In some ways, Crowd Supply is just like any other e-commerce site, and in some ways it most definitely isn't. This page will help explain what you're doing when you "place an order" at Crowd Supply. All the specifics of shipping, ordering, payment, refunds, cancellations, etc. can be found on the Order Details and Policies page.
It's important to understand that Crowd Supply is both a crowdfunding platform for bringing new products into being and a store for selling those products once they have been developed and successfully crowdfunded. That means there are three different ways to support projects:
Crowdfunding: Making a pledge during a project's crowdfunding campaign means you are pre-paying for a product that doesn't exist yet. You will only be charged once the project reaches its funding goal, which may be before the end of the campaign. If the project does not reach its funding goal, you WILL NOT be charged. Crowdfunding campaigns usually last 30-60 days.
Funded projects go on to use the collected funds to manufacture the first batch and ship your order as soon as it's ready, at which point you will receive a shipping confirmation email. Campaign backers often enjoy special pricing, access to limited edition versions, and other perks.
Pre-order: After a crowdfunding campaign has successfully ended, you can still place a pre-order to reserve your spot in line while the first batch is being manufactured. Pre-orders are filled after crowdfunding orders, but often still offer a discount from the eventual retail price. Pre-orders are only available for a limited time, before the project becomes available as a regular, in-stock item.
In-stock: Once a project has successfully manufactured and shipped its first batch of products to its crowdfunding and pre-order customers, Crowd Supply will often purchase inventory and resell it just like any other online store. In-stock orders usually ship directly from our warehouse within three business days. In-stock products are available for sale until inventory runs out.
It's important to keep the differences between these three options in mind so you know what to expect. For example, a crowdfunding pledge to a project means that it can be several weeks or more before you receive your order, whereas in-stock orders typically ship within three days.
A crowdfunding pledge or pre-order is more than just a purchase, it's a commitment and an endorsement. When you back a campaign, you're saying you believe in the merits of the project and, despite a small amount of risk, you want to help it come to fruition.
That means you can, and hopefully will, take an active role in helping the project succeed by sharing it with friends and co-workers and talking about it in online communities you belong to or in clubs, professional meetings, or social groups. At minimum, you can communicate with the creator(s) directly by using the "Ask... a question" button near the bottom of every campaign page. The more exposure a project gets, the more likely it is to fund and, just as importantly, the more feedback and review it will get as it moves from prototype to production. That helps build better projects. (Tip: a Crowd Supply project URL never changes, regardless of what stage the project is in. It will always be "crowdsupply.com/creator/awesome-project", so it's easy to remember and share.)
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Before Your Campaign Launches
During Your Campaign
After Your Campaign Concludes
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