Price of Charity Walks

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Box Hunter
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Price of Charity Walks

#1 Post by Box Hunter » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:39 am

The standard cost of the clue sheet for a charity walk seems to be £2.50. This hasn't changed for quite a few years (certainly since I returned to letterboxing in 2011). This is an absolute bargain (13-20p per box). I bought most of the walks at the recent meet, and even if I don't get around to doing them all, the money still goes to a good cause.

I was thinking that I would be happy to pay a bit more for the clues. Certainly £3, maybe more for bigger walks. I spend more than £2.50 when I stop off for coffee and a cake after a walk, or while waiting (hoping!) for the rain to stop. And that's without considering how much I spend on petrol and accommodation.

Given all the time, effort and money which the walk owners put in to design and make the stamps, put the boxes out, maintain them and send out the clues, surely they deserve a slightly larger profit margin? An extra 50p would be peanuts to most of us (£6 more if you bought all the walks at the meet) but would quickly add up for the good causes.

What does everyone think?
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#2 Post by whoisthechallenger » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:15 pm

You're right of course. £2.50 has been the standard price of a charity walk for a long time. £2.50 irrespective of the quality of stamps, number of boxes, charity chosen or quality of clues.

The slow decline in Letterboxing may be the result of the cost of the hobby. Perhaps the effect of a long recession, constant theft of letterboxing, the price of petrol and ,perhaps, the aging crowd of boxers have all kept cluesheet prices down.

The price of a Letterbox catalogue has fallen over the past few years. In 2005, you'd have paid £18 for 4 different books a year. In 2013, it was £13 for 2 different books just in Spring. Now its £8 for a single annual catalogue.

We're all looking for value for money. Offer the Letterboxer that, and you can justify your price rise. I'd be willing (and able) to pay more for a decent set of stamps sited for a worthy cause if I'm guaranteed to find them on site as per the bearings!
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#3 Post by Colin » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:32 pm

I always think £2.50 is a bit of a bargain for a nice morning / afternoon out. Not all the walks have decent stamps but most of them do.

Regarding the Catalogue I often wonder if it is a bit overpriced, I am not sure how much it costs to print buy surely it can't be £8 a copy? If it is less than that what happens to the additional money? Does it go into some sort of pot or something like that.
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#4 Post by whoisthechallenger » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:22 pm

Reviewing the maths in my previous post, I'd suggested that the price of the catalogue had fallen, but perhaps what I should have said was the annual cost to the letterboxer has fallen.

The price-per-page has certainly risen since 2005!

I don't know if there is any profit is in the book. I bet the print run is at an all time low, and that must make it more expensive to publish. The 100 club has its costs too...

I do agree with you Colin that £2.50 is beyond reasonable for a good stroll.
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#5 Post by Adam Ant » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:20 am

This is a very interesting point. I've put out a few charity walks over the past 3 - 4 years (all the TCS ones) and priced them at £2.50 because that seemed to be the accepted norm. Although it is a very cheap activity (minus petrol, food costs etc), I'm not sure if people would react favourably if one or more walks were to up their prices. It would probably need all the walk organisers (or maybe the Letterboxing Club?) to agree a new price to ensure that there is parity.

To be fair, the walks do take a massive amount of planning and organisation: I have to design, carve and make the stamps; go out and plan the walk; write the clues and site descriptions; create a route map; apply to the DNPA; create a clue sheet; site the boxes; arrange for an experienced boxer to check the walk; sell the walk at the Meet; and be on top of all the paperwork for postal donations. All in all, a huge amount of time and effort just to raise a few hundred pounds. I think that many people forget this as I have received some pretty rude comments and/or e-mails about missing/damaged boxes.

As has been said: an extra 50p per walk would mean a lot to the charities, but very little to the individual letterboxers.
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#6 Post by hampsterracing » Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:21 pm

My first time at the meet this year for 10+ years and to be honest i was expecting at least £5 per walk i was amazed they were still £2.50.

personally i would be happy to pay £5 each as we travel as a family of 5 and £1 each is very good value to me.

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#7 Post by The Sly Fox » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:35 pm

Whilst I agree that £2.50 is a very reasonable price to take part in a charity walk, I think consideration has to be taken into how many walks are on offer. I have missed the last couple of Meets but there were plenty of walks to choose from last time I went. I don't think that everybody could afford to buy the clues for every single walk that was available.
By the time you have purchased a new catalogue, the latest badge for your achievements and over a dozen walks, it could make for a very expensive day for some.
I, personally, would not mind paying extra. But I believe that some folks might end up having to choose which walks to buy, and not to buy, to keep within a budget.
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#8 Post by whoisthechallenger » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:43 am

A very good point well made, Mr Fox.

If you sold your walk at £5, would you sell 50% of your clues? (Probably).
If you sold your clues at £3, would you only sell half of them? (Probably not that many, but a 50p price hike can only afford a 15% drop in sales before your net gain is wiped out)

That is why its vital to offer the Letterboxer value if asking more for your charity walk. Making it too good to miss.
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