus
13 Belgium
14 Belize
15 Bermuda
16 Bosnia And Herzegovina
17 Botswana
18 Brazil
19 Brunei Darussalam
20 Bulgaria
21 Canada
22 Cayman Islands
23 Chile
24 China
25 Colombia
26 Costa Rica
27 Croatia
28 Cyprus
29 Czech Republic
30 Denmark
31 Dominica
32 Dominican Republic
33 Ecuador
34 Egypt
35 El Salvador
36 Estonia
37 Europe
38 Finland
39 France
40 Georgia
41 Germany
42 Gibraltar
43 Greece
44 Guam
45 Guatemala
46 Guernsey
47 Hong Kong
48 Hungary
49 Iceland
50 India
51 Indonesia
52 Iran, Islamic Republic Of
53 Iraq
54 Ireland
55 Israel
56 Italy
57 Jamaica
58 Japan
59 Jersey
60 Jordan
61 Kazakhstan
62 Kenya
63 Korea, Republic Of
64 Kuwait
65 Kyrgyzstan
66 Latvia
67 Lebanon
68 Lithuania
69 Luxembourg
70 Macao
71 Macedonia
72 Malawi
73 Malaysia
74 Malta
75 Mexico
76 Moldova, Republic Of
77 Mongolia
78 Morocco
79 Nepal
80 Netherlands
81 Netherlands Antilles
82 New Zealand
83 Nicaragua
84 Nigeria
85 Norway
86 Oman
87 Pakistan
88 Panama
89 Paraguay
90 Peru
91 Philippines
92 Poland
93 Portugal
94 Puerto Rico
95 Qatar
96 Romania
97 Russian Federation
98 Saint Kitts And Nevis
99 Saudi Arabia
100 Serbia
101 Singapore
102 Slovakia
103 Slovenia
104 South Africa
105 Spain
106 Sri Lanka
107 Sweden
108 Switzerland
109 Syrian Arab Republic
110 Taiwan
111 Tajikistan
112 Thailand
113 Trinidad And Tobago
114 Tunisia
115 Ukraine
116 United Arab Emirates
117 United Kingdom
118 Uruguay
119 Venezuela
120 Vietnam

©2015, Brian Greene. All rights reserved.

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