In fact set it up in a way that makes Pre-Sales the main attraction. It would make things so much easier.
When I was running my ToDoCal kickstarter the biggest pain in the ass was trying to set up prizes and calculating the cost to fulfill them. Because kickstarter isn't set up like a store that accepts pre-sales I would have to double the cost of all my "prizes" so as to buffer the cost of fullfilling expensive orders. Shipping to Chicago would be $6, shipping to San Francisco was $10, international shipping was $16. But I can't charge different people different prices, so I had to forcing everyone to pay a higher price to keep it safe.
By designing Crowdhoster as a pre-sales store you can eliminate that completely. USPS shipping api's can calculate the exact cost each backer should pay down to the penny. You could offer your backers discounts based on bulk orders and have an idea of where your products are going so you can design packaging to be more efficient.
Basically make a pre-sales store with minimum order requirements where anyone can place orders and their card is charged only when the minimum order is reached after X amount of time.
Product pre-sales drove Lockitron to create SelfStarter in the first place...clearly a huge use case. With our API we'll be able to get more creative with the payment flow, allowing dynamic cost calculation like you describe with different shipping scenarios.
And what law would that be? Clearly I would guess that you mean "US law", but isn't this an important piece of information to anyone hoping to fund a potentially large sum of money through your platform?
For us, Kickstarter is a big experiment and we're constantly learning what works, what doesn't, and making changes as we go. We want to provide the best possible space for creators to share their projects and for people to connect with them. We think we're doing a pretty good at that, but of course there's always more to learn.
If you're curious, we have many of our stats available (live) here: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats
16 hours ago, I asked this:
and now you just conveniently come along with the perfect answer!
For instance, I absolutely intend to deliver a product to each person if it gets funded. None of this wishy-washy garbage. I have a design, I have quotes from the factory that will make them, and if you preorder a light you will receive it. If you don't you have every right to sue me or ask for your money back. I also think it's totally reasonable that if the project meets the goal, to switch it from "preorder mode" to "order mode" since at that point I'd rather just have the cash so that I can start the procurement process. No sense waiting for a month before ordering, right? Not with quotes on hand sitting on my computer waiting for my approval.
What kinds of constraints does your system have? Are the types of things I mention above possible in your framework?
Lockitron was a perfect example that used Selfstarter to fund their project and got a lot of attention from users without the help of any organization like Kickstarter.
And Lockitron proved with a product people want and getting people to notice it, you can do really well without Kickstarter (+$2,000,000 to date I believe).
which uses the ganzfeld effect to make crazy hallucinations happen.
I don't even care that someone could completely steal my design because it's open hardware and open source; I would happily pay $70 to get one of my own lights!
So then the question is... since I've been working so hard on this that I haven't been working enough real job to have savings to speak of, I wonder if there is a good PR person I could hire that would defer payment until after a project was successful...
Let me know if anyone knows someone who might be interested!
I think this is going to be an exciting arena with a lot of market potential. The current marketplaces support a small percentage of the audience and free form platforms can let anyone crowdfund.
I was going to use kickstarter, but it simply did not match very well with what I plan to launch. This however, fits just right.
Also, great landing page. I don't know what is your conversion rate, but from experience I can tell that it just works.
In addition to that, with this wordpress-style version, you get to use your own URL/and customize the branding if you want, the users become your users, it's your credit card processing (so you get that data too for future up-sells or feature purchases), and it saves you from paying the Kickstarter fees (this one is free, and Kickstarter charges up to 10%).
SelfStarter was created by the Lockitron team to run their own crowdfunding campaign because Kickstarter didn't allow them to run their campaign on Kickstarter.
Eventually, I still see Kickstarter as the main/most important crowdfunding platform. Like many closed platform versus opened platform plays, it seems like most of the closed platforms win eventually.
I might be wrong on this but I would like to see example on the opposite case.