14 October 2014 | 6 Comments
The title pretty much says it all, but I’ll write a few words just in case this isn’t clear. I’ll start with a story to demonstrate that I’m just now learning this lesson.
For about a month now, I’ve been expecting to receive the advance copies of our Treasure Chest on October 8. Leading up to that date, there was no indication from our manufacturer (Panda) that the date wouldn’t be met. It wasn’t a firm deadline, but I had told backers to expect a project update with photos on that date.
Meanwhile, in late September I submitted the shipping information for early copies of Viticulture to be sent from 4px (a fulfillment center in Hong Kong) to backers in Asia and a few other areas. The orders were successfully processed, no problem. [UPDATE: 4px did not package the games correctly, so I no longer use or recommend them.]
However, as of October 8, not only had I not received the advanced Treasure Chests, but according to the tracking numbers for Viticulture, the fulfillment center hadn’t sent any of the packages. The two were seemingly unrelated, as they’re handled by different companies…but then I realized what was happening.
China and Hong Kong were on holiday.
You see, I live in the US. We have exactly 10 national holidays, and they’re spread out throughout the year. Also, many US businesses still operate on national holidays.
Compare that to China, which has up to 52 different holidays. They’re not all national holidays, and it’s tough to tell from that list when industry actually shuts down, but I know from experience that it’s a significant number of them.
How does this affect Kickstarter creators who manufacture in China? For most of the year, it doesn’t impact us at all. But if you have a deadline or are planning a production schedule, you need to account for those dates, particularly early February and early October.
In the end, the advanced copies of the Treasure Chest were rescheduled for arrival this Friday, and the copies of Viticulture started moving again on Monday. No long-term damage was incurred. But I thought I’d share this cautionary tale with you so you can avoid the same foibles I ran into.