Archive for month January, 2017

This post is difficult to write, and perhaps I shouldn’t write it at all.

However, now that the site is changing, it is important to provide some background on the genesis of Rare Puzzles and a reference for the future.

The core and heart of Rare Puzzles is in this post.

In March of 2015, my brother Raúl was diagnosed with Klatskin tumor, a very uncommon type of cancer and extremely rare for patients in their 40’s. It was inoperable and incurable.

I was then working and living in Los Angeles, CA and decided to come back to Spain and be close to my brother for whatever time left he had. I quit my job, sold almost everything I owned, and took a flight back to Madrid.

I am sure that most of you have been touched by cancer one way or another. I have learned that cancer doesn’t leave any family untouched, so you probably know what it looks like. Raúl‘s cancer started to set our schedules, our routines, and our plans. Patients and caregivers.

I knew I wanted to be there 24/7. I didn’t want to have a job schedule. I wanted to be able to pick up my car keys at any moment and drive my mom to or from hospital, or go and pick up my niece and nephew from school and watch them until my sister-in-law came back home.

So, I thought I might start selling my own puzzle collection, some of them extremely rare, in order to make some income. It was not a difficult decision. Cancer gives a lot of perspective. Then, I realized that I could actually be able to pay my bills and work from home finding and selling rare puzzles, and I started the website at the end of 2015. It worked better than I had anticipated.

I was able to be very close to Raúl during his last year of life. I spent a lot of time with him, helping him with arrangements that he knew he had to do, assisting him in the completion of a book about motorcycles that he had written, and enjoying every single minute of the time with him, knowing very well that the days were counted.

Rare Puzzles was started only for that purpose, and it served the purpose well.

That is why I am so grateful to every single person that has bought a puzzle from me. They thought they were buying a puzzle, when in fact they were buying me time. Priceless time.

And that is why now that the website will open to other sellers, 100% of commissions charged for selling the puzzles on the website will be donated to the American Cancer Society and the Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer. The only amount that will not be donated will be whatever is necessary to run the site, like web hosting, domain renewal, software improvements, etc.

That is also why I want Rare Puzzles to have an ethical dimension that goes beyond a simple selling website. Please, consider this before listing one of your puzzles on the site.

Life goes on, and I look forward to retaking some of the plans I had before cancer touched my life taking my brother’s.

Raúl passed away on May 26, 2016. He was a good and noble man.

Raúl Gallego, Sep. 24 1971 – May 26 2016

Read More

The site will open for members to sell their own puzzles soon.

I have been doing a lot of research in order to decide what type of software would do the work. Although the platform will remain the same, the appearance of the site is going to change.

I hope it will be for the better.

What this means is that other users will be able to open their own “stores” at Rare Puzzles, list their own items, set their own prices, and ship to whatever countries they wish.

There will be some initial restrictions though:

  • Members will need previous approval through a simple request form.
  • Products listed will be reviewed for approval as well, at least in the beginning.
  • Only Factory Sealed and Sealed Bag puzzles will be listed for now.
  • Only out of catalog puzzles will be listed.

It will be something similar to listing them on Ebay, but without insertion fees, without time limitations, and for half of Ebay’s commissions.

The payment preferred method will still be PayPal, since it provides the best protection for buyers and sellers.

Terms and Conditions pages will be inserted covering all these details.

And there will be some challenges, like creating highly customizable shipping options, or dealing with currency.

However, we will work it out.

Suggestions and ideas will always be welcome at

Read More

… to count pieces of used puzzles.

I recently received a beautiful card beautifully written from a friend and former customer, with an indeed beautiful photograph titled Florence under the Snow, Paris, 1950, by French photographer Édouard Boubat.

It was a nice and elegant touch that I truly appreciated.

Among the smart things that my friend wrote, there was a small footnote: “Life is too short to count pieces of used puzzles”.

He was referring to the verification process of every used puzzle listed at Rare Puzzles.

It made me think that it was about time to introduce some of the changes that were planned.

Starting next week Rare Puzzles will allow users to list and sell their own puzzles on the site.

More details coming soon.



Read More