The Kickstarter Blog

Bulk Quantities

On July 10th we rolled out an update to Kickstarter's Project Guidelines prohibiting rewards in bulk quantities. This update was in response to a trend we've seen in recent months of projects offering rewards in quantities upwards of 20, 50, and even 100 of an item. When we introduced this change we weren't specific about how many of a reward constitutes a "bulk quantity." This caused unnecessary confusion, and we want to address that question today.

As of today, we're defining "bulk quantity" as a reward that offers more than ten of a single item. We feel that a limit of ten will prevent bulk commercial transactions while still allowing independent stores (the most frequent backers of these rewards) to back projects and share them with their communities. Projects are welcome to offer rewards intended for stores so long as they are in quantities of ten or less.

Backing a project has always been about joining a community just as much as it is getting stuff. That's one of Kickstarter's defining traits, and we want that to always be true. We're incredibly proud of the ways that Kickstarter has helped creators bring their work to life and get it out into the world. Watching independent stores use Kickstarter to promote the work of independent creators has been amazing, and we hope it continues.

Sorry for causing confusion, and thanks as always for your support.

Comments

    1. Fred%20headshot-250x250.small

      Creator Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions on August 2, 2012

      I am relieved! Thanks for getting specific and responding to the issue with all due speed. :)

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      Creator Daniel Berg on August 2, 2012

      But what about those companies like Top Cow, which is a independent comicbook company, that wants to offer incentives for other companies through a medium like kickstarter? I just don't see the problem with that. There are companies that want to distribute in large quantities to independent companies. Isn't that still in the spirit of kickstarter? Why turn away that business?

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      Creator Angus Abranson / Chronicle City on August 2, 2012

      Thank you so much for the clarification. Great news :)

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      Creator Jason Pitre on August 2, 2012

      Thank you very much for your clarification and support for creatives. That appears to be a reasonable approach.

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      Creator Anon K. Adderlan on August 2, 2012

      And what about things that are designed to be USED in bulk, like dice or miniatures?

      Also, is it permitted for a retailer to contact creators through their Kickstarter campaigns directly to request bulk prices instead of pledging? Because while I specifically avoided retailer levels in my project (sometimes my instincts pay off), I expected and received such inquiries. It actually feels a little unfair to Kickstarter to do business this way, but I didn't throw a Kickstarter to simply produce a product. I threw a Kickstarter to ESTABLISH A BUSINESS! And doing that MUST take into account retailer relations.

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      Creator Modern Myths, Inc. on August 2, 2012

      I take back everything I have said in the last 48 hours. Thanks very, very much!

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      Creator Vickey & Bob Beaver/Obatron Productions on August 2, 2012

      Thanks for the swift response! I thought I was going to have to go to IndieGoGo when I'm ready for crowdfunding. This gives me a chance to work with the better-known company when that time comes.

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      Creator AdventureGameStore on August 2, 2012

      Great news, thank you!

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      Creator Yancey Strickler on August 2, 2012

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Creator Yancey Strickler on August 2, 2012

      @Fred Thanks Fred!

      @Daniel It's possible that this rule will turn away some projects that would be financially beneficial to Kickstarter but that's not how we approach things. We went with what we felt made the most sense for the Kickstarter community.

      @Anon Things like dice or miniatures that come in sets aren't affected by this. If your project is to produce a set of 50 miniatures we would view each set as a distinct item, so a project could offer ten of those sets. Same with dice and similar products. In terms of reaching out directly to creators that's totally fine. This rule is just about what's listed as a reward on the Kickstarter project page.

      @Angus @Jason @Jim @Vickey Thanks!

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      Creator John Kaufeld on August 2, 2012

      Thanks for the quick response, Kickstarter. It's appreciated!!!

      At the same time, send the person who runs your Facebook page to social media customer service training. Throwing people off of your page for *asking* about policy changes is NOT cool in social media marketing. Having a Facebook page means keeping the discussion open, not burning customers for asking questions.

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      Creator Andy Kitkowski on August 2, 2012

      Thanks for the clarification!

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      Creator EndGame - Chris Hanrahan on August 3, 2012

      Thanks a ton for getting out in front of this. Very, very much appreciate it.

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      Creator KevinR on August 3, 2012

      Kickstarter: Can you clarify how you would apply these new rules in some common situations.
      .
      For example, consider the recently finished "PennyGems II" project. There were levels that varied from 1 sheet of PennyGems to 24 sheets. Were some of these levels "bulk quantities"? Because I purchased 8 for personal use (and was seriously considering 16), do you consider me to be a retailer?
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/276266606/pennygems-ii-a-pale-imitation
      .
      Or, consider the "Your Art Card Sleeves" project. This project had levels from 60 card sleeves (in one custom design) to 3000 (up to 50 designs). Were some of these levels bulk quantities? Is someone who owns and wants to protect 600 cards (much less 3000 cards) a retailer by your definition? [For reference, note that there are some 12,000 different Magic: the Gathering cards.]
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/divingdragongames/your-art-card-sleeves
      .
      An ongoing project offers one D14 or D18 die for $8, but eight of each (16 dice total) for $29. Is the $29 level a bulk level?
      [No link to avoid promotion.]
      .
      Overall, I have concerns that this new policy is going to be damaging to artists who produce small items (dice, cards, headbands, USB drives, etc.). Some of their backers might want only one item, but many backers might want a dozen or more for personal use. If they can only offer pledge levels from 1 "set" to 10 "sets", should they choose to disappoint their small backers (setting the first level at, say, 3 or 5 items) or should they disappoint their main users (setting the largest level at 10)?

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      Creator Tyler Tinsley on August 3, 2012

      thanks, i feel this will work. i suppose distribution level stuff should be handled elsewhere.

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      Creator Matthew J. Hanson on August 3, 2012

      Thank you for the clarification.

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      Creator benjamin diem on August 3, 2012

      I recently launched a campaign for NOTEBLOX - [ http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1582711633/noteblox-magnetic-stackable-ipad-journal ] and my campaign was rejected because i had quantities of 25, 50, 100 and 500... my point in offering larger rewards was an effort to maximize my potential to reach my MOQ with the factory. even if i was breaking even with a quantity of 100, i was lowering my risk of not meeting the MOQ.

      Also the price point of the NOTEBLOX is low ($15) and the value of the product is exponential because they are made to work together, and multiple BLOX are designed to interact with each other.

      I see where the guideline was born, but i think a case by case analysis is important too.

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      Creator Steve Ellis on August 3, 2012

      Thanks for the clarification. As a brick & mortar hobby game store owner I feel this is a viable solution. It allows me the opportunity to directly support game creators by bringing in product early for my most excited customers. In addition, it will encourage me to promote the product to my regular distribution partners who will see opportunity going forward with innovative products.

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      Creator C. W. Marshall on August 3, 2012

      Good answer -- and the right one!

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      Creator John S. on August 3, 2012

      So what's wrong with "bulk commercial transactions" anyway?

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      Creator Cindy Au on August 3, 2012

      @KevinR

      Good questions -- both the PennyGems and card sleeves are similar to dice, miniatures, puzzle pieces, or anything else that comes in a set. Those would be treated like any other single item, and projects can offer up to 10 sets. Whether a backer is an individual, a store, a classroom, or a game group isn't an issue.

      Thanks to you and everyone else for the feedback -- it's much appreciated!

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      Creator Gamescape North on August 3, 2012

      I hear all these people saying "good answer." What I don't see is any justification of why this was a question. Who cares if there is a reward group at 50 or 100. Isn't Kickstarter about starting a business. Businesses sell products to customers. For many businesses their costomers are other businesses who want to resell the product. They need quantities. That is good for the seller and good for the buyer. Where is there a problem? If I am missing something obvious I apologize, but I just don't see the problem in the first place.

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      Creator Marshall Gatten on August 3, 2012

      I can't understand why Kickstarter would want to "prevent bulk commercial transactions". There's some impication here that because Kickstarter is a community, we're somehow above being commercial. Well, we're a community that includes some people hoping to launch products into a commercial success. If a retailer is willing to buy 100 of my widgets, then that retailer will be doing as much for my project as 100 other donors getting 1 widget each. How is that a bad thing? By limiting reward quantities, you curtail the donations that can do the most to help your Kickstarters. Kickstarter is shooting itself in the foot while simultaneously shooting it's users in their collective foot. It makes no sense.

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      Creator Ta-Te Wu on August 3, 2012

      Thanks for the update :)

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      Creator Levi Mote on August 3, 2012

      I would argue that KS is about Crowdfunding. Which has created an avenue for creative individuals who cannot generate the capital for traditional distribution channels. If larger scale distribution for huge numbers of items is what you need, there are a plethora of options available to meet those needs. Without this Project Guideline KS would become just another online distributor and lose the spirit of what has quickly made it a cultural phenomenon. Let's also remember that this is a guideline and appeals can be made on an individual basis should a project like some of those mentioned above warrant further accommodations.

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      Creator Tim Rodriguez on August 3, 2012

      The clarification is much appreciated.

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      Creator Patrick Brower on August 3, 2012

      Thank you for the clarification. This will ensure our continued pledging of KickStarter campaigns.

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      Creator Keith Davies on August 3, 2012

      @Cindy Au

      Setting aside the question of supporting commercial customers such as retail stores, I think benjamin diem has a point. Some products work best in a set, and that set might be larger than ten items.

      PennyGems is a perfect example. _Each sheet_ contains enough components to make 40 PennyGems, and I just bought a set of 16 sheets _for personal use_. 40 of each auxiliary-color PennyGem, plus an assortment of others for other purposes (120 wound markers, 120 dichotomy, plus two sheets of other stuff). This is 16 sheets.

      Do I have to order two eight-sheet packages next time? This increases cost and inconvenience to both me (the person with the money) and Dave (the guy who will be processing these to get money from me).

      I believe I understand why Kickstarter wants to not deal with commercial bulk orders (though I think it's a silly decision), but I think there really should be some human oversight and exception processes involved for when a customer could legitimately want a bunch of pieces.

      Now, Dave may have an out in that the pieces could be packaged -- four-sheet, eight-sheet, sixteen-sheet packages -- and sold, possibly in multiples, just as I could be four six-packs of beer rather than a proper case. However, this just becomes a packaging issue to get around the rule against how many items can be bought. benjamin's notebooks are kind of similar, he could bundle them into groups of 1, 2, or 5, then people could buy multiple bundles, but again it's just a packaging issue to get around a rule.

      While it is good to have clarification on the new guideline, I think the guideline itself could use a little more thought, especially with regard to products that lend themselves to single customers ordering large numbers.

    29. N514912166_1559226_5265.small

      Creator Cindy Au on August 3, 2012

      @Keith Davies

      There are definitely types of items that make sense as a set, like game pieces, dice, and so forth. This guideline doesn't affect that. Rewards that come as a set would count as one item, even if the component items amount to more than 10 (e.g. nobody wants a 100-piece puzzle with only 10 pieces, or a set of miniatures missing the 11th battalion).

      Good to see lots of interesting examples coming up, and know that when we review project submissions, it's a human process and there's always room for discussion.

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      Creator Keith Davies on August 3, 2012

      I agree, breaking up a natural set in order to meet an arbitrary guideline would be silly.

      However, to use PennyGems as an example again, the natural set size is one sheet (of 40 individual 'gems', 80 piece in total because there are two per gem). There is in fact a reward level consisting of a single sheet... and reward levels consisting 16, 24, or 25+arbitrary numbers of sheets. This would seem to be contrary to the new guidelines.

      I find it encouraging that the review process may make exceptions, but this is not obvious in what I have read so far.

      Perhaps a statement along the lines of "rewards where it would be sensible for a single person to have a large set of the product may not be subject to this restriction" (PennyGems is a specific example, as would be Poker Chips Designed for Board Gamers). Boardgames or specific written works (or movies, etc.) it does not seem as sensible; limiting them to 10 copies should not restrict consumer-level purchases. benjamin's NOTEBLOX might be borderline; I might use more than 10 such books over time, but I would more likely buy more as I needed them unless I thought purchasing opportunities were very limited... but I could see buying a larger stack of them for family use, or even a huge stack if I were making them available to a class full of students.

      Anyway, I think a little more refinement of the statement would help. Ten is a good number for most things, but making it clear that cases where more than ten could make sense can be excluded would be helpful.

      Actually, I would suspect that in many cases simply having a declared guideline: "this is not intended as a large-scale retail pre-ordering system, please keep reward levels to ten copies or fewer unless it makes sense for a person to order a slew of them", without enforcement or with easy exception handling, might do what you're looking for. You are providing a service, most people are pretty reasonable, so it would probably work out fairly well. I suspect you wouldn't find many projects trying to game the system, and the guideline as written there makes it clear that it is a guideline and not a hard rule, and provides some indication of the sorts of exceptions that may be made.

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      Creator David Anderson on August 4, 2012

      What about software licenses? We offered bulk licenses (upwards of 50) because if a corporation or software firm donates a large amount, we want to equip their entire team with the software. Would love to hear a response back about this.

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      Creator Michael Formby on August 5, 2012

      I see a few more issues with bulk pricing.

      I've been looking at some of the projects that have been listed with the bulk pricing and it seems to me that the projects and companies looking for funding are aiming for retail customers and not distributors.

      If you think about it they are source, so when they decide a price (they do not have to take into account the costs incurred for a secondary seller) for example.

      They sell 1 product at $40 (They offer bulk pricing and you can buy say 50 and they work out at $32)

      Now after the project has been funded, they continue to allow pre-ordering on there websites, now if your looking to resell there products, you have to take into account shipping from them to you, then from you to your customer, import duty if your not in america, (VAT) if your in the uk so a product there retailing after there kickstarter project on there website for $40 kills any chance for a distributor to get a decent return on there investment.

      Because by the time the product gets to you, your going to be close to there retail price and if your customers Google the product name and they see they can get it for $40 why would they buy from you.

      So in my opinion if there projects are looking for distributors to carry there product after the quick exposure during there kickstarter project, they need to stop retailing it on there own website and allow distributours to pick it up off them because there either a manufacturer or a retailer, you cant have it both ways.

      Anyway that was my 2 cents,
      Mikey

    33. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator John S. on August 6, 2012

      So buying one item makes me part of a caring, loving community, while buying 10 items makes me an evil, greedy capitalist? OK, makes sense.

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      Creator David153 on August 7, 2012

      Thank you very much for your clarification and support for creatives. That appears to be a reasonable approach.

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      Creator Yaron Davidson on August 7, 2012

      Looking at projects I backed, and it's all just as an individual, I did reach 10 items (for things that were also rewarded at a single item level with no relevancy to "sets") at least once, and was borderline to get there, or even pass it, on a few more times.

      Some things are useful enough in multiple amounts. And some things strike the "that would make a terrific gift" nerve. So now if I see something that I want to give some of my friends/relatives as gifts, it will be against the rules? Isn't "I like this thing enough to want all/most of my friends to have it too" exactly in the crowdsourcing corner?

      I understand what you're trying to do with this rule, but I get the feeling you need to really raise the count, and absolutely make this more... flexible, depending on context.

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      Creator Keith Davies on August 8, 2012

      I think Michael Formby makes a good point.

      Unless the bulk discounts are quite big, there is little gain for retailers to purchase through Kickstarter. Once a project is funded, if the product becomes available through standard retail channels -- which is to say via whole distributors to retailers -- it tends to become cheaper for the retailer to buy through channels than through the Kickstarter.

      For that matter, at the consumer level this can be true. There have been products funded that would have cost me half again as much going through the Kickstarter than they did going through my FLGS after the project closed.

      I reckon that depending on the product, if a 'retailer' can 'bulk order' at even a 25% discount he is unlikely to net much on selling the product, probably less than if he was able to get it through normal channels.

      I think Yaron Davidson has a point too. I've seen things where I've thought they would make good general-purpose gifts.

      I am starting to think that perhaps the concern that Kickstarter is becoming an alternate order and delivery mechanism for retailers might be unwarranted, as long as there are no deep discounts for bulk orders. 20-25% is probably enough for larger orders to make larger orders attractive to individuals or groups (I've expanded my orders for some products for friends, so they could get the extra bits), and to make them attractive enough for retailers who want to back a project to warrant it (but not so much that it becomes an alternate order and fulfilment system -- they just are unlikely to lose money on the deal if they sell the product they order, at normal price).

      I have seen bulk pricing make a difference of about 25% ($8 per unit to $6 per unit, at the consumer level rather than retail level). At the consumer level this is pretty good, but it's not a very good wholesale price for retail. Stores wanting to order would be better served by going directly to the project owner and dealing directly, or possibly through a distributor.

      There is a wrinkle in that if larger orders must go directly to the project owner, they are not reflected in the Kickstarter project, which may then fail. If that happens then nobody gets anything. The backers don't, and the stores don't, even if together they easily cleared the amount needed by the project owner.

      Perhaps a better rule than "no bulk orders" might be "bulk orders offer no more than 25% off base price".

      This rewards people who want to back in a big way, and it rewards retailers (if they do back the project -- I've qualified on at least one project for 'retail-sized reward' just by myself, by the now-published guideline) who choose to back the project rather than pursue potentially more cost-effective means. The project is a one-time thing, so if a product is popular enough to continue sales after the project is complete and rewards fulfilled it will be necessary to go to other channels.

      This kick starts the product line, if not the business, and sounds like it would not become a general order and delivery system. It would be untenable and unprofitable for the retailers to continue to use it, I think, if the discounts from achievable through Kickstarter were less than they could get via normal distribution channels.

      Limiting the discount possible for bulk ordering, rather than the size of the order, might solve the problem, and allow backers who come to back in a big way to do so.

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      Creator Komoda on August 9, 2012

      I don't get this new policy. Kickstarter my be a great community, and that is all well and good, but why would it be less of a community if I sold a million widgets rather than a hundred thousand widgets?

      I for one like the appeal of the money that I may be able to make. I am not looking for yet another social networking site to find new friends. As a designer and prototype fabricator I have been involved with many people that have great ideas and just never knew how to fund them. Isn't the funding what Kickstarter is all about?

      As to the concept of community, I spend more time with the people that I work with, the ones that I do business with, than anyone else in the world, including my wife. That is the community that I believe Kickstarter should be working to develop. The business community that makes us all more money.

      Isn't Kickstarter really an alternative marketing company? For roughly 10% of my sales, Kickstarter brings my project to it's community. Is there really any sound reason to limit the ability of my sales? The community will change with each new member, each new project and every new employee of Kickstarter. While I agree there is a cool feeling to help people get their projects off the ground, isn't the purpose of this whole program for Kickstarter and me (the project manager) to make as much money as we can? Isn't that how all three sides (Kickstarter, the project manager and the backer) all come together to see these wonderful projects flourish?

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      Creator Jude M on August 15, 2012

      The need for your set clarification in the comments points out a lack of thinking implications through when you made the decision to rewrite a poorly worded new policy. That's... troubling. In any case, your set clarification turns the rule into: quantities available through a project's different reward levels cannot vary by more than a factor of 10.

      That's just silly for many things, most definitely still including dice, counters, and card sleeves. Even a dozen decks of cards also available individually isn't a particularly odd thing to want, if you wanted to run 3 tables of casino-style multi-deck shoes at a game night. Sets of artwork are yet another example; offering both a 1-print level and a dozen-prints level from a pool of choices with repeats allowed is a violation, and that's currently offered by at least one project. Sheets of handmade origami paper could be reasonably offered in 10-sheet and 200-sheet levels but would violate this policy. A bottle of artisan root beer and a 12-pack are violations. A line of earrings with 6 styles of pairs and an option to buy singles or 6 pairs (with repeats allowed) is ruled out. Bangle-type bracelets available singly or in a dozen are a violation. A new doughnut shop opening in my hometown with a $1 reward featuring a free doughnut on your first visit and a higher reward featuring a subscription to a dozen a week for the first year is an outrageous factor-of-624 violator.

      Please stop and think this policy through carefully and then fix it. It is broken in many cases.

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      Creator Hans Isaacson on August 27, 2012

      Perhaps I don't know the true mission statement of Kickstarter, but it seems to me that putting limits on offerings only hampers the potential success of projects. If Kickstarter's primary goal is to help enterprises get off of the ground by providing funding, then overtly limiting commercial investments is poor policy. Seriously, businesses have more money to invest than the average Kickstarter user. 10 copies might be plenty for a single store, but what if there are more stores? I still represent a small business, but I have put a few thousand dollars through projects with legitimate retailer options. Allowing businesses to invest in projects for there own gain also allows the project to test the water for a further print run. Moderate commercial interest in a Kickstarter project may give the producer enough feedback to both justify and seek private investors. This policy is a disservice to the community that Kickstarter created.

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      Creator Zorak on August 28, 2012

      Having just seen this in a project I have been watching, I feel this is silly. I applaud Kickstarter for wanting to bring people together, but that does not feed the Kickstarter's children. If this was honestly the goal of Kickstarter, there would be no rewards and merely forums where people can congregate to support a project. An arbitrary limit of 10 items really means the possibility of less projects getting funded, which is less money for Kickstarter. In a capitalistic society, offering more rewards in return for higher donations is only natural and should be encouraged. Further, why is the limit on the number of items and not the cost of the donation? You could have 10 items that might for for $100 but have single donations for single items for $1,500. If higher donations are allowed, why not limit based on the donation, rather than the quantity? Again, the whole thing is very arbitrary and really makes no sense, even in the clarification. If the goal is really bringing together people, attacking quantities over donation levels seems the wrong way to go. Which says community more: A project funded with no donations over $500 or feasibly unlimited donation levels but no one gets more than one thing? That's my two cents at least.

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      Creator William Arnold on September 5, 2012

      I'm also on the side of 'Why?" for this new policy. Kickstarter's "We are a community" is a little odd of a reasoning to use, since by and large, we don't really interact with each other beyond the occasional comments on each other's projects. I've backed 91 projects, and rarely have I interacted with anyone beyond poking the creators about why they are not posting shipping updates. (Too many projects vanish.)

      Looking over the 91 I've sponsored, there's several playing card decks, some bottles of hot sauce, rolls of 'seed money' you can plant, two different custom pens that you can shove random refills into, a shirts & underwear project, rolls of barrier tape, little cardboard critters, and the penny gems that everyone above has commented on. So out of 91 projects, I see at least 18 where I could (or DID) order more than 10x of. Either for myself (penny gems) or as gifts for others (I ordered 24 decks of cards that I liked and gave them all away). In all of these cases I see no reason at all why being able to offer such quantities in any way harmed the "kickstarter community".

      On the reverse, I've seen projects that just barely made their goal, in part due to larger donors such as myself. (Some of my donations have been significant.) So some of these projects would surely fail if not allowed to get at least some of their funding from larger sponsors who may have very legitimate reasons for wanting 12 or 20 of something. So from that side, I would think this new policy actively hurts the "kickstarter community", since a unsuccessful project doesn't benefit anyone. (In my opinion.)

      Please consider reversing this policy. I've not seen anyone really in favor of it, and lots of people against it. The 'sets' loophole is just silly, as this means nothing will change and people can just create a 'retail set' of 50x of an item I suppose. (Or do things like a $5 level that is 1x for every $5 you donate. So just donate $60 at the $5 level to get 12x.)

      So, final analysis: new silly 'set' rule makes no sense, limit of 10x is silly and/or absurd for many projects, and there doesn't seem to be anyone in the community who likes or wants this policy.

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      Creator Kirk Bauer on October 22, 2012

      I agree completely. The original definition (no more than 10 of an item) would have prevented several great projects I backed as a regular person (I'm not bulk ordering, just for my personal use). The "set" workaround is just a pain because we don't know who can define what makes up a "set". Here are the projects in the past that I think were great and would have been impacted by this change:

      Custom dice: I can't order more than 10 dice? I have one game that needs 24 dice alone... and I have 300 games:
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/970265378/hydra-dice-necron

      Custom coins (for games): http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1095993227/realm-coins

      Card sleeves (since again, most games have at least 50 cards in them, why would I want only 10)?: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/maydaygames/50-types-sizes-of-board-card-game-sleeves-from-swa…

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      Creator Jenn Topliff on December 20, 2012

      I'm looking at setting up a project to fund some baking equipment. Part of my rewards (a big part) is the actual product (a cookie). Typically, this product is sold in an 8-pack. For smaller donors, I'd like to give 2 or 4 individual cookies. For mid-range I might offer 1, 2 or 4 8-packs. For bigger donors, I want to offer 1 catering pack for their event that could be 50 or 100 individual cookies. What in this is allowed or disallowed according to your policy?

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      Creator Michael Carver on April 25, 2013

      I would like to add my opinion to this old blog post. This rule is arbitrary, stupid, and without any redeeming quality whatsoever. There isn't a single logical or good explanation to why any company would want to limit its users creativity so blatantly by discouraging them from pursuing the proper funding to achieve their dreams.
      Again, Stupid Rule...

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      Creator theodorelogan on April 25, 2013

      Agreed Michael. I have no idea why this rule has been implemented, and the end result is going to be that fewer projects succeed, and Kickstarter makes less money.

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      Creator Marcel Ferlendi on April 25, 2013

      Pointless rule

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      Creator Dave Howell on June 5, 2013

      Wow. I had no idea my Kickstarter campaign (PennyGems) had been such a heavily used example for this discussion. I think there's a particular quality that nobody seems to have picked up on. It's still not a bright line, but I think it's relevant.

      There is a functional difference between getting one sheet of PennyGems vs. 16 sheets (at a lower cost per sheet), and getting, say, one PEBL watch and sixteen of them. It is quite easy to come up with a situation where you will use all sixteen sheets' worth of 'Gems at the same time. One sheet is "one small set of PennyGems," and sixteen sheets is "one large set of PennyGems." But you only have two wrists. If you're a wealthy avante-guarde artist, maybe you're going to wear all your watches at the same time strapped to your arm as some kind of scrolling billboard, but for most people, the *maximum* useful quantity for watches is "one."

      One bottle of artisan root-beer, or twelve bottles? That's one bottle, or a pair of six-packs. Root beer is primarily *sold* as six-packs because many people want to buy more than one or two servings at a time; for their own use or the use of their household.

      Price point is another significant characteristic. Labels for a single PennyGem cost about $0.40. That's an impractically small amount. So I (somewhat arbitrarily) created 40-unit sets as my smallest Kickstarter unit. Except for the samplers, where you could get just eight. On the other hand, if the object in question is a $60 desk lamp, or a $100 article of clothing, it becomes far less likely that somebody is looking to have twelve of them for their own use.

      My third campaign got tangled briefly in this new policy, for leather dice bags. I had levels for individual bags, but I also had some pledge levels for sets of eight. Somebody pledging for a set of eight medium bags *did* have a lot of room for selecting the characteristics of those bags, but this level was not the same as a level that would allow for the one-bag award eight times. (In one of my updates, I speculated that this campaign may have effectively offered the largest number of possible awards to backers ever seen on Kickstarter) The difference between "eight bags" and "one set of eight bags" was, among other things, that all eight bags in the set had to be the same size.

      Now, as it happens, I didn't have a pledge reward that was "two sets of {specific size} bags" aka 16 bags, although I suspect I could have. It is definitely an edge case, though, and would be a judgement call for Kickstarter. Since this policy was posted after my first campaign, I didn't actually re-read the project guidelines for my second and third campaigns, so I didn't even know about this until a retailer asked me to create a reward specifically for retailers to get a large quantity of bags. I did, and then Kickstarter suspended it. Oops.

      I'm okay with that. Kickstarter's goal isn't to vacuum up as much money as they can; it's to enable and assist people to create beautiful things. I'm not really sure how this policy advances that goal, but that's their decision. Protesting the policy will hinder some projects and that Kickstarter won't make as much money is missing the point.

      Food for thought.

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      Creator Dave Howell on June 5, 2013

      Oh, yes, another thing about my leather dice bag campaign. Although I did not have a *reward* level for 16, or 50, or {indefinite} bags, since Kickstarter allows you to pledge any amount you like, and then select any reward level you desire that has a minimum pledge value at or below the amount you pledged, some of my backers pledged enough to be able to receive 50+ bags. Doing so did not secure them a further discount over the individual levels. Nevertheless, does that constitute "offering a reward in bulk quantities?" I have no idea, but if I do another campaign that could have a similar situation, I'm definitely going to run it by Kickstarter management first.

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      Creator Stuart Harrison on September 29, 2013

      You want to keep commercial transactions out because this site is a community? Aren't the people who run the local shops part of your real-world community?

      I know Kickstarters primary role is to get community funding for projects that might otherwise never get off the ground, but isn't there an obvious benefit in not stifling the other aspects of successfully starting a business? Isn't building a distribution network by establishing a relationship with retailers and even wholesalers vital to continued success of a product in New York?

      I could understand it if this limit was being applied to pre-existing product lines offered in conjunction with the project, but to arbitrarily limit the success of the new product strikes me as sabotaging your "creators" - aren't they part of the community too?

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      Creator Dr. T. Boult on February 8

      I've read through this but am still confused by what is a "set" vs bulk. And trying to decided if we do our project on kickstarter or Indiegogo. We are developing a creativity "card deck" which can be played as a game just for fun but also with special modes/cards for use in classrooms (we are a university). We are planning on campaign where one of the rewards would be a "classroom set", with special material for use in a classroom plus 25 sets of basic material that would be part of lower level rewards. So is that a "bulk" reward or is it a set? if its bulk, how about if I don't do normal decks for classrooms, and instead go with school boxed sets with 1000 cards? When does kickstarter make the determination if its a set or bulk? I don't want to waste time setting up a kickstarter campaign if we cannot have rewards aimed at one of the primary targets for our campaign.