You Decide: Is Now the Time for Third-Party Pledge Managers?

22 August 2016 | 50 Comments

Two years ago, I was faced with a dilemma: Should I continue to use Kickstarter’s built-in survey, or should I start using some of the more robust third-party pledge managers like BackerKit, PledgeManager, and CrowdOx.

When I thought about it, I realized that what mattered most to me was creating the best experience for my backers. So I posted a poll on this blog to see what backers preferred. The results were as follows:

  • 41% in favor of Kickstarter’s built-in survey
  • 36% in favor of third-party pledge managers
  • 23% no preference

At the time, I think there was a little wider margin between the first two options, so I stuck with Kickstarter’s survey for my next 2 projects.

However, a lot changes in 2 years. Not only are poll results from 2 years ago not as relevant today, but these third-party pledge managers have continued to evolve while Kickstarter’s survey has essentially changed the same. So it’s time for a new poll.

Also, I had a great meeting with the folks at BackerKit at Gen Con in early August. I wasn’t expecting much, so I was surprised by how much passion they exuded. They really believe in this thing. Not that they shouldn’t–BackerKit is very successful–but I really bought into the idea that they believe in creating something that makes the entire Kickstarter experience better for both creators and backers.

James at BackerKit kindly took the time post-Gen Con to fill me in on a few aspects about BackerKit (this post is about pledge managers in general, not just Kickstarter–many of these highlights apply to all third-party pledge managers):

  • BK automatically updates backer address data so you don’t need to rely on an Excel macro.
  • BK makes it really easy to segment and filter, both for sending orders to specific fulfillment centers and for contacting specific segments of backers.
  • BK offers a direct line of communication to backers (this would have been super helpful for Scythe fulfillment, as I got the same questions over and over again).
  • BK identifies underpledges (when backers didn’t pledge as much as needed) and overpledges (turning it into pledge credit that can be redeemed on BK).
  • BK lets backers update their survey response on their own (Kickstarter also allows this, but it comes with an ugly caveat: if you ever turn off the survey edit feature, all backers get a notice you can’t control saying that the project is “shipping soon”)
  • BK is an instant pre-order online store for you. We use Shopify and Celery, but I can see how it would be quite helpful to have all of that data in one place, as I’m constantly having to manually plug in orders from Celery into my master spreadsheet (we ship pledges and post-KS pre-orders at the same time).

So let’s see what people prefer in 2016 compared to 2014. In fact, let’s see how backers feel versus how creators feel. Backers first:

Now for creators:

Let me know in the comments if you have any other thoughts about this subject!

50 Comments on “You Decide: Is Now the Time for Third-Party Pledge Managers?

  1. Are these pledge managers officially crowdfunding platforms now? It seems like there’s a lot of post-Kickstarter funding activity happening there. And they seem to be innovating in much-needed areas where Kickstarter is not. Perhaps Kickstarter is innovating on the back end where backers don’t have visibility, but all this makes me wonder how relevant Kickstarter will be in a year or two. In general I’m annoyed with how many pledge managers there are and keeping track of new accounts for each pledge is getting out of hand, so it’s hard for me to vote for using a third-party pledge manager.

      1. Hi Jamey, This has been a fascinating read. I am launching Feudum in 3 days and I am using Backerkit. I have many excited backers ask me if they can proactively “overpledge” to help the campaign “blow through” its stretch goals. As you pointed out, Backerkit turns overpledges into credit that can be redeemed for add ons during the backerkit survey. I’m at a loss if this is something I should ENCOURAGE or not. I’m guessing KS gets % credit for overpledges, but then again, I benefit from higher stretch goals achieved. Hmmmmmm. What would Jamey Do? (WWJD, haha… you should sell orange bracelets).

  2. I think third party PM’s are great for projects that have add-ons. Specially ones that have a lot of them. It’s easier to manage and remember what you’ve pledged for from the backers perspective. It tallies amounts, takes extra payments and allows you to add-on after the campaign. That said, in campaigns where what you pledged for is what you get, I think the KS surveys work fine.

  3. The main 3rd party surveys I’ve used are BackerKit and PledgeManager. I already liked those somewhat better than the built-in KS survey, but I had an experience that make me love them even more. Recently, I moved and I had to update my address on more than a dozen projects that I’m waiting on. The projects that used BK or PM were a breeze to update. I felt (and still feel) confident that the information will be communicated correctly to whoever ends up doing shipping. Projects that use KS on the other-hand…I wasn’t so sure. Lo and behold, I had a problem getting Scythe since I had to change both the address and the name for the package (timing of the move wasn’t a known quantity at the time of project fulfillment). I eventually got it, but it made me feel bad that shipping was paid twice (graciously!) by Stonemaier and FunAgain had to ship it again to me.

    Bottom line: When something like a move happens, I need something that is easy and reliable to update so that I don’t have to chase down each project creator using whatever method they want. The fact that the creator can leave a project ‘unlocked’ for address changes on BK and PM until they absolutely need them for fulfillment is a huge plus for me!

    1. Rachel: Thank you for sharing this experience of what it’s like to change your address on third-party pledge managers vs Kickstarter (and I’m sorry that our process for Scythe wasn’t as smooth as it could have been).

    2. This is honestly the entire reason I built PM. Having backed literally hundreds of projects, when I had to move twice in one year managing that process was a complete nightmare. So, so glad other people specifically enjoy those features from a backer perspective.

  4. I’ve used both, but my 3rd party form is of my own design, not backer kit, etc (so no 1% fees, no hang ups, and all data comes straight to me the moment the pledge is submitted.)
    The Kickstarter Survey leaves a lot be desired (like not automatically requesting phone numbers as part of the standard shipping detail… OOPS!), the inability to process upgrades, lots of columns of data you’ll never need getting in the way, and more.

    I’d strongly recommend a 3rd party form to anyone. …including Kickstarter. (Amazing they haven’t got on that yet.)

    As for BackerKit, met with Max (co-founder) at Gen Con, he sat on our Kickstarter Advice Panels (data updated on our blog) and was very helpful and enthusiastic as he always in email. Rumor has it though that another company is now doing it, but charging NO fees. Curious to see how that turns out.

    1. John: The fee isn’t a big deal to me (the time I could save is worth the money I’d spend). But I’d like to hear more about the hang ups and the data. What are the hang ups? And is the data on a third-party pledge manager not immediately available to you?

  5. I’m in the boat for simple projects the use of the Kickstarter Survey is fine. An example would be many of Indie Boards and Cards No frills projects like Grifters. However In a few recent Backerkit survey’s I’ve had the options of addons I had forgotten about like Card sleeves specifically for the game your getting from Mayday.

    The Scythe project itself and its survey was about as complex as I’d like to get with the KS survey, however with multiple addons and options, I’m looking at Halfsies dice from Gatekeeper, trying to keep up with that without a Shopping cart and backend would just be a nightmare.

    The addition of customer support on Backerkits end and the segmenting and filtering options for the Creator makes me lean towards them for anything that has addons. I’m also betting that many of the fulfillment companies like Ship Naked and Funagain have systems in place to deal with the straight output from Pledge managers as its something that they deal with often as well and can integrate into their processes.

  6. Here’s a common experience I seem to have with third party surveys:

    It’s been months since the project has closed, and the creator has just sent out an update where they remind everyone to fill out their surveys. There are pretty good odds that the update didn’t remind you exactly where this survey is (you know, like including a link.) So, then I have to go dig through previous updates to remind myself where it is. I log in to the third party site and generally discover, oh yeah, I already filled this out.

    It is then that I always appreciate how Kickstarter makes it very obvious when you have a survey to fill out, and I never feel the need to double-check if I’ve filled it out already.

    Other than that, third party surveys are fine with me.

    1. John,
      Good insight. Do you think it would help if there was a chrome extension or similar that kept you up to date on whether you had incomplete surveys? Obviously it would only apply to one 3rd-party service, but could be good for keeping track of those surveys at least.

  7. This is an often asked question in business really- “Do I use best in class tools or do I use an all in one suite?”. For me, I really prefer best in class tools- in this case the 3rd party manager perhaps, than the all in one solution- Kickstarter.

    I prefer tools that either save me a bunch of time or give my customers an outstanding experience than I care about completely integrated systems. While I LOVE the IDEA of a complete all-in-one solution… I have just never found them to live up to their own advertising at the end of the day.

    The thing I would think about for this question is- “How do I want to begin my relationship with this customer?” Collecting money via kickstarter is really just the FIRST step in a very long relationship. Any tools that make that relationship stronger and easier in the long run would be my choice.

    Maybe the deciding factor would be if you consider this a “project” or a business. Anytime business is the choice, I would go for best in class tools ;)

  8. We have had probably the most or one of the most complicated projects on Kickstarter. With dozens, or in some cases more than 100 different options, our projects would be so much more difficult to ship without Backerkit. In the case of our first project with over 2,400 backers, all with different orders and some choosing as many as 100 different individual meeples, it would have been impossible. Over the past couple of years we have seen Backerkit grow and offer more and more services for us and for our customers. Chris or I would be happy to share our experiences or answer questions if you have any. :-)

      1. Also, I know our projects are different than yours so our experiences may not be the same as yours but if you take our three biggest projects we collected about and average of $10 per backer in Backerkit for extras after the campaign. Now, I know we are maybe more likely to have extras added than you are by the average person. But, when people decide to add on an extra copy of a game for a friend as a gift, or for someone who just missed the campaign, you may find that you still get a significant amount of money added on in the survey too. We send our surveys out 2-3 weeks after the project ends and for some people that makes a difference… one more paycheck later they may have the money for that game gift, or add-on coins, or something like that. But it is still early enough for you to plan your production runs.

        1. Excellent comment, Cynthia. I’m glad that other creators who read this can see that giving backers access to adding on stuff post-Kickstarter is often helpful for them, but it’s also key that at a certain point, you have to finalize your production quantities, so there’s a limit to how long you can accept add-ons.

  9. Hello Everyone! I’m the Co-founder of CrowdOx so I figured I would jump in! As you might imagine our feature-set covers all the same things mentioned in the post by Jamey about BackerKit (and more!) I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since the last poll! Time does fly.

    I’m obviously biased toward third party utilities. Yet, not without reason. I’ve talked with Max from BackerKit and I know Adam from PledgeManager as well. We’re all working in the same space to help project creators be successful. We hear from creators daily about the different situations that they are trying to cover. The same situations we have been in ourselves. These tend to push creators to start looking for other options.

    Including but obviously not limited to:

    – BackerClub, BackersNation, BroBible, etc special pledges
    – Retail configurations
    – Honoring special pricing tiers
    – Free giveaways
    – Extending the campaign time
    – Backer communication
    – Keeping an up to date database of all your information
    – Sending custom shipment notifications, with tracking information
    – Customized exports for your fulfillment provider
    – and many many more

    I’ve had conversations with several members of the Kickstarter team and they aren’t in any rush to enhance their survey tools. Both BackerKit and CrowdOx are recognized as Pledge Management tools on their resources page[1]. This is the direction they have chosen to take, focus on the third party utilities that solve the bigger problem, and keep their own survey product to a minimum.

    What we’ve found difficult with Kickstarter’s tools, since we are creators ourselves, is you will undoubtedly get into a situation where you need to merge data from 13 different files. Each Pledge Level is it’s own dataset which will need to get merged together after you’re done. This works fine for simple situations but does start to grow in complexity the more you need to do with it. What if you want all your data in a format your fulfillment provider needs? You end up spending a lot of time in excel.

    From the Backer’s perspective this gives them control and choice. Wanted to get the physical book instead of the digital book? No problem, just upgrade. Want that stand personalized? Great, choose the personalized edition. These options can be made available and can be a bonus to a true backer.

    But what about taking orders from many sources? If you have a campaign on Kickstarter which transitions to Indiegogo but also took pre-orders on your website then you’ll want all your data in the same place. A third party tool gives you a lot of flexibility and support to help you every step of the way.

    1. https://www.kickstarter.com/help/resources​

  10. Great post!
    As a first-time creator without many post-KS add-ons planned (except maybe “order a second one!”) the pitch from BK that grabbed my attention is their whole “backer support” service: A FAQ, email support helping to answer backer shipping/survey questions, Etc – Have other creators found this aspect to their (or any 3rd party) service helpful? Like, have you said to yourself, “oh yeah – that was totally worth the fees just in saving my time replying to all those shipping inquiries” – or is it really just about the add-on management/sales?

    There’s also a “this is my first rodeo” aspect for me where I can see the fees helping to buy me a decent little fulfillment101 education in working with an experienced third party team like BK….all that go-it-alone moxie in KS creator’s DNA can just make it difficult sometimes to figure out when and where to DIY, and when not to

  11. As a “super backer” (thanks, Kickstarter!) who has backed over 350 projects, I can say with certainty that the Kickstarter survey is perfectly fine for simple projects with no add-ons. Once there are multiple pledge options and/or add-ons, then a third party pledge manager is absolutely the way to go. Projects that try to skimp by going with the Kickstarter survey whe there are several add-ons are always a pain, and usually backfire on the project creator with complaints from backers for confusing and poorly worded surveys.

    I have a separate, but very related, gripe as a retailer who backs campaigns. I’d REALLY appreciate it if project creators and all the third party pledge managers, would get their act together and streamline the process for retailers. Set up a distinct pledge level for retailers with appropriate retailer pricing for additional pledges and/or add-ons built in so the process is seamless.

    The lack of a consistent approach is just aggravating beyond belief. Some examples of problems I’ve experienced:

    1. On one project, there was no retailer pledge level, and no instructions on which was the appropriate pledge level. I backed at the $1 pledge level, and our order did not ship because the project creator did not gather addresses for $1 backers (but never told this to me).

    2. On more than one campaign, I couldn’t fill out the pledge manager without assistance from the project creator because retailer pricing for various pledges and add-ons did not exist. A common workaround is for project creators to manually add a credit to my account to cover the difference, but I have to think that creates all sorts of accounting nightmares on the back end for them. It’s a hassle for me to have to coordinate with the project creator about what I want, and then wait to have them manually update my account.

    3. Project creators sometimes don’t send pledge manager invites to backers if they did not select a particular pledge level. This has bitten me before when there is no retailer pledge level, no $1 pledge level, and no instructions on how to pledge as a retailer, and I choose to back for $1 and select “No thanks, I just want to help the campaign.”

    1. Mike: This is very insightful–thank you for sharing. Even though I always have $1 reward levels, I can say that the “no reward” levels are particularly hard to deal with as a creator, as Kickstarter doesn’t even allow the creator to send them a survey. The best you can do is download a spreadsheet with those backers and try to figure out which of them actually want rewards.

      1. I have only backed a campaign without selecting a pledge level on a handful of occasions – maybe three ever? So thats not a problem that is common – but it has happened.

        The point is really that it would be great for project creators to think about retailer pledge levels in advance and set them up to be as streamlined as possible, and I think the third party pledge managers could do a lot better here to make it easy for project creators to set up retailer pledges levels that are straightforward and easy to work with. If I were a project creator and fairly certain that my game was going to retail, making the pledge manager experience a pleasurable (tolerable?) one for retailers would be a valuable consideration as to which third party pledge manager I would use.

        Truth be told, I have no idea how many retailers back Kickstarter projects on a recurring basis, but I could easily see that one or two bad experiences would be enough to push them away from ever backing again.

  12. (Backer)
    I am very much for pledge managers, for reasons mentioned above already (Easier address updates, easier add-on handling, etc). I like that with the popular ones (Backerkit, PledgeManager) that I can login and see my project history with them to find/check information easily.

    What I do find frustrating is people using self-developed pledge managers (Such as CMoN’s CKPM) or ones I’ve otherwise never heard of, because it fragments how easy it is to track and update multiple projects (Kind of akin to video game digital platforms, where I only use Steam because even if I miss out on lots of EA games, its’ just convenient to have only one).

    Of the PM’s I’ve used, PledgeManager is my preference as I tend to find it a more pleasant interface to fill out, but I’m not entirely certain if that’s just the kinds of project involved (As things with more SKU’s/Custom Options like Artana’s coins/Meeplesources meeples have a lot of options to present).

  13. As a creator, I’ve shied away from pledge managers in the past. I’ve embraced a philosophy of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), and avoided add-ons as well.

    For my next campaign in October, I will be using BackerKit. What pushed me over the line wasn’t add-ons, address changes, or surveys. It was pre-orders.

    I used PayPal for pre-orders on The Networks, and it was awful. I had to scrape all the addresses from every backer on each invoice screen. And while my post-Origins success was thrilling, it was also a slog to do it for hundreds of backers. Copy and paste and copy and paste, over and over.

    Jamey, I know you use Celery, but I want a turnkey solution. Celery seems like an excellent back-end, but I want something that will handle pre-order surveys too.

    Also, for every person who likes Celery’s model of delaying the credit card charge by a few months, there’s a person who prefers to have the charge done and out of the way. It’s easier accounting and budgeting. Credit cards get lost and their numbers change; I think a quicker charge is a good way to go.

    So I’m going to give BackerKit a whirl for pre-orders. I really like their passion and their customer service, which helps a lot.

  14. I think the biggest determinant may come down to how comfortable the project creator is at working with Excel and integrating programming solutions. Unless your third party is going to be your source for all orders moving forward, you will have to deal with data coming in from multiple sources regardless.

    For me, since my day job revolves around programming and using advanced Excel techniques, I would prefer to handle all updates myself so the Kickstarter survey was sufficient for our needs. We programmed our own online store for orders so the pre-order system offered by third party services isn’t something we would use either.

    With that being said, for my next project I plan to create a custom survey (I assume much like John Wrot) so I can ask a few demographic questions, such as how customers found out about the project.

  15. I voted Kickstarter survey for simple projects and a third party pledge manager for more complicated projects. What I want is a working, tested pledge manager. One game I backed recently is rolling their own pledge manager and are attempting to have people use an unfinished, untested manager and it reduces my confidence in that team.

  16. Hello,

    Good article, I voted for third party pledge manager because there is many use cases cover by PM and not cover by simple survey.

    Just to notice there is a new PM as BackerKit , PledgeManager and CrowdOx. His name is Fluent ( fluentpm.com ). It was launched in June 2016 and is open for 2 projects ks . (any major problem at startup)

  17. Jamey,

    I noticed a typo, and wanted to point it out for your benefit (not to be critical!):

    4th paragraph, “…Kickstarter’s survey has essentially changed the same.” (I believe you meant STAYED the same).

    I have very recently been reading your blog posts after purchasing and completing your book via Audible, and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge. Feel free to delete this comment once you’ve had the opportunity to make any correction you deem necessary.

    Cheers!

  18. I’ve been following your fulfillment adventures here on the site and can definitely relate. I STRONGLY recommend 3rd party tools.

    I managed the Kickstarter for “Shadowrun Returns” with just a spreadsheet and a hacked-together web-based account system we made — at over 36k backers, that nearly killed me!!! (all needed digital keys, 10k had physical swag).

    But that was all before the 3rd party tools really established themselves.

    Since that time, I’ve used BackerKit for 3 more projects: GolemArcana (only 2k backers but LOTS of add-ons and all physical rewards), Shadowrun: Hong Kong (31k backers, 2300 with physical swag), and BattleTech (41k backers, 5800 with physical swag)

    Jamey, I’d be happy to chat with you about my first-hand experiences with BackerKit. If you go to the Contact Us page on our web site (Harebrained-Schemes dot com) — I read the customer service queue and you can reach me there.

    While I appreciate the sentiment behind the poll, your average backer can’t possibly appreciate the tradeoffs involved.

    If a Backer has participated in other projects that uses pledge tools, yes, they might notice that it’s easier to use — though I’d say the only backers that will appreciate tools the most are the ones who had issues (change of address, etc.), because for them the tools are great. But for the 80% who have no issues, the tools vs KS survey life is not very different.

    By contrast, though, YOUR LIFE will be hugely improved using the tools. And not just for the 20% of backers who need special care (which will be a big improvement), but ALSO for the 80% of people who are otherwise smooth sailing: even for them, everything will be easier.

    So yeah, I’m a huge fan — not least because I have other things I want to do at the company besides just manage the Kickstarter, and the tools free up so much time and energy and sanity for me.

    Again, I’d be happy to chat, and share war-stories, etc. And thanks for sharing all your adventures on your blog.

  19. I still prefer the built-in Kickstarter system for the simple reason it means all my backer information is in one spot. An email informing me of a external pledge manager survey is too easy to overlook in my daily pile of emails and it makes my backed project list seem like a swiss cheese when it comes to all sorts of missing information.

  20. Hello everyone.

    I am approaching Kickstarter launch soon and glad that I came back to this KS bible site for my quick crowd funding updates. Will seriously consider now the 3rd party pledge manager tools, I did not know about that Pre-Order utility aspect of these tools that should come handy for those who need to continue building momentum.

    Thank you for the topic!

  21. My project had 5400 backers, two product versions and 7 pledge levels.
    I worked with BackerKit, and I was very pleased.
    This is why (partial list, these are the ones most important to me):
    1. It is very easy to set up and use add-ons. Kickstarter is very confusing for backers if they want to select two pledge levels or buy more than one item. The Third-Party Pledge Manager is really good at that. It’s not just about getting more sales, it’s about giving backers the opportunity to really get what they want. This is relevant even for the non-popular pledge levels. For example, I had a $10,000 reward on the campaign. The 1st one was taken during the campaign, and the second as a BackerKit add-on.
    2. Segments and data exports work very well. There are also some fulfillment companies who have their template in BackerKit. But not sure why the list is short and doesn’t evolve.
    3. Ability to communicate with the backers, send reminders etc.
    4. Pre-order module. I used BackerKit for surveys and add-ons, and Celery for pre-orders. Consolidating Celery data into the fulfillment company format was a nightmare. Next time I will use the BackerKit pre-order module instead. It will save so much time and errors.

  22. Not necessarily of direct interest to project creators, but I thought this might be something to know. I recently brought on a business partner, who is a tech guru. One of his projects was to pull data about every Kickstarter game project we had ever backed, including the forum through which we had made payments (e.g. KS Pledge, “add-on” payments through third party pledge managers, direct paypal payments to project creators, etc.). He tried to pull data from all four third party pledge managers we’ve used (backerkit, pledge manager, fundafull, crowdox). I could share all sorts of interesting stories about how difficult all of them made it for backers to pull information from their own accounts.

    But the biggest culprit was Crowdox, which does not have a “home” page for backers which lists on a single page all of the KS projects that a backer has pledged for. Moreover, there is no way to switch from one project to another while logged into Crowdox. In other words, I had to find the original invitation for a project to access that project, and that project alone. I then had to log out and click on the original invitation of the next project, etc. This was extremely tedious, as you can imagine.

    If nothing else, at least backerkit and pledge manager allow backers to see all their projects at once, and backers can access each of them from that home page, and can visit several different projects without having to log out and log back in for each project.

    It would be even better if every third party pledge manager provided a summary page so backers could see all their projects listed, including how much money they paid toward each project. I know we are an extreme case with the number of projects we’ve backed (almost 500), but I imagine a lot of backers (especially “superbackers”) would like to be able to see at a glance how much money they have spent on the various game projects they’ve backed. Even better, it should be easy to download the data for all projects, including what they have ordered, how much it cost, how much shipping they paid, etc.

    Unfortunately, that’s not currently possible with any of the third party pledge managers. I’d definitely give a huge recommendation to every publisher considering using Kickstarter for any third party pledge manager that offered that feature to backers.

      1. The problem is that the feature doesn’t provide any direct benefit to a single Project Creator, who is the paying customer for the third party pledge managers. I question how many would be willing to pay extra for such a feature, which admittedly benefits only a fraction of their backers. I suppose it would matter more if “super backers,” who are often influence makers for future Kickstarter projects, became more vocal about it, then it might become an issue. But I don’t hold much hope that CrowOx is going to invest any resources to make such a change in the short term.

        I don’t mean to be the rain on the parade, Jamey, and I truly appreciate your support for this feature. For now, I will remain doubtful that it will be adopted soon, and hope to be proven wrong by at least one of the third party pledge managers.

  23. It would be great if I could use my Kickstarter account info to login to pledge managers, and have a notification system that passes messages from those pledge managers through Kickstarter.

  24. Hey you guys I would be interesting to see if any of you have (recently) used any of the four: backerkit, pledge manager, fundafull, crowdox

    we are seriously considering building our own or going with emailme

    Or if any had the guts to do their own?

  25. BDC, we just created our own pledge manager, Jet Backer. It’s the most cost effective platform, created by creators for creators. Feel free to email contact [at] jetbacker [dot] com with any questions.

  26. Purely as a backer, I’m not a fan of Pledge managers, for three reasons.
    1) Mainly because I find the actual or implied upselling tiresome. If I backed for just the game and not the add-ons then that’s what I wanted and being asked again a couple of times if I want to change my mind feels a bit more like pressure selling than I like. Also it can be confusing when a project has unlocked stretch goals and then lists them as separate add-ons, which I have seen, and I always panic that I’m being charged for something I didn’t want.
    2) I’m on Kickstarter because I know and trust Kickstarter. To assume that I’m fine having my final financial transaction made through a third party that I might not have heard of is actually quite upsetting. I’ve backed projects that did not announce they were using a third party and suddenly I’m apparently having my final transaction processed by a company that I’ve not been told about, which undermines my trust and sense of security at the worst possible moment. Personally I often feel less comfortable with a pledge manager project now because it often means shipping costs to be calculated and charged after the campaign, which can mean an unknown charge that I’m already committed to.
    3) This might be anecdotal but I’ve had at least one project I backed delayed by over a month because they were struggling to set up the pledge manager. At that point, I’d much rather have the standard survey.
    On balance those reasons make me feel like they’re worse for backers, though I acknowledge they seem to benefit creators.

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