With surveys currently being sent to Backers of “Dungeons of Drakkenheim” we thought to complete a “deep-dive” into of one of the more detailed topics… shipping prices!
At this time in a project’s lifecycle, it’s worth breaking down – and we know this. Our creators, managers and customer support team are all fans, gamers and hobbyists that have backed a fair share of Kickstarters, and had a range experiences across the spectrum when it comes to shipping prices.
Therefore, in this post we’ll talk a little about the shipping part of the journey, how the costs are estimated and how the process happens. Some of the information in this post will speak to the overall situation of global logistics and shipping, which are still recovering from the global implications of COVID-19.
The first thing to acknowledge is that this is a completely new project, with brand new products. As a result, this means that everything that we produce we are designing, manufacturing, and then stocking in our warehouses for the first time. This of course means that we must apply our requirements, cost simulations and analytics to each new product of each new project.
The second step to think about is that for the products we manufacture, we are always making sure that the best possible combination of quality and price is kept in mind. Generally speaking, the most optimal combination of price and quality is not going to be local, so we must allow some small portion of the shipping price to apply from where we collate and combine our campaign orders directly to you. It is worth mentioning that until we can lock down all the orders including add-ons in BackerKit, we don’t know what that direct ‘forwarding’ part of the shipping will be. We estimate as close as we can a cost neutral sum, but often as a company we end up taking a loss on this to get our products to you.
Finally, it is imperative that we mention that COVID-19 is still messing with the shipping market, in more ways than one; we imagine this isn’t all that surprising. Shipping companies have introduced additional fees, such as an Emergency Services Levy on every kilogram shipped globally for example, ranging from 50 cents per kilogram to $2.5 per kilogram depending on the destination. Vessel bookings are fiercely competitive and subject to long delays, and due to this some companies are willing to pay top dollar to secure positions. There is a shortage of containers available, which is escalating prices before any booking is even secured. The list truly could go on… so we are doing our absolute best to manage shipping prices in light of all of these factors.
We do our best to make sure the following is front and centre inside campaigns, but to reiterate; none of our Kickstarters collect shipping, we use BackerKit for that to avoid any such confusion, so your pledge amount does not include shipping.
We do provide a graphic on the Kickstarter campaign page that estimates the cost for shipping for the first physical tier, but we do not provide estimates for the higher tier levels in the Kickstarter. This is because generally speaking, there are still far too many weights, dimensions, costs and packing arrangements for us to confirm. Once we know our pledge numbers and our order quantities we take this information and apply it into our analytics systems in order to get specific and measured costings to each individual Backer inside each individual campaign.
Quite a simple to understand metric that we have used in the past to showcase our shipping prices and how they fluctuate is to look at the “cost per kilogram” – meaning the price we charge backers per kilogram of weight in their order. The higher the kilograms in your order, the more we will be charged to get the products to you – and therefore, the more we must charge the Backer for the shipping component of their pledge.
The average cost per kilogram to deliver to all corners of the globe for The Seeker’s Guide to Twisted Taverns was $12.89/KG, and for Grim Hollow: The Players Guide it was an average of $9.05/KG. These projects compare closely to the product offering inside Dungeons of Drakkenheim, which is also coming in at an average of about $9.00/KG, which is normal in the current climate. While the demand seems to have stabilised for global shipping, there is yet very little return to normal in terms of shipping prices.
So that’s $9.00/KG for all of your pledge items, picked, packed, shipped internationally and delivered to your door. Which in the current climate is the best we can get, and we are passing that on to you.
We are committed to continually improving and refining our analysis and our estimations. When the surveys are sent out and the shipping prices revealed, you may find in some cases that they resemble previous campaign prices, but in other cases they are cheaper. Most importantly, where they are similar, you are getting far more in terms of weight than you might have been getting for your previous campaign.
We are committed to continuing in this direction by exploring cheaper and more efficient logistics solutions, refining our internal cost analysis and estimations, negotiating cheaper final mile delivery rates and so on.
We like to give you the option to grab products that you may have otherwise missed out on, but the unfortunate part about this is that creates 100+ different shipment combinations for around 13,000 backers. There is no way for us to easily use BackerKit’s platform to align every combination for every customer and charge accordingly, so we take an average of the cost to ship the add-ons, ensuring that we are either cost neutral or taking a loss on each add-on.
Wrapping it up
If you would like more information on any of the above, contact us via Kickstarter or email firstname.lastname@example.org; we are happy to answer any questions, suggestions or feedback, we would love to hear it.