I wrote this up on the weekend to post, so the amounts are somewhat out of date, but all the points still apply. I'd have posted it immediately, but had to wait for manual authorisation for my account here...
Some feedback/opinions for you.
Firstly, I've been a fan of your work for many years now. My first AoW purchases were made back in 2007 when the only way to buy the figures were from the early verion of the webpage and the figures came in zip-lock bags - Dwarf Hero, Elf Hero, Goblin Hero (now renamed). Since then I've bought many more through retail channels.
The Indiegogo timing is poor/unfortunate. I only found out this one exists yesterday, and my budget for this period has already gone to Mantic and McVey. I'd also never heard of IGG before this.
I have to say though, that this KS lacks the "extra value" that I would need to be willing to pay today for miniatures I will receive next year or even later. If I am paying for them to be made, KS-style, I do expect a lot more than at retail.
I don 't see a good idea offering more miniature based perks. We are offering the minis at a lower price than their price upon release or pre-order, so we are doing less benefit, thus we are losing money compared to simply selling them as a pre-order or release.
In many ways you are not.
You're selling them before they are even made or sculpted. People are investing in them before buying GW or KoW dwarfs which they might otherwise buy in the meantime. Anything sold now is extra profit. You're assuming that you will only ever sell X amount of figures. I counter that with additional value in the KS you will sell a large number of figures which you would otherwise have never sold. It's not a zero-sum game. I was not in the market looking for some space mutants and more space soldiers, but when I saw McVey's Sedition Wars offer, I was sold. Just as today I'm not looking for a bunch of Dwarves, but if the value was exceptional, I would be on board. It's not a zero-sum game.
Tours are neither here nor there for me - whichever company they are from. I live in Australia, after all. I don't care about Tours or tickets to Mantic's game day or Painting with Mike. I'll never be able to use them. There's no benefit to me as an investor, but my money is as good as anyone else's, though.
Jasko is completely wrong when he suggests that "this is still a fundraiser! The idea is basically to pay more than usually, otherwise AoW would not raise any money!"
careful when listening to your biggest fans/fanbois when they say things like this. They are the most vocal, and will (claim to) buy anything you do, but they are far from the reality of the mass market. While I am a fan of your work, if I want to give to charity, there are many far better ways to spend my money then giving to a small business/miniature producer.
Seeing that people who pre-ordered in Feb still do not have their Warriors Regiments is also a huge
red flag. That alone is enough to stop me from investing. You would have been much better off fulfilling all these orders with apologies and mea culpas before undertaking this fundraising.
If these campaigns are based on selling the product at a discount i frankly don't see the "real" success then.
You will have more or less the same profit as when releasing a product.
The success is large amounts of money up front. Pays for your tooling costs and such faster before needing to save from the normal profits. More turnover, more miniatures sold and out and about in people's armies and in Tournaments where they will be seen by more people who in turn become advocates for your product. Things like this when successful are not an attempt to sell more units at as close to RRP as you can get - they are an investment in your business, and one you should be willing to make much less profit on if you want success. Mantic is going to use the money to create models which they will sell for years to come. McVey is improving his boxed set. They make a smaller profit on a few hundred or a couple of thousand individuals but turn those funds into an advantage for thousands in the future.
KoW has almost $75k from under 500 pledges. Under 500 individual customers. McVey has $180k from 1300 individuals. Is every one a lost sale at retail? How many are on board (like me) simply because of the huge value being offered? Do miniature gamers buy more, more, more product over the years? They aren't losing a lot of sales long-term, but they are creating a great investment/injection of capital into their businesses which will retain it's value for years. Sure, Mantic will make less profit on their werewolves and ogres when looking at these 500 people, but hey! They will have the plastic molds of these models for every other customer going forward
. It's an investment.
I do not post on other forums, because we have the AoW forums, facebook, twitter, email and phone number to contact us. If I was posting on other forums i would end up half the day posting here and there! But anyone who reaches us through the forum, email or phone will have immediate info.
People are not going to chase you. People are busy and don't care enough. I created an account on your forum to post this message and found it needs to be manually added. If I didn't feel strongly I simply would not bother. Most people post on their "home" forums and don't feel a need to post on every manufacturer's home forums. Many on forums don't use facebook or twitter either. It would take you an investment of perhaps 2 hours to post the same message on a half-dozen of the main forums (Dakka, BOLS, etc) to explain the updates to your casting process. You are the businessman here. If your customers aren't worth that investment in time (and the "personal touch"- which people love
.) then that's your decision.
I don't think anyone is asking that you become a forum regular, but personally-posted updates every so often at the same time as some of the FB/Tweets would simply be leveraging the medium that you use to sell your product (the internets) more effectively.
Unfortunately, to me the value offered is poor and the timeframe is dubious and not to be trusted when I look at the Warriors Regiments. I love your sculpts and will gladly continue to buy them when discounted at retail (as I buy all my models) but the extra value is simply not there to justify paying for products today which I will not receive for a year's time
, so I am better off keeping my money and buying some of the product at retail in 1-2 years' time when it's available.
You have just over 75 contributors for just over $9k. You should look at these people not as "retail sales lost" but as investors in the future of your company. Reward people for contributing, and you'll have more contributors. Don't just look at the money that Mantic and McVey have - look at what they offer their contributors. That's why they have so many pledges.
You need to look at these things not as lost retail sales or a version of preorders, but as investments made in your business at a much more favourable rate than you would get from a bank loan. If you get your molds and tooling made while still making any profit, you've done better than a bank loan, which would require interest paid
on the principal. That's clearly the attitide that Mantic have with their KS, and why they're very generous with their perks, and why they in turn have so many pledges..The problem is that you're treating this like you're making retail transaction to customers, when it should be treated like you receiving an investment.
I understand that my post is very critical, but please view it as constructive
critisism, as that is the intent with which I write it.