Why Does Kickstarter Say My Reward Isn’t Guaranteed?

If you’ve ever backed a project on Kickstarter, you’ve likely come across the cryptic warning when you complete your order that rewards aren’t guaranteed. So, why is that and what does it mean for you as a backer or creator?

Kickstarter rewards not guaranteed

Here’s a breakdown on Kickstarter’s “not guaranteed” message and what it really means.

Crowdfunding’s Nature

At the heart of Kickstarter is the idea that you’re not just buying a product; you’re supporting a creative vision. When you back a project, you’re investing in someone’s dream, not simply making a purchase. This distinction is fundamental to understanding why rewards are not guaranteed.

Challenges Along the Way

The path from idea to completion is rarely a straight line. Innovation can encounter unexpected hiccups, ranging from technical glitches to supply-chain challenges. These obstacles can cause delays and sometimes necessitate changes to the project’s original vision. Kickstarter acknowledges these uncertainties through their checkout warning to keep expectations realistic.

Funding Goals

Kickstarter projects have funding goals, which are minimum requirements for a project to move forward. If a project doesn’t meet its goal, it might not happen at all. If you’re an early backer, supporting the project before it reaches its goal, it’s important for you to be aware that you’re not yet guaranteed a product.

Importantly, on Kickstarter, payments from backers are only taken if a project is successfully funded and at the conclusion of the project. So, as a backer, you can support the project early on to lock in a deal, safe in the knowledge that the payment will not yet be taken from your payment method.

External Factors

Even the best-laid plans can be affected by external factors. Creators might face unforeseen events like legal complications, economic shifts, or supply chain disruptions, which can impact the project’s timeline. Kickstarter’s “not guaranteed” disclaimer acknowledges that some things are beyond a creator’s control.

The Backer’s Role

As a backer, you’re not just investing money; you’re investing your belief in a project. You’re embracing the unknown, taking a leap of faith, and supporting innovation.

Before pledging, it’s essential to do your homework – read project descriptions, check the creator’s background, and ask questions. Your role in this adventure is vital. Additionally, communication is a critical factor in determining whether you feel like you can trust a creator to fulfill their promises. Ensure the team behind the project is transparent, open and honest.

Kickstarter’s Watchful Eye

It’s not just backers doing due-diligence, though. Kickstarter has a Trust and Safety team that keeps an eye on projects and pledges. If a creator fails to deliver or engages in fraudulent activities, action is taken. This ensures the platform’s integrity and protects backers’ interests.

Kickstarter’s “not guaranteed” warning is a reminder that crowdfunding is all about shared risk and reward, where you become a part of the creative process. As a backer, you take on a risk of not receiving the product but, in exchange, the creator will usually offer substantial discounts for Kickstarter backers vs what the product will retail for later on.