New Instant Rebate for International Shipping!!!
We just confirmed an arrangement with Amazon Payments based on the difference between the estimated and actual calculated shipping costs to each backer! After this project meets it's goal, we will finally collect all of your actual addresses and refund any excess fees collected, based on our best actual shipping cost for your address!
Here is how we are addressing international shipping rates. Kickstarter only recognizes "US" and "outside the US" pledges, and forces project creators to include and set one defined cost for shipping outside of the US. This is problematic, since shipping fees can range dramatically around the globe, and we can't make a different reward with every country's quote. The cost difference between shipping an identical reward domestic, or to an international backer could range from +$10USD to $20USD or more! So as to make sure you are adequately funded to fulfill all rewards, you must round up. Take a look of this screen capture of how the Reward setup works:
And below is an example of what our shipping estimates look like for the above Dual-Pack of 120&135. (We highlighted our preferred method in blue, because FedEx works with us to classify our international packages as sensitive photo material and take extra care to transport and pass through customs, without exposure to heat or X-rays. The cheapest option is in red.)
US shipping is $7.04, Canada is $18.97-7.04=11.93 additional, UK is $29.04-7.04=22.00, and there has to be a better option for Kyrgyzstan! But in Canada's scenario we do have an almost $10 rebate to offer! :-)
As you can see, some companies don't even offer shipping to specific locations, or are priced so high that they go off the chart. There is no one rate for anywhere in the world, but we must estimate one. This means that even when we add a $20USD fee to international backer's pledge for a smaller Reward, there is a risk of losing half of the original pledge -or worse- to shipping charges.
We realized from the beginning that we needed to search out better shipping options. There are a few out there but they all have their caveats. We are also looking into distributing to some of our international dealers, and paying them to ship within their regions. After all, we get the best shipping discounts when distributing large quantities, and our partners are set up for direct fulfillment. That's what we normally do anyways. There still will be variance when even shipping from Hong Kong to Japan, and we are spending cash shipping to and compensating our partners for all their work (they normally fulfill items which they retail). And then in the end they don't always get that much better of deals on shipping.
Here is an example of shipping prices from a major North American photography dealer, when we add 2 rolls of CineStill 800T to the cart:
We will continue to look into more efficient international fulfillment options, and select one to provide a greater refund. We are prohibited from modifying our rewards at all once they have backers. Besides, the cost difference will vary based on the locations of the backers, and we can't know that until all the pledges come in.
For now, we recommend taking out the middle man and getting even greater value by organizing group pledges with your friends! Thats what the larger rewards are good for. :-)