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Das Keyboard 5Q is smart mechanical keyboard with an open API that allows each key to be color-controlled over the Internet.
Das Keyboard 5Q is smart mechanical keyboard with an open API that allows each key to be color-controlled over the Internet.
3,475 backers pledged $580,902 to help bring this project to life.

Letter from the Creator

Posted by Das Keyboard (Creator)

Thank you for reaching out to us regarding our soon-to-be-released Das Keyboard 5Q connected keyboard. 

I fully understand your frustration in regards to the unexpected shipping cost increase and personally want to apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Please allow me to briefly explain, some of which we initially posted on Friday. 

First, I want to share that this is the first Kickstarter campaign that Das Keyboard has ever taken part in. Unfortunately, our Kickstarter team significantly underestimated the shipping costs as well as the logistics complexity that our 5Q project would require. We tried our absolute best to meet all prices and find the easiest, most cost-effective way to handle all fulfillment needs for our backers. Since encountering this issue we also reached out to get advice from other companies who launched Kickstarter campaigns and surprisingly learned that we were not alone – many others have encountered similar situations with regards to unexpected shipping costs. The fulfillment piece of our 5Q project has been a beast, to say the least. Please trust that we have not taken this shipping cost increase lightly, and we have thought long and hard about the best possible solution. 

Our logistics team has determined that the easiest and most cost-effective way to handle most shipments of our 5Q keyboard would be to ship orders directly from Hong Kong. We asked many shipping companies to bid on the project, and I can personally assure you that the one we selected is the most cost-effective option. 

Last, I would like to add that our 5Q really is a unique and innovative keyboard. It's the first cloud-connected, open API, RGB mechanical keyboard in the world and is built with ground-breaking electronics. The 5Q truly redefines the way we use keyboards, and I would like for you to have and enjoy its awesomeness. However, if you would rather not pay more for the added shipping costs, I fully understand and Das Keyboard would be happy to provide you with a full refund for your Kickstarter backed amount. 

If you prefer this refund option, please let me know by opening a helpdesk ticket in our helpdesk at, or sending an e-mail to with "5Q Kickstarter Refund Request" in the subject line. I will make sure that your request goes to our order processing team, who then will get in touch with you over the next couple of days to proceed with reversing your payment.

We greatly appreciate your support. And again, please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience this may have caused.

Daniel Guermeur

Mike Corsaro, Graham Connor, and 18 more people like this update.


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    1. Mike Manfrin

      So form what I gather, international shipping costs were higher than anticipated, so you decided to ship direct from HK rather than shipping to US and EU points for dispersal.

      This means the shipping costs outside US/EU are causing you to ship from HK -- and therefore ask for US/EU/(/Everyone) to pay extra shipping to account for this.

      Which, in short, means you're asking the US/EU to pay more because you want to ship from somewhere that is easier to ship to non-US/EU places, but more expensive to US/EU.

      Additionally, now US/EU customers will have to pay customs fees.

      This isn't about 'unforseen shipping costs', this is about using the excuse to shift extra fees on to the majority of your customers to benefit your lack of planning for a small subset of customers where shipping is more expensive.

    2. Missing avatar

      Praveen Premchandran on

      @Kim, I believe you will have to bear import and customs duty when the keyboard arrive. That has been one of the big gripes of European and US backers

    3. Kim Bjørn Tiedemann on

      Hi, can you please confirm or deny that customs handling and corresponding fees has been taken care of and will not impose further costs on the backers?

    4. Missing avatar

      Praveen Premchandran on

      It'll eventually end up cheaper for me to purchase from Amazon or Das directly when they launch the actual product. Don't want to be scammed. Asking for a full refund.
      US$57 to ship a keyboard from HKG to Canada is a sad joke.

    5. Cuong Trinh on

      So we invested the money to you to make it real for 6 months. And now get the refund because of the lies that you promised to ship from EU?

    6. Eric Yuen on

      @Edwyn Chan.
      Hi, I am a Hong Konger and also having a similar issue too. I've got some extra cash in my pledge (might be because it is shipping locally). However, buying keycaps costs me extra shipping (Das claim shipping from US).

    7. Andy Brixey on

      At the end of the day this is going to be an awesome keyboard - and I really want it. However, I am incredibly disappointed with the company for not investigating a European distribution option and offering it as a paid alternative.

    8. Edwyn Chan

      I'm in Hong Kong so those additional keys shouldn't be costing me an extra $15

    9. Missing avatar

      eyeiaye on


      You are right on the font.

      This image is from the video:
      This image is from the front page:
      This is the final font from the September update:

      So you said that there has been "no changes" and it looks from visual evidence there has been. No problem, there was a change and as CEO that sort of thing moved past you, NORMAL for any business. Luckily we caught it :)

      @DAS what solutions are possible on this considering you stated 18 hours ago that "Once more: there has been *no* font change." There has been, so lets work together.

      Thats what this is for. Solutions not us fighting.

    10. Missing avatar

      Aakash on

      Opensource the complete thing. Not just the api. Opensource the hardware, software, firmware.
      This is soo disrespectful, increasing price like this. If you want to make up for this opensource everything like other projects on KS.

    11. Missing avatar

      Ryan F on


      The shipping increase is way more than $5 per person. 2100 of the 3475 backers are in the U.S. and we are seeing an increase of $8.71. The only people seeing a decrease are those on the pacific rim. There are 63 backers in Singapore and less than 30 in each of the rest of the countries. Without knowing everyone's shipping costs it's impossible to determine an exact figure but it has to be several dollars north of the $9 US customers are paying. My guess is it's somewhere in the $12-20 range when averaged out per backer.

    12. Avi Shatz on


      I requested a full refund using the mail provided. 35$ more added to the previous $30 i already paid for shipping is too much, especially since it still costs just $20 to ship it to a US address.

    13. Nelson LaQuet on

      Haha, you guys make the best keyboards in the industry. I've been rocking a Das Keyboard for six years, and the one time I had to contact customer support they set me up well (100% my fault). I speak for a lot of people when I say that we trust you and respect your company. We're with you, even if this situation is unfortunate. In the industry that I'm in, some negative comments really messed me up, so I'm leaving this here to hopefully make it clear that many people are with you.

    14. Mykll Valiant

      I have seen other projects give a refund, minus any KS and processing fees. So will be interesting to see what kind of refund people will actually get. If it is the full backed amount (as mentioned) then yes they are getting hosed out of some money, both now and later with word of mouth.
      I do give them some props though, for posting another Update, and for responding to some questions, and for giving a clear outright path for a refund. I understand that a company can stumble. Sometimes that stumble hurts, and sad to see it happen in this manner to both the Das Keyboard name and the backers.

    15. Urban_Gecko on


      You wasting your time trying to reason logically with these people, every decision they have made so far is illogical...

      They somehow...being an established company...don't have business sense!

      What you haven't even begun to factor in there is, the fact that they would then have won more favour with the backers, would help repair their reputation, established themselves as a company that actually cares, and a community more willing to contribute to their vision.

      They lost all that now, for a miniscule gain in profit, if they even do that.

      Like I said before, who the hell is making these really realllllllllly poor business decisions, unless they still making THAT much of us that it's just one big gravy pot they swimming in?

      Also, they probably used us as a form of interest free loan to fund their molding they can take the money they have already made off the pre-orders, to fund the loss of all the refunds, making it a win for them anyway...then all future sales, are just gravy rushing into the overflowing pot already.

      At the end of the day...this shipping thing is all for them to save money anyway, not a consideration for the backers.

      I won't be surprised if they still have like 100% projected markup profit running off their KS pledge prices anyway.

      No one makes something at a loss.

    16. Missing avatar

      Mark Fidell on

      P.S. With all that said, I'm sure Das probably has access to better estimates (and exact numbers for shipping costs) than me, so have already calculated this risk, none-the-less it's still a risk for Das and a ballsy move.

    17. Missing avatar

      Mark Fidell on

      This is quite a risky offer from Das. They could lose more than it would have cost to just cover the extra shipping costs. Let's make some calculations, estimates and sensible assumptions:

      Project raised $580,902
      Backers: 3,475
      Average spend per person: $167.17
      Fees from Kickstarter 5%
      Transaction fees: 3-5%
      Overall fees: ~9%
      Fees paid: ~$52,281.18
      Monies to Das: ~$528,620.82

      Now let's make some assumptions about the postage debacle, most people are saying the delivery costs have gone up, some are saying they have gone down, let's estimate that on average, both up and down, it's an extra $5 per person.

      This means that were Das to absorb the costs, it would cost them around $17,375.
      Let's also assume that Kickstarter and the payment handling company will not give Das a refund for the refunds that Das issues.

      Now for the big question, at what point (% of customers asking for a refund) would it have been cheaper for Das to pay the $17,375 extra in postage rather than paying 9% (Effectively the charges from Kickstarter) to customers requesting a refund?

      First person to give me the right answer will win... well nothing... but it's an interesting perspective to look at this through.

    18. Missing avatar

      kintetsu on

      I also claimed a refund.
      I backed for 139$
      Shipping 30$

      Now you changed the font and the shipping country.
      So I have to pay additionally 8$ for shipping.
      Import taxes
      and 30$ for the original Font.

      without the taxes it is already 214$.

      Sorry but that's already 44$ more as when I backed the keyboard. With import taxes it's again 40$ more.

      Check the secret hitler campaign and look how they have handled shipping. They did everything right for their backers.

    19. Urban_Gecko on


      You 10000% correct
      They talking rubbish about the font, like you said...they said...Here's the first look at the font...they wanted it to be sleek and modern...blah blah blah...the definitely changed it from a nice simple font...and the campaign has different fonts in it...more with the normal font than with the hideous (my opinion) font.

    20. Mykll Valiant

      Heh Andreas glad I wasn't the only one to notice the different fonts. Don't forget their update after the KS ended about the "Here’s a first look at our final Das Keyboard 5Q keycap font." If the font didn't change, then that update wouldn't have been the first look.

    21. Urban_Gecko on



    22. Missing avatar

      Andreas Plesner on

      To claim that the font has not changed is disingenuous at best, and a blatant lie at worst.
      This image is from the video:
      This image is from the front page:
      This is the final font from the september update:

      It should be obvious to everybody that these are not the same fonts, and hence the fonts have changed.

      And then there's the non-apology, which is utter horse manure. Your so-called apology does not admit any fault in this. Only a take-it-or-leave it option as well as some marketing drivel about innovation. This was not something that happened to you, this is something you actively made happen.

      Let me help you rephrasing it:

      "We entered into a legally binding agreement with you, and it was a mistake to try to have you cover for our mistakes.

      We're sorry for the multiple errors we made in this process. We're sorry that we miscalculated shipping. That is on us, and we'll cover any extra cost out of our own pocket.
      We're sorry that we changed the visual appearance of the product, which is why we'll ship you an extra set of key caps with the alternate font for free, with your keyboard.

      Of course, these mistakes will delay the delivery a bit longer, and we hope for your understanding in this regard."

    23. Itzik Mizrachi on

      Your whole behavior in this campaign is just outrageous. Please refund!

    24. Missing avatar

      eyeiaye on

      Sorry I wanted to say "keys at cost" (so you do t loose money) but I doubt that is an option for you cause of your ethics thus far in the matter.

    25. Missing avatar

      eyeiaye on

      Yeah spot on with the comments. @DAS has not given us anything other than "take it or leave it." I hope that these concerns weigh on you, you can at least throw in some free keys for being jerks about the whole thing.

    26. Missing avatar

      Shawn on

      @Alexis Yep these shipping costs don't seem to add up. For many it'll be cheaper to wait for Amazon to sell the keyboard and have it shipped that way.

      Das has lost any trust and respect I had for them. I'll backed this mostly cause of their name, They showed how little that means so never again

    27. Chase on

      Thanks for the update, looking forward to the next one.

    28. Urban_Gecko on


      Ps, that shipping of $111.62 is without the originally pledged $30, so in total my shipping alone is $141.62.

    29. Alexis Zenios on

      More info great. But this still doesn't quite add up. Sure if i was charged $8 extra i probably wouldn't be too concerned but I am being charged an extra $81 on top of the $30 which I originally paid.
      If I buy a Das Keyboard off Amazon and ship to South Africa, the shipping costs are $20.43. So where does the $111 shipping come from? It would be cheaper for me to send it to a freight forwarder in the states to get it down, but surely doesn't make sense for a keyboard to do an around the world trip to bring costs down.
      Seeing as though most of the backers are not in Hong Kong, I assume this move was made not to be cost effective to backers, but to be easier for Das.

    30. Urban_Gecko on


      As mentioned below, never abuse this platform again please. Noone deserves such disrespect.

    31. Missing avatar

      Josh Garvin on

      I appreciate the apology and I can understand that unanticipated costs put you in a tough position. I am glad you have offered a full refund for backers who do not wish to pay the extra cost.

      I, however (and I think like many others here), think you have made a poor decision in continuing to charge the extra shipping costs. In doing so, you continued to lose the trust of many here (including myself). Sure, swallowing the shipping costs may have hurt you bottom line a little now, but the 3,475 backers are probably some of the most likely to recommend and buy your products in the future. I believe the way you have handled this kickstarter will hurt your future bottom line far more. No matter how good this keyboard is, I will not be recommending that anyone I know buy from Das now or in the future.

      Words are cheap, but your actions have spoken for themselves and I can not endorse a company that blatantly goes back on a deal.

      I still hope that you can find some way to improve the situation for your backers (whether on shipping price, speed, choice of keycaps, future discount of keycaps, 20 free keyboards... only joking). Hell, at this point I'd almost settle for a lollipop just to know you cared enough to send us that.

      Is there anything you can do to try to earn back the trust of the 3,475 people who gave you $580,902 because they believed in your product and in you and assuage our fears that the "unique and innovative keyboard" won't live up to all you have hyped it up to?


      PS. Please, please, please, for everyone involved, think long and hard the next time you consider doing a kickstarter about whether you are ready to live up to your commitments and ready to listen to your backers.

    32. Urban_Gecko on


      Why do you only answer parts of people page long questions, and only some people questions?

      Why aren't you answering any of the hard ones? Did you not prepare any copy paste answers for those as well?

    33. Missing avatar

      Shawn on

      @Das please don't ever abuse Kickstarter again to sell a pre-order
      We had no imput or any say in the design of this keyboard, all you have done is ignore every complaint and done what you wanted from the start.
      This was never crowdfunded, This was just you pre-selling a keyboard on a bigger marketplace then your own site.
      I hope you guys learn from your mistakes

    34. Das Keyboard Creator on


      No and yes on your last question. More on that later.

    35. Missing avatar

      Baris on

      Although the added cost to my location was just $8, I asked for refund to protest.

      Thank you Das Keyboard team.

    36. Missing avatar

      eyeiaye on

      Yes please reconsider the key option. Not much of a problem to solve on your end. They are plastic keys.

    37. Missing avatar

      Colby on

      Thank you for the fluff update. No real information was provided here.

      You now have my $56.56 for the shipment of the 5Q ($30 original +$26.56). This does not include any of the updates & 'fixes' i wanted, alt keys & clear keys, as those were insane prices to ship nothing weight/volume products. I'm sure you chose the fulfillment company that gave you the most cost effective - while it seems your backers were the ones again shafted.
      You could have at least addressed why the pre-orders have free shipping in your fluffy update.

      I'm sorry, but thank you for putting the CEO's name down, however you still treating us as customers and your backers. Thank you for trying this method of R&D funding, next time please stay away from these methods and continue your business as normal customer only funding. You are showing how lack of foresight you gave and how much care you've given to your backers. If you want backers, you need to not treat us as customers and give us some more respect and consideration.

      There has been no rationale, no info, no options, and no time given to us backers. A basic apology with no change is nothing for you to say, and so nothing you shall get from me. I am sorry but i'm sure you future products will be nifty, but you will not have me as a customer. I will continue to share my concerns and my issues with my friends and anybody else asking. Good luck.

    38. Missing avatar

      eyeiaye on

      Can you give us a definitive price on key shipment to the USA? Is there any possibility of discounted keys?

    39. Das Keyboard Creator on

      @Brett Johnson see below.

    40. Das Keyboard Creator on

      > Will there be an opportunity to buy the alternate font keys down the line?

      Yes, all key caps sets will be available to the public from the online store either from the US. We'll work to make it available from EU/Germany as well.

    41. Missing avatar

      Brett Johnson on

      I have a quick question for the Das Team. Will there be an opportunity to buy the alternate font keys down the line? $40 is a but pricey for a set of keys, and I would like to see if I am bothered by the set that ships with the keyboard first. Will the CrowdOx survey be the only opportunity to buy alternate font or transparent keys? Thank you.

    42. Rayge on

      Well at least you guys are offering a refund. I've been a part of some Kickstarters that don't even offer that. Just because of that I'll be sticking with my order.

    43. Das Keyboard Creator on

      @Dan Mandle
      > The problem is less about the upcharge and more about the failure to communicate it

      We agree 100%. We should have communicated it earlier.

    44. Dan Mandle on

      The problem is less about the upcharge and more about the failure to communicate it. If you had given us a heads up before the backer survey we out, there would be significantly less backlash.

    45. Roni Stern on

      This is actually strange. Checking some countries in the EU, big differences in shipping:
      UK +5$
      Germany, Austria +7$
      France, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Netherlands +10$
      Italy, Sweden, Denmark +13$
      Greece +23$
      Hungary +25$
      Norway +28$
      Baltic states +30$
      Slovenia +33$

      Can't understand why, as most KS projects have around the same amount of shipping for the whole of the EU.

      In any case, I requested a refund as well.

    46. Simone D. on

      I requested refund too. I'm reading a lot of hate here but honestly @Das you have made too many errors from my point of view, one for all: "Our logistics team has determined that the easiest and most cost-effective way to" .. I would argue about that decision is easieast and most cost-effective for YOU, not for backers (I live in Italy and the shipping cost will be raised a lot)

      I'm very sad seeing a very promising project going like this, really.

    47. Missing avatar

      Michael Hess on

      @Tom I sort of agree, I almost never look at the keys, but this keyboard has one HUGE difference in this regard. The notifications it will provide are shining through that "ugly" font. I personally like it a lot, but totally get others hating it.

      I wouldn't want to even glance at keys with a font I don't like just for the occasional notification.

      I like the font on my Razer boards, the simple one on my Rosewill's, and the one on my G.Skill. They are all very different, and I am picky. Guess I'm lucky to not hate this one.

      Either way, once they offered an alternate, it should have become a possible substitution, not a separate product. IMHO.

    48. Missing avatar

      groundnuty on

      Dear Das Keyboard,
      While extra 10$ seems acceptable, many has mentioned that extra costs such as:
      - custom/duty
      - VAT
      may cause for whole price to increase by ~20-30% (shipping to Poland).
      Would it be possible, that you marked parcels as 'Gift' and did not include the real price of the product inside? Such practice have successfully allowed Chinese product to be send to Poland with no extra costs.


    49. Tom Fieldhouse on

      Could someone explain the apparent vast importance of the font printed on the keycaps?

      I personally don't spend *any* time looking at my keyboard, let alone dedicating time to appreciating or ridiculing the font which the manufacturer selected.

      Then again, I'm a touch typist, know where all the letters are, and could probably go with the blackout version of the keycaps and not miss much.

      I obviously don't know anyone else's motivation for supporting this project. Perhaps that is why I don't understand the uproar over a font. Personally, I supported this project because I really like my other Das Keyboard(s) and the addition of customizable notifications is very interesting to me. I don't see Das Keyboard failing to deliver what they promised.