Crowdfunding Fulfillment Shipment´╝ÜDomestic vs Fulfillment C

Domestic Shipping Lets get the easy one out of the way first: the standard of Kickstarter projects is that shipping is included in the reward levels (see more about reward level strategy here). That doesnt mean that domestic shipping is fre
Domestic Shipping
 
Let’s get the easy one out of the way first: the standard of Kickstarter projects is that shipping is included in the reward levels (see more about reward level strategy here). That doesn’t mean that domestic shipping is free; rather, it means that you need to create your reward levels so they cover shipping.
 
Shipping will vastly differ based on the project, so you’ll have to calculate those costs yourself. However, it is incredibly important that you calculate shipping costs based on the most expensive shipping could be for you. Assume that you’re going to achieve every stretch goal. Then use the size and weight of that version of your project to estimate the shipping cost per unit. For example, if you’re shipping USPS (domestic or international), there’s a HUGE difference in first class postage if your package is less than 4 pounds versus more than 4 pounds.
 
Also, if you have flexibility in determining the size of your product, configure it so it fits into one of USPS’s flat rate boxes. You might find a better deal through a different company or if your project weighs less than you thought, but at least you have the flat rate option if needed.
 
I’ll advocate fulfillment centers in a second, but if you decide to pack and ship all of the domestic shipments yourself, you need to include the cost of shipping materials in addition to postage for your per-unit costs. Skim through Uline and look at the cost of boxes, tape, bubble wrap, printing stickers, etc. You will need all of these things.

Fulfillment Companies:A Modest Proposal
 
International shipping ,You still need to consider a lot of the above factors, especially if you’re packing and shipping the product yourself. The difference is that with international shipping, there’s a good chance that you will encounter situations where the actual shipping costs is the same as the cost of the reward. That’s a huge deterrent for international backers, so you might have to adjust your costs and take a loss on international shipping like we did for Viticulture.
 
When you determine your international shipping costs, you have a choice as to how you present that information to backers. Here are your options with pros and cons:
 
Have backers manually enter the additional cost of shipping: Last November, Kickstarter added a feature that lets you list one international shipping price. My understanding of this is when an international backers selects a reward level that requires shipping, they are prompted to add the additional amount for shipping. This number is also visible under each reward level on the right sidebar. This is my preferred option because it reduces the number of reward levels compared to the second option–no need to make backers weed through reward levels that have no application to them. The downside is that you (the project creator) have to track down any backers who slip through the cracks and don’t pledge for shipping in addition to the reward. Thank goodness for PayPal after the project is over.
Create reward levels for each type of shipping: Some projects opt to include several tiers of shipping as reward levels. For the most part this solves the data problem of tracking international buyers, but you might still have to track a few down if they pledge to the domestic level without realizing it. Perhaps it’s not a bad idea if you only have a few reward levels, but I wouldn’t recommend this option. (I’m open to other opinions in the comments, of course.)
 
Overall, international shipping is the source of much consternation for creators and backers alike. See the modest proposal at the end of this post for some thoughts on how to solve this problem.

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