International shipping -- is it as outrageous as it looks?
Greetings Jill, Melody, John, and everyone else dealing with this issue.International shipping can certainly be a beast and I feel you on that. There are a few ways to dance around it.#1) If you are pre-production, plan a size and shape and weight that ships cheaper. Once you get past certain dimensions the shipping rates jump tremendously. If it's a board game, ensure it fits in a medium flat rate box (there are 2 shapes), or small flat rate if that size. And don't underestimate the value of a flat rate bubble mailer. They fit way more than a small flat rate does and ships the same price. - First class, not flat-rate, is often your best bet.#2) (Best option) You can freight ship a fair stack of your product (book, or game, or else) directly into a foreign region, then ship from there.ie: Freight 3 cases of books directly from your printer (or self) to Germany. This will cost you a couple hundred dollars ($100-500 depending on size and total weight), but once you divide price by the # of books in the cases it's only a couple bucks each, then you pay only the local in-region shipping per book, and charge the total to the backer. - Imagine a foreign seller shipping a pallet here, then paying USPS rates... ah, that would only total about $9 per person that way. - This only works in bulk. It won't work very well in small quantities, but UPS's shipping calculator will help you price it out. Try it.#3) Understand this: Nothing is "free". Subsidize the shipping price in your pledge amount.Got free shipping on Amazon or KS? Somebody paid for that. It's subsidized into the price. It might feel free to the buyer, but somebody paid a cut to the shipper-man. If you're paying $50 for something sizable on KS with "free shipping", they subsidized at least $X of shipping into that $50. Can you do the same? Increase the price of the book $5 and then charge only $15 shipping?#4) Eat it. Charge less than the full amount and eat that percentage (ONLY if still profitable to do so). Does +$5 make your pledge value seem wrong somehow? Then #4 might be for you. But know this: You budget this into the net project before you start, and then it's just part of the net goal. This is basically #3, but a harsher-way of looking at it, when increasing Tier Price is to be avoided.(For #2 & #3 - the more you make and will sell will greatly affect your ability to do this. The more you make, the lower you cost per unit is, so you can pass that savings on, and the more you make the more likely it will become for you to shippThese are the main ways. Shipping is real, and it's never free. You can A) Make it cheaper with great planning early, B) Freight ship directly into the region and ship from within it (a great service to provide for your EU customers who worry about VAT), and/or C) Hide the price of shipping by putting in the pledge amount, and calling shipping free, or D) Eat it (ideally budgeting this plan in in advance.Finally, yes, if you're doing shipping yourself to reduce costs to backers, use Stamps.comI have a ton of advice on Freight Shipping (aka Logistics) and Fulfillment (aka shipping stuff) on my blog, and as much on budgeting, and even a how-to for Stamps.com. Take a look for detailed step-by-step advice for each.As always, heart this post if it was helpful to you.Best on your projects!John Wrot!-Community Adviser
How can I use Shopify in tandem with Kickstarter?
The way this is written it looks as if it's been posted by KickStarter staff as an official announcement. "Kickstarter and Shopify have teamed up to help creators/entrepreneurs make this transition more seamlessly." I'm sure it's not deliberate, but I was well into the article before I realised the above post was not written by a KS staff member.
Alex Eames - RasPi.TV
What are some great ideas for rewards that DON'T involve creating and shipping something physical?
For £1 we're proposing to plant one Ash tree and one Oak tree. Then we'll dedicate it to all our backers. It fits with the theme of the picture book campaign that we're developing; it's about a mystical creature who lives in an ancient forest that has been reduced over the centuries to the confines of a traffic roundabout. Now I'm not sure if this is a great idea (feedback please!) but the trees should still be around when Chris and I are old and grey... although we're getting a bit like that already.Jamie Shaw xhttps://twitter.com/SkyMntMedia
Jamie Shaw & Chris Harrendence
How did you decide which fulfillment company to work with?
We decided to use Integracore in the USA and Ideaspatcher (now renamed "Nift" - please note the edit note below) in the EU. The main reason for choosing each of these is that they offered a combine-assemble-shrinkwrap need that we had at the time (rare, but needed). The secondary reason we chose Ideaspatcher is that they will act as your "Importer of Record" in the EU. That means they pre-pay VAT on the manufacturing side of things, so customers don't have to front-door pay VAT on the retail value side of things.Integracore was ok to work with, but pretty pricey. I don't think we'd choose them again unless more shrink-wrapping shenanigans was needed. Shipnaked (aside from their not-so-household-friendly name) is now really trying to storm the Kickstarter fulfillment market with a pretty solid business and pricing model. We'll see if they accomplish what they're setting out to do. We'll be working with them on our next project to assess what they bring to the table.Happyshops in Germany has been pretty great, but there's a pretty significant language barrier, otherwise has been excellent.EDIT: I dislike saying something disparaging, but I'm here to serve you, not the companies I've worked with. To this end I share that working with Ideaspatcher has been a terrible experience in the long run. They delayed shipping our products over 6 weeks (costing us over $3500), and are still holding our excess items that should be returned to us for over 5 months as of the time of this writing, and are now ignoring my emails on the topic. We are not the only company they have wounded in 2016, and so they have renamed themselves "Nift" to dodge the bad press. They are strictly to be avoided. Sorry for the negative news.Warm regards,John Wrot!Gate Keeper GamesMore advice at www.gatekeepergaming.com
Why did my kickstarter campaign suddenly stop getting pledges?
One reasons could be that people have seen it already and decided whether to back or not already. But that's just the people who check all of the new Kickstarter projects, what about the people who haven't seen it already? If you could reach people whose interests match your project, but that don't automatically check Kickstarter you could get more pledges. Where do the people who would like your project congregate? Can you mention your project there?
What’s the best way to offer multiples?
Hi and welcome. What I usually do is ask people to "add £x to your pledge if you want another" and "send me a message so I know you've done it".Then you can add a note to their backer record on KS and when it comes time to fulfil, you know what the extra money was for.Alex
Alex Eames - RasPi.TV
What are the best practices for a software campaign?
Hey Aminadav! Welcome to Campus and thanks for sharing this question. Are you wondering about the best practices for building a compelling software campaign? Or best practices around promoting it? The more specific, the better we can help! :)
How long did you spend building your project page before you launched?
We took almost a month to get the page ready for launch, starting with about 2 days to plan out the skeleton and flow of the campaign page, then 2 weeks to shoot whatever photo/video assets we needed to populate the page, then a week to edit the video and touch up our photos and to insert texts and plan captions. Once we had all the assets we needed, the actual "creating" of the campaign page took about three days to complete.During the campaign we were also constantly tracking the google analytics metrics of our page and looking for ways to improve and optimize the flow of our page. For example, the first couple of days the bounce rate was super high (people came to our page, didn't engage and left), and we made some assumptions as to why that was (first couple scrolls of the page was not engaging enough, title was not clear and didn't resonate with our audience) and we made incremental improvements like making the title more relevant to the reader, and putting a point-form summary of our campaign in the first portions of our project page.Hope this helps!
The Arc Boards Team