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Cheap shipping

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baudot
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Joined: 05/20/2011

With the game starting in on mass-production, I'm looking into my shipping options, and none of the answers I'm getting back seem realistic.

Here's what I'm hearing:

  • As the publisher, distributors ask you to sell the game to them for 40% of the MSRP (having paid 20% of MSRP for printing). If you go over this price, they warn they won't be able to move as many copies.

  • It's expected that the publisher pays the shipping for any order more than 100$, more than 4 copies, or some other small threshold.

The shipping costs I'm seeing don't leave enough room for profit, though. For example: To ship two pallets of games (200 copies) I'm seeing cost estimates around 500$. At that rate, it's just 2.50$ per copy. Not too bad. But at the low end, the cost gets much higher: sending a 12 lb box (holding 4 copies) through the mail is twice that rate per copy.

Apparently a LOT of game publishers go through Publisher Services Inc.
(http://www.pubservinc.com/).
I'm told they expect you to sell them copies for 35% of MSRP, and then they handle all the details from there. If they can pick the game up at a seaside dock, saving me the cost of shipping it internal to the country, that would be a savings in stress, if only sometimes a savings in postage. Though I'm told they also expect a publisher to have some mass before they'll go into business with them. For a first time publisher who's only going to be moving so many copies of a first game, they might just not be interested.

Also, at that point, it seems like it would make just as much sense to get fulfillment services directly from Alliance Games. Or from some generic fulfillment company.

Point is, every way I've looked at it so far, it seems like shipping costs take a huge bite out of the 20% left over for the publisher between printing and distribution prices.

What cheaper ways have you found? And how much wiggle room have you found on the 20% - 40% margin when you've pushed back?

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