The ongoing saga of the Coolest Cooler, a Kickstarter project that received enormous press and record-breaking funding but saw significant delivery delays, is a master class in understanding the difference between crowdsourced products and buying items through traditional marketplaces.
In the latest update for the Coolest Cooler, the company debuted a tool for looking up where your order is. According to the backer-only update provided anonymously to GeekWire and noted by Crowdfunder Insider, Coolest also warned of another delay.
“When we planned this new look-up tool, the goal was to give everyone a better view into the production process for a new product, and a clearer idea of when those who have yet to receive their Coolest would have theirs shipped,” founder Ryan Grepper wrote in the message. “You can visit this page now and see your place in line. However, this update is letting you know that unfortunately there will be further delays for some of you.”
The batch numbers are a compromise between shipping to backers in the order they pledged and the reality of shipping logistics. Backers will now get their cooler based on their shipping address, with backers in similar geographic areas getting their coolers at the same time. Right now, there is no delivery date associated with the batch numbers found through the order lookup tool, but Coolest will update backers with that info once it is finalized.
The update includes where the $13 million in Kickstarter funds have gone so far, from manufacturing investments to match the unprecedented scale of the crowdsourced product to including free upgrades with every order.
“Bringing a new high-quality product to tens of thousands of people, all over the globe, on a short timeline is expensive,” Grepper said.
“Our Amazon Launchpad sale in November certainly helped subsidize some of these costs, but unfortunately there was so much confusion and misinformation among the backer community that over 100 people placed negative or fake reviews on Amazon, which ultimately had a detrimental effect on demand,” Grepper wrote. “Ironically, those voices hurt our very ability to get everyone their Coolests faster.”
Grepper said in the letter that the company is still looking for a proper production partner to fill backers’ orders, so he doesn’t have a timeline for when every backer will have their Coolest Cooler. Backers can ask him questions via a live Hangout to be held on Wednesday. Backers should head over to the update page for more info on how to submit a question.