03 May 2022
Would it make you less likely to use Kickstarter?
One of the largest Kickstarters so far this year has undoubtedly been Marvel Zombies, a Zombicide game that amassed over $9million dollars for CMON. Offering the mechanics of the familiar Zombicide game, with the ever-popular Marvel Franchise, it was an unsurprising success, and whilst some raised an eyebrow at the cost of the box – $130 for the core box alone– and the huge all-in pledge – an eyewatering $615 – the quality of the miniatures and reliability of production meant these eyebrows didn't have a significant impact on the campaign.
However, those who weren't put off by the initial cost and pledged for their preferred tier were found on social media over the weekend with the opening of the pledge manager, noting significant shipping costs that in some cases, were 60% of the cost of the game itself.
Although with any Kickstarter, shipping costs are estimated, these seemed to differ from those quoted on the page itself. For example, the highest tier pledge for shipping to the UK projected a shipping cost of $110 – where this instead sits at $227.59, with an additional $45.53 in shipping VAT.
It's unclear as to whether this was an underestimated original value, given the rapid increase in shipping costs the industry has been experiencing, or an additional increase to those shipping costs as the Kickstarter was underway and since. It's clear that considering the amount of content being provided as part of each pledge, that a low cost shipping was unlikely, but with rumours of direct shipping from China, it's certainly higher than many anticipated.
CMON has made no direct comment to disgruntled backers, however, the update advising of the pledge manager requirements did say the following:
"DISCLAIMER: We are very aware that shipping costs for this project are generally higher than what our backers are used to. Unfortunately, that is the reality of international shipping nowadays. Given the many crises the world is facing, shipping costs have skyrocketed all over the globe. We are doing our best to keep the costs in check, and we definitely do not profit from shipping (it's almost always the opposite case), so we appreciate your understanding."
Many suppliers have referred to similar difficulties, with both shipping from the manufacturer, to shipping within countries, to additional charges encountered from outside aspects such as Brexit. We spoke about the impact of the pandemic on shipping costs, with Necromolds for example seeing a 522% increase, but it seems the situation has not resumed pre-pandemic levels.
A number of social media posts are calling for a cease to using Kickstarter, and instead awaiting retail copies. The question is, would it stop you pledging for your favourites?
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