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Crowdfunding: Kickstarter» Forums » General

Subject: Do people really get money from Kickstarter? rss

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john m
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Probably dumb question, but when I look at Kickstarter and see tons of money pledged, I wonder, Do they really get that money? How much of it do they really see? What if they get some and not all and not enough? Do they just give the money back?

Just wondered. Thanks. Sorry for so many questions. Just tons of adsense ads on here, so I see it a lot.

 
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Derry Salewski
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. . . it's the entire point of the site.

amazon paymets takes like 3-10 percent or something.

You give them your card. If the project is funded, amazon gives them your money. And then they give you something! (usually, always with boardgames.)
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john m
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scifiantihero wrote:
. . . it's the entire point of the site.

amazon paymets takes like 3-10 percent or something.

You give them your card. If the project is funded, amazon gives them your money. And then they give you something! (usually, always with boardgames.)


So I pledge money. As soon as the goal is met, the money goes out, but not until then?
 
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If the game does not reach its funding goal your card is not charged. What happens when the game *does* reach its funding goal but no game is ever distributed is as far as I know undetermined. There have been plenty of delayed/shoddy games, but I don't know of any instances of outright theft.
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john m
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cferejohn wrote:
If the game does not reach its funding goal your card is not charged. What happens when the game *does* reach its funding goal but no game is ever distributed is as far as I know undetermined. There have been plenty of delayed/shoddy games, but I don't know of any instances of outright theft.


What if I put myself on there, make a game, and it flops? Ever hear of anyone that got sued yet? I'd like to start something one day...maybe , but I sure don't want to get myself in trouble.
 
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johnnyLikesGames wrote:
cferejohn wrote:
If the game does not reach its funding goal your card is not charged. What happens when the game *does* reach its funding goal but no game is ever distributed is as far as I know undetermined. There have been plenty of delayed/shoddy games, but I don't know of any instances of outright theft.


What if I put myself on there, make a game, and it flops? Ever hear of anyone that got sued yet? I'd like to start something one day...maybe , but I sure don't want to get myself in trouble.


Lately, there has been a big deal on getting the rules out to look at, to make sure the game is complete and tested. A few will get through, but BGGers make a big stink on those, and odds are it won't get funded in the board game society - mostly, generic family rolland move ideas have to get funded by just regular joes who don't expect much in a game.
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johnnyLikesGames wrote:
What if I put myself on there, make a game, and it flops? Ever hear of anyone that got sued yet? I'd like to start something one day...maybe , but I sure don't want to get myself in trouble.


Since your pledge is a donation, there's no grounds for a lawsuit, AFAIK.
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Liam
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Moved to Kickstarter
 
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mike
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That’s pretty much the whole point of crowdfunding
“the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet: musicians, filmmakers, and artists have successfully raised funds and fostered awareness through crowdfunding”
Kickstarter is just one of dozens of crowdfunding site. Kickstarter gets attention here because of the games category.
Yes if a project reaches its funding goal by the deadline then the project creator does receive the money, usually a few weeks after the campaign ends. Amazon handles the payment processing, Amazon gets a %, Kickstarter gets a % and then the project creator receives the funds in their account
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Brook Gentlestream
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pirate_chef wrote:
johnnyLikesGames wrote:
What if I put myself on there, make a game, and it flops? Ever hear of anyone that got sued yet? I'd like to start something one day...maybe , but I sure don't want to get myself in trouble.


Since your pledge is a donation, there's no grounds for a lawsuit, AFAIK.


Nowhere does kickstarter use the word donation anywhere in its site. It uses the words pledge and fundraising instead.


"By backing a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter, you as the Backer accept that offer and the contract between Backer and Project Creator is formed."

"Project Creators agree to make a good faith attempt to fulfill each reward by its Estimated Delivery Date."

"Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill."

"Kickstarter is under no obligation to become involved in disputes between any Users, or between Users and any third party arising in connection with the use of the Service."


This makes it pretty clear that there is a contractual obligation to fulfill reward promises, accepted by both parties using the site, and that legal action can be taken against the Project Creator (but not kickstarter itself) if those obligations are not met.
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Erik Racer
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Yes, but who is really going to sue somebody over a measly 100 bucks? Even if you have tons of backers I doubt it would happen as its my understanding it isn't cheap to sue somebody. Sure lawyers will sue big companies because they're likely to get some $$, but in something like this, you'd have to pay the attorney fees out of your own pocket, not out of some potential settlement.

Hmmm. I suppose you could start a Kickstarter for that. devil laugh
 
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Brook Gentlestream
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eracer68 wrote:
Yes, but who is really going to sue somebody over a measly 100 bucks? Even if you have tons of backers I doubt it would happen as its my understanding it isn't cheap to sue somebody. Sure lawyers will sue big companies because they're likely to get some $$, but in something like this, you'd have to pay the attorney fees out of your own pocket, not out of some potential settlement.

Hmmm. I suppose you could start a Kickstarter for that. devil laugh


If the amount is below a few thousand dollars, you can file in Small Claims Court in whatever city the buyer is located in. Here, all evidence will be sent to a judge or magistrate who will review the case and make a judgement. No civil suits. No juries. No attorneys.

Filing fees can go as high as $150 depending on your local state/county laws, but you can often add that cost to the outstanding debt. Money can still be very hard to collect even after a judgement is given to you, but it does open up many collection options, gives you a legal debt asset that you can potentially sell or trade, and puts an outstanding judgement red mark on the offender's credit report and legal background checks.

The point is there's no more risk by working through kickstarter than there is against anyone else who rips you off. You have all the normal legal avenues available to you. Kickstarter does not provide any legal assistance, protection, or leverage to either party. The fact that its done through Kickstarter doesn't make the "seller" or "buyers" immune to legal repercussions of their actions.

If you don't trust the seller, don't buy from them. Same with pre-orders, catalog purchases, items to be delivered, over-the-phone transactions, internet purchases, or any other similar transaction.
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Aaron Bohm
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pirate_chef wrote:
johnnyLikesGames wrote:
What if I put myself on there, make a game, and it flops? Ever hear of anyone that got sued yet? I'd like to start something one day...maybe , but I sure don't want to get myself in trouble.


Since your pledge is a donation, there's no grounds for a lawsuit, AFAIK.


Completely untrue, people need to stop saying this especially if they have no idea what they are talking about. In fact, there have already been lawsuits involving Kickstarter projects that have not come through.

By the way, if you make a donation and I promise to send you something that's called a contract.
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Kangyu Chia
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Never Knows Best wrote:
pirate_chef wrote:
johnnyLikesGames wrote:
What if I put myself on there, make a game, and it flops? Ever hear of anyone that got sued yet? I'd like to start something one day...maybe , but I sure don't want to get myself in trouble.


Since your pledge is a donation, there's no grounds for a lawsuit, AFAIK.


Completely untrue, people need to stop saying this especially if they have no idea what they are talking about. In fact, there have already been lawsuits involving Kickstarter projects that have not come through.

By the way, if you make a donation and I promise to send you something that's called a contract.


Yup. That's absolutely true. No matter what you call it in form, the agreement is still a contract in substance.

By the way, I'm curious as to what ongoing lawsuits are currently taking place due to failed projects. Do you mind sharing?
 
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Aaron Bohm
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Off the top of my head I can't remember exactly which projects made it to the litigation stage, pre-suit, or even settled but I remember some of the big failed projects:

Pebble E-Paper Watch

Towne's Lockpicks for Locksport

Lifx Wifi LED lights

Zioneyez

And if you keep an eye open you'll see all sorts of refund requests that turn into small claims suits posted here and there. Even more lawsuits involving the projects themselves, copywrite and patent infringment etc. The law is still very ambiguous on how exactly to handle Kickstarter projects but from crowd funding in general it is very easy to find precedence of suits involving funding for a promise (in the 60's there were a lot of these, many involving movies).
 
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Andrew Smith
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An interesting and informed debate.

If you will excuse me from making this slightly more subjective, the way I see Kickstarter has an element of risk vs. reward in it. I don't mind the up front investment risk so long as I see a kickback, i.e. something cheaper or with more stuff than I would otherwise get (and I am a sucker for more stuff being a typical completist gamer). I also limit my risk by only backing what I know or have good confidence in, which also means I am unlikely to back something totally unknown. OK that means I will miss a few good things, but I'll also avoid a lot of average-at-best stuff.

Kickstarters backed to date: 4 (Order of the Stick, Glory to Rome, Moongha, Elite video game reboot). Plus I bought a copy of D Day dice from a friend, and bought retail Zombicide (should have backed that).

I think I am also developing a sheep theory. If a lot of gamers have backed something, chances are it's worthwhile having ergo I should back as well. If I'd done this with D Day dice and Zombicide, that would have been handy.

Andrew
 
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Joe Pilkus
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Andrew brings up an interesting point and I'll use it as a segue to circle-back to some of the OP's inquiries.

Our first run at a Kickstarter Project, Crafthulhu ended unsuccessfully a week ago. To Andrew's point, we're offering our pieces at a fraction of the retail cost, especially when you factor shipping ~ which is free for Canada and the U.S. during the Kickstarter Project, but will not be the case when we sell them on the market.

Having perfomed an analysis of successful projects, on any day, around 50% of the projects have a funding level of 0%-10% (and they don't move much from that position) with only ~ 15% receiving full funding. Please understand that I'm looking at Games and not the myriad other categories.

Someone mentioned Storm the Castle which is an excellent project to study as it ended unsuccessfully last year, but re-launched this year, with videos and other colorful information, it has well-exceeded its Goal. To that end, we're in discussion with other mold makers to bring down our initial costs (at least as it applies to shipping, since resin is quite heavy) and we'll re-launch in the next few weeks.

In short, Kickstarter is a way to test an idea AND generate the necessary capital to see your project come to fruiton.
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The Professor wrote:
In short, Kickstarter is a way to test an idea AND generate the necessary capital to see your project come to fruiton.

Very good point that is often over looked: KS can be used to test the waters and receive feedback as well as gain some funds for production.

For me, I like to see competence (this one test eliminates alot of cruft), enthusiasm, good production quality and a well-run campaign.
 
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Joe Pilkus
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So, just to follow-up. we re-Launched our Crafthulhu Kickstarter project after adding videos, revamping the site, streamlining the Rewards/Backer Levels, and...five days later we were "Fully Funded!"

Within ten days, we met the 1st three Stretch Goals and we're less than $1K from the next Stretch Goal. So what changed between the first and second iteration. In short...A Lot! The longer answer is a bit more nuanced. Obviously taking the feedback offered by folks here and on other fora. Speaking with the vendors to reduce the minimum order so we didn't need to raise such an initial Goal, allowing us to possibly offer more in the way of Stretch Goals. Finally, having the perseverence to to do it again.

In response to the OP's original, Subject-referenced inquiry...yes, but not much. After you pay KS and Amazon (10%), fill the Backer Rewards (75%); and pay taxes on what's left (10%), you're probably clearing in the 5% category. Again, the idea is to have your idea Kick-Started...not Kick-finished (I can't actually claim this line, as I heard it elsewhere).
 
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Aaron Bohm
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The Professor wrote:
In short, Kickstarter is a way to test an idea AND generate the necessary capital to see your project come to fruiton.


Since you offered your project as an example I'll feel free to use you as something that irks me a tad about these types of projects, not in a mean spirited way hopefully, but maybe to see what you feel about it.

One thing I never understood about certain projects was how they seemingly have a great product, are doing all the right things to promote it, then slap it on Kickstarter - as you said - "to test the waters."

Many of said projects rarely have any sort of website presence and it leaves me wondering why step 1 isn't create a website, step 2 bring all my connections together at my website as a central hub. If I decide from there I want to put a link to my kickstarter all the better but now I have a central base of operation.

Take that a step further and create something to accept pre-orders. The reason I mention this is, being around the technology and web design arena almost all my life, I know it's waaaaaaay cheaper to do this than to give that huge slice to Amazon. Cheaper should mean less money we have to pay, more money you get to keep.

It get's even muddier when companies like Queen or Valley start using kickstarter. They do this because the MSRP price they ask for on Kickstarter is more than they'd get selling it at the discounted distributor price. We, the customer, however, get a more expensive product that would have come out anyway and usually from a company that's not used to dealing with customers direct and so tere are always customer support issues when an item is damaged or late.

Either way, I think people have it in there head that Kickstarter is a varitable feeding trough of customers. Like a water pool in Africa, that's where a lot of people look so it is easier just to hang out there and get instant promotion. This, in my opinion, has lead to many less than stellar projects in the first place and the lack of discipline (since it only takes a few minutes to create a kicstarter page) without any outside leg work ulimately also leads to the lawsuits mentioned. However, that well will go dry and more the shame as Kickstarter could be a useful tool.

However: Kickstarter should not be looked at as a way to advertise for a game, it shouldn't be seen as an easy pre-order system, and should not be substituted for all the hard work that normally goes into creating a game, working to create a following for the game, and setting up the necessary channels and networks to find out who likes your game and give them information about it.


 
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Joe Pilkus
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Aaron,

I'm glad you did use ours as an example ~ that's brilliant, mate!

Interestingly though many of us (me included) haven't been around "technology and the website arena" our whole lives, so that's an area which still boggles our minds...it's not that it's tough to do, we just frankly don't know how to get started. One of the things Kickstarter does for neophytes like myself is provide a step-by-step way in which we introduce ourselves, the product, and a great venue for communicating with people outside of IM and e-mail. It's a very 'friendly environment in which to operate. So to your point, it's well-founded...many of us are simply not competent to do so. Having said all of that, my Brother-in-Law is creating our website...more for the post KS world than now, but it will have our Twitter (I really don't Twitter that much) and Facebook and e-mails, etc all coming to one glorious location.

Now, opening an on-line shop...if I thought starting a website as tough, this will be a nightmare. Again, KS, for the fee (along with Amazon) provides a user-friendly and safe way for everyone to pledge. Again, if you don't know me, why would you pledge $50 or $100 toward my project? I know it is sound, but it hasn't really been vetted by anyone. At least with KS, it's been reviewed AND more importantly, people go to KS all of the time. Do you know how long...well actually you would know this...it would take a very long time to get the type of traffic to my site from non-BGGers than I've realized in three weeks.

I can't comment on how companies with brick-and-mortar locations use Kickstarter, but I'm surprised by the likes of Reaper out there, but overjoyed when Adam Poots, a guy from Brooklyn now has the highest recorded amount for a board game at $2M on KS.

Well, it is a bit easier for people to find you as half of my traffic have been non-BGGers. BGGers are a funny crowd. The same guy who will make a visceral attack on your interpretation on a rule is wholly silent on answering a direct question or an e-mail about one's KS Project.

Now, I must correct you here, unless of course you DID create a KS page. It's not that easy and it's not that fast. One, to be successful and the current rate of Success for "Games" is 15%...so I fall into a very small window. Almost 50% of all KS Games-related Projects never leave the 0%-10% realm and another 20% stagger to about 40%-50% funded before it's all over. Some, sadly make it into the 70% range and are eventually deemed unsuccessful. But again, to be successful, takes work and time and diligence. Oh, and you have to get vetted by Amazon and have the checking account, etc. So, while I understand what you're saying...you're not putting one together tonight.

The pre-order system is a fortunate additive to this mixture. Again, if there's no one to back what I'm making...I don't make it and the best way to get my item out there is to provide it via Rewards...hence, the pre-order system. I know people don't like to think of it that way...but it is what it is.

At the end of the day, KS allows entrepreneurial types to try their hand at something they would otherwise not try...especially when they have a really great idea and they want many people to know about it.

Cheers,
Joe/the Professor

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john m
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Never Knows Best wrote:
The Professor wrote:
In short, Kickstarter is a way to test an idea AND generate the necessary capital to see your project come to fruiton.


Since you offered your project as an example I'll feel free to use you as something that irks me a tad about these types of projects, not in a mean spirited way hopefully, but maybe to see what you feel about it.

One thing I never understood about certain projects was how they seemingly have a great product, are doing all the right things to promote it, then slap it on Kickstarter - as you said - "to test the waters."

Many of said projects rarely have any sort of website presence and it leaves me wondering why step 1 isn't create a website, step 2 bring all my connections together at my website as a central hub. If I decide from there I want to put a link to my kickstarter all the better but now I have a central base of operation.

Take that a step further and create something to accept pre-orders. The reason I mention this is, being around the technology and web design arena almost all my life, I know it's waaaaaaay cheaper to do this than to give that huge slice to Amazon. Cheaper should mean less money we have to pay, more money you get to keep.

It get's even muddier when companies like Queen or Valley start using kickstarter. They do this because the MSRP price they ask for on Kickstarter is more than they'd get selling it at the discounted distributor price. We, the customer, however, get a more expensive product that would have come out anyway and usually from a company that's not used to dealing with customers direct and so tere are always customer support issues when an item is damaged or late.

Either way, I think people have it in there head that Kickstarter is a varitable feeding trough of customers. Like a water pool in Africa, that's where a lot of people look so it is easier just to hang out there and get instant promotion. This, in my opinion, has lead to many less than stellar projects in the first place and the lack of discipline (since it only takes a few minutes to create a kicstarter page) without any outside leg work ulimately also leads to the lawsuits mentioned. However, that well will go dry and more the shame as Kickstarter could be a useful tool.

However: Kickstarter should not be looked at as a way to advertise for a game, it shouldn't be seen as an easy pre-order system, and should not be substituted for all the hard work that normally goes into creating a game, working to create a following for the game, and setting up the necessary channels and networks to find out who likes your game and give them information about it.




Kickstarter gives an air of legitimacy. It builds trust.
 
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On June 21, 2012, Kickstarter began publishing statistics on its projects. As of October 10, 2012, there were 73,620 launched projects (3,426 in progress), with a success rate of 43.85%. The total number of dollars pledged was $381 million. I think Kickstarter charges 5% and Amazon also charges 5%.
 
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Never Knows Best wrote:
Off the top of my head I can't remember exactly which projects made it to the litigation stage, pre-suit, or even settled but I remember some of the big failed projects:

Pebble E-Paper Watch


Um, wut? Did they run a campaign before the successful one? Last update had the watches beginning to ship less than two weeks from now. Sup?
 
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ohbalto wrote:
Never Knows Best wrote:
Off the top of my head I can't remember exactly which projects made it to the litigation stage, pre-suit, or even settled but I remember some of the big failed projects:

Pebble E-Paper Watch


Um, wut? Did they run a campaign before the successful one? Last update had the watches beginning to ship less than two weeks from now. Sup?


It raised over $10 million and was suppose to be released in Sept. of last year. Also, there was a period of time where the creator fell off the face of the planet and wasn't answering any questions. That made a lot of people angry and of course there was talk of how to set up legal action and articles along those lines in the event the project fell through (referencing all the steps you would take to do so which I found interesting).

Look at the date of my post, the update to the watches releasing is very recent. Provided he can deliver the project it should be a non-issue.
 
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