Friday, May 3, 2013

As Promised: Kickstarter Vs. IndieGoGo

For my first crowdfunded calendar, I used IndieGoGo.  Here's a basic summary:

  • We barely reached the funding goal, and there were almost no contributions that came from IndieGoGo.
  • There were very few visits to the campaign that came from IGG.
  • The fulfillment system was clunky and horrible to use.  There was no way to contact people through IGG, you had to e-mail them directly.
  • The payments came from IGG without any information attached to them as far as who they were from, except for e-mail addresses.  The e-mail addresses only rarely had any indication to the person's actual name.
  • The support was not great.  I experienced a glitch while setting up my campaign that made my campaign end much sooner than I selected.  I asked support for help, and they told me they would help me this time, but in the future you can't change the end date of your campaign.  It seemed they didn't understand when I repeatedly told them I hadn't set it to the date it was set to by their site.  They also seemed to be bothered by my request for help, and were not friendly.
  • Because they sent the payments in such an odd way through PayPal, I wasn't able to generate shipping labels through PayPal for the payments.  This would have made shipping much easier and quicker.
In the end, I chose not to use IGG again, and to try using Kickstarter the next time.  My original plan had been to use KS the first time, but Amazon Payments couldn't confirm my identity since my mailing and street address are different (stupid, right?).  I eventually had to use an address I hadn't lived at in 5 years to verify my identity, but by the time it was worked out, my IGG campaign was almost over.

This time around I used Kickstarter.  Here's a basic summary:

  • I experienced no glitches after the initial fiasco with Amazon Payments, but that's not Kickstarter's fault.
  • I received a lot of traffic and several hundreds of dollars in pledges directly from Kickstarter, which also brought in some new fans.
  • The fulfillment system is very streamlined and easy to use.  I can poll people who pledged, contact them, post updates to them, and so on.
  • The payments were disbursed to my Amazon account within a day, and within 3 days they were in my bank account, ready to be used to order the calendars.
  • I haven't had to contact support for any reason, so I don't know how their customer service is.
  • People can adjust their pledges or cancel them, which I found very obnoxious and a little upsetting.  At one point it nearly unfunded my project.  One person kept adjusting their pledge over and over, and eventually canceled it.  They don't have to give a reason for doing this, either, so you get no feedback in these cases about what you could have done differently or why they changed their mind.
  • You can only make one pledge.  With IGG, you can order as many different perks as you want.  With Kickstarter, you can only adjust your existing pledge.
I will use Kickstarter again next time, in the end.  I really think it's overall much better than IGG, even though I wasn't happy with the people who canceled their pledges at the last minute, and the inability to purchase multiple different perks.  I also think KS is a better site for things like fantasy art.  IGG seems to be a lot of hipster projects and eco-friendly inventions, but KS is more geared towards gamers, sci-fi and fantasy lovers, and retailers.

I plan on launching my next Kickstarter near the end of June, possibly in early July.  This time it will be for a 40-card oracle deck, and I'll post another update when that campaign is all wrapped up.

If you have any questions about my experience with either of these platforms you can ask in the comments below, or e-mail it to me at tiff @ tiffanysrealm dot com.  I'll do my best to help you, but I can't provide technical help for either of the websites, or tell you how to set up a campaign.


  1. Thanks for sharing you experience Tiffany! I added this to the EBSQ Friday Five ( ;)

  2. That was super great information - thank you very much for posting! FYI I found you through Googling "kickstarter vs indiegogo" your blog was the second result = pretty darn good!