Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
An asymmetric 4X game from award winning designer Sandy Petersen
An asymmetric 4X game from award winning designer Sandy Petersen
3,222 backers pledged $609,763 to help bring this project to life.

All About Shipping!

Posted by Arthur Petersen (Collaborator)
49 likes

Shipping Costs

Lots of backers (particularly those in the EU) have commented on the shipping prices for Hyperspace. 

We've decided to go with a somewhat unusual strategy as compared to many other KS projects. But it is luckily very straightforward and easy to explain:

We have worked to bring you the best possible discount and greatest value for our Hyperspace rewards. For example, the retail value of the Starship Captain pledge is ostensibly $519. Really, it’s higher, because that “retail value” doesn’t include the 8 native alien figures nor the "Secret Items" the first of which we revealed earlier today - the massive Space Amoeba. This means that you are getting somewhere around a 50% discount off the “real” price. That’s what local game stores typically pay their distributors. You are, in effect, able to buy ALL of Hyperspace as if you were a retailer yourself (hence there is no “retailer” pledge level, as they’d be getting basically the same deal!). 

And you’re getting a LOT for that money. The Starship Captain for example, has 296(!) miniature figures, not counting the secret bonus figures (which, by the way, are BIG). 

One of the side effects of this aggressive pricing on our part is that we are unable to easily conceal the price of VAT and shipping. We have shipped hundreds of thousands of products to tens of thousands of backers over the past 4 years - we deeply understand the true costs of shipping a global Kickstarter, and all the import fees involved. Most Kickstarter creators simply "bake" these costs into the pledge levels themselves. We could have done this too. But at the expense of the deep discount we are already offering on the pledge levels! 

Imagine if we had simply priced the Starship Captain at $40 more, so it was now $339 – in this case, we could have priced European shipping at $39, exactly the same as USA shipping. The extra $40 would have been hidden to your view. We chose to go a different route. But if we did that, then many backers all around the world who do not have as steep import taxes would be subsidizing Europe (and a handful of other countries). We are instead trying to give everyone the biggest price break possible, and then let the shipping & VAT costs fall where they may.

Now, even with this, we are still eating some of the cost of shipping and VAT. For example, Corvette Pilot shipping to Europe is only 9% more than to the USA, which obviously means we are covering at least half the VAT out of pocket. 

We are not complaining about the situation. We want this game to be as affordable as possible! We just want to explain that doing this means that we can’t use subterfuge to hide the different costs of shipping. The bottom line is Europe isn’t actually paying more than another campaign would charge. It’s just visible. Isn’t it better to know? 

In the end if you still feel the shipping prices are too high for your area, please feel free to pretend that your shipping IS lower, but that your pledge level costs more. Which is the alternative method used by many campaigns.

 - Arthur, project director

Connor Sheehan, kittylady, and 47 more people like this update.

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Missing avatar

      Ridho Aulia Rufinaldo on

      @arthur will you be using VFI for asia fulfillment?

    2. Nicolas Dufer on

      @Angus Lost: My bad there is actually an Asia price for shipping that feel more than reasonable when you think of the weight this whole thing will end up being. Let's just hope communication is indeed better than OS3 (waiting on it too).

    3. Angus Lost
      Superbacker
      on

      @Nicholas Dufer my pledge is sitting at a buck, it will stay their unless OS3 arrives in Japan before the campaign ends. We are the only group that has to wait until after CNY for shipping to start. Asia will probably ship last, expect no special favors.

    4. Nicolas Dufer on

      Shipping to Japan anyone? Right next to China and low tax (8%). No chance for an Asia rate ?

    5. Missing avatar

      Con on

      @MrT42,
      Arthur has overcomplicated it. EU shipping in this project is dirt cheap. Most of the “shipping” charge for EU backers is to pay VAT. For me, backing at Starship Captain level, $71 of the $80 “shipping” charge will go to my government in VAT. $9 is for actual shipping. (That is based on VAT at 23%.)

    6. MrT42 on

      Well, it really looks like a big bag of BS.
      Trying to hide behind maths is not transparency.
      This project is not EU friendly. Period. We all have to deal with. Creators and backers-to-be.
      Such high shipping costs are a nogo for me. It’s a shame because the game looks fun

    7. Robert Papancsev
      Superbacker
      on

      I don't know how the "real" retail value is calculated, but the Cthulhu Wars (core game) is 30€ cheaper in my local shop than what was the kick starter price, and its without discounts. Also dont forget that we pay now, but receive the product 1.5 years later, thats a lot of "credit" for you. If you were go to a bank it would be much costlier for you.
      Just a note from the other side of the coin.

    8. Missing avatar

      Con on

      @Dennis, you are wrong. Petersen Games is obliged to collect and pay over VAT for any EU country to which it is selling.

      If it was a small operation fulfilling from outside the EU it might get away with sending to the EU by post or courier, and leaving it to the postal or courier service to collect the VAT. A few packages would no doubt get through without VAT being paid, but the basic shipping charges would be higher, most packages would still get caught for VAT, and there would be a significant administrative charge added by the postal or courier service for collecting the VAT, so most backers would end up paying significantly more.

      Being outside the EU's customs union, backers in Norway and Switzerland are in an anomalous position. Most Kickstarters charge them as if they were in the EU but their customs collect VAT on entry, which it is difficult for backers to reclaim. Comments based on the experiences of people inside the EU's customs union (for example in Germany) do not provide helpful guidance for our counterparts in Norway.

    9. Missing avatar

      Jose O on

      Your unusual strategy is not very persuasive. EU backers will not like it.

    10. Dennis Werfl
      Superbacker
      on

      @LilRuub
      Afaik the EU ruling is... you don't pay foreign VAT you pay VAT in your country. If for example I in germany get something from france they should sell this to me without VAT and I pay VAT here in germany. The company has simply to show that they did send this to a foreign country and then they are freed from the VAT of their country all they have to do is keep the record of sending into a EU country like germany in my example. If germany does not get the VAT then it has not been done correctly, and tbh in most cases this wont happen unless both sides are companies. Afaik the recipient has to pay VAT, although I might be wrong here.

    11. Angus Lost
      Superbacker
      on

      Is Asia going to be put on a back burner shipping wise on this KS? Shipping after all other regions, like OS3?

    12. LilRuub
      Superbacker
      on

      @Peter @Tore
      It is unfortunate if you end up paying VAT twice. Petersen said they will be dealing with shipping costs in the Pledge Manager. Maybe if there are enough backers from places like Norway and Switzerland they can figure out a way to deal with this.

    13. Tore Schade Svenningsson on

      This Norwegian is definitely not rich. I haven't really looked into the whole VAT situation at all, beyond lamenting how much it adds to anything I get from kickstarter. No idea if I've technically paid it twice or not. EU rules confuse me more then the Norwegian ones (which I still don't really have any sort of grasp on).

    14. Peter "araziel" Cruickshanks
      Superbacker
      on

      @LilRuub
      I've tried doing that dance with Norwegian customs several times. Worked exactly once, failed for various reasons at least three times that I can remember. Even after me sending them every piece of documentation I had (including additional documentation I requested from the shipper). The point is though, Petersen games, or the warehouse they're using, isn't supposed to pay VAT on the item on import since it's destined to be moved out of the EU anyway. The price I pay should be reflected in the invoice i.e it should be VAT-free.

      But hey, Norwegians are rich, so who cares :P

      Seems they've updated the page for refunds though, maybe it's less of a hassle now so I might try again if it happens, thanks for linking :)

    15. LilRuub
      Superbacker
      on

      @Peter
      I wonder if you can use this form to get a refund on the VAT.
      ****
      Both foreign and Norwegian VAT
      I have paid Norwegian VAT in addition to foreign VAT.
      https://www.toll.no/en/services/forms/refund-of-customs-duties-and-vat/

    16. LilRuub
      Superbacker
      on

      @Peter
      Are you saying that you will be personally charged the import VAT fee when the package arrives in Norway? That kind of stinks especially if the EU took a VAT fee as well from the European shipping company.

    17. Missing avatar

      Con on

      @Peter, if the UK leaves the customs union I guess that will put them in much the same position as Norway. Perhaps that might create an incentive to resolve the problem for all three countries.

    18. Peter "araziel" Cruickshanks
      Superbacker
      on

      @Con
      And for me (Norway) they'll keep 379$ and I'll pay 25% VAT on 379$ when it arrives. So I pay VAT on the VAT. It's great to be Norwegian (or Swiss).

    19. Missing avatar

      Con on

      I look on it a bit differently to the way Arthur has presented it. For Starship Captain, I pay $299 pledge plus $80 shipping for a total of $379. Local VAT here is 23%, so Petersen Games only gets to keep $308. That’s only $9 more than the basic pledge cost. Shipping will cost me $9, which is a crazy good deal.

    20. LilRuub
      Superbacker
      on

      Yeah I saw your previous response after I submitted mine. No worries. It happens.

    21. Arthur Petersen Collaborator
      Superbacker
      on

      @LilRuub
      I think that the 9% may have simply been a mistake - bad math - and nothing more.
      Sorry about that!

    22. LilRuub
      Superbacker
      on

      @Arthur Petersen
      Thank you for the response. I totally realize that you guys are subsidizing the taxes and shipping and putting out a product at a great value especially @ the Starship Captain level. The engineer in me is just trying to figure out where the 9% number came from. None of the ratios I can come up with give 9%. Given how contentious this subject seems to be for some people, I thought it would be good if the numbers stated where accurate and explainable.
      P.S Have a great day. You guys seem to be off to a great start.

    23. Ruinaes on

      VAT sucks.... for sure. But imagine the other way around.

      If your shipping is similar to mine (but you still have VAT while I don't) then that means the VAT cost goes into the actual product cost. Why should I pay more for my game to make your shipping/tax cheaper?

      ^This is what many other companies do and they just don't tell anyone about it.

    24. Arthur Petersen Collaborator
      Superbacker
      on

      @LilRuub
      Sandy may have done his math wrong. Sorry about that!

      @Veon
      We don't want to lost EU backers, of course. But we want to:
      A) not act illegally by ducking EU customs
      B) not lose backers worldwide
      C) Be open, fair, and honest about all our pricing

      We very much dislike the fact that the EU adds a 19% surcharge to every good sold within its borders is something we'd prefer didn't exist. But we can't do anything about that.

    25. Arthur Petersen Collaborator
      Superbacker
      on

      @LilRuub
      what Ruinaes says. The VAT for EU is about 19%, so the point is that, assuming the strict shipping cost is the same, then it should be about 19% higher, but it's only 9% higher. Ergo, we're subsidizing it SOMEWHERE.

    26. LilRuub
      Superbacker
      on

      @Veon
      If you are in Europe, I'm sorry the about the additional cost but spreading the cost to other regions or increasing the base cost could cost him backers from around the world.

    27. LilRuub
      Superbacker
      on

      @Ruinaes
      Thank you for your reply but I don't see where Sandy calculated that 9% difference from the numbers shown. $42/$22-1 = 91% $161/$141-1 = 14%

    28. Veon on

      If you don't mind to loose a lot of european backers

    29. Ruinaes on

      @LilRuub

      They mean that the shipping cost difference in this campaign is only 9%. VAT is much greater than a 9% increase though.

      Thus, that difference is paid for by PG internally.

    30. Ruinaes on

      The transparency is better for everyone in my opinion.

    31. LilRuub
      Superbacker
      on

      Hi Sandy. I really appreciate your transparency about the shipping and other costs for this game. I am a little confused by your statement, "For example, Corvette Pilot shipping to Europe is only 9% more than to the USA." I'm not sure what you are trying to say here.

      I think what you are saying is Shipping to EU is about $24 and that the remaining $18 (42-24) does not cover the full VAT cost. Is that about right.

      P.S. I'm in the US so this is just academic for me but I others may also be confused.

    32. Peter "araziel" Cruickshanks
      Superbacker
      on

      No issues with doing it this way, in fact I think it's the fairest way to do shipping. However I do wish people would stop lumping Switzerland/Norway in with the EU, making us ostensibly pay for both EU VAT baked into the EU shipping cost, and then our actual VAT on import. You don't pay EU VAT on those pledges, neither should we.

      Not sure how much more shipping is to e.g Switzerland vs something like Germany, but you're not paying VAT on the Swiss pledge, and on e.g a big pledge I doubt shipping is 60$ more to Switzerland (i.e 20% of 299$).

    33. John DiCostanzo on

      Makes sense! I prefer it this way. Thanks for the update!