Logistics: a story of a stack of stickers
That failed to go anywhere
On my overly cluttered desk is a small packet of about a hundred stickers. I had originally commissioned a data related logo and printed a bunch with the intention of probably selling a few as well as giving them away at events. Then COVID came along and killed the idea of events. So, I started looking into just what it would take to send these things to people and thus started a hilariously long journey into why I’m quite wary of working with physical goods distribution.
The up-front fixed costs costs were easy. There was an art commission fee to hire a designer to create the logo for a flat $400. If I had any artistic skills at all this would’ve just cost me time, but everyone can agree that would be a visual disaster. The world is better off this way.
The variable costs start off simply. The initial print run of 100 stickers came out to about $90 delivered to my door, so 90 cents a sticker. Doing a bigger run (200, 500, etc) would have brought the unit costs down quite a bit but luckily I didn’t do that or else I’d have even more stickers on my desk right now.
Next is figuring out the cost of shipping, and that’s where things get… complicated. My previous experience with shipping goods en masse comes from handling rewards from Kickstarter campaigns for a game company, so I knew up front that this would likely dwarf all other costs. Moving things around gets EXPENSIVE, even if you’re talking about a sticker that weighs roughly 1.5 grams without any envelopes and cards.
From my experience, shipping goods is where KS projects that have otherwise overcome all the hurdles of marketing and production often go to die. So today’s post is something of a journey into the misadventures surrounding getting stuff into people’s hands.
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