Reply To: wondering about a new printer thats on kickstarter

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How can you say there’s “no risk” of losing money by backing a Kickstarter project? Is this a project you’re promoting yourself, or are you just naive?

As someone who has lost money this way, I can tell you the risk is considerable, even if the project is fully funded. Some people seem to think that once the promoters have their money, that it’s all smooth sailing from there, and just a short wait until their new product arrives and starts working perfectly. But it’s not like that. All someone needs to do to put a project up on that site is have an idea for something. Whether or not they will actually put it into production is another matter entirely. They can also just pocket the money and disappear. There’s no mechanism in Kickstarter for people getting their money back once it’s been turned over to the promoters, whether on not they follow through on their promises.

It may turn out that they were over-optimistic about how expensive it is to make a product that really works, and either ship something that doesn’t, or give up once the money runs out. Kickstarter doesn’t give the investors in a project any recourse against promoters that default; they can keep their page open but restrict adverse comments and demands for refunds. There are many projects, including 3D printers, which have been fully funded but which haven’t resulted in working printers for those who trustfully gave their money in hope of one. You can read the sad saga of the “Peachy” printer if you want an example:

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