With some of the largest pledge tiers in Ghostfire Gaming & Eldermancy history being released, we thought that it might be prudent to talk a little about the Shipping part of the journey, how the costs are estimated and how the process happens. Basically we want to touch on a little bit of everything from the moment the product is complete and delivered to our warehouse to the moment that it arrives at your doorstep. As you might imagine, there are a few things to consider when we get down to the manufacture and shipping end of our projects.
Before we rehash a good deal of one of our recent backer updates for The Seeker’s Guide to Twisted Taverns, we are happy to let you know that there have been some great improvements to two areas of shipping ahead of our next Kickstarter. The first is an improvement affecting add-on shipping, and the second is an improvement increasing the clarity around the shipping settings on our Kickstarter page.
What & Where
The first thing to think about (and we apologise if this is a little obvious to some of our longer-term backers), is 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. We may want to deliver you a unique Taverns Stein with this project for example, or in the case of Stibbles, a selection of Plushies. In both cases the costings for the manufacture and shipping for these two products are entirely dissimilar and need to be considered as different.
The second step is to think about the Products that we manufacture and make sure that the best possible combination of quality and price is kept in mind. Generally speaking, that best possible 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 end up taking a loss on this to get our products to you.
Next thing to think about is that 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 that estimates the cost for shipping for the first physical tier, but do not generally provide estimates for the higher tier levels in the Kickstarter because generally speaking there are still far too many weights, dimensions, costs and packing arrangements to nail down.
Final Designs & Cost Estimates
Next, once the design of each of our products is nailed down and dimensions are confirmed, we can assign a shipping cost to each tier level. Once we have the product details, we ask our Fulfilment partners for a quote on delivering the all of the pledges across the globe, and to their credit they are able to provide us with that. We look at it, check for consistency and accuracy and then past the cost for shipping on to you, our Backers. There are of course special cases globally (South American countries charge huge amounts of payable duties and countries like Israel and Iceland can be difficult to get to). In all the special cases we take a loss as a company to get it to where it needs to go.
After this we can start to talk about Add-Ons. 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 for Twisted Taverns alone that creates 110 different shipment combinations for around 18,000 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.
Twisted Taverns, for Example
Talking about Twisted Taverns as a recent case study, there are 5 pledge tiers, 4 of which involve physical products. The first physical pledge tier is the Wandering Adventure, which corresponds to the Shipping Infographic 80% of the way down the Kickstarter main page. The following 3 pledge tiers all involve more product, which means a higher shipping charge.
Once we have the products there are two things to consider, cost and weight. Cost is understood, however there is also the weight to consider, being actual weight (in KG or lbs) and volumetric weight (or dimensional weight, which is important when items are nonstandard shapes and sizes).
The Wandering Adventurer pledge weighs approximately 1.6kg (3.5lbs), which means that our Wandering Adventurers in the United States for example are receiving their Items for an average of $19.50/1.6 = $12.19 per kilogram, or $5.53 per pound. That is just over 3 lbs of products delivered to your door directly from our manufacturers around the globe at a total cost to you of $5.53 per pound. This averages globally to around about $12.89 for the first tier.
The second tier, our Avid Sightseer, is 2.2kg (4.85lbs) of products of various shapes and sizes, delivered to our backers in the US for $31.50. This is slightly higher per kilogram, at $14.32 per kilogram, or $6.49 per pound.
The third tier, our Tavern Keeper, is receiving a huge 3.77kg (8.3lbs) of products. Doing the math again here is $12.17 per kilogram, or again, around $5.35 per pound to our US backers.
The final tier, our Lord of Secrets pledge, receives a total of 5.99kg (13.2lbs) of products, which is the largest pledge reward we have ever offered, and is to our US backers $9.93 per kilogram or $4.50 per pound.
There are a few things to note about these prices just quickly, first that the average delivery globally is around about $3.00 per kilogram lighter than our previous Projects. To clarify, a pledge from one of our previous projects weighing the same as our Tavern Keeper pledge for example, would have been $9.00 more expensive on average – so we are still improving in terms of getting you better prices, it’s just dwarfed by the huge amount of product we are sending through to our Backers in these cases.
Also, important to note is that $59.50 is our upper limit on this project for shipping globally. In other words, we are taking a loss on delivering almost every single Lord of Secrets Pledge because we wanted to keep the costs as reasonable as can be for all our backers.
If you would like more information on any of the above, please get in touch. We are happy to answer any questions you have as well as if you have any suggestions or feedback, we would love to hear it.