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Kickstarter project: pens and a question.

1792 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  intelligen
Hello everyone,
I've recently started a project on Kickstarter. It's an effort to move some pens and generate cash flow to upgrade to a new bandsaw to resaw logs on and improve storage areas. It's been a day and a half and I'm half way to the project goal of $500. It's meager but going low helps to ensure the goal will be met and I can at least move a few pens.

For this project, I am already committed to using USPS priority to mail the pens to the backers. It helps me to track all of the rewards so nobody can say that they never got theirs and demand a refund. And if the claim is the pen is damaged, I have insurance.

So the question I have for everyone reading here is if there is a better way to ship pens for future projects. Each reward will cost $5.80 to ship which is built in to the reward level and offers me a great deal of security. That's my reasoning for chosing USPS.

Comments are appreciated. Thank you.
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Wow, interesting idea. It never occurred to me to use Kickstarter to sell pens. I found your listing and it looks interesting and straightforward. Are you advertising it somewhere, or are people just stumbling onto it?

As to your question, I don't know of any other shipping method that will give you the security you're looking for. But maybe you could offer a $5 discount to people who buy additional pens, since adding a second one to a package won't change the postage much, if at all. Not sure whether Kickstarter is set up to handle that or if you'd have to give people refunds.
It sounds like you are shipping in a small flat rate box. You might be able to use a different box or padded envelope and ship priority mail by weight… Also, if you have a scale and use the web you can get a discount on the postage and have the post office pick up from your home or shop.
Thank you Elizabeth. It is a straightforward project my choice. Most projects i see get too complicated with a dozen or so options. And I also wanted to make it an option for those who just want something nice to use everyday that didnt cost a lot of money.
It didn't even cross my mind to do a discount for multiple pens. There isnt a drop down that a backer could use to get a discount. It would have to be from the creator of the project to establish. Then the creator would have to keep track of it. When the project is complete, a survey is sent to the backers to get all of the final information. I can create a question that asks how many pens they pledged for and cross reference that to the actual pledge amount.

That's a great idea, thank you for that.

Wayne, I am using the small flat rate boxes. I'll look into shipping priority by weight to see if that offers a significant advantage.
It may depend on address. In some cases cheaper than a flat rate box and in some cases more…
You could look at these boxes. 50 Pack 6×2x2 for $0.44 per box.

I use 6×3x2 to ship fishing lures and the weight for this box is 1.6 oz.

Another option would be a padded envelope at about $.018 per envelope. I'm not sure of the weight.
KISS-if you can cover Kickstarter's cut, Amazon's cut, shipping, materials, and your time, then I think you've got it all figured out already. You can try to optimize more, but if the tradeoff is that you have to spend more time processing the shipments, then it may not be worth it.

With USPS there isn't a lot you can do to get the price much lower than the small flat-rate box if you want delivery confirmation and insurance. If you don't mind replacing a few pens in the event that they are lost or damaged in shipping, then maybe it's worth it to save a buck or two and drop those extras.
I can't remember if insurance is included now with flat rate boxes but if it isn't, don't buy it, self insure.

How is the kickstarter going?
USPS includes $50 insurance for priority mail. Apparently larger customers who provide electronic shipping manifests can get $100 worth of insurance on priority mail for free.
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