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Author Topic: Increase the cost of using OQRS?  (Read 2989 times)
K0IZ
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« on: December 07, 2012, 06:27:45 AM »

I like OQRS.  It saves me $1.05 postage and cost of card, plus a couple of dollars for return postage.  So $3 is about a wash for my costs.  If the OQRS is $3, I'll typically bump up by $2 (to $5 total) to help out the DXpedition cost.

At last year's Dayton Hamfest, one of the forums showed the high cost of some of the recent DXpeditions.  Very expensive, especially those to the really tough places.  That really didn't surprise me.  But what did catch my eye was data on where the financial support came from.  Those on the DXpeditions put up a lot of dough, several of the DX organizations made contributions, and equipment suppliers helped out a bunch.  The rest came from individual contributions.

To the nub of it:  Almost all of the individual contributions came from NA hams.  Almost nothing from Europe.

So to my suggestion:  Increase OQRS from the typical $3 to $5 so that everyone helps at least a little.  Donations still accepted above and beyond.  Is that "selling" of QSL cards?  I don't think so, not when you look at the huge expenses.  And still allow for direct, non OQRS, QSL's and bureau, for those that strongly object to the OQRS amount.

What do you think?
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AJ4RW
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 06:47:13 AM »

Are you assuming that there will be worldwide participation in the OQRS system?  I have no idea on where the majority of OQRS request come from or if any other continent does much with OQRS.  I think it would be a good idea providing everyone participates.
Randy
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N2RJ
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 06:52:14 AM »

I thought that most major DXpeditions already ask for $5.
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KY6R
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2012, 07:30:17 AM »

Here are a few facts. A boat to get to Kingman Reef costs $200K. To Heard Island it is (at least) 3 times that.

Lets say 50,000 DX-ers give that $5 (and that PayPal hasn't charged a transaction fee, taxes or whatever - silly me . . . . )

That's $250,000, which would cover a boat to Kingman, but not to Heard Island.

Now:

1) Do 50K DX-ers give a full $5 to a DX-pedition [NO]
2) Are there other expenses beside the boat [YES]
3) Do the organizers have to jump through hoops to even get permission to land [YES]
4) Is the personal cost to the staff of a DX-pedition high [YES - very. A month or so away from home and work and very expensive transportation costs]

I think the least a DX-er can do is pony up some scratch. The more scratch, the more likely a very rare one will be activated. Costs are high on DX-peds that use a boat - or plane - or camel . . .

I know I am preaching to the choir, but we are getting to the point where the costs and logistics for some of these seem "stratospheric". The bottom line is the bottom line.

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WX7G
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 07:39:10 AM »

K0IZ, you imply that raising the fee will improve European participation.
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K4JK
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 07:58:47 AM »

If we could figure out a way to charge people to QRM then every DXpedition could operate in the black.  Grin
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ex W4HFK
N7SMI
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Posts: 326




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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 08:28:34 AM »

It's a matter of economics. Most DXpeditions now do LoTW. Some are willing to wait for an LoTW confirmation. Some want a card RIGHT NOW. If you increase the cost beyond what folks are willing to pay, then everyone will do LoTW and there will be no additional revenue from OQRS at all.

At the same time, some folks would easily pay $5 or $10 or more for a rare card now, rather than waiting 6 months or a year for LoTW to hit. If 1/3 as many people pay $10 than would pay $3, they're still making more money (but at the cost of less happy DXers).

Regarding Europe, if they won't pay $3, they certainly won't pay $5.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2012, 08:50:59 AM »

Simple. Change the grant rules from organizations like NCDXF, etc, and allow DXpeditions to not accept bureau cards if they so desire. I handle Bob, N2OO's incoming bureau cards and I can tell you the flood of cards he gets from Europe for every DXpedition he manages is like nothing you can imagine. I see comparatively few from JA and NA, where most send direct or just wait for LoTW hits. I have about 2 linear feet of HK0NA cards from the last 3 months to deliver to him next week, almost all of which are from Europe.
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K0YQ
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 09:03:27 AM »

Simple. Change the grant rules from organizations like NCDXF, etc, and allow DXpeditions to not accept bureau cards if they so desire.

Just purely from an economic standpoint it sure seems simple to me too.
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N3QE
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 09:27:09 AM »

To the nub of it:  Almost all of the individual contributions came from NA hams.  Almost nothing from Europe.

I don't mind increasing my contributions a little to make up for the missing amount from Europe. I always kick in over and above the OQRS costs. If others aren't, that just means I have to step up my donations a little. Sort of a "Marshall Plan" for DX funding to help our friends around the world.

Tim N3QE.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 09:45:57 AM by N3QE » Logged
W2IRT
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 09:36:31 AM »

Ditto here. I always make a modest donation if I work a station all over the place. More if it's an all-time new one or a new one on 160. And I almost hate to say it, but if the bulk of donations come from W/VE stations, why is there such an overly-large emphasis on the part of some DXpeditions to work Europe? It would seem to me that you'd want as many high-donating stations as possible in your log if your DXpedition expenses are high.
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W2LO
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 09:43:00 AM »

 DXers all want these rarities to be activated and I well understand that for some individuals $5 may be quite a bit but in general support for DXpeditions is very poor; I think most DXers chasing these goodies can do much, much better. People somewhere are contributing money, time and talent to put each DX entity on the air and each of us should try to help as best we can.  
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 09:48:57 AM by W2LO » Logged
N2RJ
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 09:43:08 AM »

I don't mind donating (and I do donate) what I can, but to me requiring a donation is against the amateur spirit. We cannot and should not accept compensation for QSOs, period. Also, there are poor hams in poor countries that can't afford to spare $5 USD for every expedition. The end result is that a lot of those guys don't chase DXCC but the bureau is a cost effective way for them to do so. There are poor hams in NA and EU too. I don't like that we are considering shutting them out.

For PT0S for example, I donated but didn't request OQRS. I don't need a card, just the confirmation on LoTW.

I'm not sure what to do about the donation situation. I belive NCDXF etc wants to make sure "amateur spirit" is not violated and there is always a free option.  
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AF3Y
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2012, 09:44:02 AM »


To the nub of it:  Almost all of the individual contributions came from NA hams.  Almost nothing from Europe.

What do you think?

Just proves what most have known all along.   Roll Eyes

73, Gene AF3Y
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AF3Y
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2012, 09:47:20 AM »

I'm not sure what to do about the donation situation. I belive NCDXF etc wants to make sure "amateur spirit" is not violated and there is always a free option.  

But, as noted above, the cost to put on an expedition is certainly not "a free option".

73, Gene AF3Y
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