Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A party game in which it is TOTALLY POSSIBLE to drop a boxcar full of rabid piranhas onto the King of France. LIKELY, even
A party game in which it is TOTALLY POSSIBLE to drop a boxcar full of rabid piranhas onto the King of France. LIKELY, even
10,666 backers pledged $556,596 to help bring this project to life.

Brief shipping update! KNOWN ISSUES PART 3

15 likes

Hello everyone! I am very excited to see people receive their games, and to read very kind reviews such as this one! So glad that so many of you have gotten your game and played it and had a good time. THAT'S WHAT THIS THING IS FOR.

Retailer-level backer Foam Brain Games took their resale copies to the Arisia convention in Boston recently, and reported that they sold out immediately and they want to restock! This is great news! (If you are a retailer-level backer, feel free to message me your store info so I can add you to a formal 'vendors' section on our website.) 

People have been asking me how they can buy more copies, too, which is great! But I'm not going to open wider, non-backer sales for more games until all the Kickstarter copies are out. Rest assured, however, I will make a lot of noise once they are available! I will mention it here, of course, but I have also set up a dedicated mailing list for that specific notification over at machineofdeath.net/gca.

I am also reviewing your many great pictures under the #machineofdeath hashtag as well. I'll have more on that in a little bit. Right now, however, I am in full-on COMMAND CENTER MODE as I manage the remaining shipping. I am pushing more computing power at tracking your games than NASA had at their disposal for Columbus' sailing of the Atlantic, or whatever.

••• IMPORTANT NOTE •••

If you have already received your game, great! The rest of this update is NOT FOR YOU. If you continue reading it, you will find yourself charged with a voyeuristic thrill. That is NOT RECOMMENDED because WHO LIKES THAT ANYWAY??

SHIPPING UPDATES #3

• Shipping confirmations are being sent from the email address CSR@webcsr.info. If you haven't gotten one, make sure it's not getting filtered as spam.

• If you received your Deluxe Box, but not the other stuff that was supposed to come with it, I'm pleased to say that all those reshipments have now gone out. You should get them soon! They were shipped to the same address that your original box went to, so if that's a problem please let me know. 

• There's a batch of a couple hundred domestic shipments still in progress...Everything stopped so the reshipments above could go out, and since then I have been very carefully and painstakingly explaining to the shipping company how to match up the custom box numbers, custom assembled orders (tins, Germans, etc), and custom certificates with specific orders. Because those orders can't simply be reshipped if something goes wrong, this is a very painstaking process and is still ongoing. They tell me that is supposed to finish in the coming week.

There's also a handful of non-custom orders – mostly, the ones that requested to be held for the holidays and were thus bumped to the end of the queue, but also some others as well that I can't find a common thread between – that are just lingering in the back, smoking in their leather jackets and generally being rebellious. I don't have any answer for that except that I am going to send them to the vice-principal's office if they don't shape up and fly right real soon here!! 

Canadian shipments: Our shipping facility in California generates a Canada Post label, but then the package has to make it out of America to a Canada Post depot before it will actually start being actively tracked in their system. I've seen that take 7-10 days. So if you got a notification but the actual tracking info doesn't make sense yet, that's probably why. 

"When should I worry?" Never. Never worry. Worry is the mindwaster.

International shipments: Couple of things here. We were recommended to use FedEx for international shipments because (a) it's trackable door-to-door; (b) it's more secure than the post in many parts of the world; and (c) our shipping company does such volume that it's actually pretty economical, under their account.

What I have learned this week and last, however, is that FedEx has had some baffling issues with billing these shipments. If you've received a notice from FedEx, you're not alone. Here are the notices I have received to date:

This speaks to some enormous and systemic confusion on their part. I am trying to work it out with various people at FedEx, but I have no answers of yet. 

If you received a bill and you paid it, God bless you. You have paid a slight surcharge to be excused from whatever tsunami of dark magic still circles about this wizard-blighted matter. If it helps, know that I am furious about it.  

If you have not paid it, there may be a way I can fight it, but I have no hard information for you yet, I'm sorry to say. Feel free to drop me an email so I can respond to you with whatever we end up learning.

As a first step, once I learned about this billing issue, I immediately stopped all international shipping to prevent this from happening with any future shipments. So about 40% of international orders are still on hold, waiting for us to figure out how to proceed with the remainder using a different carrier.

Unfortunately it's not as simple as "just use USPS for the rest", because that's not trackable and costs about twice as much per package. We are looking into our other options now – I think DHL has a thing where they feed parcels into the destination country's postal system? – but we're still collecting info in order to make the best decision for the rest. If you have advice or feedback on this matter, please leave a comment on this post, I appreciate all perspectives!

• Finally – regarding international orders – we have also learned that FedEx will charge us for packages both ways (sending and returning). So if you refuse a package due to strange fees – a perfectly reasonable reaction – I will unfortunately still be liable for those fees and the return shipping. So before you refuse a package, please write to me so we can attempt to solve whatever the problem is.

If you've read this far, you are probably as tired of hearing about this as I am! And my wife and my assistant and the shipping company and our FedEx rep and anyone within earshot of shouts coming from my office and my therapist. I am collecting these anecdotes into a manuscript for a book, tentatively titled What I Did: How I Managed A Half-Million Dollar Kickstarter And Didn't End Up Losing ALL That Money To Mystery Fees, Only Most Of It. I'd tell you to pre-order it now but I don't really want any extra work right now, so set aside a dollar in an envelope and send it to me in a year.

Kim Slawson, Arsonor, and 13 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Gerrit Ansmann on April 25, 2014

      Just in case anybody is still interested in the outcome I promised to report: After three months and no dunning or any other informative reaction to any of my communication attempts from FedEx, I conclude that they have accepted me not paying the advancement fee/Zulageprovision.

    2. Creator David Malki ! on February 18, 2014

      @Peter – I've been answering some questions over in the main comment thread! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/malki/machine-of-death-the-game-of-creative-assassinatio/comments

      But I just checked on YOUR order specifically and it's queued to go out tomorrow!!

    3. Creator Beer? Beer! on February 18, 2014

      any updates on those 40% of the orders not sent out yet???

    4. Creator Rick Leijssen on February 4, 2014

      Update on my VAT charge in the Netherlands: I contacted FedEx on the e-mail address listed on the bill they sent me and they figured out they calculated with the wrong shipping costs. They recalculated it with the right amount and reduced my bill, and also removed the 10E handling fee.
      All in all it reduced my VAT bill from 44 to 14 euro, so if any other backers in NL have this issue I recommend they also contact FedEx.

    5. Creator Lee Nicholls on January 31, 2014

      I've also had the handling charge waived after sending a brief email to invhelp [at] fedex [dot] com. Thanks for the advice all!

    6. Creator cDave on January 31, 2014

      @David, It's fairly standard. I expect to be hit by import duty on anything over a £15 I get posted from America. Marking it as a gift increases it to £36. I'm not sure if supporting a kickstarter would count though. That £10 charge is a bit steep.
      http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal…

    7. Creator David Malki ! on January 30, 2014

      @Alex – The thing that galled the most was (a) the bill arriving after the fact to people who may not have expected it and (b) the extra £10 tacked on. Is this also the case with Royal Mail or is it unique to courier services? (I assume UPS and DHL do the same as FedEx)

    8. Creator Alex Twiston-Davies on January 30, 2014

      This ain't my first international order, so I was expecting this. Feeding the package through the postal system won't make a difference for UK customers, it will just be Royal Mail who charge VAT and a handling fee instead of FedEx.
      The one thing that did bug me was that because I gave my work address for delivery, my employer was billed for the fees and not me. I don't know if that can be avoided, but it's a little embarrassing to have accounts tap you on the shoulder and say "what's a death machine, and is it still in the building?"

    9. Creator David Malki ! on January 30, 2014

      @Kennon – I've seen the APO addresses take 3-4 weeks to deliver. It is considered a US address for rate purposes but of course if you're deployed overseas it still has to get loaded into a bag covered in stenciled letters and tossed into the back of a C-17 on a dusty airstrip in order to get to wherever you are. I assume that is how it works?

      @Benjamin – The book will only be available in whatever format is proprietary to Palm devices, it's just more elegant that way.

      @Peter, John, RJ, Neal, Frankie, Lee, and others in the UK: To be clear, delivering a bill for these fees after the delivery has already occurred is a very, very shady move on FedEx's part! I'm very angry that they didn't warn me this would be happening.

      But as some of you have found, they do seem to be authorized to waive that advancement fee, if you call and ask them to. (I'd do it myself for you if I could, but unfortunately I can't.) So I think that's definitely worth a call. I'm really sorry you have to deal with it at all. Thanks to Oliver, author of the comment linked below, for details on the UK matter:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/malki/machine-of-death-the-game-of-creative-assassinatio/comments…

      @Paul – Not to pick on you, but to make the point for the record, I do know that different Kickstarter campaigns approach the international shipping matter in different ways. We considered using an EU distribution center but because of all the add-ons that this project has, it didn't make sense...The orders you guys are getting contain patches, pins, shirts, posters, books, and all kinds of other stuff that originated here in the US. I do think it might have been doable if we'd shipped some games to the EU from the factory, and then a separate shipment of books etc from the US, and had an EU distribution center do the final shipping...But now we're talking about three ocean shipments and three container-sized custom clearances instead of one (not to mention the additional wizard battles), PLUS we'd have to pay the VAT in the EU – it's not like those charges go away, we'd have had to charge more for the game. I absolutely do think that next time I'll handle these matters differently, but no option is a real slam dunk here (American saying) and it's not quite fair to compare the unpredictable reality of one method to the idealized coulda-been of another. That said, I'm glad you like the game!

      @Overspawn – The declared value of $50 is our shipping company's mistake. It does indeed make the VAT £6.10 instead of the £4.20 it would be if it had been marked at $35 (since $35 for the game + shipping is over £15, it would be subject to that tax regardless). I'm mad about that mistake too, and I can PayPal you the difference if you like.

      @Steve, Rick, and others – if the VAT/duty you're seeing on the bill is super huge (30€ or more instead of, like 10€), this is a DIFFERENT ISSUE than the UK folks. You should NOT pay that bill, but instead, please send me a photo or a scan of the bill, so I can make sure it's addressed. (To: info@machineofdeath.net)

      If you're interested in the details...FedEx somehow missed billing all our international shipments to our shipping company, who has prenegotiated discounted rates; instead, they have sent me (via my return address on the packages) hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bills – absurd sheafs and stacks of them – a solid ream and counting – for each and every international shipment at full retail price (usually about $150-200 each). Currently I have $50,000 in incorrectly charged bills sitting on my desk, and the stack grows every day.

      The horrible side effect of this is that whenever the carriage cost is checked in a destination country for duty assessment – like, apparently, in The Netherlands – they are charging way more tax than is correct, because they're basing it off the ludicrous retail price instead of the discounted rate that that our shipping company actually pays.

      So this is clearly an error. All I can say is do NOT return the package, or they'll charge me for the return shipment too!! We are working on resolving this with FedEx in the US. I can only assume we eventually will.

      Sorry for the extra trouble, everyone! It's been a strange couple weeks.

    10. Creator Rob Harris on January 29, 2014

      Hi - just to update, I followed Becky's advice below and within 24 hours FedEx agreed to remove the £10.75 handling charge. Thanks Becky and others who pointed this out!

    11. Creator Rick Leijssen on January 29, 2014

      I'm in The Netherlands and I received an invoice for 44.77 EUR. This is the aforementioned 10.75 EUR FedEx takes for handling customs, plus VAT over 162 EUR (222 USD), a lot higher than the 50 USD the package claims it's worth.
      I just checked using FedEx's rate calculator, shipping for a 7 lbs package from Venice CA to Amsterdam NL is at least 172 USD (WOW btw, didn't know I got that good a deal). VAT in NL is calculated over price including shipping, so it looks like FedEx submitted the declared value+their standard shipping rate to customs.
      I expected a VAT invoice, but I didn't expect the declared value to be so high...

    12. Creator Lee Nicholls on January 29, 2014

      UK based and just received my invoice for £16.85. So sad. So very sad.

    13. Creator Frankie Dysart on January 28, 2014

      Yup, just got a bill for ~£17...

    14. Creator MrWWeathers on January 28, 2014

      Yeah I got my bill today, I was unaware of the issues so will bare it in mind if I wish to back a kick in the future. I'll pay it Dave, but I expect some kind of handjob if I ever attend a con you're at in the future (see: don't attend any UK cons my friend)

    15. Creator Michael Reeve on January 28, 2014

      Just a quick follow-up - I had the same outcome as Becky; they've agreed to waive the £10.75 administration fee, and are re-invoicing me for the £6.10 customs charge.

    16. Creator Michael Reeve on January 27, 2014

      Another UK backer here. Another FedEx letter asking for £16.85. Reckon I'll send them an email as Becky did below.

    17. Creator Becky on January 27, 2014

      Ive emailed the creators but just to let UK people know, I emailed FedEx and told them that I considered their charge to be an Unfair Charge since they didn't give me any opportunity to not pay it, and never informed me of its existence until after delivery and they accepted that and reinvoiced me for just the customs fees and waived the clearance charge as full and final settlement (meaning David won't get billed for me not paying it). I night have just gotten lucky but it might be worth a shot.

    18. Creator Rob Harris on January 27, 2014

      Hi - I'm another UK backer who received a FedEx letter today requesting £16.85. Looking at the comments it seems it will be difficult getting out of paying this. Great game - but a little disappointed by this.

    19. Creator Neal Latham on January 27, 2014

      I'm in the UK and I to have been hit by FedEx's £16.85. I'm just about to go away for a few days though so I will hold off payment until I return early next week. Hopefully you'll have an idea by then with what is happening. If not I will pay just to get it resolved.

      Many thanks for the quick shipment of the game and all the updates. Of all the Kickstarters I have backed I am most pleased with this one.

    20. Creator Christine Lawrence on January 27, 2014

      Have the orders including the custom death certificates gone out yet? I recall in the last update they had not, and maybe my eyes are just tired but I don't see anything about them here?

    21. Creator RJ White on January 27, 2014

      Add another UK gamer getting hit with the £16.85 FedEx import duty charges, though if it makes anyone feel better, this isn't the first Kickstarter game I've had this happen to.

    22. Creator Overspawn on January 27, 2014

      Update: after speaking irately to a FedEx person.
      On Jan 6th 2014 they brought in (or changed, not sure) a surcharge policy that all international packages will be charged '2.5% of combined duty & vat or £10.75 whichever is greater'
      I'd have to pay import tax either way but it looks like FedEx are being greedy bastards charging me £10.75 for essentially a letter when it really should be under a quid.
      The listed price of the package wouldn't have affected their surcharge, but I'm still surprised that it's price was listed as double what I paid.

    23. Creator Overspawn on January 27, 2014

      Another UK gamer here getting hit with the £16.85 fees.
      Maybe I'm misreading this and completely barking up the wrong tree (if so, sorry in advance); but looking over the paperwork that's come with the package and the bill it says that the listed value of the item is $50.
      Might this be where the problems are coming from? I paid $25 for the game (+$10 for postage), so logically the item should be listed as $25 and consequently should be paying little, or no import tax on it at all.
      I get the game is arguably worth more $25, and the only reason i got a basic copy for this price was because i helped to kickstart it.
      .....but it feels like maybe us overseas fans are getting stung for import taxes, and unnecessary charges because you've overvalued your game.

    24. Creator Paul Howie on January 25, 2014

      Will be interesting to hear if there's a way to dodge these fees. I'm well aware of them and am frequently surprised when I have to explain to US KS projects that shipping 2000 packages individually from the states passes down $30,000 of fees to their backers compared to shipping in bulk to an EU distribution centre. These fees are dirty play for sure but they're talked about all over the web if you run a few searches on import duty. At least on UK import duty. Oh, all couriers do it btw, just the size of the fee varies.

      I've actually backed one project that bodged the customs declaration and resulted in me paying more in vat and fees than my original pledge. That one hurt.

      On the other hand, this one didn't hurt. I don't particularly enjoy paying FedEx a hefty fee for doing very little, but the game is stunning and I still feel I have received more than my money's worth! Deluxe box is BEAUTIFUL and in my first game session a jolly good time was had by all (what ho chaps, fish n' chips, rule britannia, etc).

      As for value… By my count I have enough death cards to keep going with unique game experiences for the next 2.7 billion years, so that will be nice.

    25. Creator John Bolland on January 25, 2014

      Hi team. I'm in the UK and got hit with the fees from FedEx. Going to ring up on Monday and try and get out of it - partly as an experiment. Will let you know if I get any joy.

    26. Creator Benjamin Hagen on January 25, 2014

      @Gerrit Ansmann: That's exactly what I did: I paid the additional 19% (EUSt) but not the additional fee ("Vorlageprovision"). But as 19% of round about 150 Euros (high shipping costs, not only USD 12) are more than 30 Euros, I still have paid twice the price of the actual game...

    27. Creator Chris on January 25, 2014

      I still need to double check my box to see what was missing. I think I was missing the Story War card, pins, and some sort of artbook iirc.

    28. Creator Bryan A. Ellis on January 25, 2014

      "The specific numbers are last to go out." And all is explained if one reads all the comments. Ah well, I suppose I shall console myself by planning on making a "Triskaidekaphobia" card when they arrive.

    29. Creator Bryan A. Ellis on January 25, 2014

      Deluxe Box 13 has yet to arrive. Perhaps there is something to the superstition after all...

    30. Creator Steve on January 25, 2014

      FedEx declared a whoping $177.34 freight cost at customs!!!!!! Please confirm. That is adding up to €6,90 import tax for the game + €24,52 import tax freight + €10 'Vorlageprovision'! I saw the tax comming for me, but FedEx launched a surprise attack. Now i have the 'real' deluxe version.

    31. Creator Peter Richard Brooks on January 25, 2014

      I'm another UK backer and I got the £16.85 extra fees. The VAT I pretty much expected and unfortunately a handling fee seems to come with that :-( To be honexst this has been the best Kicketarter delivery from the US. At least FedEx delivered the parcel then invoiced afterwards rather than dropping off a delivery note telling me to do an hour's journey by train to pick up an unkown parcel and then to refuse to hand uit over until you have paid :-)

    32. Creator benjamin sweetnam on January 25, 2014

      oh and david i would love to read the book but can i get a pdf copy thanks :D

    33. Creator Kennon C. Bauman on January 25, 2014

      I haven't received my copy of the game yet. I signed up for domestic shipping when I backed the game because we have a military "APO" address that is equivalent to shipping in the US -- that said, I don't think FEDEX ships to APO addresses...could be part of the problem.

    34. Creator Gerrit Ansmann on January 25, 2014

      Ah, it looks like the ”Zulageprovision” I am facing is more or less the same as that “£10 advancement fee”. If it’s of any help, there are some complaints on the Internet about FedEx dealing with customs and charging that fee for it without being authorised by the recipient as required. The most prevalent recommendation (for Germany) which I found is to pay them the taxes or customs fee, which they paid for you, and not to pay the additional fee commenting (on the bank transfer, via Email, …) that you never instructed them to deal with customs for you. I am following that recommendation for now and will report on any reactions from FedEx.

      Considering the “pinball game”: German customs has to categorize stuff to apply fees and taxes and they often do not know what something is. In my case, they appear to have decided for “pinball game”. For most of my shipment, this does not matter since the same tax rate applies to pinball games and card games, however, the books are taxed too high (which amounts to about 1 € for me in the end, so I will not bother about this). But I am going to photograph and scan the papers, so everybody can make fun of them …

    35. Creator benjamin sweetnam on January 24, 2014

      rather pleased with fed-ex my end malki as I could watch it leave your ware house arrived in hawai the next day then australia the day after to be delivered only four- five days after it left not bad for somewhere on the other side of the world :D I was watching that thing like a hawk. enjoyed my first game the other night with my dad and his partner as a psychologist she really enjoyed the creative thinking side. Can't wait to get my friends to play it cause there crazy. That's going to lead to an interesting game right. anyway tomorrow is australia day so hopefully there not working we will see mayb i can get them to go somewhere interesting.

    36. Creator David Malki ! on January 24, 2014

      sorry there were no pictures in that comment post. here is a bonus picture for you: https://twitter.com/malki/status/426928505637462016

    37. Creator David Malki ! on January 24, 2014

      To address some specific points...

      @Scott and others curious about the nuts and bolts of shipping...I know it's frustrating. I wish these were all out the door! But if it helps, here's some behind-the-scenes info on how these shipments are processed.

      All the orders were provided at once (save for the handful who asked for holds, or whose addresses needed to be changed late in the game). No order was prioritized over any other.

      The shipping company's programmers took all the orders and all the physical inventory that we provided, and worked out some algorithms to figure out the most efficient way to ship all of it.

      It took a while for that battleship to get up to initial speed...First, they broke the orders into batches based on destination and commonality of contents. Then they segregated the goods needed for each batch, physically separating pallets and building master stacks of inventory for each chunk of shipments, and printing out big rolls of shipping labels in advance.

      The advantage to this method is that once everything is laid out, they just point a ton of people at it and 4000, or 2000, or 500 orders with identical or similar contents can be blasted out on an assembly line in an afternoon. (This power of scale is another huge reason why we went with this company...I'll talk more about that in a moment.) So the first 75-80% of ALL our orders left the warehouse in the first week of shipping, which is incredible.

      But of course we didn't have all the inventory to start with -- in order to build German games, or tin versions, or empty Sidecar boxes, we needed to take apart English games, or full Sidecar boxes. So by definition those orders had to come later in the queue.

      Once we started hearing that there had been a mixup with a single batch of Deluxe Box orders, I brought it to their attention at once. But if orders have been mis-packed, that means that inventory counts are now incorrect...And if the inventory is incorrect, then further orders can't enter that meat grinder until you solve it. If stuff is still going out the door daily, you can't pin down where the inaccuracies are.

      So their solution to the problem was to call a halt to everything, re-count the inventory, identify the problem batch (by comparing real vs. expected inventory and real vs. expected package weights), and then once they had everything targeted, re-process the missing orders and start the battleship again. The reshipments HAD to go out before any future orders could move -- the errors in inventory had to be figured out and solved in order to restore the status quo for the remainder of orders.

      Then, when I started to hear about the international fee issues, I called another all stop. I made the battleship drop anchor immediately until we could identify and solve the problem. In a big meeting we had yesterday, I learned that there was another batch of domestic orders that their algorithm had originally queued up after the international orders, and so now they were sitting there cooling their heels while we discussed the international matters. That's dumb, so I gave instructions yesterday to change the order of the queue, and now the domestic orders are processing first. Scott, I just checked in their system, and the inventory for your order was allocated and segregated this morning. Michael K., yours was too. So I really do expect them to go out next week.

      Whenever I say "800 orders remain" or "I hope these will ship soon," that's because I've decided that presenting the best information I have at hand is better, is more beneficial, than the alternatives: saying "I don't know," which does nothing but frustrate people (it's my JOB to know); or remaining silent (which means I get all the same questions, except in email form all day long). I present information here because it's a way for me to give the latest information to a lot of people at once, and save me having to answer common inquiries individually.

      I recognize that this comes at the risk of presenting information that may yet change, or that isn't ideal news for every person, or that is irrelevant for some readers. It's a balancing act between pestering some people and leaving others in the dark.

      I myself have backed plenty of Kickstarters where the stuff I ordered just suddenly arrives one day, and I never had to worry about thinking it was coming at one time or another. I didn't even know when it was due in the first place! And I recognize that anytime I set an expectation, it sets up a chance for me to fall short of that expectation. But I'm just so excited to see things happen, and to share what good news I do get, that often I'd rather tell you than not, I'd rather keep you informed with the latest than stay silent and wait for you to ask.

      When we do have to suddenly re-steer the battleship for whatever reason, it sucks! It sucks for me, it sucks for you, it sucks for everyone affected. But every day now more people are getting their stuff, so all I can do is press forward with decisions that make the most sense with the information we have at any given time.

      I'm sorry if that explanation doesn't leaven your disappointment, but I hope it was at least a little interesting.

      @Will – the fee in question is the £10 "advancement fee," which is a surcharge that FedEx adds for remitting the taxes to the government, on top of your local customs fees themselves. It's a completely underhanded, bullshit move on their part, and I'm absolutely furious that I wasn't informed about it in advance. The good news is that I believe they are authorized to waive at least that fee, if you call and complain sufficiently about it.

      @Adam – We spoke with (and visited) many different fulfillment companies. Their differences are VAST, mainly in terms of nickel-and-dime fees. Just a base game pledge for us involves a minimum of four items – game, 2 webcomics decks, + pin/patch kit (all 10,200 of which we assembled by hand in advance, so as to consider them one item for packing purposes instead of two). Shipping company A will charge $1.75 per order + 25¢ per item + 75¢ to send a confirmation email. Company B will charge $1.25 per order + 12¢ per item after the first + emails are free. Company C will have the same rates but charge differently for unloading and moving pallets. Company D requires every single item – every patch, pin, poster and die – to be affixed with a barcode sticker in advance. Company E requires you to use your own shipper account. I actually consider ourselves very lucky that we found a company that, all told, while some troubles have arisen, have surely saved us some OTHER trouble that likely would have arisen with others.

      @Gerrit – "Pinball game"???????????? WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING

    38. Creator Kristy on January 24, 2014

      Hey Guys,

      I am happy to wait, the delay is out of your control and you are keeping us all filled in which I appreciate as I know it is being looked after. As for shipping, I have had companies run tests through my lab ( in Australia) and I know that the exact same parcel of samples shipped on the exact same day from the exact same west coast US city then arrived nearly two weeks apart with the later one sporting a $75- bill. (In this case it was a FedEx and DHL test). And that was just two parcels, not the ten squillion being dealt with here.

      Shipping is unpredictable and frustrating and is bound to run into issues no matter how many plans you make. As fun as another book sounds, I hope that you do not end up fronting those costs yourselves and at least part of the money will let you have a well earned break!

    39. Creator Lindsay on January 24, 2014

      I received mine in Toronto this week so managed to avoid the perils of the shipping void, but the mailroom wanted to have a chat with me as to why I was ordering from a company named Machine Of Death and the mail carrier was apparently very uncomfortable. This is the Kickstarter that keeps on giving! My Machine of Death patch is next to my Eternal Scout patch, and is very fitting. Also, thank the packing monkeys for not shipping it in a GIANT box with a single bag of air as padding like some companies that rhyme with Slamazon.

      I'm sorry this is such a nightmare, thank you for dealing with all of this in such a professional and funny way. No really, I keep reading the backer emails for the laughs, the pictures, and occasional comics.

    40. Creator Jackson Starky on January 24, 2014

      I have received mine, but as a Canadian backer I can tell other Canadian backers (if they're new to this kind of thing) that they probably won't get their tracking info until they get their package. My experience with Kickstarters shipping from the U.S. is that the package arrives before Canada Post updates the tracking information. Silly, I know, but the system *has* been cursed by a wizard, after all...

    41. Creator Gerrit Ansmann on January 24, 2014

      For those of you who already received the game in Germany and maybe some other countries:
      At least for me, FedEx has taken over dealing with customs, i.e., paid 12.84 € of import taxes for me. For this they charged me 12,75 € “Vorlageprovision”, which, according to the scarce information on the Internet, they are not allowed to, since I never authorised them to deal with customs for me in the first place. Thus I did not pay the latter amount, but I do not know yet whether they are going to accept this without further ado. Also, they declared the whole package as a “Flipperspiel” (pinball game), which caused the import taxes to be at least slightly too high, since at least the book component is subject to a reduced tax rate.

    42. Creator Winfred Foong on January 24, 2014

      Your interesting updates never seems to bore us, but I too would love to see a few more photos...Pics tell a thousands words right..haha...I got mine package but it was received by my neighbour while I was away...Seeing this makes me want to check with my neighbour, if she might have paid and not pass on the bill to me..a small fee in exchange of MOD, I gladly give..Would update when my cool friends have time to play together, as of now, still busy with daily muggle-routine stuff....May the remaining parcels reached everyone's arms safely and soon we will all be talking how to enhance game play :)

    43. Creator Michael on January 24, 2014

      Dear David,

      I would also like to read that book.

      But that is not the full reason I am writing. I want to make a request that in future updates if there is going to be less pictures than writing would you be able to warn us at the beginning of the message.

      Its just... (sadface)... I haven't received my deluxe box yet :( and frankly life is getting pretty unbearable. When I saw your update come up I was hoping it be full of exciting pictures (perhaps another container ship, or more goats) to get me through. Now I just feel like 1/10th of what Jennifer Lawrence did when she found out that District 12 was destroyed :(

      I though maybe perhaps a simple estimated fraction would be ideal, for example: '1/1' which would mean that there is 1 picture to roughly the same amount of writing. Obviously the ideal would be 2/1 or higher, but am willing to settle for less. I mean I've found a way to settle to the idea of having Ben Affleck as the next Batman and ACTUALLY be happy (kinda) about it, even though I was really hoping Meryl Streep would get the role :(

      I don't mean to be a pain David. It's just I did the math and this ratio was closer to 1/5.75.
      Readings hard, almost as hard as math! Now I'm just feeling sad and mopey, hoping against hope there will be a Update #55 sometime very soon! Will lots of pictures!

      All the best David, remember me next update...

      Sincerely Michael

    44. Creator Jonathon Dyer on January 24, 2014

      I'd really like to read that book!

    45. Creator Leave on January 24, 2014

      I'm one of the Brits with the £16 charge, I'll pay it if needs be but it was quite unexpected.

    46. Creator Ben W on January 24, 2014

      Received mine in northern Canada earlier this week, Game + Both Webcomics Boxes. Took about as long as expected, no other issues.

    47. Creator Danielle Greene on January 24, 2014

      I didn't expect that the empty sidecar box I wanted would put me in the last group to go out. Ah well. I will try to stay patient while aboard the HMS no shipping confirmation email!

    48. Creator Adam Valine on January 24, 2014

      And by the way, just a note for interviewing fulfillment operations. Ask questions not just about throughput (30k/day), but type... that number is less impressive if they're just simple, presorted envelopes or something. Also, try to be specific to the packages you intend to ship when questioning/signing agreements, sort/categorize as best you can prior to providing to the mailhouse (makes it easier to provide your instructions and SHOULD save you $), and fully document your requirements for the package categories you intend for them to send. Just my $0.02.

    49. Creator Martin Zell on January 24, 2014

      DHL should work fine for deliveries to germany, since all (except one) of my international orders, that I can remember, have been delivered to customs/my door by DHL.
      Since there's a german version, I can imagine, that there are quite some backers from germany, so this information might be interesting.
      It seems that DHL Germany collects all the parcels from foreign countries and delivers them, but I can't guarantee that.

    50. Creator Will Templeton on January 24, 2014

      Hey David, I'm a little confused. I have received my copy in the UK, and received a bill for £16.45. It appears to be import tax of £6.10, plus a handling fee of £10.75.

      I was honestly expecting import tax - I pledged over $100 and there's duty on that when it reaches the UK, I'd assume - but I would have expected that you were expecting it too, so to see you surprised by this is strange.

      Are the unexpected charges you're talking about in this update not related to this, and this one is normal import tax that I should go ahead and pay? Or are you saying that it should already have been taken care of in what I've paid and I should hold off until it's cleared up?