Card Game Cost Estimate For Kickstarter: Production, Fulfillment and Sales

Calling all card game enthusiasts, aspiring creators, and Kickstarter kings and queens! Have you dreamt of unleashing your inner game designer on the world, but blanched at the mere mention of card game costs?

Fear not, fellow adventurer! We’ll break down the essential expenses you’ll encounter, from transforming your brilliant concept into a physical masterpiece to getting it into the eager hands of your future fans.  

So, grab your favorite deck (because, let’s face it, you probably have one within arm’s reach), settle in, and let’s make your card game dream a reality.

4 Important Card Game Costs For Kickstarter

1. Card Game Cost For Printing

When embarking on launching a card game project, this may be one of the most crucial considerations you have to make. Choosing a custom card manufacturer is a significant step, and selecting the wrong one could potentially jeopardize your entire project.

WJPC has indirectly participated in hundreds of Kickstarter projects for playing cards, tarot cards, and game cards through custom printing. We can provide partial quoting services based on the details of your project to help you understand its costs:

Firstly, you need to determine what components are included in your deck, such as cards, boxes, instruction booklets, game accessories, etc.

Secondly, you need to confirm the production quantity. Generally, larger order quantities mean lower unit production costs.

Thirdly, you need to list the required materials, printing, and post-printing processes, such as art paper or black core, gloss or matte finish, hot foil or cold foil, etc.

Fourthly, set different reward levels for your project outcomes. For example, Level 1 could be custom cards + custom tuck box, Level 2 could be custom cards + custom box top and bottom + custom stickers, Level 3 could be custom cards + custom magnetic book box + custom tier 3 badge… All these reward components need to be included in your budget.

Fifthly, provide your delivery address to determine the final packaging, handling, and shipping costs.

Additionally, we offer competitive discounts for Kickstarter projects willing to collaborate. You can find more information here.

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2. Shipping And Fulfillment

Here are 3 key factors that will affect the final shipping costs:

1) Packaging Size and Weight

These impact the shipping costs as carriers use dimensional weight. Try to keep the packaging as lightweight as possible to reduce costs.

2) Logistics

If your product is manufactured in China, you’ll need to move it to a warehouse in the Midwestern United States before distributing it to end-users.

This involves factors like time and manpower. For instance, if you’re doing everything from your garage, it might take several hours to retrieve, package, and ship thousands of products. In other cases, you might opt to hire staff or work with a third-party logistics (3PL) company to handle everything for you.

Also, the farther your backers are from where you fulfill rewards, the more expensive shipping will be. This is especially true when you have international backers. Yes, it might be challenging to predict your shipping costs if you don’t know the destinations, but planning for everything from domestic to all international locations can be helpful.

3) Customs, Duties, and Taxes

This can be a killer for some campaigns, especially since much of it is unknown or frequently changing. Even if you anticipate most backers are domestic, it’s strongly advised to research potential customs, duties, and taxes well in advance to be prepared for any international shipping costs.

This includes deciding whether to pre-pay these fees or set them as a pass-through cost to your backers – your decision will affect everything else in your campaign. From the backers’ perspective, they’ll also appreciate transparency. No supporter wants to go to the post office to collect a reward, only to find they have to pay customs fees twice the product’s price to retrieve it.

Card Game Shipping And Fulfillment


Remember, you don’t have to shoulder all the shipping costs; you can share them with your backers. You can include a minimum average shipping cost upfront in the price and separately charge additional shipping for other countries/regions. This way, your core country/region (often the U.S.) enjoys free shipping, while a small additional fee is required for other countries/regions.

During your crowdfunding campaign, ensure to communicate whether reward pricing includes shipping and if international backers need to pay extra fees. Also, let backers know what happens if they do need to pay extra fees. Demonstrating competence in this area will build significant goodwill between you and your backers.

3. Platform Fees

As the most popular crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter and Indiegogo will charge you fees for using their platform and attracting audiences, including platform fees, payment processing fees, etc.

Therefore, if your goal is to reach a certain funding target to inject into your project, you must keep this in mind. It’s very likely that raising $100,000 through crowdfunding already means $10,000 is allocated for platform fees, leaving you with $90,000.


4. Marketing and Promotion Expenses

Marketing and promotion, to some extent, are crucial factors for the success of your campaign. You have to consider the scope (how much funding you need to raise), the timeline (how long you need to raise the funds), and the budget (how much money you need to spend to achieve your goals).

For example, if you aim to raise $300,000 within 10 days, you might need to spend a substantial amount of money to achieve this goal. Therefore, your marketing and promotion expenses might be entirely different from those of other campaigners. For example:

  • Building your own online website or store
  • Hiring marketing agencies, PR agencies, or freelancers
  • Paying for influential promotions
  • Paying referral fees to successful referrers
  • Establishing your Indiegogo and Kickstarter shipping costs and rewards.
Marketing and Promotion Expenses

Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, you’re no longer just a starry-eyed game designer  – you’re a card game cost conqueror!  

Go forth, crunch those numbers, refine your plan, and launch that Kickstarter campaign with confidence. Your card game creation will be on its way to becoming the next legendary Kickstarter success story with WJPC – funded, fulfilled, and cherished by gamers worldwide!