Image borrowed from google
I have decided to write this post as I started to mention it in a future post, but it started to turn into a rant, so I thought I would make it a separate post specifically to address the issue of spoilers when it comes to subscription boxes.
This post is for everyone who has ever had to say (either to themselves or to another person) “I haven’t received mine yet, please don’t post spoilers”. And I know there have been many.
This post is also for those who would like to not be the person to be on the receiving end of this comment.
You know that feeling of excitement you get when a subscription box reveals their upcoming theme? You know that excitement and anticipation you get when you get an email saying the box you spent so much of your hard earned money on has been shipped? And the elation when it finally arrives and you can open it up? It is better than being a kid at Christmas.
Until some jerk ruins it for you.
I shouldn’t say jerk. I am sure most people don’t realise what they are doing. What I should say is:
Image borrowed from google
Now I am writing this from the perspective of being an international purchaser. Most boxes are in the US, so anyone outside of America will probably have experienced this. And people within the US also experience it for both US based and internationally boxes.
Buying subscription boxes, especially for international people, is actually far more stressful than you would think. It actually has an impact on our lives. Some would say in a meaningless way, but still an impact none-the-less.
An example of this is, I, an Aussie, have recently purchased 3 boxes. 1 Australian, 1 from the US and the other from the UK. Since they have been dispatched I have had to mute over 20 words on my Twitter account, unfollow approx 10 groups on Facebook (both buy/trade/sell and discussion groups) and unfollow multiple people on social media such as Twitter and Instagram. I have also been unable to look at my groups summary on Facebook and unable to go look at hashtags (such as #booksfortrade, #museofnightmares and others) on Twitter and Instagram Why? Because of spoilers.
And as for the rest of the opportunity for spoilers, I just have to hope to all the gods that no one I follow posts something.
But the risk is far greater via groups and hashtags. As soon as boxes start arriving to people in the companies home country, there are unboxings everywhere and there are items up for sale or trade all over social media.
And these are major spoilers. Full pictures. Just waiting to ruin my day.
The biggest offenders are posts on buy/sell/trade Facebook groups and #booksfortrade on Twitter. The posts on these are not general “selling some items from X box, please see comments or DM for items for sale/trade”, they are full spoilers, with photos and description on the post. These are MAJOR spoilers I am talking. And they literally start appearing the day they start arriving.
For example, I have ordered the LitJoy Dreams & Nightmares box. I had messages from friends on the first day of delivery saying “do not look at X as there are LitJoy box spoilers as it is up for sale”. Bearing in mind there is no way that people outside of the US could have gotten theirs yet, in fact they hadn’t even left the US. Not to mention that people in others in areas in US who live further away probably hadn’t received theirs. There (apparently) was multiple posts, with images in the main post. (I say apparently as I didn’t look, but I have seen this multiple times for other boxes).
These posts are horrible to see. They rip out our surprising loving heart. And I think what is harder to accept is, that they are actually totally uncalled for.
It is not hard to show a little consideration. And you may not even realise you are breaking other people’s hearts by doing this. And also I would like it noted that I feel there is also some inconsideration from admins of the groups approving these posts (where applicable) – I know they cannot control members actions, but a policy to help to reduce spoilers would be a great start and will encourage more members like me to join.
I am not asking people to stop posting things, I am just asking them to be considerate when doing so. I understand people are excited, or they want to trade/sell some items. This also goes for people who are In Search Of items (ISO).
Why is this an issue now? Well, it has been an issue for awhile. I cannot count the number of times I have seen a post the day of delivery in the home country and others saying “I haven’t received mine yet”. So its an ongoing issue so why am I making this post now? Well this started out as comment on a future post about how hard it is to avoid spoilers. Here I am, over 2 weeks waiting for a box, and due to an error I probably have to wait at least another 2 weeks. Can you imagine how hard it is to avoid spoilers? I have to basically avoid social media. Hence my time to write this ranting post.
So… would you like some tips to not be the person who steals a book nerds Chrsitmas morning? If you do – then you are are aweseome!
Here are some tips on how to not spoil subscription boxes for others:
Timing: I would recommend no spoilers without for 4 weeks. Some companies advise shipping can take that long, so it is only fair to use this timeframe for spoilers.
Unboxings on Twitter: Don’t do it. If you have to then link to an Instagram post so the images do not show (although please see below). Also do not use # that are commonly looked at by readers/buyers, such as the title of the book.
Unboxings on Instagram: Do a multi-image post. Use the box as the first image and have a spoiler warning. The unboxing can be in the following images.
Unboxings on Facebook: Use the box as the main image and have a spoiler warning. The unboxing images can added to the comments where people will only see if they open them.
Buy/Sell/Trade groups: If you are selling or trading items on Facebook, do not include images in the main post. Make the main post a description only (no spoilers) and add images and further details in the comments. An example of this would be:
“Selling/trading items from Illumicrate October box. Description/images of items and prices in comments”
Trade on Twitter (ie #booksfortrade): If you are wanting t0 trading items on Twitter, in particular on the trade hashtag, do not include images or say what items you are trading, or if you have to, be vague (although not preferable). Examples:
“Trading all items from FaeCrate October box”
“Trading multiple items from Fairyloot October box. DM me for more details”
“Trading small item from Flick the Wick October box. DM me for more details”
ISO on Facebook or Twitter: Do not say what item you are looking for. If you must include something about the item you are looking for, be vague (although it is best to not say anything about the item if possible). Examples below:
“ISO all items from LitJoy October box. DM me if you have items available”
“ISO large item from OwlCrate October box. DM me if you have available”
If you are an admin for buy/sell/trade group: I urge you consider a spoiler policy. To not allow spoilers on the main thread. The specifics can be added as comments with the main post remaining spoiler free. See above suggestions that can be adapted and added to your policy (if you haven’t already done so – and if you have already introduced a policy, you rock).
If you are an admin for a discussion group: I also urge you consider a spoiler policy. To not allow spoilers on the main thread. A main post could be created and spoilers in the comments, or an event can be created for unboxings. This would ensure that the main thread remains spoiler free. If you already implemented a spoiler free main thread you are awesome and thank you!
In summary: all I am suggesting is not post actual spoilers on unsuspecting peoples timelines. Post whatever you like, just have the warning image or text beforehand so people can look away if they want to. You will still get the same amount of likes/comments/interest as before, but you will just make someone else happier at the same time (and you probably keep those followers – people who get spoiled tend to unfollow).
I know people could argue to not follow these groups, and look at hashtags etc. And trust me, I have avoided this to the ends of the earth for the past couple of weeks. BUT, there are things I want to look at, discussions I would possibly like to take part in but I am too scared to look at a group etc. I can avoid them, and I have, but I don’t really want to. It is a sacrifice I have made, but why should people have to make that sacrifice when this is such a simple thing to fix? It is after all, just a little consideration.
Anyway, that is my rant and some tips on how to not ruin someones day. If I can save one person from seeing a spoiler, it will be worth it. And if you have read this and will consider the tips the next time you post somewhere – I thank you. We all thank you.
Also, keep your fingers crossed for my feeds to remain spoiler free until my two other boxes arrive ;)
Do you get subscription boxes? Have you ever seen spoilers before it arrived?