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Show HN: Finally, You Can Accept Pre-Orders after Kickstarter with Celery (trycelery.com)
67 points by cktsai 1610 days ago | hide | past | web | 47 comments | favorite

The name "Celery" made me think of the task queue[1]. In both cases though it's a very random name.

[1] http://www.celeryproject.org/

The logo looks almost identical to the old celery (task queue) logo. Not sure how the word "celery" relates to payments, but the name of the task queue is not random: rabbits like celery (rabbitmq.com).

I feel compelled to say this as a rabbit owner; they do like celery (because they like most things) but eating too much or too large pieces can lead to digestion problems because of the strings in the celery. The more you know.

Celery is our play on words (sellery), since we're trying to help sellers with e-commerce

Ah, I can see that now. I know nothing about rabbits; maybe carrot (queuerot?) would have been a better choice.

carrot was already in use. I like Celery, we have no plans to change the name

i always thought of the physical structure of celery and how it splits and is stringy - reminds my of piping tasks through a distributed task queue. i like the rabbit connection too though!

Came here to say the same thing. Also, Celery has been around since 2009. So I'm thinking this might not be the best name...

For anyone curious, here is a sample/demo page after creation.


It looks solid.

I see that you mention that you have had quite a lot of press coverage for this.. by the "As Featured In".

I can't find any related articles though and I'd be interested in reading them :)


Plus site:techcrunch.com trycelery.com doesn't work, and neither can I find any articles on BetaBeat, Forbes or the NYT?

If you are truly backed by YCombinator (which I have no reason to doubt), I'd have expected to be able to read some coverage?

I did the same, it seemed odd to be showing HN as if it were a new launch, but already in NYT and Forbes. Couldn't find any articles anywhere but then noticed on the about page that it's YC/SV Angel backed.

Hey Chris, I'm one of the guys who worked on it. The company name is under Airbrite. We built an e-commerce API and Celery is powered off of it.

That is very misleading marketing speak, to the point of lying. You (or your copywriter) just killed Celery's credibility.

Point noted and we'll be fixing this. Thanks for the input.

If that's the case, then your pants are on fire.

I'm missing something. Can you explain this to me as if I were five? I'm really gun shy with anything involving my customers CC data, and I suspect others are too.

Some of my concerns:

1) Authorize now but only charge when actually shipping is standard Visa policy. Doing it any other way is not allowed. Your system seems like a workaround for that, which raises my alarm bells.

2) To be clear - you are storing the credit cards in your vault (not Stripe's vault), and then running them through your Stripe account later as normal transactions? And this is cool with Stripe/Visa?

3) What do you mean PCI compliant? Do you think you are, or are you being regularly audited? Where are your servers? Credit cards are serious business; we need to know.

4) I'd expect a ton of chargebacks. How are those handled? What do the chargeback fees look like?

5) Is this Amazon Payments without the branding?

I want to love your product, but I wonder these things. Please help me understand!

In the case of pre-ordering, Celery doesn't make any authorizations/holds upon the creation of the order. We use Stripe to make sure the card is valid and the charge is processed at a later time.

Celery does not store the credit cards and all payment information transferred is encrypted with SSL. The cards are held within Stripe's vault. Each seller uses their own Stripe token.

The chargebacks would affect the seller, since the payments are linked to their Stripe account. It's important that seller is able to actually ship the item if they decide to charge the buyer. Otherwise, they would need to refund or risk getting hit with chargebacks.

Whoa - you need to make it clear that I have to bring my own Stripe account. Nowhere is that mentioned on your page. So the 256-bit encryption you're touting on your homepage is really Stripe's 256-bit encryption? Not cool.

Is the "Embeddable Checkout Overlay" really Stripe Checkout too? Which of your features are you actually providing and which are really Stripe?

Right now this looks like a simple wrapper around Stripe Connect that waits X days to bill, plus a basic Bootstrap template you can use. What am I missing?

Thanks for the questions. We're working to update the FAQ and site to make all of this more clear. My personal belief is that there's more to commerce than just payments (order management, inventory management, analytics, supporting web and native mobile/tablet apps, etc). It may look simple now, but these are the types of challenges we're in the process of tackling.

I'm confused, have you looked @ balancedpayments.com? We offer this out of the box without you having to go through this and we're YC W2011.

> 1) Authorize now but only charge when actually shipping is standard Visa policy. Doing it any other way is not allowed. Your system seems like a workaround for that, which raises my alarm bells.

According to their demo product page[0], your card is only charged when the product ships. Is that your concern?

[0]: https://www.trycelery.com/p/my-first-product

I second qeorge's concerns about PCI compliance and credit card storage.

Futhermore, credit card processors and banks do not want to be on the hook for what happens when the items do not ship in these pre-order scenarios. The CCs are all about limiting their exposure to risk and this opens them up to a number of issues regarding products not shipped on time, not as advertised, etc.

One of the main reasons I feel comfortable about using Kickstarter is the fact that I know my funds won't get released to the company/person unless enough people "fund" it. Once enough people back it then I'm not as worried about losing my money (probably more psychological than anything) because I feel like there would be a huge uproar if someone tried running off. This doesn't really seem to give me as the "pre-orderer" any security. Also...who really loves Celery?

75% of Kickstarter funded campaigns don't ship on time (research by Ethan Mollick from UPenn). Since my money is committed, I'm not sure if that gives me comfort either :)

Personally, I feel better knowing that I won't be charged at all until the item is shipped. And in the worst case, I would request a refund or issue a chargeback if I felt the seller was being "sketchy".

I'm part of a team building distributed crowd funding tools that focus on these problems for independent sellers. Some similarities to Celery, just in terms of product.

Hahah on the Celery part. Its a play on the idea of a "seller-y" though.


From their source, it appears that the font they are using is called Proxima Nova. Which can be purchased for web use.


We don't use Gotham anywhere on our site at the moment.

This is awesome! I've been waiting for a solution like this

I'd like to know the following: can't you already do this with Stripe? They seem to use stripe as their backend, so how is this different than me doing this with stripe on my own (i.e. collect charge tokens, charge later)? Or do stripe's tokens expire after a short period of time, I haven't looked into that yet.

I genuinely want to know because I'm potentially interested.

No, you can create a customer token and that token will forever refer to the credit card details the user entered. The only way you could consider that they "expire" is if the card as-entered expires, or if the user cancels that card. But even in this case your token still works, it just points to data that isn't valid anymore.

Unless celery does anything else on top of this (auto notifies customers if the cc expires in the interim, provides them a way to update details without you needing to do anything) then I don't see any compelling reason to use it.

You could do it yourself, but there's a lot of people who don't have the technical knowledge to do so. This is my understanding from speaking with independent makers and builders (e.g., Kickstarter grads) over the past year. Payments is only one part of commerce. Our mission is to package everything together (order management, analytics, a commerce API, etc).

Is it me, or is the grammar on this page very confusing. I had to reread sentences multiple times to understand their meanings. I understand it's a marketing page, but it seems like the author is more focused on dropping buzzwords instead of explaining the product

The only place I see a grammar faux pas is in this sentence (emphasis mine):

> Spend less time on tracking down lost orders and focus on building great products.

It should be "Spend less time tracking down..."

The bigger issue is that nearly every sentence breaks in awkward places due to the layout of the site.


  Safely hold payment information  
  without charging until you're ready
  to ship.  
"until you're ready to ship" is a singular concept and should be on the same line.

  Our checkout design is responsive
  so your product sells itself on any
  desktop, mobile, or tablet device.
Same: "any desktop, mobile, or tablet device" should be on the same line.

  Allow purchasing directly on your
  site with an embedded checkout
  overlay that’s elegant and secure
"an embedded checkout overlay" should be on the same line.

Similarly, none of the emphasis phrases should start halfway through a line and break:

  take pre-
  orders in person
is hard to read even though it's a key point.

Maybe I'm the odd man out, but I am so sick and tired of company names that are absolutely unrelated to their purpose. Celery? Seriously? If you're not a fresh vegetable delivery service, GTFO.

I moonlight to pay the bills by delivering fresh vegetables.

It's a play on "seller-y".

easily sell swag on Celery with https://teelaunch.com/ -- simply send us your XLS/CSV of orders and we'll take care of the rest.

So I can launch a t-shirt business in the next 10 minutes? Cool. I just might.

that is correct

Is there a demo/ sample page of the product?

We're working with Boosted Boards to help them with their pre-orders: https://www.trycelery.com/p/boosted

So this seems to go against what I read earlier where charges are only made when the item ships - but it seems the Boosted Board takes a $200 deposit instead of just saving your card for the full amount?

I'm a bit confused but is this the same concept as shopstarter.org that was posted here a week or two ago?

Why US/Can only? I'd need something like this for Argentina.


Not so much emphasis with Kickstarter please. A lot of people won't go the Kickstarter route (non-US residents being among them). Being able to take pre-orders is the magic words, and won't alienate prospects.

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