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Old 05-13-2023, 03:36 PM   #1391
Farmer
 
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

Thanks for the report - interesting and positive reading.

I echo the comments in support of VTTs. This has to be an opportunity to extend both revenue and profit. I hope that there's ongoing and improved support for the existing Foundry module from "official unofficial" to something more. The guys have done an incredible job and it has certainly gained SJG additional sales with links back to W23 and by enabling play in situations it otherwise wouldn't.

The shift to Shopify has been difficult from a customer's perspective. The lack of transparency and ongoing communication very much flies in the face of the level of transparency in the stakeholders report. Perhaps it's worth noting that SJ feels the stakeholders include the customers and reflecting that into the Shopify situation would be appreciated.

An opportunity to thank Phil Reed for all his efforts, particularly through things like the shipping changes relating to COVID and his willingness to engage and provide information.

I think there's an opportunity to re-open international sales of physical products through fulfilment house recommendations. Douglas Cole has managed it, although clearly at considerable time and effort on his part. I hope it's something that will be on the radar, even if it's just listing some recommendations and putting in some T&Cs in W23 or Kickstarters along the lines of "all care, no responsibility beyond getting it to the fulfilment house in the US" would probably help.

To all the SJG team, well done, and let's hope for a great year ahead for all the stakeholders!
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Old 05-14-2023, 05:45 AM   #1392
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

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I think there's an opportunity to re-open international sales of physical products through fulfilment house recommendations.
Sorry, what? Last time I checked you could buy physical products from W23 even if you happened to not be in the US. Granted the shipping fees were a bit steep, but that's an old story.
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Old 05-14-2023, 09:56 AM   #1393
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Sorry, what? Last time I checked you could buy physical products from W23 even if you happened to not be in the US. Granted the shipping fees were a bit steep, but that's an old story.
I think it's the lack of physical reward options for international backers in Kickstarter campaigns which is being referred to. I skipped the Girl Genius Kickstarter because I'd already bought the preview PDF and couldn't get the physical book through it for example.
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Old 05-14-2023, 01:02 PM   #1394
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Yep, Kickstarters and better W23 options.
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Old 05-15-2023, 10:49 AM   #1395
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I'm really excited to see that VTTs and electronic things are on the priority for 2023. I'm also excited to see fellow forumites co-signing. I've been saying that we needed official GURPS support on VTTs since 2017. And back then my comments would often be followed up by other forumites saying, "why would you need official support..that doesn't matter."

I'm hoping for official VTT support--and VTT versions of Characters/Campaigns to be purchased from the VTT marketplaces--in Roll20 and Foundry at the very least.

Because I want to bring GURPS into my rotation of streamed games on Twitch. I'd just like to make it a bit easier on new players.

While we are at it? I'd love VTT support for Car Wars! I was going to run a Car Wars 6e tournament on my Twitch Channel...but I can't get Car Wars 6e in a digital format as far as I know. Sadly.
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Old 05-17-2023, 07:06 AM   #1396
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I think there's an opportunity to re-open international sales of physical products through fulfilment house recommendations. Douglas Cole has managed it, although clearly at considerable time and effort on his part.
For what it's worth:

One of the reasons I can do this is that I have elected to do my printing of successful/large books in Eastern Europe. I have printing contacts in Latvia, Estonia, and such, and if I ever have a big order I need to do, I do it there. Then I truck a subset of the order to the UK (though if I were bigger, I'd maybe get VAT registered in Germany too and use GameQuest Germany. Maybe. The tax situation in the EU with or without the UK consideration is wretched and ugly), and ship the rest to my house or a fulfillment center via the Atlantic Ocean.

Smaller softcover stuff I print at MixamUK and then send from there. I usually also have to stage "oh, I'm out of that in the UK" from the US to the Uk and this is, always, a giant money sink. I have started to include this in my shipping estimates, but really the staging piece is the most expensive thing. In the past I've had staging eat up 100% of the profit from the entire "not the USA" segment.

The other thing I can do - which I do for Australia - is partner with a reliable backer and use MyUS to stage to them, and they reship locally. This has brought Australian fulfillment down by a factor of 2-3.

But as you can see, if my business were actually successful rather than struggling - if I were dealing with my desired 800-1200 backers rather than my regrettably typical 400-500 - this would start getting ugly in time and cost.

The Backerkit "charge shipping later" option would notionally work for this ... but honestly, the howls of dishonesty, fraud, and distrust that come from a small but super loud minority of backers when I've done this in the past make it not worth it. I feel that after something like 17 crowdfunding projects delivering something like 40 books, I'd be given some slack, but no. I'm clearly a thief, liar, and lining my pockets with a fleet of Teslas.
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Old 05-17-2023, 02:47 PM   #1397
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<SNIP!>

I'm clearly a thief, liar, and lining my pockets with a fleet of Teslas.
Doesn't that get heavy?

Joking aside, I've moved a few things through eBay for years. Shipping outside the US (where I reside) has been off the table for a long time. Shipping is a nightmare.

Back on topic, thank you once again for the report. It's educational. The pivot to Kickstarter is interesting. I'd wondered about cash flow. I'm interpreting this commentary as "KS is being used as cash flow for the *these products.*" with the unstated corollary that, without KS, these products would come out later, as resources are available, or not come out at all.

While a lot of these products are not my fandom, I'd still rather see something released for the people whose fandom they are. ETA: Rather than delayed or unrelealized products.
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Last edited by thorr-kan; 05-17-2023 at 02:48 PM. Reason: I should finish my thoughts.
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Old 05-17-2023, 05:57 PM   #1398
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I think the best option for international shipping at the moment is to promote someone like MyUSA and direct buyers there so they can arrange the shipment to themselves through that service. Of course, you can already do that, but the idea would be for a formal recommendation for those who haven't done it before and don't know how to pick a provider.

I agree there's a range in which you're both too big and too small to effectively do it all yourself as a company and SJG likely sit right in there, hence just provide info to help others use the services that exist.
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Old 05-18-2023, 12:02 PM   #1399
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I think the best option for international shipping at the moment is to promote someone like MyUSA
Do you have time to tell us a bit more about this particular operation? The name is new to me.
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Old 05-18-2023, 06:27 PM   #1400
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Do you have time to tell us a bit more about this particular operation? The name is new to me.
This is one of a number of US-based international shipping providers for consumers. They all offer a system where you provide a US address when you make purchases from US companies and then they reship to your international address.

For MyUS specifically, Douglas Cole has experience with sending to them and his Australian contact recieving from them as an example.

The purchaser pays for local US shipping (if applicable) as any US based purchaser would. The code in the address identifies who the package is to be reshipped to. You can sign up for one off purchases or premium for 2 or more per year with added consolidation (to reduce costs) and limited storage (30 days free). The purchaser is billed by MyUS for the reshipment and any other costs are also covered by the purchaser (taxes etc.).

The main concern for most people is whether such a service is reliable as they may never have used them. If SJG was able to recommend one (or a few) at the point of sale or Kickstarter details, then international buyers could make a more informed choice and potentially purchase without SJG having to worry about international fulfilment. This could extend the sales and revue opportunities and enable more engagement by international customers with Kickstarters that have physical rewards. For SJG it's no different than shipping to any other US based customer.

The only time there is an issue is if you prohibit non-US credit cards (Amazon used to do this at times but you could get around it by having a local Amazon account, purchase a gift card, and then log into your US Amazon account and redeem the gift card and ship to a service like MyUS). Amazon now do plenty of international shipping and usually free if you're a Prime member, but that wasn't always the case).

Happy to answer any more queries if I can or, as I mentioned, Douglas has experience here I'm sure he could share.

Personally, I make great use of the electronic products but I know I can get physical products this way if I want to. The roadblock for greater uptake is education, information, and recommendation for those who aren't yet familiar and that's where SJG could help the customers (and in turn sales).
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