Accessing Kickstarter Funds — The 14 Day Window

One frustrating thing Kickstarter doesn’t make very clear is that you don’t have access to the money of your successful Kickstarter campaign for 14 days after it ends. It says something about it right when you accept their terms and conditions to start the campaign. Well, you are supposed to say when rewards are given out before that, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some rewards are given late because of somewhat unexpected days like that.

On this FAQ page Kickstarter says,

US-based projects: If your project is successfully funded, funds are transferred directly from backers’ credit cards to the project creator’s Amazon Payments account. There is a 14-day window for collecting and processing pledges. Once the 14-day window has passed, you can transfer funds from your Amazon Payments account to your linked bank account.

It has been 14 days since my project ended and I can’t see my funds. Where are they?

If you’re not seeing your funds by now, you’re likely logging in to the wrong Amazon Payments account. Make sure that you are logging in to Amazon Payments with the exact same email address and password you used when you registered to receive funds. This may be different from your Kickstarter login, and that’s fine. Once you log in to that account, you should be able to request a withdrawal of the funds to your personal bank account.

Note that Amazon Payment’s explanation of this is not very helpful. Go here and here to see what they say about it.

It has been fourteen days since my Kickstarter Campaign ended (and almost twelve additional hours), and I still don’t have access to the funds. I see that there is a lot of money sitting there, but I don’t have a way to get it. I called Amazon Payments (which is a different company than Amazon), and they said that I have to wait 14 days after the payments are processed, which they say means I won’t actually get the money until tomorrow. Also, the customer service person told me that since some payments failed and were processed late, I won’t get access to those funds until later — maybe five days from now. (Also note that at least one payment probably hasn’t resolved yet.)

Oh yeah, and it isn’t made entirely clear that it can take another 7 days to actually transfer the money to your bank account either. I saw that because I tried to transfer the funds before realizing that it wasn’t possible.

All this means that it can easily take a month or so before a Kickstarter campaign actually has access to the funds needed to start manufacturing the product, which can easily mean people get the rewards a month later than expected. I suspect big companies are really using Kickstarter to promote their product (and do pre-orders), so they might start manufacturing before the funds are available. That is against the real point of Kickstarter/crowd funding, though, which is supposed to help people turn a dream into a reality that wouldn’t have the necessary funding otherwise.

I suspect that my rewards will be given out on time because the Game Crafter can manufacture games pretty quickly. However, the Game Crafter can be somewhat expensive and anyone who wants to manufacture thousands of a product could get a better deal elsewhere. I am hoping to manufacture the rewards and a certain amount of the product with the Game Crafter because they have free bulk order fulfillment and can send the rewards out to everyone in a somewhat timely way. Even so, I am also hoping to have the main print run with another company that can have a lower price per unit. (Note that it can easily take months to get a card game manufactured in large quantities by another company.)

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