paul has a new video  

 



visit the thread.

see the DVDs.

  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

The Story of the Permaculture Playing Cards  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


This thread is for bla bla bla about the cards. To see the official page for the cards, or to order the cards, CLICK HERE!








And a quickie shortcut for the cards: richsoil.com/cards


---

I am going to get to the fun and joy of the story. First I have to relate a tidbit:

If you buy the cards from somebody other than me, there is a chance that you bought pirated cards.

If you open the box and find:

- 52 playing cards with 52 permaculture tidbits
- 2 jokers
- one bonus card that mentions "permies keen on world domination"

and nothing else, congratulations, you have a proper deck of cards. Thanks!

On the other hand, if you open the box and find:

- 52 playing cards with 52 permaculture tidbits
- 2 jokers
- one bonus card that mentions "permies keen on world domination"
- a card advertising a card printer

Uh oh. You have a pirate deck. Those guys are printing the cards without permission. Permies.com sees zero income from that - and bad guys get 100% of the income.

So, what do you do? Be careful that you don't smash me and alexander on your way to thwarting bad guys. For example, if you got your product from amazon, rage against the seller, not against the product.

- - - -

On with the story ....


In 2011 I mention the idea of permaculture playing cards in a podcast and a guy says he is gonna make it real.

He doesn't.

I find some other people that say they are gonna make it real.

They don't.

Two more people. Two more don'ts.


In 2012 Alexander Ojeda comes out with some cool tshirts and arts up a bunch of mugs and logos for us. They are all amazing.

In April of 2012 I talk to alexander about making permaculture playing cards. I thought it would just be his project.

I found an email from me talking to alexander in may about the cards as if it is entirely his project.

In june of 2012 I found a lot of emails exchanged relfecting that we are working on the project as a collaborative effort.


An email from me to alexander from june 3, 2012:

As I plot and scheme,
I think that it could be wise to have those playing cards available in
five weeks.

...

But most importantly: this would mean trying to design two to three
cards a day for the next few weeks. Then go through the stuff to get
them printed.

I think the two of us would need to get on the horn and then start
talking about what goes on the 54 cards: like maybe "hugelkultur"
would go on the ace of spades.

...

This would require a lot of work, right away. We would probably start
with a phone meeting today or tomorrow. Are you up for it?





To see the official page for the cards, or to order the cards, CLICK HERE!





Attaching the first image from june 4, 2012



Screen-shot-2012-06-04-at-2.21.46-PM.png
[Thumbnail for Screen-shot-2012-06-04-at-2.21.46-PM.png]
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How hard can it be to write a couple of paragraphs about hugelkultur? Or any of the other topics?

We spent hours arguing over every detail on every card. Most of the stuff we agreed on. But there was a lot of stuff where we had to brainstorm how to word something more clearly - or to make it shorter so it could fit. Mostly, what to cut out. For most of the cards, we could write a whole books of interesting bits and bobs.

From the beginning, I was suggesting that we should do it all as water color. But alexander said "trust me" .... eventually, we had about 85% of the cards done and everything was still on stark white backgrounds and I was getting bitchy about the watercolor stuff. And then alexander showed me the background. Now it all seemed like it was a sort of water color.


I thought we would whip the cards out in five weeks. It took over a year.

When the kickstarter started in August of 2013, we still had about a dozen cards that needed a little more polish.

When the kickstarter finished, we put about two weeks more into polishing.

Alexander had a printer that he trusted. The price was a little higher, but we were being guaranteed the highest possible quality, printed in the US and quick turnaround.

It turns out that the printer subbed it out. We got the cards and the printer went to work printing their own cards from our artwork.

So on the day that we opened up shop - we already had competition from our printer's printer.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I set the cards up at amazon and it took me a while to figure out that people were competing with me at amazon with my own cards. At first I just assumed that it was people that bought cases from me.

In may of 2014 somebody was here at my place and showed me a deck they bought. They showed me the extra card inside advertising the printer's printer. That's when it clicked that our stuff was being pirated.

What to do?

Card sales have been something around two decks a week, so it seemed like it wasn't worth the effort to do much of anything.

When the holidays came, a thousand decks were sold! So, now it does make a difference.

But what to do?

A lawsuit would probably cost about $40,000, take hundreds of hours of my time, and it would end up with the company selling it's assets before the court case was done.

So ... after having a year and a half to figure something out .... I got nothing. Other than just letting people know about the ickiness and hoping that people will choose to buy from me rather than the robbers because of their ethics.

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
People can buy stuff from amazon for $7 and amazon does free 2-day shipping.

In fact, people will do kickstarters and sell a single deck for $7. I cannot figure out how they can pay for everything PLUS the shipping at that price. Maybe the strategy is to send it out in an envelope with an extra stamp. And if one person out of a hundred complains that their deck arrived all beat up, then they replace that one deck and send it out with the $7 postage complete with tracking. The problem I have with this is that the quiet, humble people who received a smashed product, still have a smashed product. And I'm not okay with that.

Currently, the small, flat rate box with tracking is about $5.90. And that includes the box.

Going the cheapest possible route is about $2.00. I suspect that it might be possible to arrange some sort of bulk mailing thing for about $1.20 - but that's just a guess.

So I started to put together thoughts about a reprint last year. The key is that I want to sell the cards for MUCH LESS. Maybe so little that the bad guys won't find the narrow profit to be worth the legal risk. Plus, at a low price, I might be able to infect more brains. If I do a kickstarter, I would have to sell nearly all of the cards during the kickstarter. With narrow margins, there is very little room for error.

I don't like the idea of starting a new kickstarter while the last kickstarter is still not fulfilled. And at this time we still have not fulfilled from the last kickstarter.

I got down to about 140 decks of cards total. I could print up a thousand for about four times the price per deck of printing 10,000. I can't really afford printing 10,000 by myself. Especially since I don't know if I'll be undersold by the bad guys, or maybe everybody interested in the cards has already bought all the cards they want. So there is a strong possibility that I will buy 10,000 decks of cards and sell almost none of them.

Every decision in life is a big gamble.

I made the decision to go for it.

Alexander and I polished a few of the cards. Alexander made the backs of the cards slightly darker. We had a few cards that needed some text updating. Alexander also fixed the positioning on a few cards - for example, the three of hearts had the "3" and the heart a little too close to the edge.

We also changed the box a little and put "second edition" on the new box.

I went with a new printer, of course. And there was a bunch of weird drama.

The cards arrived. About 7000 cards remain. So we sold a lot! But since I lowered the price so much, we won't break even until we sell about 80% of them. And if I do any advertising, then I probably won't break even until we sell all of them.


 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9744
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
188
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So sad about the pirating.

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For those of you that bought cards that were not directly from me, please share whether your cards are pirated or not. I suspect that people of one camp or the other might find it hard to believe that the other camp exists.

 
Pam Marshall
Posts: 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hope you sell bunches more!!! I would even like wrapping paper made from them for the holidays. My niece has Indian heritage. I would like the wrapping paper to draw her attention to the HUSP card. The cards are some of the best quality! Hope you have lots of success with them! There could even be a short story or game highlighting or focusing on more details on them...for next year promo maybe...

RMH...kiln, portable, etc.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6816
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
272
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This sounds like something that could be handled with a hockey stick. I assume that you know who and where they are. Is that something that would offend your sensibilities?

Failing that, place a big order with one or both printers. Collect the goods in person and drive off without paying. Many other covert means could make them see the wisdom of stopping. Let them initiate a lawsuit.
.......
I had an enemy. I called every possible customer and potential source of work, to inform them about his drug use, thievery and contracts that were never fulfilled. It's not slander, if it's all true.
 
Penny Dumelie
gardener
Posts: 323
Location: AB, Canada (Zone 4a - Canadian Badlands)
52
bee chicken forest garden fungi rabbit trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just grabbed a couple packs of cards for Christmas from Amazon. Can't wait to get them.
Thanks!
 
Rick Howd
Posts: 129
Location: McMinnville Oregon
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I heard the cards are small with much detail, can someone give me the physical dimensions of the cards? I want to buy some fresnel lenses to include with the half-dozen I just bought for Christmas. If you have time to include the dimensions of the case that would be nice too, I want to sew up a leather pouch as well.

Thanks - Rick
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rick,

Away from my desk at the moment, but I can tell you that they are exactly poker size.
 
D. Logan
gardener
Posts: 589
Location: Soutwest Ohio
101
books food preservation forest garden rabbit tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am wondering if you might reduce the shipping rates as media mail. Depending on who is asked, they could be counted as 'printed educational reference charts'. In reality, that is the whole reason they were created after all. That the charts can be used to play card games is simply a delivery method. If it could be counted as media mail, your delivery prices would drop pretty significantly.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Media mail is certainly an option. It is cheap and slow. We tried that once. We had way too many complaints.

The weird thing is that right now we usually ship within 24 hours via priority mail and we give everybody a tracking code. We had one guy that placed an order on a saturday night and on sunday night (about 24 hours later) he sent us nasty mail demanding to know what is wrong with us, after all, it has been over a week since he ordered.

With media mail it can take three weeks to get there, and people were just blowing a gasket.

And then there were a bunch of people where six weeks later they said they never received it. So we sent it again. I actually think that half of them really did receive it, but they wanted two.

I think it might be possible to do a kickstarter where you say "you will get stuff in august" and then you ship, via media mail, in may. And then in august you say "we shipped it - you should all have it now!" And then when anybody says they didn't get it, you send another. This could work as an overall strategy.

But when people are ordering when you have it in stock: I think more than half expect it to arrive in a few days.
 
Juan Sebastian Estrada
Posts: 95
Location: Medellin, Colombia
12
bike forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
On one of the recent podcasts you mentioned that you have seen the pirated cards on Amazon. When I search for them in Amazon I get 4 results:

Permaculture Playing Cards. by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda

permaculture playing cards Deck By Paul Wheaton. by Paul Wheaton

permaculture playing cards by Paul Wheaton, Permaculture Goofball. by Paul Wheaton, Permaculture Goofball

permaculture playing cards by Permies. by Permies

Are any of those the pirated cards? if you could point to the pirated ones we could go and post a negative review (just saying that they are pirated, not smashing the cards like you ask) and directing people to the genuine ones

 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
Posts: 3933
Location: Zone 9b
306
bee books food preservation fungi
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
THESE are the genuine ones.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It is crazier than that.

There are people that bought cases from me. I wish they would not choose to compete with me on amazon - but that is a legit thing to do.

The key is that the printer is printing without my permission. They have been printing decks and inserting an ad for their printing services inside the deck.

But that's not all. Look at this amazon page http://amzn.com/B00GOIXT3M and scroll down to the "Customer Questions & Answers" to where somebody asked about ordering in quantity. There is an answer from "playing cards net" offering to sell in bulk. I cannot prove it, but I am about 98% certain that that is the printer.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Again, do NOT give a poor review to the product. That would be saying that the product is bad. But several different legit people are allowed to sell the product.

The key is to focus on the bad guys doing bad things. And that's where it just gets freaky complex.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cassie Langstraat wrote:THESE are the genuine ones.


That's where I sell. And the current seller with the current best price is me. Although when I was selling the cards for $14.50, the guy I think is the wicked printer started selling them for $14.45 - so all of the sales I pushed to that ad made money for him.

Again, this mess is more complicated than one might think.
 
Keshav Boddula
Posts: 7
Location: Los Angeles area
forest garden solar toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My first post on this site...

paul wheaton, seems that the original idea for the cards were to spread (hopefully not "infect" and the negative associations with that word) good/permaculture ideas to others, and especially to those that are not aware of it, think people who want to live in such a way are "crazy", and whose current lifestyles make it difficult to find the time to learn/understand more about it.

within the last year I've also been working with the local state university's "Committee on Environmental Sustainability" group in a similar way in the sense of outreach education, and i waz charged with ideas, and have recently uploaded a particular edit for Mutual Aid Network (M.A.N.) that perhaps I could ask permies here to help me/us with... with the hesitation/assumption that some things are better for people to figure out on their own... but maybe in time or with others' suggestions, I could find the correct placement for the ideas whether right here, in another forum on this site, etc.

anyway, paul, i believe you should consider at least these two points (to help dissuade you from continuing negative thoughts about others who are pirating your good work and persuade the positive outlook of the same pirating activities... (as if they aren't clear already):

1 - the value of money itself is arbitrary, and more solid with more sustainable idea(s) and subsequent manifestation of (those) idea(s)
2 - (again, if not understood by now...) the initial Intention to spread good/permaculture idea to others (which includes relatively alotless greed) was actually helped by those bootleggers, even if at a lower return of investment to you (and again, what was the investment).
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1441
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Can you direct me to a current, genuine, link to the permies playing cards?  I bought some back when they first came out and everyone who has played with them has commented on the quality and been intrigued by the subject manner.  Great way to introduce non permies to the subject.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1441
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Disregard.....I just found it.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I made the link for it at the top much larger so it would be easier to find.  Just in case, here it is again:



To see the official page for the cards, or to order the cards, CLICK HERE!




 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I got a deck of cards about trees today. 



https://amazon.com/dp/B004THKALE

Naturally, I wanted to find little notes on every card about the tree.  And I wanted to see MORE.  

After using the permaculture cards so much, these tree cards just seemed ....  kinda empty. 
 
Tracy Wandling
steward
Posts: 1677
Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
335
bee books chicken forest garden fungi hugelkultur trees
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ya know, I was just thinking the other day that it would be cool to design a set of cards with permaculturey stuff on them - and trees would be a great one. I could use some of the info from the Food Forest book I posted here

Lots of info could be included on the cards that permaculture people are looking for - whether it is a nitrogen fixer, edibility and nutrition info on fruit, USDA zones it grows in, size, when it flowers and fruits, etc. All the stuff that we always want to know about trees. I am a watercolor artist and a graphic designer, so perhaps I could paint the trees, and then add in the text.

Hhhmmmmm . . . food for thought.
 
Do not set lab on fire. Or this tiny ad:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!