I’m going to guess that another reason this works for Glowforge is they have some way to make it cost less than $50 for them while providing the whole value to (U.S.) customers. Makes good business sense. I want a strong Glowforge business going forward so I can buy all those fancy or novelty magnetic heads and have continued access to the cloud software.
I also get that international customers can’t use that value in the same way. I think they’ve said they’d look in to and consider alternatives. Whatever the alternatives are, I think it is beneficial to all owners if Glowforge uses good business sense in their considerations.
I think the above idea of customers taking it into their own hands and selling discounted gift certificates is one option. Maybe if there are enough regional suppliers (one in Europe, one in Asia, one in South America, etc.) Glowforge could work out deals with each.
As soon as you make a discount offer to international buyers, then U.S. buyers will be screaming for the same deal. I doubt Dan wants to open up that can of worms.
You likely hit the nail on the head with regard to a business relationship between Inventables and Glowforge. And it wouldn’t’ surprise me to learn Glowforge has negotiated a favorable deal with Inventables (e.g. 40-70 cents on the dollar or better) for the gift certificates, as well as only getting hit financially when a certificate is actually redeemed (since consumer tracking tells us that a large number of these kind of certificates are never redeemed). Inventables will get a large new customer base, likely repeat customers, out of this arrangement.
If there are equivalent Europe/Australia/Asia-Pacific/South America/Africa suppliers to Inventables, then perhaps individuals on this forum from the various regions can connect them with Glowforge to work out a similar deal. Win-win-win for international customers, Glowforge, and the suppliers. Biggest challenges/obstacles are (a) the negotiations with the various vendors (though perhaps the groundwork with Inventables should streamline the process) and (b) the tax implications (ouch!!!).
In the absence of a potential business arrangement with Inventables otherwise, why would the Glowforge team care? Buy a $50 gift certificate or give $50 off the cost of the unit (or whatever the Inventables gift certificate actually cost Glowforge)? It’s exactly the same. You just ask which way a purchaser wants the $50 at the time of the delivery address email.
I personally have no need to buy materials from the U.S. and pay crazy shipping, duties, border clearing when where I live here in Ottawa, there are 2 boutique wood shops and a plastics shop within 20 minutes of my house.
My own feeling is that, whilst it would be (kind of) OK to sell off my voucher, it’s hassle (and it shouldn’t be).
I would have rather had another $50 off Proofgrade, but that does involve an outlay for GF.
A voucher for another $50 of designs on the otherhand, involves no outlay for GF and means that I have no worries about shipping costs.
This I can see me using, is a nice gesture from GF and works equally well for all customers (geographically speaking).
Just know someones going to tell me it doesn’t.
At the end of the day though, I would refer you to the words of John Lydgate…
Or even posting in a more appropriate section of the forum.
Simply scatter gunning posts about issues you have is not likely to elicit a timely response.
This thread has 633 posts in it and @dan is CEO of a company under some pressure at the moment, most of the staffs attention on the forum is currently likely to be in the Q&A or Problems and Support sections. I would suggest you take questions there.
I don’t envy those dealing with international shipping issues. I’m sure there are more than a few people who live places where they can’t legally import things like wood and leather anyway, even if they wanted to deal with high shipping costs. That’s a frustrating position to be in.
But I’m not sure we can reasonably expect glowforge to come up with a solution that suits everyone or personalized solutions for every situation and circumstance. We’re too diverse an audience, I think, for that to be feasible. And it’s a big ask for something that’s essentially a bonus. It’s annoying to have to sell a gift certificate, but that might be the best option we can hope for. And it genuinely might be a hope - I could see gift certificates being nontransferable. I guess we will have to wait for specifics to really know for sure.
Maybe we could make a thread to connect people who want to sell and who want to buy to make things a little bit easier? It would at least save people the effort of having to find buyers.
3 things: a public forum will always draw “unwanted” attention; @dan has asked those of us who are regulars to help out with the knowledge we do have to help those who come here with questions(arguably all of them are for Glowforge corporate not us customers). So having someone jumping to the defense of another while admirable, is out of place on these forums in this instance.
Finally, we’ve got two discussions going and this argument isn’t going to do much more than spin tires. Spinning tires is fun on occasion , let’s just move it to a separate thread or to PMs. Both main points have been made in this thread.
If you are helping people as dan asked you to great, I don’t see any evidence of anyone helping him. Unless beating him over the head is helping.
If I see someone else being told they have no grounds to be justifiably upset I’ll jump in again. Dan failed us twice, people get to be mad about that without being made a fool for it. Especially in this topic.
I’ve explicitly signed up to see more of the traffic on this forum to champion this truculence to this notion that these delays are acceptable.
I am here, doing this due to that second delay. People get to complain about it.
If you think that’s a distinct topic ok but I’ll be responding to any topic I see that happen in.
We realize that not all of the free extras that we’re giving away will be equally valuable to everyone. We made the best tradeoffs we could, and will regretfully refund anyone who doesn’t feel like the value we’re offering makes the wait worth it for them.
This is a community forum; everyone is welcome to post their thoughts on any topic, as long as they follow the community guidelines. If someone needs to speak to us 1:1 and doesn’t want others commenting, they can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately when it comes to international customers, we spend more per-person serving them than serving domestic customers, and they get less from it. We realize that some international customers will decide it’s not a good deal for them and leave.
Read back through the forum. You won’t get any such assurance. That will either work for you (or anyone else), or it won’t.
I would just point out that @confezioni_clever seems to have been happy enough to post his enquiry and wait for an answer. you on the other hand, have interposed yourself into a situation that neither required a response from you, nor did the response you did decide to interject with, bring any kind of advance to the situation. At the end of the day, we all want our product . Now @dan has had to take time out to quench (yet) another, spot fire, not only from the original question from @confezioni_clever, but (mostly) from you also. If you want product ASAP stop clogging the forum.
I have to say that this delay, while of course not thrilling, doesn’t shock me. The reason I pre-ordered the Glowforge is because they’re trying to do something quite innovative, and by definition innovation is risky. If you look at large software projects in general, there’s about a 90% failure rate - they rarely hit their time and budget target. And hardware projects are much harder than software projects. So I take the attitude that I’m supporting something I’d like to see happen, and don’t bet on dates at all - after backing many Kickstarters, even the simplest projects miss dates fairly often, and GlowForge is far from simple.
About the only complaint that I have with Glowforge is the lack of transparency. I know that all startups are irrationally optimistic, and I don’t mind it - more cynical people wouldn’t even try! But while Dan has to be careful about what he says since he’s got investors and very serious competition, I’d hope that he could be a little more open about risks. His previous startup (the cool Turtle game) was more open - it’s probably just harder to be transparent with more people’s jobs and money on the line. But, still, it’d be good for both customers and Glowforge for them to be a little more open about risks and status. And as long as Dan is better/faster than the competition, he’ll be fine!
I think you’re safe on the getting flagged thing here. The only flagging I’m aware of being done has been by the “followers” against comments made by the “questioners”. It pretty much seems to be a tool of ultimate power of the defenders of the faith. This a comment by one having been flagged on multiple occasions and never having flagged the comments of another crowdfunder.
Others have already touched on the possibility that GF may not actually be paying $50 for those certificates but they may also want to reduce the amount of administrative cost for finding out which owners want what and then making sure they actually get their selection when their GF unit ships.