You are designing your crowdfunding. Even though you have been procrastinating forever, it is time to actually get quotes. Getting quotes for a crowdfunding campaign is much harder than it looks, but it is a great opportunity to create a first bound with future partners, and understand whether you want to entrust them with your dream or not.
Getting quotes for a crowdfunding campaign: how many do I need?
Whenever you are working on figuring out the budget for a crowdfunding campaign, there are usually several players you will need to contact. In my case, talking about playing cards: the company that makes playing cards; tuck case makers; fulfillers; add-on and stretch goal makers.
For each of these categories, get more than one quote. In my opinion, three is the very minimum, unless there is only one big and recognized player that you have to go through.
Asking for more than one quote will allow not only to take advantage of the best price, but you will be able to get a sense of the company you are working with. For example, if they get back to you late, with poor English, with partial answers and lack of details, all of those can (and should) be taken into consideration.
Getting quotes for a crowdfunding campaign: what to ask?
The most important pieces of information are usually pricing (as tiered as you can), delivery and shipping terms and possibility to produce what you ask. It is good to send even just a tentative sketch. They will know if specific techniques could be used or if it would be impossible.
The most important is usually pricing. Manufacturers are very reluctant to giving out information about pricing. They will answer partially and only to your specific question. It is good therefore to ask specifically. Example: price for 500 or 1.000 units, in case the tuck is embossed and in case it is plain. If they do not get back with the four prices you asked, ask again.
Also, it is good to be very specific about shipping. Shipping internationally large quantities is not easy. Make sure they have experience doing it, or you will have some issue down the line.
Getting quotes for a crowdfunding campaign: how to ask?
Whenever getting quotes for a crowdfunding campaign, I tend to make a very clear list of questions that I want to ask, prioritize them, and decide which questions to ask first and which ones to ask later.
Being very structured in this quest helps in asking all questions at once. This allows to get answers in a comparable way. When asking about pricing details, for example, many companies will be replying specifically for the amounts you asked. For example, asking for a quote for 500 and 1.000 units gives you an idea of the pricing curve they use, and may help you understand prices outside that range as well.
In addition to that, prioritizing questions allows you to get the most important answers first. If pricing is the most important question, ask it first. If you care about VAT and other taxes, go for that instead. Keep in mind that people answer email lightheartedly. If you will have answers to a part of your questions, make it the ones you care about.
Comparing the quotes
Once you sent out to each group of manufacturers their specific email, replied asking again for the information they forgot to attach and waited for everyone, you are able to compare.
Again, pricing should not be the most important thing. Make sure their experience and quality in previous projects is good. That shipping and VAT will not be issues. Make sure that if you overdo the funding goal, they will be able to deliver.