By Steven S. Crompton
Since Rick Loomis had to leave for his trip to the Essan Game show, I thought I’d give you a report about what exactly IS involved in getting your Kickstarter items shipped. To keep the shipping going out while Rick was gone, I volunteered to take any of the packages that are ready to the post office.
The Process: Some of this has been explained before, but I’ll give you a brief rundown. Friday: Rick went through the Kickstarter orders of 1600+ pledgers and pulled out ones that fit the current output goal. In this case, Rick was mainly looking for people in the US who had ordered the Hardcover book, but NOT the limited edition hardcover. Then he also has to make sure he hasn’t already shipped some items to them, because as you know, we had shipped many non-book items to you folks already, Then he prints those orders out and gives them to Bill.
Monday Morning: Its our brave, hard-working shipping guy Bill, who puts together 99.9% of all the packages that go out. He takes the orders, goes through our warehouse inventory about puts all the individual orders together. Then he packages them up and adds the labels.
Monday Night: I had a meeting with Bear Peters (who ironically used to be in charge of shipping at Flying Buffalo back in the late 1970’s) Bear came over to my place for the meeting, which is less than a mile from Flying Buffalo. Since I needed to go over there and get all the parcels, I dragged Bear with me. We got over there about 7pm and I made sure to get him his contributors copy of the hardcover book (which he hadn’t seen yet), then I lassoed him into helping me load up my car with 58 packages of various sizes, Some of them where the size of a piece of toast, some where boxes that weighted over 20 pounds. Most contained a hardcover book or two. Since it was evening, they stayed in my car overnight.
Tuesday Morning: I drove to the Post Office, got a big cart and my wife and I got the packages inside. I found out that when you’re standing in line with THAT many packages you get a lot of dirty looks from the other customers – especially those behind you! Finally I got to the front of the line and started making piles of boxes on the counter. The people at the Post office know Rick, and have gotten used to seeing him show up with this constant stream of boxes. The joke there is that any day Rick shows up with the Kickstarter boxes, that the local Post made a profit that day – lol. Once thing I didn’t realize was how long it would take. Each package has to be weighted and then the label has to be added, and since there are so many, the postal clerk has to put a bunch of packages away, so he can do the next batch. So I was there for 45 minutes or so – see all the sacrifices I make for you guys?
Tuesday Afternoon: I needed to give Rick the receipt for the shipping – and boy what a receipt it is. Longest one I ever saw. I decided to measure it and its 6 feet, 2 inches long. The total for that day’s shipping is $318.00. For me, it was a very atypical shipping adventure, but for Rick Loomis its what he’s been doing for the last year. (more or less) Of course, now that the main rules are in, he’s really been busy. Anyway now you know what it takes to get all these goodies out to a waiting world.
The other end of the pipeline: The other day, I found this YouTube video from dT&T Kickstarter pledger “Runeslinger.” Here’s a perfect chance to really see how Bill packs these as best as he can. In the video you get a chance to see some of the goodies as they come out of the box along with some commentary from Runesllinger. Let us know what you think of the items when you get yours, or if you learned anything new about the shipping process…
YouTube Video: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls Unboxing