Fulfilment of a crowdfunding campaign is one of the hardest things to get right. I know, I’ve got it very wrong before! Use a dedicated service and save yourself an incredible amount of stress and embarrassment.

My first pre-order campaign (split between Kickstarter and Indiegogo) ended with around 1000 orders that needed shipping. Each of those orders contained between 2 and 10 items. It was a big undertaking, and one I wasn’t remotely prepared for. I’ve written in detail about the effort involved in shipping your Kickstarter rewards, check it out if you’ve got a project upcoming.

In summary though:

  • Don’t use the Kickstarter built in surveys, use BackerKit instead
  • Use ShipStation to connect BackerKit to your shipping company (use DHL if you’re in Europe, I’ve heard FedEx are better if you’re based in Asia or North America)

Why should you use BackerKit?

There are a few main advantages of using BackerKit to handle your surveys:

  1. They integrate with third parties via ShipStation (or other similar systems), so your data is available where you need it. The first time I shipped a Kickstarter campaign I had to manually copy/paste shipping details from a CSV to the DHL backend. Each one took about 10-15 minutes. With ShipStation integration, the whole thing is prepared in seconds.
  2. They will up-sell for you. By this, I mean that when they are asking your backers to pick their rewards, they will suggest extras that the backer might want to add to their order. An example: I sell watches. When the backer is picking the watch model they want as their reward, BackerKit shows them compatible straps and cases that I have available and collects payments for any items the backer wishes to add to their order.
  3. They will go after failed pledges for you. Any Kickstarter campaign will have a percentage of pledges that fails when it comes to collecting funds from credit cards. After 2 weeks, Kickstarter give up on those pledges. BackerKit know which payments have failed, and will continue to contact the backer to try to get the payment processed.

How much does BackerKit cost?

So it’s a great system, and one I will not run a crowdfunding campaign without again. But what does it cost?

Plan 1 – Essential plan

Basic cost: 2% of funds raised in Kickstarter
Additional costs: 5% of any funds raised from add-ons in BackerKit

Plan 2 – Professional plan

Basic cost: 3% of funds raised in Kickstarter
Additional costs: 0% of any funds raised from add-ons in BackerKit

But it’s not quite that simple!

2-3% sounds a lot, right? All they are doing is collecting a few details, and Kickstarter do that for free! Well no, because even if you don’t value your time highly enough to want to save loads of it by automating loads of your shipping, the up-sell process will almost certainly bring in more in extra revenue than it has cost you to use BackerKit.

The most recent campaign I was involved with cost me around $1,500 on the Essential plan, but I made around $2,000 from BackerKit up-sells. So while there is obviously some cost involved in delivering those extra rewards, but it makes the cost of BackerKit low enough that it should be an absolute no-brainer.