I am using the Game Crafter for fulfilling the Crazier Eights Kickstarter rewards in addition to producing one hundred extra copies of the game. A strong incentive to use the Game Crafter’s bulk order fulfillment process is that it doesn’t cost anything more than the copies of the game and shipping. If I used Amazon’s order fulfillment, I would have to pay around $3 more to have each copy of the game sent out, and I would have to pay to have several copies of the game shipped to Amazon. There are three other main issues worth talking about concerning the Game Crafter’s order fulfillment process: (1) the cost, (2) how they handle special Kickstarter promotional items, and (3) how they handle corrected mistakes.
1. The cost
It costs $8.63 for the Game Crafter to produce a regular copy of Crazier Eights, but buying 250 copies of the game brings the price down to $6.76. Shipping out a copy of the regular version costs $3.77. (That’s $10.54 for a regular copy of the game). However, some versions of the game come with promo cards. It ordinarily costs between $1.01 and $1.56 for every 18 cards produced for a game. The Kickstarter version of the game has 54 cards, so it technically costs the same as the regular version of the game, which has 53 cards. However, the Limited Edition costs at least $1.01 more because it has 57 cards (and you are charged for producing 18 cards, even if you don’t use all 18 cards).
2. Kickstarter promotional rewards
One question I had about the Game Crafter’s order fulfillment process is how they would send out promo cards. I had a promo card for the Kickstarter version of the game, and the limited edition came with four promo cards. I was told in the forum that I would have to make a different version of the game with any promo cards, but that I would still get the discount for the Kickstarter rewards as though they were all the same game.
However, it didn’t work and I was told that I was given the wrong information. I was not getting the discount because the Game Crafter treated each version of the game as a separate thing, so I would have to get 250 copies of each version of the game to get the maximum discount for each version of the game. I was told that what I was supposed to do was make a game with nothing but promo cards that would be treated as a separate game and to include that with whatever other copies of the game are sent out. I would then get a discount for getting $250 copies of the game, and I would be charged for the promo cards separately (but not necessarily getting a maximum discount for them.
I told a manager at the Game Crafter about what happened and he said he would make sure that I could use different versions of the game and still get the maximum discount because of the bad instructions I was given earlier. That ended up saving me over $500.
Another issue worth pointing out is that the way the Game Crafter is supposed to do order fulfillment is not ideal for Kickstarter rewards that include 1-4 promo cards. 1-4 promo cards that’s treated as a separate game would cost between $1.01 and $1.56 for each game sent out. I ended up getting one promo card for free for the Kickstarter version of the game and I ordered 87 copies of that version, so I saved over $87 just because they let me do things a different way than usual.
Another option would be to get the Kickstarter version of the game to sell. Rather than make 100 copies of the game to sell without the Kickstarter promo card, I could have had an additional 100 copies of the Kickstarter version with the promo card. In that case people who helped the Kickstarter campaign would be rewarded less because another 100 people who bought the game would end up with the promo card anyway (but it would also end up saving me over $87).
Note that my understanding is that Amazon fulfillment would also need a different version of the game (with unique bar codes) in order to send out unique Kickstarter promo rewards. (Or the unique promo cards would have to be in a special package with a unique bar code.) So, Amazon fulfillment’s way of dealing with Kickstarter promotions is not great for my Kickstarter campaign anyway.
3. Correcting mistakes
I found out that I made a mistake with one of the cards after I paid for order fulfillment. It is not unusual to find a mistake somewhere in your game no matter how much time you spend fixing it up. The Game Crafter required me to cancel the order & re-order the order fulfillment in order to make sure the mistake would be fixed. I assume that means that I lost my place in a queue and will have to wait a few more days for it to be manufactured.
Finally, it might be worth noting that it will take around 20 days for the Game Crafter to manufacture copies of the game (which I believe to be very fast for a game manufacturer), and that the Game Crafter’s order fulfillment process asks for the buyer’s phone number in case there is any issue when the games are shipped. I used my own phone number for all the orders because I didn’t think to ask everyone who would get a Kickstarter reward for their phone number.