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To tube or to box?

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chris_mancini
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I have an all-dice game ready to make the move to Kickstarter, but one very important decision has yet to be made...what type of package will the game come in???

Being an all-dice game, I like the idea of a sturdy tube package with a plastic lid. Something very similar to the Zombie Dice package, where the tube doubles as a dice cup. I like the idea of the package being functional with the game. I've had it quoted by Panda in this design, and the cost is reasonable.

Admittedly, no one ever used the prototype tube as a dice cup when playtesting the game, so that intended function is pretty much moot.

The tube also requires an outer package once the game hits retail; basically paying for 2 packages, but one is kept as the game container while the other is purely for retail placement, being able to be hung on a peg, prevent the dice from being stolen out of the tube, etc. From Panda GM, this blister package adds about $0.95 to the cost of goods, so not an insignificant amount that would be passed on to the consumer in the retail price.

The other consideration is shipping; a tube is slightly more problematic than a rectangular box. It would fit in a flat-rate bubble envelope, but not a flat-rate small box...which is ideal.

The alternative is to go with a basic small box, about 4" x 6" x 1.5"

Is a tube cool enough, or is it more trouble than it's worth? In a broader sense, for those designers wanting a unique package for their game, is it better to go with the traditional over the unique? I recall seeing the "BANG!" special edition tin bullet package and loving the way it looked, but shelving it would've been impossible given its size and shape. UNique, but not practical at all.

Tom Vasel has also stated his distaste for tube packages because they're hard to place on a shelf...do you share the same opinion?

In writing this, I may have answered my own question...KISS principle!

HPS74
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Use the system

If you can keep your packaging to a tuck box (poker size), you can mail as a large letter, rather than a parcel...saving you a lot.

I send Pocket Sports, all dice games, to the US / UK for $7.40 (50-250g) as they can just slip through under 20mm thickness.

Thicker than 20mm reverts to a parcel cost of $18.50!

So, while cups, tubes and shell packaging present well for retailers....if you plan to sell direct online, consider the above.

chris_mancini
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Never thought about packing

Never thought about packing out dice in a tuck box...but it would certainly work! I've asked Panda to adjust my quote for a 5"x 5"x 1.25" box, which will fit in the USPS flat-rate shipper.

I do like the dice bag you include with your Pocket Sports line, which a tuck box may require as the box seems like it would wear faster than a thicker standard box, and having a nice way to store the game is of course very important. I assume since all your games come with this bag, you get amazing pricing at the volumes you must be ordering across all your SKUs.

Lastly, my game will likely be priced at $20, and I worry that seeing such a package like a tuck box may feel less valuable to buyers; that is, the assumption based on the size is that the game should be closer to $10. I don't want it to be ridiculously big for the compomnents (*cough* Machi Koro *cough*), but I want the perceived value to be there at that price point.

You certainly have a system that works with Pocket Sports...I can only hope to one day build a line of games like you've created!

chris_mancini
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I should also mention that

I should also mention that I'm looking into using Send From China as my fulfillment service; less shipping time, lower costs...thanks to Jamey Stegmaier and Brian Henk for their experience!

The prices Brian quoted for SFC for a similarly sized game are:
Australia: $4.86
Canada: $5.24
Germany: $5.01
UK: $5.40
US: $4.48

HPS74
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In that case

using SFC is quite competitive up to 1kg I believe....so forget the tuck box.

I no longer include the dice bags....as it was one or the other production wise and boxes solved issues that retailers had on displaying the games without browsing grubby fingers opening them up and perceived value.

I see a lot of small box games around the $35 price mark so a $20 game is a good level to slot in. Of course, sports game replayibilty value is strong.

This whole system (large letter postage) comes from me being the packer and sender from the warehouse (located in my garage :) Games, at least sports games, are annualized so they peak and fall during different sporting seasons. No point having them sit in a fulfilment warehouse year on year.

As you're doing a KS campaign, all will go out at once and pricing will looks good on those numbers above :)

I Will Never Gr...
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Joined: 04/23/2015
Specify shipping packaging with SFC

chris_mancini wrote:
I should also mention that I'm looking into using Send From China as my fulfillment service; less shipping time, lower costs...thanks to Jamey Stegmaier and Brian Henk for their experience!

The prices Brian quoted for SFC for a similarly sized game are:
Australia: $4.86
Canada: $5.24
Germany: $5.01
UK: $5.40
US: $4.48

If using SFC be sure to specify the packaging for shipping. If you don't they will just ship it out in a bubble mailer with no other protection. Of course, this will increase their shipping cost slightly.

chris_mancini
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Good thought, I read in

Good thought, I read in Brian's review that they use envelopes with thin bubble wrap as standard shipping package. He also mentioned that this was ok for his small box game and had very few returns due to damage in transit, but for his big box game New Salem, the mistake to not choose a sturdier package came back to bite him.

One last option for a compelling package for a dice game is a blister card with a small bag to keep the dice in; something along the lines of what Pocket Sports offers. This idea came from seeing the Rory's Story Cubes package, which looks pretty nice, showing off all the dice. I think this package was exclusive for Toys R Us, as the standard edition looks to be in a closed box...but the blister pack has its advantages.

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