International Backer Update Part 2
7 months ago
– Sat, Feb 25, 2023 at 04:41:51 PM
Another update for our international backers. We’ve been closely working with Easyship the last two days to take care of our international backers. What we’ve discovered is that the elevated prices were based on the option of pre-paying for taxes and duties, as well as the classification of the product. Choosing to pre-pay for taxes and duties will lead to higher costs because:
- Only certain couriers offer the option to pre-pay for taxes and duties. This removes the cheapest shipping option (known as Flat Export) and, in turn, raises costs significantly; in some cases, the shipping cost was more than double.
Easyship’s estimate of taxes and duties was higher than reality, based on a handful of spot checks, as well as experiences from Discord and Kickstarter members. From what we were told, it’s difficult to give an accurate number because opting into pre-paying will lead to varying costs so they give a, somewhat, average. It’s clear this isn’t perfect and, based on what we‘ve seen, it’s higher than what it would be when opting to pay for said fees upon arrival.
After all of our conversations over the past day or two, it’s obvious that there should be no option to pre-pay for taxes and duties. Instead, that should happen on your end when it arrives. In future surveys, this option will be removed.
Thanks to international Discord members, we discovered that we can optimize the HS code used to classify our product. We originally classified this with HS code 9503 (generic Toys categorization). Instead, moving forward, we’ll be using HS code 950490 (which is a better/more specific classification used for board game products). Based on multiple spot checks, we found that this alone would lower taxes and duties by as much as $30 (although this varies by country).
There are now two types of international backers; those who opted to pre-pay for taxes and duties and those who opted to pay upon arrival.
Those Who Already Pre-Paid for Taxes and Duties
Here’s what will happen for international backers who pre-paid for taxes and duties:
- We’ll be issuing refunds. Doing so will require a fee that we’ll pay on our end, but because enough of you have expressed concerns at the cost, this just made sense. We were told the refund takes about 5-7 days to process.
- Once that goes through, you’ll be given another Easyship survey to fill out. As mentioned above, the option to pre-pay for taxes and duties will be removed. This will allow you to choose the cheapest shipping option possible.
- While this is happening, we’ll also update the HS code so you’re paying the more accurate cost of taxes and duties upon arrival.
- Because you already paid, you’ll stay in the same fulfillment order.
Those Who Chose to Post-Pay for Taxes and Duties
And here’s what will be happening for international backers who opted to post-pay for taxes and duties:
- We will manually go in and change the HS code for each of your products so it’s correct and you will have lower taxes and duties to pay when it arrives.
- You will not be receiving another Easyship email/survey unless we identify in manual spot checks that we can help you save on shipping costs. In this case we will let you know through Kickstarter, refund and send another survey later. Keep in mind, this process will take up to a week to go through all these orders.
How to Save on Shipping
As mentioned above, removing the option to pre-pay will enable a cheaper shipping option (Easyship calls it Flat Export). However, there is a caveat here. Flat Export is only available if the following conditions are met:
- Total weight is under 20 pounds
- Amount inside box is under $400
- Dimensions are under 36 inches total (e.g., a 12x12x12 box would not qualify)
Assuming the above conditions are met, you would qualify for the cheaper Flat Export option. That, combined with choosing to pay for taxes and duties upon arrival, will go a long way in helping you save on these costs.
Keep in mind, international backers in the higher tiers (potentially Adventure level, likely Dragon and Epic) could be exempt from Flat Export based on the amount inside the box and the overall value. If you don’t see ‘Flat Export’ as an option, it’s because your order does not meet the requirements above.
Easyship surveys are now closed. For those asking about their surveys not working, this is why. We’ve received over 25% of the surveys at this point, many of which were international, so the Easyship survey collection has been turned off for now. We will open these surveys again in the future when we receive more tiles and terrain (and be sure to keep everyone posted accordingly). Also, like we mentioned before, we want to take care of international backers who didn’t fill out the survey based on the costs they were seeing. So, when we open up the Easyship survey again for the next batch, we’ll place a higher priority on international orders.
Also, we’ve received a lot of address change requests. Know that we will get them updated but, because of the number of requests received, this will take some time.
Again, we apologize for the sticker shock of taxes and duties. We’ve worked overtime to ensure these can be minimized as much as possible. We appreciate your understanding so far. As always, reach out if you have any questions!
7 months ago
– Thu, Feb 23, 2023 at 11:59:21 AM
This is a very quick update to just those backers who live outside of the US. To start, we appreciate everyone's patience and understanding so far when it's come to international shipping, customs, duties, etc.
As we've said before, this is our first Kickstarter and there are headache-inducing lessons almost every step of the way; understanding and working with international VAT is no exception.
We wanted to send this quick update out to let all of our international backers know:
- We hear you! The fees we've been shown are ridiculous and we are working closely with our Easyship contact to minimize these as much as humanly possible.
- We're turning off shipping collection emails for now while we work this out. For those who haven't already done so, don't fill out the Easyship survey and pay in advance while we figure this out. For those who have already done so, we're looking into refunding whatever was paid for on your end!
- In the meantime, we'll be updating the data on our end, changing classification, among other efforts.
- Once we're done working with our Easyship contact, as well as making adjustments as mentioned above, we'll re-upload information for our international backers and will have another round of Easyship emails sent out.
- Finally, because many of you have not filled the survey out yet due to these prices, we understand you may feel at a disadvantage when it comes to shipping priority and getting in the queue (as a reminder, we mentioned fulfillment priority would be based on a combination of Pledge level and order in which you filled out the Easyship survey). We believe it wouldn't be fair for our US backers to have a fulfillment advantage based on unfair costs for international backers, so we'll make adjustments accordingly so our international backers are taken care of.
Again, we apologize for the headache here. Our whole team has been up in arms as we're sure you all have as well. Know that we are working diligently to get this addressed.
Easyship Survey's Incoming!
7 months ago
– Wed, Feb 22, 2023 at 02:14:23 PM
Easyship emails are coming! Here is a rundown of how this will work.
- You will get an email from Easyship (not from Kickstarter or Backerkit)
- In this email will be a unique link that will show your order, shipping address, and shipping options.
- You will in general see 3 shipping options you can choose from, the “cheapest”, “best value”, and “fastest” options.
- If you are an international backer (not from the USA) you will see an option for taxes and duties first to either prepay or pay on arrival. After you choose an option, you will then be shown the same 3 shipping options. (You can also go back and choose the other option if you would like to compare, it is not locked in until you pay).
- You will have an option to add insurance to the order. The full value of your order and shipping costs (including taxes and duties) are covered. So if it is lost (and you added insurance) we will be able to replace the entire order and get it to you!
- If your address is still incorrect, please do not finish and pay for shipping. Message us directly on Kickstarter so we can fix it. Please note though, it will take us a few days to make a correction to the address if it is needed.
Here is a quick screenshot of what it will look like once you open the link in the email:
Currently, the batch we have received is ~25% of the full order (see below for more details on the rest). We will prioritize shipping to backers based on who has filled out an Easyship survey, then based on VIP, Early Bird, and then based on Backer tier (Epoch, Dragon, Adventurer, Starter, etc.). We will be fulfilling painted kits in this same priority queue (and not after everyone else), we will just need some extra time to paint and process the order.
Before filling out the Easyship survey, there’s one other thing to keep in mind. Last year, when we set up the Kickstarter and offered free US shipping, we calculated the shipping costs, and it was relatively affordable. Unfortunately, the cost of shipping in the last year alone has increased at a rate we didn’t expect. On top of that, our original costs for our pieces increased drastically as well:
- Price of magnets tripled.
- Price of plastic doubled.
- Price of metal quadrupled.
With some hard negotiating, logistics, and planning, we have been able to absorb these escalating costs with the Kickstarter funds, get everything manufactured without comprising the quality of the product, and get it to our warehouse. However, because of all this, unfortunately, we can no longer offer free US Shipping. The average shipping cost should only be around ~$15-$20, so that shouldn’t be too bad.
When we send the Easyship surveys, you are shown a few shipping options and prices, and can then pay accordingly. Although we are no longer offering free shipping, we will honor whatever shipping rate you lock in with the Easyship survey you’ll be receiving. So, for example, if shipping prices go up between the time you pay for your shipping (Easyship holds onto those funds until we purchase your shipping label) and when your kits go out, we will pay that cost increase.
There are some backers who have asked about the status of the rest of our batches of tiles and terrain. Like we mentioned a few updates ago, everything was ready to go in China. We are newer at all this fulfillment stuff and we want to make it as smooth as possible for all of you. After getting the first batch, though, we’re finding our estimates of time it will take to prime and paint are off. Because we want to stay at a good pace and fulfill as quickly as possible, we’re coordinating to have our manufacturer assist us in this process. With the quality of the pieces (seriously they are freaken Epoch), we’re confident the primed/painted pieces will be high quality as well.
Quick Update Regarding Easyship
7 months ago
– Tue, Feb 21, 2023 at 02:16:04 PM
Wanted to give you all a quick update! The Easyship emails have not been sent yet :(.
We went to send them today (just a few minutes ago) and it looks like we rolled a Nat 1 and we ran into some errors. The Easyship system will do a simulation send of the emails, as a sort of "smoke" test, to make sure everything will work correctly. Unfortunately, in this test it found that the import of international backer addresses to Easyship from Backerkit imported all screwy (something like this Ã«lÃ¶lnÃ©).
It will take us a few hours today to scrub through the data, cross reference it to Backerkit (which does not have this error) and fix the addresses. There were no other errors the system encountered, so once we fix this issue, we will be good to go!
The plan is to send these out tomorrow morning (MST). So be sure to look for them then.
Pre-Easyship Survey Update
8 months ago
– Tue, Feb 14, 2023 at 09:56:14 PM
Since we received our first batch of tiles and terrain on Wednesday of last week, we've been busy processing everything we got. We'll continue to do so until the middle of this week and will start working on kits from there.
Until that happens, we wanted to send out a quick update to touch on a few items that have been asked about quite a bit:
We've recently received quite a variety of questions and requests related to fulfillment and shipping; this includes questions like, "I placed multiple orders, how can I get everything all at once?" We're working with Easyship to figure out special requests like that, along with all the other necessary line items. We have one more phone call (been on a couple already with them) to verify that we didn't' roll a Nat 1 in setting these things up. Know that we're diligently working on this and the Easyship survey will be sent out when all the details have been sorted out. Currently we are anticipating this will be Monday next week (20 Feb).
Quite a few people have placed pre-orders and are wondering where they fit in the queue. As mentioned in a previous update, we will be prioritizing fulfillment based on a combination of tier level and order in which Easyship surveys are submitted.
But we also have quite a few pre-orders, and we made sure to order enough tiles and terrain to account for that. As such, for pre-order fulfillment, it will be generally viewed the same as Adventure-tier backers, except they will not be included in this first batch of orders shipped. This also means that we will not send pre-orders the EasyShip email going out on Monday (20 Feb), but we will send it to you once we receive our next batch.
Also, there are a couple other items to keep in mind for those who pre-ordered:
- Orders have been locked - you may have seen an email mentioning this. It should have happened earlier, but for some reason only went through recently.
- Pre-orders will be billed soon - this also should have been done earlier as well, but never went through. Before they are billed, you will receive an email from Backerkit letting you know you will be billed within a couple of days.
That's all! As always, let us know if you have any questions on Kickstarter or in our Discord.