Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Startnext….
Sometimes I have the feeling that some people don’t understand, what they are. As you are here, someone (maybe yourselfe) has the opinion that you are on of them and send you here. All these platforms have a very similar principle, so I will just take Kickstarter as example for explaining the procedere, but it will work for the other platforms too.
At the beginning, obviously, you need to find a project you would consider to support. There are many ways how this happens. Some people are just browsing around at the platforms itself, some are getting a project recommended by a friend or you find a link in an article that talks about that project.
Great, you found a project you want to support?
A little advise here: think about if you really need what you will get as a perk. Sometimes what they offer you sounds great at the first glance, but as you think about it, it might be not what you search or even really need at all. I myselfe was already at the point where I even already pledged a project and cancled the pledge later as I came to the insight that I wouldn’t really need what they offer.
You also should differ between “Yeah, would be a nice gimmick” and “Well, I really need this and I need in time and their time frame suits”. First one is ok, second one… not so much.
First: you don’t even know if the project will make it, second: it’s higly doubtable that they will deliver in time.
Have you thought about it? Yeah? You decided to back? Good, let’s continue.
Before you decide to just throw your hard earned money into their face, there are some point’s to look at.
First a short explanation, what the word “Perk” means here: the Perks are the different offers what you will get in exchange for you financial support of the project.
First of all: read the campaign description
Because there are some risks: It’s a project and you fund their build up for their tooling and first production. So if there something goes wrong and they lose all the money, it’s gone.
You won’t see you money nor what the perk promised you. You can’t raise a claim to the perk. So you need to carefully read the project description and figure out if they know what they want to do.
If the have a plan what to do or if the just said themselves “Well, let’s just get some money and somehow do this”.
First one’s good, second one’s bad -> obvious.
And also take in consideration: Nothings done yet. They might encounter problems and in around a dozen project’s I backed I never had a project without delay.
My experience is: Take their timetable they present you and add around 6 months. That's the usual delay of projects I encountered.
If you have questions, because something you want to know is unclear or just is not explained, ask.
As the creators they should be able to answer all your questions. If not, dig deeper.
And if they have no plan at all about what they want to create, same as a bad description -> get you ass out that project.
Soouuu, now to the perks….
Usual projects offer a few in number limited “early bird” perks for the first who discover the project and support it. These perks are usual the cheapest (in point of “you safe the most money in comparison to the targeted retail price”) or offer the most stuff. You should watch out during the funding time. Sometimes an early bird Backer will give up his claimed spot, so you can get it if you are fast enough.
Aside the early bird perks there are usual the normal perks and some special editions. Here you should consider, if you really need the gold-plated, canonized, titan carbide made and signed knitting needles, or if the usual stainless steel ones will do it too.
Also you will note that in the perk descriptions they will mention stuff like “this perk is 40% cheaper than it will be in retail” or similar things.
Here just a little reminder:
First: if you claim a perk and pay for it, you didn’t save 100 bucks, you actual still spend money. It might be cheaper, but you don’t save, you still spend.
Second: there is a reason it’s cheaper than retail. Because of the risks explained above.
So you read the campaign text, asked the questions and are satisfied?
You feel well informed and you are sure this campaign will made it?
You found just the right perk for you which offers you what you want for the bucks you have in your pocket?
Great! Claim the perk. BUT!!! here a word of warning: at the beginning I said all platforms works the same… They are following the same principles,
buuut some have slightly different mechanics how to support (and here is the reason why I will never support some projects on Indiegogo)
- At Kickstarter you will “promise” the project a defined amount of money. And if all this promises together hit the necessary financial mark, they will collect the money at the end of the funding period. If you want to get out because of any reasons, you can just cancel you pledge (the promise) at any time >>>during the funding period<<<
- Indiegogo offers also a secons way (which is the nice point for fraud): the option that the money will be collected instantly and send to the creators.
If you want your money back during the funding period you need to contact the creators and ask them nicely. And the will decide if they will give you your money back.
So, you read the description, choose a perk and pledged.
What to do now? Well, thats the easy part… wait.
Now it’s waiting time. And when the funding period is over you will get a message if the campaign got the necessary funding or not. If yes, you will find a booking of the pledge on your next credit card bill.
Also keep an eye open for the updates that will follow during the time till delivery of the perks. Something that’s get me choleric on regular basis are other users who also backed and then after some time starts asking questions in the comments section which were answered MONTHS ago in an update or even in the campaign description since the beginning. A dozen face palms are not enough for users like them. So please have mercy with the other Backers and read the available information’s and updates before asking in the public comments section. Thanks in advance for that.
And then, magically, after some time, maybe with delay, maybe without, based on your country’s import regulations you will have the package in front of your door or a letter from the customs to get to them and pay’n pick up your package. And then? Have fun with what you backed, supported and waited for…