Friday, December 21, 2012

The Dangers of the Indiegogo "Fine Print"

We all know the basic Kickstarter rules about project funding - or not funding. If the project fails to fund, those that pledged are not charged. Easy to remember.

It's not the same at Indiegogo.

First off, Indiegogo uses Paypal as the payment processor, so you get charged up front. Big change from Kickstarter.

The other big difference between the two is that Indiegogo has "Flexible Campaigns" as a funding option. Here's the "fine print" many don't read - I know I didn't at first: This campaign will receive all of the funds contributed by Sun 30 Dec 11:59PM PT.

So, whether it hit's goal or not, your money has been taken and won't be returned.

Remember the Iron Age: FRP project  the one that spammed my comments to push their fundraising? Flexible Campaign. $192 of $5500 raised with 10 days to go. Those backers better be ready to get a whole lot of nothing.

Even better. No-Dice.Net, billing itself as an add on to Roll20 and Tabletop Forge. Is seeking $33,000. With 9 days left they've raised $265. You guessed it, another "Flexible Campaign".

These projects are going to be so far off their mark funding wise there is little to no chance for them to give the handful that pledged the items / rewards that they pledged for.

Got to read the fine print.


  1. That's why I'm very wary of Indiegogo and basically these days only fund projects there from people I know, or have had regular contact with. Fool me once and all that...

  2. Some of the project organizers are honest enough to issue refunds if the project doesn't fund, though. I've funded three projects through Indiegogo. 2 were successful, 1 wasn't. The one that didn't fund issued me a refund the day the funding drive closed.

    1. I've recieved same day refunding on Indiegogo, but it was for a "Fixed Funding Campaign" - no action required by the project creator

  3. Thanks for the heads up. I was unaware of the Flexible funding option.

  4. The combination of Paypal (which I don't have any real complaints about, except that they make it more difficult to spend money if you actually have an account than if you don't and only want to use your credit/debit card, which I find really odd) and the "Flexible Funding" option (which I have seen one person engage by accident because she wasn't aware of it either) makes me very leery of doing anything through Indiegogo. I've funded about a dozen Kickstarters and no campaigns on Indiegogo to date.

  5. Flexible funding is all well and good if your rewards do not include anything related to the project at hand. For example, if I were to try to fund a trip to visit earthships in New Mexico, I could offer people photo prints of different sizes at different tiers. If I do not reach my funding goal, I can still make those prints and give them to my contributors. However, if I'm trying to make enough money to get a book printed, and I don't make it, it's going to be rather difficult to mail people books that were part of a reward tier.


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