Chris

Kickstarter Costings!

61 posts in this topic

So, here's a thread about the costs of the goods:

PDF Art Book: Lots and lots of time from our full time graphic artist, but this is hopefully a worthwhile cost. I'd love to have a hardback book showing off selected project artwork (I think my parents would rather like a copy too) and I'm sure the artists would enjoy it as well. The artwork in the project is one of my favourite things about it and it'd be good to tell the "story behind the pictures" too.

Art Book Printing: I'm looking at using these guys as they are based in the UK but have US partners and I assume they'll be able to deliver the right number of books to each country to save me mailing all the US books from the UK to the US.

The book is going to be a 48-page full colour book, coming in either hardback of softback versions. I don't know much much that'll weigh, but I'm using an estimate of 250g for the softback and 400g for the hardback.

To print the softback book, the costs are:

25 - £7.50 / $12 each

50 - £6.18 / $9.9 each

100 - £5.40 / $8.65 each

200 - £4.78 / $7.66 each

500 - £3.82 / $6.12 each

The print the hardback book, the costs are:

25 - £11.10 / $17.80 each

50 - £9.35 / $14.99 each

100 - £8.25 / $13.25 each

200 - £7.52 / $12.05 each

500 - £5.89 / $9.43 each

To post it anywhere in the world from the UK, the costs would be:

Softback - £2.28 / $3.65 each

Hardback - £3.42 / $5.48 each

To post it in the US - I basically have no idea how to read the UPS shipping charts. What's all this Zone stuff? Perhaps someone can help me? If we're assuming an A4 size book that's less than 1cm thick and weighing about 400g / 14oz, how much is the most that would cost to ship domestically?

This makes the books rather expensive. We could put the softback ones in at the $60 price point, giving the player a Premium pre-order plus the art book. If we got, say, 200 people buying this it'd cost $11.31 each for the extra $30 donation (which is effectively $27 after fees). So it'd give a net gain of about $15 for the time cost incurred.

The hardback books cost a fortune. I think any of them we make would be signed and would be a prize for the serious donators out there. We'll probably do a short print run of them anyway for use within the team and sending to friendly journalists too.

T-Shirts: I think it's probably best to get these done in the States. A bit of cursory browsing has found this site where you can get what I assume are decent T-shirts screen printed at decent rates. I could do the screen printing with 1 or 2 colours in the print, and I'd imagine we'll probably have white on black T-shirts but I'll do the figures with 2 colour prints to be on the safe side (1-colour is about 5% cheaper).

25 - $9.61 each

50 - $8.11 each

100 - $6.43 each

200 - $5.42 each

500 - $5.08 each

As you can see, the price drops off after about 200, and if we can get the number of shirts in the 100-200 region then they're a useful item to have. Relatively they're cheaper than the softcover artbook by $2-3 each, so it'd make sense that they went in at the $50 price point.

Posters: Full colour A3-size Posters appear to provide by far the most bang for the buck pricewise, looking at sites like these. Again, if we went for printing in the US then we'd probably be looking at the following kind of prices:

50 - $1.02 each

100 - $0.85 each

250 - $0.72 each

500 - $0.44 each

Shipping to an address in the US would be about $22 on top of that, but in terms of production costs these are very very cheap goodies to dish out. I was thinking about scrapping them but looking at the figures that would be frankly moronic at this point.

The only problem with this is the postage for the posters, because they'd have to be sent in tubes which cost another $0.60 each or so. Then the actual postage would be relatively pricey due to the fact they're seriously awkward to handle. Again, someone will have to look up the UPS postage rates for me but it's likely to be about 14 inches long and about 2.5 inches wide / tall.

Anyone got any suggestions for other things I should be pricing up, or any comments?

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Most kickstarter projects ask you to pledge an adittional 10- 15$ for international shipping because of VAT. I can't tell if you have considered that or not. (I'm not even sure what it is, some kind of tax? Does it apply to the T-shirts and posters shipped from US or do you avoid that completly since your company aren't located in the US?)

Edited by Gorlom

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I don't think that's just for VAT (whatever that is) but for shipping expenses in general. If you're sending stuff from the US the ~15$ will cover costs for US, UK, Western Europe and such but if you're in Eastern Europe, for example, things can get very expensive with shipping costing as much (and often even more) than the product itself.

Once I wanted to order a 13 inch figurine from the US. It cost 50$ but shipping was an additional 70$. The Atlantic is a harsh mistress. It's a pretty safe assumption that most pledges will originate from somewhere in the "western world" but still.

I don't know about UPS rates but unless one knows where each shipment is going it's impossible to accurately predict the shipping expenses. An educated guess is the best you can do. I also know that those UPS auto calculators are grossly inaccurate when it comes to "non mainstream" countries.

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One thing I liked about the kickstarter done by The Fictory for their Atomic Robo Animation project, they allowed people to add things like extra t-shirts, art books and so on to their pledge, allowing people to kinda create their own rewards to an extent.

This is something I particularly approve of because often I would like two t-shirts so I can wear one and frame the other.

On top of that you have several projects where things like t-shirts, probably one of the most attractive rewards i would think, are often left until unreasonably high levels like the 150-250 dollar mark.

Shipping wise there seems to be fairly arbitrary figures put on these things. I doubt they actually do any real checking of shipping costs they just put a figure that they think should let them cover most of it.

Another thing I have seen requested by some is digital only rewards for those worried about being hit by VAT when the packages are being sent internationally, certainly having such an option couldn't hurt.

Edited by Inkallim

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Yes, it's fairly standard to ask for a $10-15 extra to cover international shipping. I mean, what's the point of pledging money if most of it goes to getting you some goodies? It doesn't seem like people have a problem with it. You select your tier, and edit the figure to include those $15.

I don't think it's VAT either. Because what is shipped isn't something you "bought" but a gift.. I guess? I'm not at all sure about it though. I once bought some t-shirts from the states, they were around $20, but the cost of shipping plus VAT and Toll for clothing in Norway ran me about $50. :P There's no VAT or Toll on books you buy abroad though (in Norway), I shop at Amazon.co.uk quite a bit! :D

To me the poster isn't really that important. Unless it's wicked. But I would really like a hard cover art book, let me tell you.

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UPS calculates shipping rates based on your weight and how many zones* away the recipient is from the sender.

Looking at page 52 of UPS shipping rates, a 2 lb package going 4 zones away would cost $9.83 at retail price. A company with a relationship with UPS/FedEx can negotiate a much lower rate.

FedEx is the cheaper of the dependable companies, while DHL is great for losing or damaging packages. They once claimed to have ~lost~ an 80lb industrial printer I shipped through them. Roughly 36x24x24 dimensions! The USPS is generally mediocre to bad, but is the cheapest option for basic shipment.

Not sure where you got your figures for the poster-in-a-tube shipping rates, but $22 is quite high. I'm not certain, but I believe tubes ship for roughly the same rate as boxes. Need to make sure whoever does the shipping properly reinforces the tube though.

Edit: Just checked, the USPS would cost you $6.30 to ship from Miami, Florida to Seattle, Washington for 2-3 day Priority Mail service on a 1 lb 14x3x3 tube. That should be about as far of a shipment as possible in the continental US. link to my info

Edited by llhht

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A hardcover book at 100 volume costs 13,25 dollars. With international shipping, this can get to around 35 dollars. Why would it have to be a thing for the "serious donators" ? Can fit easily into the $100 tier, maybe even the $75. Anyway it is normal to ask for extra 10-15 dollars for international shipping.

Doesn't UPS/DHL/Fedex take bulk orders at reduced rate?

One more thing: be prepared to hire additional staff to handle all the material and postage matters. :D

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Yeah VAT is an interesting one, I am fully expecting the VAT to hurt like a kick to the goolies for the couple of kickstarters I've backed that have a lot of physical rewards. I've no idea how these rewards will be listed in terms of price of contense and also if they will be listed as gifts or purchases.

The UK has pretty solid VAT on I think everything over a certain very small cost limit. This leads to situations where sometimes ordering items individually can be cheaper if an item on its own is below the price limit and the shipping is less than the cost of tax.

It's one of those things I try to take into account, and I did make sure to have enough funds to cover a worst case importing cost, but I can totally see the value in digital only reward packages for people who want to play it safe.

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The UK VAT regime is dependent on the company rather than the price - if the company earns more than a certain amount, it has to charge VAT. However, Amazon Payments are based in the US and do the payment processing and therefore I wouldn't have to charge VAT on the sales made by them, just like I don't have to charge VAT on the sales made by Desura in the UK (as they are based in Australia), as VAT / sales tax is collected at the point of sale.

Handily, I believe in the US there's no sales tax on online sales so VAT / sales tax is nothing to worry about for us.

The $22 postage fee for the posters was calculated as how much it'd cost them to ship all the posters to a US address for distribution from there.

For the hardcover art book, it could be a $100 reward by itself, I suppose, but if you start sticking the other rewards in too (other than the premium pre-order) then it'd have to cost more.

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I'm not much of a swag collector so the only remotely interesting item to me would be the T-shirt.

That's something that has a practical use.

One time I bought some old game as a collector's edition since it was the only copy left. The shop owner was some sort of collector so I just took the jewel case with the game out and left him with whatever else might have been in there.

Do not care. Do not want.

Maybe you should consider a pledge level exclusively for the not-so-esoterical minded. =)

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llhht is correct about the approximate cost of shipping domestically within the United States. But international is an entirely different story. I work in the retail shipping business I have to say $10-$15 for international postage is a really lowball. I priced up a package (roughly what I'd expect the T-Shirt to look like) going from the East Coast of the US to Postal Code in downtown London; weight 2 lbs, exterior dimensions 13x10x4 in inches. Here are the cheapest options for various carriers;

UPS Expedited: 3 Business Days, $134

DHL Express Worldwide: 2 Business Days, $132

US Postal Priority Mail: 6-10 Business Days, $41

US Postal 1st Class International: 10-20 Business Days, $18.

So if someone quotes you less than $15 for International Shipping, they're sending it 1st Class (or equivalent thereof) and chances are they're not even covering the cost of that shipping. (Remember we haven't even talked about the cost of Packaging which people tend to overlook).

I wanted to make sure you guys knew what you would be getting into with International Shipping, I think it would behoove have options that are purely digital even at the middle and high level price points for that reason.

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Yup. I really wanted that Collector's Edition box for Wasteland 2 at the 50$ level but I knew I'd need to add something like 50$ more for shipping, because with just 15$ my pledge would've been a loss for inXile rather than any sort of profit.

Unless there's some large discount I don't know about they'd get for large scale shipping.

Still, it should be ok (others have done it and lived) as the large majority of orders will be from the US, UK and Western Europe which should be tolerable with the cheaper shipping options.

Edited by Jean-Luc

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The most cost effective thing I can think of would be to have everything that needs to go to Europe put on a pallet or better yet if it fills a shipping container and send that to the UK or Continental Europe by ocean freight.

As for discount, I don't know since I'm on the retail end of things. The Postal Service doesn't do anything like that that I am aware of but both UPS and DHL do, in which case you'd want to go online to their website, create an account and then contact customer support and explain the volume you're expecting and see what they'll give you.

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Maybe you should consider a pledge level exclusively for the not-so-esoterical minded. =)

When you select your tier you can then edit the amount you wish to pledge and what award, of any, you qualify for with that amount. So you can pledge $200 and select the $30 Premium Pre-Order one as your reward. Or no reward at all. :)

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It's entirely possible it'd be cheaper just to do the non-US stuff in the UK, as international shipping from here using surface (ie. ship rather than aircraft) mail is not actually too pricey, as shown in the OP. I think $10 for international shipping for anything should cover it really.

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Yeah, it's not like people are expecting their stuff over night.

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Yup. I really wanted that Collector's Edition box for Wasteland 2 at the 50$ level but I knew I'd need to add something like 50$ more for shipping, because with just 15$ my pledge would've been a loss for inXile rather than any sort of profit.

Did you get the 55$ tier they added? was essentially a digital version of the 50$ tier.

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Have you thought about hiring separate companies to print and ship the posters, books, etc. in the US and Europe?

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I believe that super-technically you are to keep track of all items purchased online to refer them itemized on your tax return at the end of each fiscal year to ensure sales tax is paid to the state in which you live - not that anyone DOES this mind you but if you get audited I'm sure it'll show up as a fee you need to pay.

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Did you get the 55$ tier they added? was essentially a digital version of the 50$ tier.

Nah, wasn't worth it for me. No box, no manual. Those were the only reasons I was considering that tier. Didn't really care about the (pdf) art book or being in the beta.

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Is it possible to get in touch with a previous kickstarter who has done similar rewards and ask them about shipping to various places?

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Chris, any word on when this is going to ....Kick off? Also, if current Pre-orders back the project, can we gift the access to the public buid to someone else?

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well you could always consider taking what ever it costs you to produce the shirts and posters and such, then double it and then sell them by themselves, thus selling to those that may not even be interested about the game, resulting in higher volume and cheaper rates. the tough part is finding out what sort of art would sell to the general public, while having another bit of art as reward that is still worth a pledge.

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