Coolest Cooler, the 2nd most funded Kickstarter campaign of all time, continues to struggle in its quest to deliver coolers to campaign backers. Late last month we reported that Amazon was selling Coolest Coolers for about what you had to commit during the crowdfunding campaign – two years ago. Grumbling is pretty consistent on the Kickstarter campaign page and the Amazon price drop has not helped. But now Ryan Grepper, the Coolest Cooler creator has responded in a backer update.
In part positive and in part frustrating, Grepper said that today about 3/5 of backers now have received their cooler. Progress continues but obviously not as fast as creator or backer would like. Grepper tackled the Amazon pricing directly stating he wished he had never signed up for the Amazon Launchpad platform as he had been”sideswiped” by Amazon;
1. Amazon Sideswipe
Many of our efforts in retail have been put on hold as we’ve been continually challenged by Amazon Launchpad. If you haven’t heard, despite their original verbal promise to not advertise or sell our Coolest Cooler below our retail price, Amazon is now selling the Coolest at $224.99. This is $175 OFF the retail price of $399. This is disastrous for us.
We shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose. Amazon Launchpad has been the worstcompany to deal with despite their claims to help startups. We wish we never got involved with them as they have significantly delayed and harmed our ability to serve you. To be clear, the sale we made last year to Amazon Launchpad helped generate the revenue to ship additional backers units this year, but what they’ve done since has ended up hurting us (and you).
Grepper stated that Amazon “threatened to return their inventory if we wouldn’t agree to pay Amazon $120 per unit so they could sell the Coolest at $299”. He said their account manager threatened to “burn [them] to the ground” if they did not agree to the terms. Today you can purchase one on Amazon for just $224.99. Coolest Cooler cannot compete at the Amazon price. So they are stuck in a corner until Amazon burns through their inventory of the product.
On top of the Amazon challenge, Grepper said that about 200 backers have filed a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ), Oregon being his home state. Grepper reassured backers that the DOJ will “see we’ve done nothing wrong”. The legal fees needed to counter the DOJ are a different problem and have “cost [them] real money that should have been spent shipping rewards.” Coolest Cooler has “hit a lot of snags” to put it mildly but Grepper stated he continues to push forward to deliver every single cooler.
While I understand the frustration that many backers feel it is kind of hard to not to have some empathy for Grepper and his crowdfunding odyssey. From the height of success to fulfillment hell – you can bet he will be happy when this is all done. At least he has not filed for bankruptcy or just walked away. We have seen enough of that.
Grepper stated the obvious that “it’s now all about the money.” They just don’t have enough.
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