10

subscribers
How important is USD currency and shipping cost for US backers?
Last activity on  |  7 answers
I too wish that Kickstarter would let us choose our currency. We post what our rewards are approx in USD, but I think for backers from the USA it makes a big difference to see it in their currency. I have friends in Denmark, but I don't keep up with what the danish conversion rate is to my currency or the USD. If you are asking for 400DKR, is that a lot of money for me, or not much money? I can look it up, but I have to really want to back a project to do that - so I think it really harms the amount of money you can gain.Its not just backers in the US either, the majority of our backers were from the USA, Canada, Australia and then Europe. Most people understand what their currency is doing against the USD as its what most trades are pegged against and what most online stores will use that sell internationally. Even for you, just the choice to use Euros rather than Kroner would be good right? Does someone in Austria know what a Kroner is in Euros, or USD? I'd guess on average probably not. They probably know what the Euro and USD are doing, maybe the Pound if they are keeping up with the state of financial affairs around the world?It would be nice of Kickstarter would just display the rewards, goal, funds raised as "CA$40, Approx (your currency based on your ip address)" if they wont let us pick the currency for our project.Furthermore on the currency selection, its not just about backers - its also about creators. We have two local purchases for our campaign - postage and our retail boxes. Postage is included in our reward price, so that doesn't count for us. We've spent about $20k of our $29k we recieved so far in USD purchases. The Canadian dollar is still slipping relative to the USD, some purchases we waited a week on and it cost us several percent more because of it. If 90% of our funds will be spent on USD priced test gear, components, and services it makes sense for us to run our campaign in USD.
Mark Harris

10

subscribers
Ship internationally and VAT
Last activity on  |  5 answers
Das,It's my pleasure to help answer this if I can. : )  The system is actually a good deal easier than you'd think.  I plan on adding a full on post about this on my blog sometime soon, but for now, let me give you the brass tacks version.#1) In the USA, unless your product is very large, you probably want to ship USPS.  The rates are much much better.  Use Stamps.com to get the shipping rate discounts, you'll save as much as $1 per package or more.  Then cancel after the first month (which is usually free anyway).#2) In the EU, contact a fulfillment center.  Spiral Galaxy is in the UK, Happy Shops are in Germany.  I know there are more you can hunt down.  I strongly do not recommend Ideaspatcher (aka MorningPlayers).  They were once great, they are now sadly unreliable.Make sure when you contact them you ask if they act as your "Importer of Record" and will pre-pay the VAT for you.  You can then pay them for it together with the shipping fees.Plus, shipping from within the EU will be cheaper per package than shipping TO the EU from the USA.Of course, freight shipping it there will be a very noteworthy extra cost, that somewhat offsets with the per-package savings.#3) You can also try to avoid VAT in other areas (Canada / Australia) by doing similar things.  I've found that Canada has far fewer VAT restrictions than the EU (which is the ultimate VAT factory), and Australia has about the same low level (especially for less expensive products).  Here you'll have to decide what's worth it for you and your backer pool.  You'll have about 6% of backers in Canada and far less in Australia.  This % can certainly vary by product, price, and shipping costs, etc.Aside from the missing detail associated with the unique process for your product and the company you choose, that's really all there is too it.  Companies like Spiral Galaxy and Happy Shops have taken advantage of the Kickstarter model and the difficulty VAT poses for USA companies to create a solution for us.  It works out for everyone as you don't have to ship as much yourself, EU gets the taxes they want, and your backers don't have to be the ones paying it.  (BTW: YOU pay VAT on the manufacturing cost at 19%, backers pay VAT on the product price at 19%, so if costs you $1 but you charge $10, you'll pay 0.19c, but if you made backers pay by shipping from the USA they will have to pay $1.90!)Hope this helps you and many others!  Heart it if it helped. : )John Wrot!
John Wrot!

10

subscribers
I am looking for suggestions on the mid-campaign "slump" of support. How to gain exposure?
Last activity on  |  4 answers
If you've done the advertising bit already, or that is simply not an option for you at the moment, try going to the owner of a popular blog or website focused on your project's theme or genre, and politely ask for the opportunity to grant an interview. Although your reception might be lukewarm at best with some, don't be discouraged. Be polite and exude confidence in your project, and keep hunting down more bloggers. If there's one thing I've learned about running and writing gaming blogs, its that content doesn't always write itself. Some bloggers eagerly look for new material, and now that your project has a few concrete successes by mid-campaign, they might be more willing to fill up an article or two with a good Q&A session! One other great way to help bump things up a little in the middle of your project is to take the comments and suggestions of your past and current backers, and deliver on the things that most of them seem to want! Suggestions from backers are usually genuine in nature, and give you the kind of marketing insight that most small businesses have to pay money to receive! Listen to your backers and fans, and deliver to them what they want! The feeling of project ownership they will get when you fulfill their requests will almost certainly open up their pockets just a little wider!Good luck on your project(s)!!
Blackstone Entertainment, Inc.

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