FAQ: Preorders and Kickstarter
I get a lot of great feedback from customers. Two very common questions are why I don't offer preorders, and if I've ever considered a Kickstarter campaign.
I wanted to take a moment to answer these, and also share some great news.
First up, preorders.
I want to get the point that I can offer preorders, but the short answer is I'm not comfortable offering them until the delay between preorder and shipping is around a week.
My number one concern is customer experience. I'm just not comfortable taking someone's money a month or more in advance. I'm also worry about getting estimates wrong on standard/discount dice and causing someone to wait 2 or more months.
Until I can directly control the delay, meaning I have all stock in my possession, and the only limiting factor is my speed of assembling boxes and sorting dice, I won't feel comfortable enough with the customer experience to offer preorders.
Which brings us to the Kickstarter question.
The current month+ restocking delays result in a terrible experience for my customers. They've got to go! I have a plan for that, but it will take a healthy chunk of money. To anyone that's internet-literate, Kickstarter is the first thing that springs to mind. It certainly did for me.
I am a project manager by trade, and although I feel well equipped to plan and run a Kickstarter campaign, I don't feel like I could be successful. My definition of success is important here, though. It is not merely getting backed and eventually delivering dice to backers. Success to me is exceeding expectations, and going well beyond mere satisfaction. I want every customer to be ecstatic.
When using Kickstarter, control over some elements of the experience are taken out of my hands. In addition, the bulk of the risk is shouldered by the customers directly. This is the set up for a potentially bad experience. Due to the time required for me to process dice and assemble/package up boxes, a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign could result in a 2-5 month delay in getting your dice, depending on where you fall in the queue and how many backers there are. Another risk that puts the schedule and budget at risk are inevitable defects from the manufacturing process.
Scaling things up to eliminate the delays of today will still cost money, though. So, instead of going through Kickstarter, I recently took out a business loan. There are many risks here as well, but they are all on me. This will allow me to scale things up without putting risk on you, and also giving me the flexibility I need to ensure everyone is happy with their experience. I'm carefully planning out my next steps now.
Stay tuned! :)