Due to time differences (they’re in Spain) and IRL complications of my own that kept me offline Friday evening, I missed seeing this until today.
Some choice excerpts:
And fiiiinally, they spent a few days training the one (yes, one) person that will prepare and ship all US-based orders [from their Florida warehouse]. Since this batch is not too big, even accounting for backers + sales, we decided to minimize costs of the US operation and therefore we will have just one person preparing a few orders a day. He is a full-time employee at the partner-warehouse that gave us the space for the operation. Andres and Juan Pablo spent a great deal of time and effort preparing everything to make it easy for him, but still, this is extra-work that he does after a full-time job so there is only so much he can do. Patience is key!!! But everyone from the list will receive their orders.
We are craaaaaazy happy to say that we have been shipping in the US for a week now, a HUGE accomplishment for our whole team, and our company. We have shipped 16 orders so far, even though we have been holding shipments for a couple of days sorting out some issues with our database and internal organization and stuff. But yes, orders are being prepared and the operation is running!
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
Well, points for them for proving there’s actually a U.S. foothold. But it looks like they’re depending on the kindness of strangers for fulfillment. That might not end well — especially as the holiday season approaches.
Motors in America!
The robbing Peter to pay Paul is frankly admitted:
As we explained through several updates (and we would really like you to go back and read those, as we spent hours trying to write them precisely so you guys could understand), we NEED to sell products at full price in order to move forward. The people you read/see online that got their orders shipped quickly while you wait for the 2nd batch, paid full price (in average THREE times what people paid in crowdfunding), and we have full legal responsibility to them. To some extent, these sales are what keep the project alive and our offices running. We also need that “traction” to show to future investors, banks, government loan applications, and so on, that we are legally selling inventory, moving product, and fully operating as a company both in Europe and in the USA. If we delivered all of our current inventory to backers we would:
(1) not be able to fulfill all backers, as we weren’t able to make a big enough batch, so we would still have to choose just some of them = unfair anyway.
(2) run completely out of money and close the operation right after shipping.
(3) have no sales + operation traction to show to any bank, investor, etc. to raise money.
NOBODY wants to have an electric skateboard from a company that does not exist, nobody wants to run out of customer support, so if this is the only option we have to move forward, what else can we do? Please understand that we are not trying to screw anyone, we are simply trying our best to make our company move forward while giving back to our amazing backers, and this is why we had to split the first batch between backers and sales. We are still working very hard to bring a 2nd batch to market (and a 3rd, 4th and so on) and be able to fulfill all of our backers, and continue our development. As you can see (orders being delivered, people reviewing the product, and so on), the product is real, we did not ran away with the money and we are not tricking anyone.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
Well, all that puts a new spin on my thinking getting it before Kickstarter backers would be “line-jumping.” It’d help them stay in business so they could fulfill their backer commitments.
Despite the doubts I had, I now believe they actually have inventory in Florida that can be shipped.
I really need more user reports and YouTube videos, dammit. People are probably too busy out there riding to bother.
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