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Blue Dungeon Tiles are double-sided, 1” grid, map tiles in old school blue. They work with dry-erase, wet-erase and permanent markers.
962 backers pledged $60,901 to help bring this project to life.

Extolling Kickstarter & Third-Party Pledge Manager

Posted by Kevin Chenevert (Creator)
11 likes

So Kickstarter is pretty awesome.

Crowdfunding empowers creators just like the wordprocessor has empowered authors. Kickstarter allows the creator to reach a niche market around the world to collect micro bits of funding until a critical mass of funding is collected. This is really incredible. If I had walked into a bank to make a loan for $9500 to make some laminated cards for a game and wanted to pay them back in sets of those cards, I would have been drug out of the establishment by security. 

If you have an idea, go for it. If you think something is good, then I assure you that there is a larger group of folks who will also think it is a good idea.  Kickstarter is a powerful tool to find those folks. The Blue Dungeon Tiles are not some incredible invention or idea.  In fact, I still feel it is a bit underwhelming. 

Those of you my age (40+) will understand the following analogy.  It is like bottled water. When I was young and bottled water was first coming on the market many scoffed saying "I can get water free from a tap and fill my own bottles".  That was true but there was obviously a market of folks who just wanted the convenience of purchasing bottled water.  Some early comments on Blue Dungeon Tiles were similar.  "Why would I back a project like this?  I can print and laminate my own tiles."  That is true.  One could find or make a set of tile designs, print them on cardstock and purchase a laminator to laminate the tiles by themselves then spend a few hours cutting them out.  But not everyone has the time, skill, or materials to do that and so the convenience of purchasing complete tile kits makes sense.  Thank you for understanding the idea, concept and utility of Blue Dungeon Tiles.  Thank you for finding me and my project. Thank you for being a believer and a backer.  Thanks for the critical feedback in making the tile designs better.  Thanks for sharing this with your friends and other gamers on forums and at your local gaming store.  I hope this project can inspire you to do your own project. 

Back in November, 2013, just under 6 months ago, I made the following doodles on a graph paper mouse pad. (By the way, I do not work for Farnsworth.) If I stay on target with the delivery of rewards, I will have taken a product from concept to market in less than 12 months.  That also makes Kickstarter awesome.

Sketch 1
Sketch 1
Sketch 2
Sketch 2

So now onto business...

I manage $20 million construction projects so I know I can fill rewards for approximately 1000 backers but there have been enough requests for increasing Pledges that I believe it will justify the cost to me for using a third party pledge manager like Backerkit or Fundaful.  It will allow me to take additional credit card payments for those of you who want to increase your pledge. The biggest help is that a pledge manager will help me make packing lists and print mailing labels.  If any of you have sold lots on Ebay, you understand the value of automating that process.

Before I sign up with one or the other, I would like any feedback, experiences, thoughts or questions that you have about this.  I am new to this but you will probably have to register with the pledge manager and if you wish to increase your pledge, I believe that you will have to register a credit card or bank account with another funds transfer company.  Both Backerkit and Fundaful uses "Stripe".

And a few last thoughts... I have had lots of folks who did not back this project ask about payment using Paypal. I have not found a pledge manager that works with Paypal.  

Without a pledge manager, I would have to get you to send me payments through Paypal or some other electronic funds company and I would not have a consolidated dashboard to keep up with all of the various changes, emails and charges.  

After getting some feedback, I will register with a pledge manager late tomorrow or early Friday. It takes the pledge manager a few days to set up all of the reward permutations that are needed to be completed before I start sending out the polls.  So I estimate that early next week, the polls will start going out but I will keep you updated each step of the way.  Hopefully, the transparency of this process will take away some of the fear of the unknown and help you if/when you do a Kickstarter.

Miles Cochran, Tim McCloud, and 9 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Kevin Chenevert Creator on

      Alan, even if Aremef would have asked me I would have said "No" because this is my first Kickstarter and I did not know that I would use a reward fulfillment service. I looked at them before I started but did not think it would be worth the extra fee and not knowing the future success of my Kickstarter was watching every penny. Please try only address comments to me and not other backers. I do not want anyone to get offended and it is easy for that to happen in text only message medium.

    2. Alan
      Superbacker
      on

      @Aremef -- If this is a concern for you, ASK *BEFORE* you fund. Waiting until the end it the totally wrong time to do it. Most Kickstarters HAVE to use a third party because Kickstarter does not provide the tools necessary. And most do not even think about this until they realize they need it. It's not up to them to protect you, it's up to you.

    3. Kevin Chenevert Creator on

      Aremef, I understand your concern. If you or other backers wish to opt out, I will handle your reward fulfillment personally. Please contact me directly at kschenevert@att.net if you would like to discuss this with me further.

      I plan to use Fundafull. The is an example of the information sent to them:
      Backer Id, Backer Name, Email, Shipping, Pledge Amount, Rewards Sent?, Pledged At, Pledged Status, Notes
      1,redkobold,kschenevert@att.net,Domestic,$60.00 USD,"","2014/03/01, 13:23",collected,

      Essentially, this is your KS username, email, the amount you pledged and when it was pledged.

      My understanding is that at Fundaful, they will get your mailing address from you as well.

      You will only need to provide credit card information if you with to increase your pledge. Those payments will be processed through Stripe who is the same payment processor as Backerkit. If you want to know more about Stripe, here is their link:
      https://stripe.com/us/pricing (by the way, the fees are for me not you)

      Again, let me know if you have any concerns or wish to opt out. I will also post this in the updates to make sure everyone gets this message.

    4. Missing avatar

      aremef on

      I have to tell you, I'm not happy to find out that you are using a a third party for fulfillment. Nothing against BackerKit or anyone else, but I use kickstarter to fund projects like this because I've decided to trust a a pair of third parties, Kickstarter and Amazon, to handle the transaction between us.

      Now, after the money has been collected, I'm being told my personal information is being handed over to yet another third party. A third party I don't have the choice of deciding whether they can have my info. That doesn't sit right with me, even if the only information passed along is my email address. (And to those who will tell me that I should either quit worrying about it or get off the internet, well, feel free to play fast and loose with your own personal info. I've chosen to be stingy with it.) This is the 3rd or 4th time this has happened. Each time, I've expressed my concern, and was told not to worry about, backerkit/etc.. is secure, blah blah... Well, everyone is secure, right up until they are hacked. I've also been told that my information wouldn't be passed along to the third parties and the creator would handle my fulfillment. The emails form backerkit in my inbox indicate otherwise.

      So, in short, I understand the appeal of using a third party for fulfillment, but I have serious reservations about being told my personal info is being turned over to a third party, after my money has been collected. That's not fair, and at some point, Backerkit, and/or one of the others, is going to get compromised, and kickstarter supporters are going to get screwed. Frankly, I think creators should be forced to disclose if they will be using a third party for fulfillment when the project is created, so we as backer at least have a choice.

    5. Alan
      Superbacker
      on

      @Ian -- You'll most likely have to register in order to supply your shipping address, if you ordered anything physical. Plus, it REALLY helps the Kickstarter Project Manager if ALL the info they need for ALL the backers is in one place instead of spread out over dozens of email addresses, six databases, and scribbled on random post-its.

    6. Ray Rich on

      I have the same experience as Joel Thurston. Another project used Backerkit, and it seemed efficient enough and was certainly user-friendly customer-side, but the project hasn't shipped yet, so I can't speak to the fulfillment. The creator seemed happy with it, though, and I would prefer to use that account.

    7. Missing avatar

      Dave Sherohman on

      First off, regarding the first half of this update, you are officially the best kickstarter creator ever. I've backed more kickstarters than is probably healthy for me and not only have you managed the project well and been awesomely generous to both the backers and the general public, but you're also the first one I've seen who has made a point of telling the backers, "Hey, if you've got an idea, then you can do this, too!"

      On the second half, I've only encountered backerkit and it seems to work extremely well for what it does. I haven't even heard of fundaful before, so I have no idea how it compares. The only other thing I can say about this is that you should absolutely NOT even *think* about writing your own custom online order management/fulfillment system (not that you seem to be considering that anyhow) - I've seen a lot of kickstarters attempt that and it's never turned out well.

    8. Ian 'Smurf' Murphy
      Superbacker
      on

      If I don't want to change my pledge do I have to register at all? As I'd prefer not to

    9. JHewett
      Superbacker
      on

      Only used backerkit too...seems to work ok.

    10. Theresa DeMouy
      Superbacker
      on

      Always used BackerKit. Works good, but I hear it can be a bit troublesome to set up. But not sure about that part.

    11. Jim McLaughlin
      Superbacker
      on

      My only experience is with Backerkit (no complaints) so I can't really say anything about Fundaful.

    12. Jason on

      Fundaful worked good when I did dwarvenforge both times. I don't know behind the scenes though.

    13. Jazzy Bear Brown on

      Just did Backerkit and it DOES allow for others to order at KS pricing as well.

      As Sleet said, test test test. I would be happy to test if you want me to before the major roll out.

    14. Missing avatar

      Sleet
      Superbacker
      on

      I've used Backerkit a bunch of times, but Fundaful only a few (I was just tinkering with it for another kickstarter I had pledged to, actually!).

      They're both pretty good systems, and while mistakes can be made (by all means, invite a couple people to test it out before having nearly a thousand people try it only to find out something is broken/wrong), they both take care of it pretty well from what I've seen.

      Honestly, I'd go for whichever one offers you the better deal, so you can save that much more money for emergencies (or profit, if all goes well).

    15. Alan
      Superbacker
      on

      What you need is info from other Kickstarter projects. As a backer, I've been pretty happy with Kickstarter's simple "what did you order" to BackerKit and Fundafull to custom jobs. I really like the ones that let you change pledge amounts and add-ons and do additional funding. Most use credit cards, some do PayPal. Somewhere there's got to be a place where people have discussed setting up and using the backer kits from your side. See if there's other things they recommend. The only thing I would say is that unless you have a full-time web dev guy on staff, do NOT try to roll your own! Reaper could do it (Kit is an internet GOD!) but it's not for the faint of heart!

    16. Ian McG on

      I've backed numerous projects tat used Fundaful. It has always been easy and it appears the menus can be tweaked to allow choices and the opportunity to increase purchases. I always had to do an address change after submitting and Fundaful made sure it worked out and the project got to me.

    17. Jazzy Bear Brown on

      Have used both a lot as a pledger. I hear Backerkit is a bit harder to get options set (read complex not difficult), but it is a bit easier to change as a pledger. Fundafull is very nice and sleek and easy as a pledger but locks down rather tightly, other than address changes. Neither needs any payment info if you are not increasing your pledge. Fundafull also lets non-KS (people that missed the KS) and others "pre-order" by essentially letting them have a Zero$ order form. Not sure if Backerkit does that.

    18. bygrinstow on

      "Good news, everyone! He doesn't work for Farnsworth!"

      Sorry, couldn't resist...

      Haven't used either, IIRC. Whichever you feel is best is good by me.

    19. Missing avatar

      Brian Diggs on

      Another project I backed used Backerkit and I had no complaints with it. If I recall correctly, you don't have to enter any payment information if you are not increasing your order. I would hope this would be true for any such service.

    20. Marcus Good
      Superbacker
      on

      Farnsworth?!

      *WERNSTROM!*

      (/Futurama joke)

    21. Joel Thurston
      Superbacker
      on

      I've registered with Backerkit for a previous project. I can't speak to Backerkit's efficiency, because that project hasn't shipped yet, but I would prefer to use them again so I don't have to create another account with someone else.

    22. Judy Krauss on

      Just be sure that whatever you use lets people not only add add-ons but also extra full pledge levels (if they want to double what they pledged for, or add a different pledge level for a friend).

    23. SamuraiJack
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm the opposite.. I've had 2 use backerkit and none use fundaful.. I'm good either way..

    24. Missing avatar

      npudim on

      I've had good luck with kickstarters using fundafull before. Never used backerkit