Crowd Supply Guide: How are Backers Protected?

Backer protection is built into Crowd Supply from the ground up. It’s part of our basic business philosophy, and is reflected in both our policies and our practices. We’ll take the rest of this section of the Backer Guide to explain exactly how that works.

Our Approach To Crowdfunding

We’re not going to sugar-coat this, backing a product before it goes to market does entail some inherent risk. Delays, shortages, design problems, and other unforeseen issues can delay or prevent a project from getting to market. When you back a crowdfunding campaign for a new product, you’re essentially placing a bet on the creator to come through on their end of the deal. Backers need to be comfortable with some degree of risk. That’s why we do as much as we can to tilt the odds in favor of backers and creators alike. This approach is proven to work: every project that has ever received funds through Crowd Supply has delivered to their backers (or is on track to do so). You are not funding someone’s pipe-dream; at Crowd Supply you are purchasing an actual product.

How We Choose Projects

We carefully curate all the projects that launch on Crowd Supply. The majority of project submissions don’t make our cut. Those that do make it have:

  1. A Good Product: We like products that are original, useful, and respectful.
  2. A Good Plan to Raise Funds: Different funding goals require different approaches. We make sure the funds a project will likely raise align with its funding goal. We do this by looking at what kind of community the project has already built up, who else might be interested, what kind of messaging the project uses, pricing, the funding goal itself, and more.
  3. A Good Plan to Spend Funds: Once a project raises funds, it needs to spend them to get the product manufactured. We make sure the project has a credible plan for coming up with the final products. We do this by looking at prototypes, the bill of materials (BOM), the experience of the project team and partners, tooling and fulfillment costs, and more.

For those projects that don’t pass this vetting process, we try to give them as much feedback as possible so they can improve their project and try again.

How We Help Projects

Once a project is accepted to launch on Crowd Supply, we take an active role in helping it succeed. From strategy and public relations, to fulfillment and media production, we offer a range of services to help a project wherever it’s needed most. In addition, to each new project, we bring the experience of having launched hundreds of other products. Of course, projects can also tap into the existing community of Crowd Supply creators - for example, other Crowd Supply projects serve as a good resource for finding suppliers and manufacturers with a track record at Crowd Supply.

Your Account

When you place an order on Crowd Supply, or sign up for project updates or our newsletter, a user account is automatically created for you, based on the email you entered. You access your account from the user menu at upper right.

Your account page lets you view and edit personal and order information. You can:

For each order you’ve placed, you can click the "View Order Details" link to:

If you want to permanently delete your account or you have other needs, please contact us. We will delete your account and all of its associated history or do our best to provide you with the info or paperwork that you require.

Terms and Policies: Return, Refund, Cancellation, Lost Packages

Details of our official return and cancellation policies are below. At a high level, our terms and policies can be summarized as:

Important Note that return and refund policies differ depending on whether the item being returned was purchased as a pledge made during a crowdfunding campaign, or afterward as a post-campaign retail sale. Items from a campaign pledge are refunded/replaced at the discretion of the creator. Post-campaign retail sales are refunded by Crowd Supply. To understand the difference, please take a look at the Guide page on supporting campaigns.

Backer Pledge Cancellation Policy

Campaign Pledge Product Return Policy

At the discretion of the product creator, items committed to backers as a result of a crowdfunding campaign may, or may not, be exchanged or refunded. The product creator is responsible for providing a good faith estimate of the product description, risks, and timeline for their projects. However, backers need to know that due to the uncertainties inherent in creating products during the early stage of development, changes to features, performance, and/or appearance may occur between when a project is originally presented and when it is produced. Reasons for this may include technology limitations, supply issues, or other factors outside of the developer’s control. Timelines may slip, and in rare instances a project that was funded may not be completed and delivered. Backers should only pledge to a creator’s project if they are comfortable accepting this risk. If a backer is dissatisfied with a product they should contact the project creator to express their concerns.

Crowd Supply Product Return Policy (post-campaign sales)

For all items purchased after a campaign from Crowd Supply’s inventory, customers are provided a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. Should any item fail to meet your expectations, simply return the item in new condition and we will gladly exchange it and give you a refund for your full purchase price. If you’re not sure a product is going to work for you, we ask you please keep all packing materials for shipping, should you decide to return it.

To start the return process, please complete the return request form. A customer service representative will be in touch about the best way to return your order.

Lost Packages

If you’ve already received a tracking number, but it has stalled or stopped moving, it’s possible that your package may be lost. However, if you are shipping internationally, please contact the local office of your shipper (FedEx, DHL, UPS, USPS), and/or customs house first, as they might be able to locate your package. It’s not uncommon for international packages to appear stalled when they are still in transit or are waiting in local customs. We typically advise giving international shipments two full weeks in transit.

If your package appears lost, please let us know as soon as possible so we can arrange re-shipment or an insurance claim with the appropriate shipping service provider. It varies by carrier, but you typically have to report a lost package within 30 days of initial shipment. If you think your package may be lost, please contact us with your order ID and tracking number.

Question not answered here? Contact us to see how we can help.

The Crowd Supply Guide: Table of Contents

For Everyone

For Backers

For Creators

Getting Started

Before Your Campaign Launches

During Your Campaign

After Your Campaign Concludes

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