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International Shipping: “Today’s added location”

jdowney9000's Avatargold

My first question, when looking into international shipping, was; “Where do I start?”

I decided to solve this problem by starting with the end, and working my way back. So I started with my Kickstarter page.

Kickstarter provides two options for reward shipping. The first option reads: “Ships anywhere in the United States”; on the reward page. The second option reads “Ships anywhere in the world.”; on the reward page.

I decided to offer my product worldwide. So I began searching for international shipping costs.

Originally I searched the internet for phrases such as; “international flat rate shipping”. But, unfortunately, I found very little useful information.

I wanted an answer, but instead was asked many questions. Most of which the answers to would likely change.

I came across terms like “customs” and “foreign regulations”.

The whole time I’m wondering if one little check box could make the difference between $2 and $20.

How much time can I spend sifting through information that will possibly change, significantly?

In an effort to move forward, I decided to offer option one instead; “Ships to anywhere in the United States”.

Less than 12 hours into my campaign I received my first $1 donation; abruptly followed by a comment from the same $1 donor, reading; “No international shipping?? :-(“.

That’s a sad face, by the way.

“Uh-oh!” I exclaimed. I gotta solve this problem fast!

With haste, I dawned my thinking cap, and began sifting through possible solutions.

My first thought was that I could literally spend the time searching for, and calculating each country, one at a time. That would get the job done. But I still needed to generate more content, make my media kit, find a manufacturer, reply to comments, not to mention; go to work and make ends meet.

I had to act quick, and think creatively.

So, I reminded myself of what modern customers want; “Options, entertaining information, and engagement.”

That is when I came up with the idea to create a “daily installment”.

I stated my offer: “...I will update with one new more specific shipping destination price each day. However, if anyone has a location they would like me to add, simply comment below or send me an email at my email address: jdowney9000@gmail.com. “

I titled my daily installment; “Today’s added location”.

Since then my initial commenter has replied with a smiley face and a like.

And I give the same right back; for it is because of them that I was inspired to initiate “Today’s added location”, and am able to offer Stripop technology to almost every location in the world.

And if I could mention one more thing; I received the best result when calling my local post office, than I acquired from any website or 1-800 number. Not to mention, the international shipping charges are about one tenth of the cost.

www.jacobleedowney.com

Robert Pontius
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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Today's added location: Nosy Be, Madagascar

Robert Pontius
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Interesting "international shipping" journey you had there Jacob - thanks for sharing that and other details of your KickStarter experience. Over the years I have considered doing a KickStarter/Indiegogo many times, but never felt quite ready.

I have to admit, you're a better man than I - I would have just gone with "Ships to anywhere in the U.S.". Not because I don't want to include international backers but because I hate administrative hassle. To paraphrase Dr. McCoy from Star Trek: "[darn] it Jim, I'm an inventor not a shipping clerk".

Jacob Downey
williamj
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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Thanks Robert. I didn't want to loose my first sale. I also didn't want to start out my campaign with problems, but rather solutions.

As an added bonus I have a tidbit of content to add to my facebook and twitter and kickstarter comments sections. Not to mention a daily bump to this thread. Which reminds me...

Robert Pontius
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Today's added location: Singapore, Singapore

Robert Pontius
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Today's added location: La foa, New Caledonia

Robert Pontius
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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Today's added location: Gozo Island, Malta

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Today's added location: Manzini, Swaziland

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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Jacob - did you ever get your Twitter account fired up? I like seeing the updates here but those posts would also be perfect for Twitter (short, fresh info each day).

Looks like you are making steady progress on your funding!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jacobdowne...

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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Yeah, where are my update providing manners?

I have been posting "Today's added location" here at EN, on facebook, on my kickstarter comments page, and on my twitter account.

I took the time to read the pr submission form for a couple of websites. I sent an email to Popular Mechanics. I took about 40 minutes.

Then I crafted a tweet. After which I proceeded to promulgate via "tweet @".

I tweeted at publications and famous people. I brazenly tweeted at whoever twitter suggested I follow. Check out the list: #bandageopener.

I called a local radio show today, but didn't get to speak. I mentioned to the screener that I am a local inventor and have a do-dad that helps disabled people open their bandages. He said; "That's great!", and sounded excited. Then he asked me to email some materials. Turns out today's not open phones Friday.

He asked me if I have a media kit? I proudly replied; "Yes!"

I sent out the email, but they will be on vacation until four day's after this campaign. Totally sucked too, because they were interviewing the guy who runs the expo center holiday sale, then interviewed Happy Joe, a local business creator.

For those who don't know Happy Joe is credited with inventing Taco pizza.

A local inventor would have fit right along side those guests.

Robert Pontius
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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Ok, so, this is weird:

U.S. restores trade benefits to Gambia, Swaziland today.

Guess what this morning's "Today's added location" was...

...eerie

Robert Pontius
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Today's added location: Oranjestad, Aruba

Robert Pontius
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Today's added location: Djibouti City, Djibouti

Robert Pontius
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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Today's added location: Baku, Azerbaijan

#bandageopener

Robert Pontius
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Today's added location: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

Robert Pontius
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Today's added location: Surabaya, East Java

Robert Pontius
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Today's added location: Glasgow, Scotland

Charlie Lumsden
Robert Pontius
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crystaldiane's Avatar

Jacob, Smart Marketing.  I am wondering what Platform you are using to start your project? Kickstarter?  I see you said 'sales' not funding. I am curious as to if you are using this as a sales distribution channel as opposed to getting sponsorship like most start up social media campaigns?Curious here....

Jacob Downey
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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Crystal, Thank you!

I just typed you a big ol 10 minute message and it disappeared. Hrumph.

#perserverance. (let's try this again).

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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Crystal,

What do you mean by "Platform"?

What do you mean by "start"?

Sales, yup. I can make small batches in my shop.

I would like to fund manufacturers tooling; or a facility of my own. Used injection molders can be had for $5000 + mounting + power up + plastic beads + maintenance.

But I want to fund that with sales. Kickstarter provides me a way of gathering preorders. And pre-feedback.

I welcome sponsorship. I need to spread the word.

I picked the coldest time to spread the word, because this butter is frozen. My summer was to busy, and my patent took longer than expected.

I have yet to hear final word from some 15 manufacturers. Mind that these places advertise; "Free quotes". I'm not calling for a licensing deal.

I'm having a lot of trouble being taken seriously. I have been asked how serious I am multiple times. I'm getting used to it.

One very helpful gentleman, to whom I am very thankful, even stuck a test in with his emails.

Among answering other questions he asked; "are you looking for a manufacting partner/investor?"

With the other questions I answered, I replied; "A manufacturing partner/investor is something I might be interested in. What did you have in mind?"

He sent back; "We don't invest in products. I was just wondering if you were a good fit."

Why did he bring it up? To see if I am a good fit. What does he mean by "fit". I asked for a quote, not an investor. Very confusing.

He answered a lot of my other questions, and offered to provide a final quote. I'll let you know when I receive one. (From anyone).

All part of a One-Man-Band operation.

Thanks for the curiosity. You added life to my topic. =]

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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Any more questions?

Here are my links:

Kickstarter

My website

(check out my shirts for a little chuckle)


Twitter:

Facebook:

Friend, follow, or request a follow. =]

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crystaldiane's Avatar

Hey Jacob thank you  I will look at the links  probably tomorrow it's late here . I had looked at crowdfunding for my own product  but concluded that crowdfunding is mostly for  young people  products  us old people don't do crowdfunding so if the product doesn't resonate with the under 30 set it probably won't fly  on that sort of platform  in my case it didn't make sense . I  understand the problem with Manufacturing  no one will take you seriously without real orders after all they stay in business selling you their services  and this free quote and partner thing I'm not buying that either . I think  for myself my goal is to continue to prove concept I have some real numbers now and I'm going to start reaching out to people that I think are potential partners  but ideally I'm looking for a licensing deal  thank you for sharing your experience it's been  helpful  Best of You

Jacob Downey
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inovate's Avataree_badge

finally glasgow, It's about bloody time laddie. All the best in the New Year 

Robert Pontius
Jacob Downey
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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Crowd funding is like a vending machine for preorders. Not a lot of people drive by kickstarter street to shop. I still need to advertise.

I've also found that most folks don't know what crowdfunding is.

" 's 'at like one o' 'em bitcoin things?"

I've received a few "offline" orders from folks who don't exactly don't use the internet.

Keep moving forward Crystal. I believe in you.

"Keep your friends close, and your calculator closer."

Crystal-Diane Nappi
Robert Pontius
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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Charlie, I love you too buddy; Happy New Year!

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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Crystal: "crowdfunding is mostly for young people products us old people don't do crowdfunding".

TOTALLY untrue - I'm old and I love Kickstarter and Kickstarter products. I know people my age and older who have launched Kickstarter projects and I know LOTS of older people with time and money who spend their days browsing Kickstarter for projects to back.

Once concepts are proven and a "sales" record established many of these projects turn into viable companies or get licensing deals (and many have gotten Shark Tank deals). Crowdfunding can serve as, well, a "kickstart" to get a product/business started down a path of success.

Jacob Downey
Mark Bartlett
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Today's added location: Zagreb, Croatia

Robert Pontius
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Today's added location: Hamilton, New Zealand

Robert Pontius
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Today's added location: Amsterdam, Holland

Robert Pontius
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Today's added location: Tokyo, Japan

Robert Pontius
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Today's added location: Stockholm, Sweden

Robert Pontius
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Congrats Jacob - you appear to be tapping into a "pain point" people share world-wide.

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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Robert, thank you.

I've had some interesting coincidences as well.

-Swaziland the morning before we reestablish trade benefits.

-New Zealand the morning the news about the booze island broke. (I've two orders going to our friends in Australia).

I've been getting more interest post holidays.

Plus I've been figuring out this twitter thing. #todaysaddedlocation makes for a great daily content installment.

I've learned a lot in live time during the last 45 days. I've received a little over one order per seventy views.

I started without a twitter, facebook, or youtube account.

I'll have an update later today.

In the words of Billy Mays; "I'm not done!"

Robert Pontius
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You're getting quite an education in social media, international relations, business!

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crystaldiane's Avatar

Hi Robert...I was told by some folks close to all of us with expertise to not use a crowd funding platform for my product...they felt the demographic was skewed toward younger early adopters...is love to create and effective crowd funding campaign...but got nixed. Feel free to contact me privately if you are curious....is rather not post on a public forum about this experience...but it really took the wind out of my sails.....

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Hi Robert...I was told by some folks close to all of us with expertise to not use a crowd funding platform for my product...they felt the demographic was skewed toward younger early adopters...is love to create and effective crowd funding campaign...but got nixed. Feel free to contact me privately if you are curious....is rather not post on a public forum about this experience...but it really took the wind out of my sails.....

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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Crystal-Diane - have you considered Indiegogo or was the advice to avoid crowdfunding altogether?

I'll message you privately but must say I respectfully disagree about the demographics of crowdfunding or at least with the idea that a project geared towards older folks can't succeed.

In 2011 I backed a KickStarter project for a "Tool Watch". While I don't have statistical evidence, anecdotally I can tell you that many of the backers for this project were 50+ years of age:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/toolwatch/...

Jacob Downey
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Congrats Jacob! I just got this email:

Jacob Downey
Michelle Sartori
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crystaldiane's Avatar

Hi Jacob I finally took a peek at your website  oh my gosh what an amazing idea . Seriously I think I want to order one  I am constantly struggling with bandages .  I think you really have a great item  and I really hope that the visibility you're getting leads to some type of deal for you whatever you want that to be . Your product has a clear and obvious benefit and in my mind has many licensing opportunities I find it hard to believe if you submitted this to Edison nation that they didn't jump all over it it seems to me that they do searches in these categories all the time anyway let me know how I can buy one of your widgets it's very cool congratulations on all your hard work. One of these days I'd like to start a post a bit about my own Journey with my own product it might help other people best CD

Robert Pontius
Jacob Downey
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Hi Robert I actually haven't considered any of the other crowdfunding platforms yet honestly I've been too busy just getting the infrastructure and place but now I would be ready to do that . I actually have some products and some inventory and could do fulfillment  I kind of need a crash course lesson on all of this stuff . Much like Jacob it's been a hundred percent learning curve for me  I've had to learn everything along the way to get this far ....

Robert Pontius
Jacob Downey
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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Hey! Thanks for the post Robert!

And thank you again Robert, for making one on your 3D printer. That verifies that someone can both make, and use one, without me present. You've been a great help Robert. Have you received your survey yet?

On a humorous note:

Hours after my campaign ended I received some of the manufacturers quotes I have been waiting on.

It's great to finally have some numbers. I'm going to use these to plan a re-launch after I receive feedback from my first orders.

Robert Pontius
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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Thank you very much Crystal-Diane!

I'm planning to move the product over to amazon for the duration of fulfillment. I have some work to do fulfilling orders now.

Also, I have already been receiving my backer surveys. Some have such great compliments.

Compliments are like wind in my sails.

And so here is one for you; "Your articulation of your position indicates you have only a matter of time." Keep steadfast Crystal; I believe in you.

Crystal-Diane Nappi
Robert Pontius
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Jacob Downey
Robert Pontius
williamj
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Jacob - it was a lot of fun for me to make those 3D prints! That more than anything convinced me of the genius of your design.

Thanks for mentioning the survey email - it came in yesterday and I had missed it. I will include some panegyric compliments to make sure you have plenty of wind in your sails, especially as you make the big push for fulfillment!

Jacob Downey
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crystaldiane's Avatar

Hi Jacob, please let me know when you do that.  I might caution you on moving to Amazon too quickly - I have been reviewing thier position on Intellectual Property, Remember, Amazon Fulfillment is about CHEAP AND FAST, Not IP or Creative or Original.  They state right up front that you grant them a royalty free license to promote or distribute your content as they see fit. There is always someone waiting in the wings to take a good idea to cheaper/faster. Look at what happened to the guy who invented the Xhose - very challenging story.  Anyway - maybe think about other more 'friendly platforms like Ebay?  Just my two cents. I am carefully considering next steps myself. No I am not paranoid. Just cautious.  Best and thanks for the kind comments. Its been a haul the past two years.  I finally am TRYING to gather up my witts for the next RUN at things.  I have some sales numbers in my pocket now and??? 

Jacob Downey
Mark Bartlett
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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Mark, that's so funny. My mom used to use scizzors; before my futuristic technology.

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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Robert, I just emailed you about a poly version that is easier to use.

Seeing how well that version works adds wind to my sails too.

I'm ironing all the dee'ts; such as mailing labels. Maybe I'll go with a round version.

Then if I add my logo and website to the mailing label, it will stand out. Gotta advertise where possible.

Such as those amazon boxes.

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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Crystal-Diane,

Amazon states that for two primary reasons. One being that amazon is easy to legally attack. That provides a sort of legal trashcan for conflict. Which doesn't help me.

The other is so they can proliferate my advert's.

For example, if you visit eBay, and you notice an advertisement box in the corner for kohls, or walmart, or amazon.com; which shows a few randomized products, this gives amazon legal right to show my product among those. Which does help me.

I have a press-kit with a public link for publications to usurp. Basically saying; "Come use this for free."

On a similar note; I searched for my campaign everyday as part of my routine.

About one week in I found that indegogo-technologies had posted my video on youtube. (before my press-kit)

My first reaction was a little 'noid. I was like; "Why didn't they tell me?". But I decided I would add a positive spin.

Seeing as they are getting the word out, I commented with a compliment and a link to my page.

As for paranoia. That is a double edged sword. I'll give you two quotes I have yet to iron out.

"Paranoia gets you no where."

"Paranoia provides motivation for planning."

or maybe;

"Paranoia provides insight to strategic planning."

What do you think?

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Hi Jacob I Echo  what  Michael has said here . I admire your enthusiasm and youth and absolutely your creativity .  I do hope you have an issued Utility Patent  but even that in the real world is only going to protect you to the extent that you can afford to prosecute people who cross your boundaries . The one thing I have learned in the last couple of years is to have a very clear idea  of how to take advantage of 1st and Market in a category  I applaud you for what you have done  but I agree  with Michael  the feeling that you get when you start seeing other people taking your work your original heartfelt creativity  and commercializing it  is  heartbreaking . I'm already starting to see spin-offs of my own product  and my people with a great deal more marketing savvy than myself .  There is a very good lesson here - read about 'the fidget spinner' and the folks that made a PILE of money before they were shut down simply sending off a work order to china.  

I would hate you to have to  chalk this up for experience  but if it were me I would be diligently contacting  people who you think would be good possible partners for your product line like oxxo  and some of the other folks that specialize in accessibility types of products . I am still amazed that Edison nation is not pick this up and run with it  but perhaps you're having a separate dialogue . No I am not a paranoid person but I'm at a point in my life where I am very very tired of all of my original work making other people's dreams come true instead of my own  and at my age I'm running out of time   I wish you the best - 
Side Thought - a topic I have wanted to address for a while.  One of the very valuable lessons I took away from Roger Browns teaching was the idea of accidentally sabbotaging future intellectual property rights through discloure to otherwise innocent or safe places, like invention contests, or other invention marketing companies or consultants.   In my example I had sent an idea to Quirky about a year before I sent new version of the idea to EN.  That one thing prevented my item from being able to get a patent and was reason I was X'd at EN.  Little did I know that such things could wind up biting me in the tail, but they did.  I am still very unclear as to Edison Nations position on this, but now with a bit more behind me it seems they will ONLY take a product on that they can patent yet thier advert's are the opposite - they ask you to send in EVERYTHING Patented or not. I have never received clairification on this, so I draw my own conclusion. Hence I have not sent any more into this particular system

On the topic of Patent Law, my opinion is that even with PRIOR Disclosure, The INDIVIDUAL that is presenting the legal argument for your product has a great deal to do with the success or not.  Since patent law is so diverse, I do think Patents NEED to be left to highly skilled people with specific experience in the exact area that you are trying to argue.  I tend to THINK that some people are more convincing than others, and just a few words can make all of the difference between an issue strong patent and one that is not worth the paper its written on.  

Thats my ramble for today.  

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inovate's Avataree_badge

Happy New Year My Brother 

 My Initial feelings are that Jacobs would seem to last longer.

Anyways blessings to all

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jdowney9000's Avatargold

Charlie, mine's "specialy designed" to open bandages. ~speaking of patent-ability.

Crystal, I totally understand frustration. If someone makes 10 mill with a phone call when I spent a years work making 10 thou, then well, I will still be better off than if we both made nothing. Plus some folks will have been helped by the technology; as an added benefit. Though I will still wonder if I could have done better; etc.

Has there ever been a technology that is a hit that hasn't been counterfeited?

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