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Subject: EU-Friendly and international bundled shipping? rss

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Don Lloyd
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I have a question for our international fans. How many copies is too many copies in a bundled pledge? What I mean is, if I offer discounted shipping for 3 games is it easy to find 2 other gamers to help with that? How about 4 or 5 gamers? How many copies makes sense? Note: 3 copies is really the minimum for any sort of a bundling discount.

Basically, I drop $12 off the shipping costs for each game/backer. So for three games that includes $36 in free shipping, but it still costs $56 on average to ship three medium sized/weight games. This means I would still have to charge $20 for shipping those 3 games. The benefit for the international backers is that they split the $20 shipping cost.

I have not made any firm decisions on pledge rewards or shipping costs yet, because I still need to receive a final quote. Plus, the US postal service changes rates at the beginning of the year, which will affect my numbers.

I am interested in offering a "Free International Shipping" pledge, but it would have to be for 5 copies of the game. My question is, how difficult is it to find 5 different gamers who will share that cost?

[UPDATE]
The game will be EU-friendly.


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CJ
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I doubt it would be very easy to find people to go in on bundles. It's rare to buy the same game within close groups and internal shipping costs will wipe out any savings. The chances of serendipitiously finding like-minded gamers close enough to hand them over to is negligible.

The most important thing is to ensure it is distributed internally to avoid custom fees. If you intend to ship from the US then I fear I and others will wait for the game to reach standard distribution channels.
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Russell Martin
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I agree with the above remark that EU friendly shipping is a better option. I wouldn't mind paying for (reasonable) shipping from some UK or European shipper. Goods from outside the EU can be subject to 20% VAT, and in all my experience, if this customs charge is made, an £8 "handling fee" is also tacked on top of that. soblue

For expensive items (or a collection of items), something like £135 or more, there can be an additional "duty" charge as well.
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Gordon Watson
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It's hard for individuals to say what the take up may be - my personal experience I have been able to get 10 people together for a bundle of 10 games of 'A Study in Emerald' and know that my group has supported a 6 bundle of 'Promised Land', and have done joint orders on a number of occasions.

So maybe bundles of 3 or options for 6 and I imagine you would get some take up.
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Kamil Klapka
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I agree with above statement. EU friendly shipping (shipping from within EU) is most important. Alternatively I have good experience with Bezier games, their fulfillment partner always avoided any charges by marking game 10 USD value. Still I would prefer EU shipping.

I can imagine that bundle of 3 games is still achievable. I can imagine to talk 2 friends into this. But I think it is not so common.

Also I would say avoid "stupid" stretch goals. By stupid I mean anything which is not yet tested and would change game significantly. Recent example is Columbia Games Victory in Europe. Premise of KS was to ship complete game within few months. However due to stretch goals they have doubled card deck, they have added more blocks, etc... Thus they have to start new round of playtesting and game is already delayed pretty much. I would say that these stretch goals are ok for miniature or card games but not so much for complete wargames.

I am looking forward to this game.

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Lindsay Scholle
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Both three and five copy bundles would be good. We have various Kickstarter groups in different cities in Australia. All have been set up to take advantage of bundle offers with local distribution. Many games have also had success with multiple ten game bundles, but I think the five or six game bundle is easier for groups to manage.

Here's the Sydney group as an example:

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/146671/kickstarter-groups...

It'so not a complete list because many completed Kickstarter pledges have been deleted once they've been delivered.

I'm very much looking forward to your game.
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Daniel Berger
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kamixx wrote:
Also I would say avoid "stupid" stretch goals. By stupid I mean anything which is not yet tested and would change game significantly.

That's not going to happen.
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Peter Asimakis
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Scholle wrote:
Both three and five copy bundles would be good. We have various Kickstarter groups in different cities in Australia. All have been set up to take advantage of bundle offers with local distribution. Many games have also had success with multiple ten game bundles, but I think the five or six game bundle is easier for groups to manage.

Here's the Sydney group as an example:

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/146671/kickstarter-groups...

It'so not a complete list because many completed Kickstarter pledges have been deleted once they've been delivered.

I'm very much looking forward to your game.


What he said.
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Trev
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I am looking forward to Hands in the Sea!

For Australia the main limitation is the AUD$1000 threshold for tax and customs charges. Goods + shipping of value less than AUD$1000 (US$820 and shrinking) incur no tax.

The more options for group buy quantities the better. For example a group buy of 3 games plus $x for each additional game is the most flexible. Free shipping for 5 copies is great.

Shipping charges mean that group buys are the only sensible option for Australia. Group funding of Kickstarters is very active in Melbourne, Australia:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/melbks/
http://www.melbournegamers.com/viewforum.php?f=36

Also consider local fulfilment.

www.milsims.com.au have done local fulfilment for other kickstarters. This significantly reduces the cost of shipping, although tax and customs charges need to be factored.
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Alex Grant
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I'd prefer a small bundle (3 is good; I hope) as this type of game is more of a niche product and harder to find other buyers for. Our threshold here to avoid tax/duty is about $300 USD (including shipping cost) so the really large bundles are never viable anyway.
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Robert Forrest
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Can't you just offer both?

I am pretty sure I can find five people to go in on a bundle, we do this sort of stuff all the time in my game club.
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Don Lloyd
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I failed to mention in my original post that the game will indeed be EU-friendly. International backers will be able to partake in both a bundled discount and EU-friendly shipping.

I crunched a few numbers and it looks like I can offer free international shipping at 5 copies of the game. That could change based on the shipping prices at the beginning of the year though.
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Lawrence Hung
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Certainly an option attracting international backers like us in A Freeport in Asia, where Facebook is so popular to call up like-minded gamers for free shipping. Five might be hard to come by but three should be reasonable.
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Allan Frouvne Knudsen
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EU-Friendly Free International Shipping makes this sound like something I could quite easily tempt four other gamers with.
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Houserule Jay
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shadowkn wrote:

I crunched a few numbers and it looks like I can offer free international shipping at 5 copies of the game. That could change based on the shipping prices at the beginning of the year though.


That would be GREAT! Past KS's have done well with a 6 copy option, it sounds like many would also like the 3 game bundle with shared shipping

Options are always good as I like to say, if not too much trouble it would be great to include a 3 & 5/6 game bundle, then people can shoot for the 5/6 option for the free shipping but if can't drum up enough people can still choose the 3 game one.
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CJ
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shadowkn wrote:
I failed to mention in my original post that the game will indeed be EU-friendly. International backers will be able to partake in both a bundled discount and EU-friendly shipping.


Good to hear and certain to be the major factor in persuading EU-based backers to commit.

Care to indicate your intended launch date?
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Robert Forrest
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elgin_j wrote:
Care to indicate your intended launch date?


http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/17553637#17553637

February is the intended month.
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Bruno Valerio
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Yes EU-Friendly is essential for European backers... but shipping costs most also be reasonable...

We've seen some EU-Friendly KS with $40 of shipping costs...

That's also a big no no!

It's cool to offer free shipping in bundles but single game shipping should also be reasonable!
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Don Lloyd
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Oblivion wrote:
Yes EU-Friendly is essential for European backers... but shipping costs most also be reasonable...

We've seen some EU-Friendly KS with $40 of shipping costs...

That's also a big no no!

It's cool to offer free shipping in bundles but single game shipping should also be reasonable!

I do understand how important it is to offer reasonable international shipping costs for bundled as well as single pledge rewards. However, many things need to be taken into consideration as there are many risks to game publishers if they make the wrong decision in this matter.

The current shipping cost for a Priority Mail box, at the estimated Hands in the Sea weight, would cost $44 to ship from the US to most International locations. There are options to ship pallets of games directly to warehouses in the EU, although there are fees for using those sorts of services. In the end the shipping costs end up being very similar, if not more expensive.

I am curious what others think a reasonable price would be to ship a game internationally if the costs to ship the game are around $44 and the pledge reward for the game itself would cost around $55? Note: Most publishers would reduce the International shipping cost by the same amount as the free shipping cost offered to US backers, which is currently $12. However, I am willing to offer a deeper discount on International shipping within reason.

 
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Gordon Watson
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The gold standard for Kickstarter campaigns and how to handle international shipping for such is Stonemaier games - if you haven't read it already then you could try this link which details how they did it.

http://stonemaiergames.com/how-to-provide-free-shipping-worl...

'Plaid Hat' did a great job with European distribution as well on 'Dead of Winter' - I'm pretty sure they used a bulk/pallet shipped Amazon fulfilment type solution as well.

For me if the shipping cost to the UK is over $25 you might as well wait for retail.
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Martyn Smith
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domus_ludorum wrote:
The gold standard for Kickstarter campaigns and how to handle international shipping for such is Stonemaier games - if you haven't read it already then you could try this link which details how they did it.

http://stonemaiergames.com/how-to-provide-free-shipping-worl...

'Plaid Hat' did a great job with European distribution as well on 'Dead of Winter' - I'm pretty sure they used a bulk/pallet shipped Amazon fulfilment type solution as well.

For me if the shipping cost to the UK is over $25 you might as well wait for retail.


What he said... thumbsup
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Don Lloyd
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domus_ludorum wrote:
The gold standard for Kickstarter campaigns and how to handle international shipping for such is Stonemaier games - if you haven't read it already then you could try this link which details how they did it.

http://stonemaiergames.com/how-to-provide-free-shipping-worl...

'Plaid Hat' did a great job with European distribution as well on 'Dead of Winter' - I'm pretty sure they used a bulk/pallet shipped Amazon fulfilment type solution as well.
Yes, I am familiar with all of Mr. Stegmaier's articles. I have the utmost respect for his company, his founding principles, and what he has accomplished. He has definitely cracked the puzzle on many areas, concerning Kickstarter projects. However, one of the necessary steps to make his shipping solution work is to locate and work with an "Importer of Record" for VAT, which is no easy task. However, I have located a game distributor in London and I feel comfortable with the agreement we have discussed.

domus_ludorum wrote:
For me if the shipping cost to the UK is over $25 you might as well wait for retail.
Charging around $25 for International shipping seems to be common on various projects. With that being said, if I were to offer to drop that to $20 would that be worthwhile to International backers interested in Hands in the Sea? The shipment of the games would also be EU-friendly with no added VAT.

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Robert Forrest
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In Australia, a few kickstarter projects have been using The Games Capital as their distribution people. I've found them great on the customer side of things, so they might be worth a look.
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Don Lloyd
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Edward J Grug III wrote:
In Australia, a few kickstarter projects have been using The Games Capital as their distribution people. I've found them great on the customer side of things, so they might be worth a look.

Robert, thank you for the information. I just sent out a message to them. I have been looking for a distribution contact in Australia for awhile now.
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Robert Forrest
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You're welcome! Of course, I wish you luck!
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