POLL: Chinese Auctions & Free Gifts

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  • #589083

    qaws
    Member

    Most chinese auctions have “discount ticket packages” (example: spend $100 and receive $130 in tickets etc.) The question is: Would you buy a bigger ticket package if you knew that you would get a free gift for spending a little more? (Example: you would normally spend $100 on tix but you see that if you buy a $150 package then you get a free artscroll book).

    #637688

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    i saw the oorah auction prize list online, i would choose to give the $250 to win a prize if i did put in there!!!!

    #637689

    anonymisss
    Participant

    I could buy the same artscroll book (if i’ll read it) for $15.00. Why would i pay 50 for it?

    #637690

    absolutely – i do it all the time – it feels good- everyone likes to win something & i’ve gotten some great gifts from oorah’s auction! they also explain how it works in terms of ma’aser if you win!

    its THE BEST auction ever! they are the ORIGINATORS of the chinese auction by mail!

    it also happens to be a wonderful organization!

    with other tzedakka auctions/raffles as well i always feel that for another few dollars to tzedaka i can get more raffles – it encourages me to give a little more than i was planning on!

    #637691

    Do you think that the gifts — or even the whole chinese auction format — encourages people to give tzedakah for all the wrong reasons? Plenty of people would never even consider owning the things that are in the catalogs until all of a sudden it becomes a possibility — even if it’s a remote possibility. I know someone once said that if tzedakahs could just send out a plain old letter soliciting funds and people would respond, it would take half the amount of contributions to raise twice the amount of money.

    #637692

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    encourages people to give tzedakah for all the wrong reasons

    Kiruv, I am not sure there is ever a wrong reason to give tzedaka. We give maaser because we are required to. This is personally a mitzvah that is very hard for me – I hate parting with my money. My husband set up a maaser account so that 10% of our salaries are deposited there. Now, when we give tzedaka, I write out a check from there and it feels less like its coming from “my money.”

    We did give extra to Oorah recently to get a gift. We were going to donate close to that amount anyway, and we could use a GPS. The gifts are donated – Oorah doesnt pay for it.

    Most of the things in the catalog were actually normal, helpful things – utilities for a few months, mortgage/rent for a few months, groceries, a car…things that people can use. Sure there were things like diamonds, computers etc…but if that entices extra people to donate, isnt that a good thing?

    #637693

    qaws
    Member

    Unfortunately, there is a big problem nowadays. People have a big yetzer hara not to give tzedaka to yeshivos. I think that its a bigger yetzer hara not to give to yeshivos then to other tzedaka orginazations. That is why the yeshivos are in so much financial trouble.

    Unfortunately, I think that fundraisers such as chinese auctions are the only choice that the yeshivas have in making money. It is extremely hard for people to just decide to randomly donate. Its a little easier for people to give money when they know that they have a chance in winning a prize.

    #637694

    teen
    Member

    AS THE NY LOTTERY SAYS “ITS A DOLLAR TO DREAM” 😛

    #637695

    qaws
    Member

    I just saw a auction site which has these free gifts if you spend a certain amount of money. http://ytcteam.org/auction/index.php?PARTNER=15

    #637696

    Joseph
    Participant

    Yeshiva Toras Chaim is a good Yeshiva. (And the guy who setup their auction is great guy.)

    #637697

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    i already got my gps from oorah for givin in $250!!!!

    #637698

    btw-what type pf gps is it?

    #637699

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    coke not pepsi: not sure, i forgot!!!! i gatta go ck the box!!!!

    #637700

    qaws
    Member

    It seems from this site: http://ytcteam.org/auction/index.php?PARTNER=15 that if you spend $250, you could get a set of the artcroll pocket chumashim, which costs like $100 normally (sounds like a pretty good deal!).

    so the question is like this, should all yeshivas who have auctions offer these free gifts? Do you spend more money then you would have because you know that you are getting a gift that’s worth like $100 and in addition, you have a chance to win the other prizes?

    #637701

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    IMHO i think it makes people give a shtickel more when ya get a gift!!! it made me give more to oorah cause of that!!!

    #637703

    chofetzchaim
    Member

    Yes, Joseph. Yeshivas Toras Chaim is a great Yeshiva. And so is the guy who set up the auction! I encourage everyone to support them:

    http://ytcteam.org/auction/index.php?PARTNER=147

    #637704

    xoxo
    Member

    Joseph – do you actually know the guy that set up the auction?

    #637705

    Joseph
    Participant

    xoxo – yes, but I can’t post about it :p

    #637706

    xoxo
    Member

    That’s interesting.. because I am the one who set it up, and I can assure you I don’t know you..

    #637707

    Joseph
    Participant

    hmmm… I thought I did? or perhaps I know you, without knowing it?

    #637708

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    xoxo: that’s real funny!!! ya really set it up????

    #637709

    xoxo
    Member

    Yup.. not by myself, but I speak for all involved when I say we don’t know Joseph..

    Creepy…

    #637710

    Joseph
    Participant

    xox, how would you know who I am – perhaps you know me, just not that its me?

    #637711

    chofetzchaim
    Member

    I don’t know Joseph, but I do know some people involved in the auction. xoxo, do I know you?

    http://ytcteam.org/auction/index.php?PARTNER=147

    #637712

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    xoxo: yeah kinda creepy!!! maybe joseph is his english name & he doen’t go by it, & he’s one of your pal’s dad!!!!

    #637713

    YW Moderator-42
    Moderator

    No prying personal info. Let’s get back on topic. What do you think of the free gifts at the Toras Chaim Chinese Auction?

    #637714

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    great idea i say!!!!!!!

    #637715

    xoxo
    Member

    This thread is violating so many rules, it’s a wonder these posts are getting approved…

    But to answer your questions – what can I say, it’s just a very strong hunch.

    And CC – no ..

    #637716

    teen
    Member

    sure thing mod24 sry

    i doint even know the toras chaim chineses auction so this conversation isnt for me

    (whispers so mod24 cant hear) so xoxo do ya know me?

    #637717

    xoxo
    Member

    hey teen, i’m not the one claiming to know people here… why don’t you ask Joe

    #637718

    Joseph
    Participant

    hunch? you don’t have much to go on LOL

    #637719

    teen
    Member

    xoxo: i think mod42 is letting these go through bec he is secretly enjoying this behind his facade of a higher being 😛

    #637720

    Anonymous

    Ok everyone, PLEASE, let’s get back on topic. We are discussing the free gifts at chinese auctions. It doesn’t have to be the ones at http://ytcteam.org/auction, it could be at ANY auction! Let’s hear your thoughts…

    (And if you do end up buying tix because of the free gifts, post how much you spent, what auction it was at, and what free gift you got)

    #637721

    teen
    Member

    are you allowed to count it as maaser if u no ur getting a free gift?

    #637722

    qaws
    Member

    Ok Mod, here I go, following your rules!

    The reason I started this thread is because: as everyone knows, the yeshivas are all in major financial trouble. I noticed that of the yeshivas who do chinese auctions, some give out free gifts (like http://ytcteam.org/auction/index.php?PARTNER=15 ) and some don’t. I’m guessing that the reason some auctions don’t is because they feel that they won’t raise more money by giving out a free gift. That is why I started this thread. If people (everyone in the CR) would post if getting a free gift makes them spend more money, then we would have to tell the yeshivas that we did research and then the yeshivas would all start offering these gifts. I’m just doing my part to help all of the yeshivas who are suffering financially.

    #637723

    squeak
    Participant

    xoxo, I think that I am the organizer that Joseph was referring to.

    #637724

    Joseph
    Participant

    squeak – xoxo has a hunch he doesn’t know you.

    #637726

    squeak
    Participant

    he’s right. I don’t know him either. There’s nobody named xoxo helping out today….

    Creepy…

    #637727

    rescue37
    Participant

    What they don’t tell you in (or if they do, it’s in really small letters)

    1st – the value of the gift is not tax deductible, so you may send $250 and get the gift to find out that they value the gift at $70 which is not tax deductible.

    2nd. – Raffle tickets are not deductible at all according to the IRS. (Don’t ask me how they can send out charity receipts. It’s probably a different thread that should be started)

    #637729

    chofetzchaim
    Member

    What do you call a stubborn oriental?

    A Chinese Auction!

    #637730

    Jothar
    Member

    I heard from a posek that ALL monies spent at a Chinese auction is considered maaser except for the amount spent on the winning ticket.

    The question is when Chinese auctions become too over-the-top, too gashmius-oriented. A dancing dollar bill is very cute, but it’s the wrong message. Organizations bringing ruchnius to the frei and preaching “gashmius is worthless” shouldn’t turn around to the frum and give them the same gashmius they tell the frei to ignore. It’s hypocritical. At least it’s more honest than the “donate to us and you’ll get all the yeshuos you could ever need” approach.

    I know someone who made a fortune in the tech bubble, only to lose all of it. He was very makpid on giving maaser kesafim. He still is proud of giving 100k maaser, but as that was the only money he ever took off the table, he has nothing to show for it. As many will tell you, the bracha of riches by giving maaser only applies to maaser dagan, ie maasser required from the Torah, not to mitzvos derabbanan like maaser kesafim.

    #637731

    qaws
    Member

    Jothar- what is the geder that the yeshivos should have in making their auctions? Is it really wrong for a kiruv org that is trying to be mikareiv people, to have an auction with “gashmius prizes”? Are they really contradicting one another? So then all auctions should be stopped?

    We see that rabbonim don’t really come out against auctions so it must be that the rabbonim hold that this isn’t an issue. So what is the geder?

    Is there really a problem?

    http://ytcteam.org/auction/index.php?PARTNER=15

    #637732

    Jothar
    Member

    qaws, you’re asking a VERY good question. Administrators grapple with this question regularly. The basic geder most of them hold of is that a chinese auction should offer small prizes that don’t promote someone to a new level of gashmius, but nothing over-the-top. Glossy booklets with dancing dollar bills bouncing next to prizes seem way over-the-top. It turns the tzedakah into a “parah adumah”, purifying the impure but sullying the pure. The retracted Lakewood chinese auction from a few years is an example of an over-the-top chinese auction that got pulled when the Yeshiva hanhala realized that the auction was counter to the ideals the yeshiva was pushing. I know some yeshivas don’t hold them because they feel it promotes gambling. there are also asmachta problems when young people put in tickets sure they’re going to win.

    The YCT one doesn’t seem over the top, and the administration there always try to follow daas torah, even when it hurts them in the pocketbook.

    #637733

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Do people consider Oorah over the top? None of the auctions available seemed too far into “gashmius” for me – many were for paying your mortgage, food or electric bill. Others were trips to Israel or a dining room set or computers. And yes, some jewelry.

    #637734

    chofetzchaim
    Member

    Today is the last day to get a free gift at the YTC Chinese Auction. Baruch Hashem sales have been up today which proves the point that these free gifts actually do work. The question is how many of today’s sales would have happened without the free gift and does that make it financially. For instance, if the Yeshiva spends $1000 on free gifts but makes $2000 in extra sales because of it then they gained $1000. Even if they only make $1000 in extra sales it is worth it because it gets people to not procrastinate. There are many people who want to give but like to wait until the last minute. Yeshivas are generally tight on money and would rather have the money sooner than later, especially close to a big event such as an auction. The free gift deadline is a hechrech for people to get it over with and buy the auction tickets. Some yeshivas have auctions where you can submit your ticket order and they will bill you. If they have free gifts or other deals they will usually only give those things if the money is paid by the deadline date so simply turning in the order form without money isn’t enouigh and it is therefore a hechrech for them to actually pay right away.

    #637735

    noitallmr
    Participant

    I’ve got this thing that if Hashem wants you to win you’ll win even if you only purchase on ticket. You obviously have to purchase one for Hishtadlus but to buy more is a non- jewish concept of increasing your chances. Hashem has the power to make you win with 1 to a thousand.

    #637736

    myshadow
    Member

    Definately!! I luv free presents!! Even though I agree with noitallmr, I’ll never put more than one ticket in a prize-wtvr’s meant to be will be!

    #637738

    qwertyuiop
    Member

    noitallmr: i know somebody, who put 13(i don’t know why 13) and his friend put 250, and the one with 13 won.$

    #637739

    noitallmr
    Participant

    myshadow- ‘preciated!

    #637740

    Jothar
    Member

    Ames, Zchus tzedakah?

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