When A Kickstarter Campaign Fails, Does Anyone Get Their Money Back?

Too many people look at crowd funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo as “free money” – but what happens if when a project fails or grows beyond the original conception?

NPR poses the question and reports on a few projects that missed their marks.

The Question Of Refunds

One entrepreneur who raised $10 million to build a “smartwatch” that streams email and text messages just missed his first delivery deadline. One of his backers demanded a refund, to no avail.

Another entrepreneur, David Barnett, released a Kickstarter campaign video where he bounces and steps to raise money for PopSockets, a snazzy iPhone case with a headphone cord wrap.

“Did you see that?” he asks in the video. “My cord didn’t even get tangled. And with all that dancing.”

But a year later, there are still no PopSockets. And the money has reportedly gone in fees to prospective manufacturers and lawyers.

Barnett — whose day job is being a philosophy professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder — decided to pay back 40 of his 500 backers.

“I think it sets a bad precedent,” he says. “Once I did that, I could tell that it started creating the impression in some of my backers that they had purchased an item. And I think as Kickstarter grows, there’s more and more of an impression that it’s just a big store for people to go get deals.”

NPR | Read the Full Article

Kickstarter responded on their official blog:


Since Kickstarter’s launch in April of 2009, nearly 30,000 projects have been successfully funded by more than two million people. These projects include documentaries, albums, art, products, video games, plays, books, performances, food, and much more. The number of creative projects that have been funded and produced on Kickstarter in the past three years is enormous. Many could not exist otherwise.

But of course not every project goes perfectly. Delays do occur, especially with more complicated projects. Some creators get in over their heads dealing with processes that are new to them.

We take accountability very seriously at Kickstarter, and the questions raised by NPR are important ones. We’ve addressed a lot of these questions through the press and in various places on the site, and today we want to go over how accountability works on Kickstarter.

Kickstarter | Read the Full Article