As most will already know Kickstarter is a means by which product creators can get prefunding from people all over the world in order to produce their products. Often these early funders (backers) are given exclusive content or they get the product earlier or cheaper than if they would have bought the item after it was sold normally. Sometimes buying through the Kickstarter campaign (KS) is the only way to get the product.
For board games it’s a fantastic way for small companies and individuals to produce a product without having to fork out massive capital. For the backers it means paying for an item before it is even manufactured. So you will have to wait for the product to be produced and shipped. For us in SA this usually means via the SAPO….
If you’ve been following my ramblings over the past year you will know that I have backed quite a few kickstarters. The first to be shipped was the 1PG challenge coin. Luckily for me this wasn’t an especially expensive KS as I was a bit strapped for cash at the time. Anyway production finished and the item shipped. I received a tracking number which I eagerly followed.
… and that’s where it stayed. I had got into contact with the man behind the KS and Albert responded beautifully. He wanted to ship out a replacement straight away but I thought it would be better to wait a bit as it was close to the silly season and that meant that regular postage would be slow anyway. As my luck goes, the package never moved. Albert being the nice guy that he is kept in contact with me just waiting for the go word. So when it was time I had him ship to a friend’s MyUS account which forwarded the package to me.
Albert was kind enough to include a few extra dice for me!
Next up we have Sans Allies. It’s a solo board game, one I’ve been eagerly anticipating. So much so that I added it to my 10 x 10 challenge for 2017 before I even received it. Alas the parcel never left china.
Geoffrey the head honcho at Past Go was also quick to respond and constant kept me in the loop WRT what he was doing on his side. This time I had setup an Aramex Global Shopper account for myself and had it shipped through them.
Included in the new package was all the errata to date and a note from Geoffrey apologising for the inconvenience!
In both cases I dealt with excellent people who were only too eager to assist. I’ve heard of other horror stories WRT kickstarters.
A package that did arrive, but was still an adventure…
Which brings me to my latest game, freshly arrived this Tuesday. Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia. This is a game by a huge company CoolMiniOrNot. Delays are to be expected if it was a hugely successfully campaign.
I eventually received my tracking number and I was on the USPS website daily checking for updates. Once the package reached our shores I started calling the SAPO to get the local tracking number. The other 2 combined were less than ¼ the cost of this one so I was very eager to get it plus I think the kids are going to love it.
Eventually it was in transit to customs. 3 days later, I called again and was told that it was at the Rivonia post office. I found this odd because the SAPO App said that it was still in customs. I checked on the SAPO website and apparently the item was in Rivonia and I had already been sent my first notification to collect!
When I could take a lunch break I dashed off to the PO to collect. It was blazing hot and sadly there was only a single fan in the PO failing valiantly at keeping the place cool. I get to the counter and give them my tracking number.
I hand them my phone with the number on it, to make sure they copied it correctly, still nothing. The dude at the counter asks for my name and looks through a file. Nothing. Then he gives me the file to look through while he goes to check in the back. So I start at the point he tells me to look from and I don’t find anything in the file.
He was gone for quite a while so I thought what the hell and I started from the beginning of the file. BINGO! My name, but my surname was spelt wrong. Peruman instead of Paruman. Simple typo. When he gets back I show him the manifest and he is excited and goes to look for it.
Again it’s a bit of a wait so I read through the manifest. The US tracking number looked odd and it was actually incorrect. So I double check the local number and it did not match either. He gets back but tells me there’s a problem. The package he has is addressed to a Claire.
The manifest was captured incorrectly at customs.
I search the file again looking for a mention of Claire, in case our details were switched. Nothing. I’m getting despondent but the dude helping me was pretty good, he pulled out a book in which they sign in all the packages and searched for mine. Nothing, again.
He asks me if I’m sure it’s there. So I pull out my phone to run the tracking number through the SAPO website. It’s down.
Eventually I find another site that can track our domestic parcels and I show him the results. He frowns and then goes back into the back room.
Minutes pass, I double check the file and the book. Eventually he returns with my box! Only there is no manifest on it. It’s not anywhere in their systems.
At this point he feels sorry for me and uses the manifest with my name and address on it to process the package, Claire will never find hers because her notifications are going to come to me. Sorry Claire.
I think I over paid for customs but I’m not complaining, I just needed to get back to work.
I have received another KS last year, this one was shipped through our local board game distributor Solarpop. So I got it quickly and had piece of mind. They don’t get all of the KS games being released but whatever they do get I’ll go through them.
Another thing that I’m going to do is use my AGS account, a lot! It will cost a little more but I’ll have peace of mind. I can highly recommend them. For US based games though look at MyUS they have a new cheaper rate for large packages, which is just in time. Mythic Battles is going to be heavy.