Help! I have missed the funding campaign, but I really want to back the project! What can I do?

If you missed the funding period, you have five options available to you.

The five options available are:

1) You can contact the project creator via the link on the project page and ask if you can pre-order the item. In some cases, the project creator would let you know how to do so.

2) Some project creators offer a pre-order service via PayPal or a multitude of pre-order sites, including their own website. Some of these orders may go towards unlocking additional stretch goals, but this may not always be the case. The pre-order service is actually very re-assuring to original backers, indicating that the product is more likely to be manufactured and shipped!

3) You can wait for the product to become available in retail stores. Yes, the market retail price will be charged, but as from reading reward levels on Kickstarter projects, the market retail price is typically $5 more than the Kickstarter price. Let me repeat that: $5. The downside is that you, like all the other backers, would also have to wait through the manufacturing period, but you don’t assume the risk involved in a crowdfunded campaign.

4) You can see if the project is listed is Backershub and pre-order through this site.

5) You can search for the product on outgrow.me, an online marketplace for products that were successfully crowdfunded via Kickstarter and Indiegogo and are now available for retail.

Except for option 5, which is a marketplace, the other options are outside of the crowdfunding platform,  and you place a pre-order for the product. This has a legal implication for the contract you are about to enter into.

And because you are pre-ordering outside of the crowdfunding campaign, this implies that:

a) The pre-order product may be different to the crowdfunded product, for example, add-ons and unlocked stretch goals may only be available for the crowdfunded product. Check with the project creator what you will actually receive.

b) You may incur a higher shipping charge. Project creators argue that this increase is necessary because they have to process the order themselves instead of using their fulfillment centre as under the Kickstarter campaign. I don’t necessarily believe this argument and would refuse to place the order with the substantially higher shipping cost.

c) You may subsidize other backers’ pledges. The reason for this is as follows: if I pledge via the Kickstarter campaign, 5% of my money goes towards Kickstarter’s fees, and 3% to Amazon Payments. If I pre-order outside of the campaign at the same Kickstarter price, the 5% goes towards the overall monies available to fulfill all orders, or into the project creator’s pocket.

d) You may not get regular updates and communication from the project creator, simply because you are not on the backers list as provided by Kickstarter.

My first port of call is to contact the project creator and see what they say. Their answer may pleasantly surprise you, or not, which is what happened to me.

If you do order the product outside of the campaign, make sure you get a receipt, and you know what your rights and obligations are, for example, relating to shipping and product returns.

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