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Kickstarter Progress

Sold out in the UK and funded within 1 hour

Well, that went better than expected! Yesterday I launched the crowdfunding campaign for the Nest Box Live smart nest box and integration app via Kickstarter. Within one hour of the launch, the funding target was reached, meaning that the project will go ahead into production. The UK allocation was sold out within 24-hours, but there is still good availability in other regions. If your region is not on the list, please drop me an email at jamie@nestboxlive.com, and I will see what I can do.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the people who have backed this project so far, plus the ongoing support I receive from thousands of people like you. With this backing, I can continue with my ambition to create a worldwide network of these nest boxes for many to watch and enjoy. If you know any friends or family that may be interested in becoming part of this journey, I would greatly appreciate it if you could share the Kickstarter link above.

A couple of questions have arisen from the launch.

Can the nest box camera be sold separately without the wooden box? The short answer to this is no. This is an all-in-one system because careful attention has been taken to perfect the camera angle and focus. I have spent the best part of 12-months getting the image quality this good, and this is because I have removed almost all variables by installing a nest box camera. The artificial intelligence I developed works best with these nest box dimensions. If a different specification nest box were to be used, this feature would not perform as intended (this is one of the standout features of this system).

Can I add the add-ons at a later stage? Yes, if you have completed your backing on Kickstarter and have forgotten to include an add-on such as an extra cable or entrance hold enlargement, please drop me a message via Kickstarter, and I can add this to your pledge.

I need to use Powerline Adapters with my nest box as the cable won’t reach my router, I couldn’t add this on Kickstarter? If you require Powerline adapters, these are sold separately and not by Nest Box Live. These are relatively inexpensive and can save the hassle of long cable runs. Expect to pay around £25/£30 for a set of these on Amazon.

Again, if there are any problems or questions, please drop me an email.

Categories
Production Updates

7 Days Until Launch, Price Announced and more!

Introduction

First of all, I’d like to thank the 300 plus people who are currently following the pre-launch page on Kickstarter. If you are not already signed up for the pre-launch page, please follow this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nestboxlive/nest-box-live-smart-nest-box-and-app. You will be presented with a button ‘Notify me on launch’ where you can sign up and be emailed when the project goes live.

It’s only seven days until the Crowdfunding campaign launches via Kickstarter. This critical milestone encompasses many years of research and development to get to this stage. The past three years have been spent designing hardware, writing software and conducting extensive testing of the whole system with a small number of nest box partners on the Facebook page. If you have been following the page, you may know that I regularly host live streams from the existing boxes on the Nest Box Live network.

Most of the boxes are currently located around the UK, with some in northern Europe, the USA, Canada, and South Africa. With the crowdfunding campaign’s launch, the plan extends this even further worldwide.

Nest Box Live Kickstarter

How much does it cost?

This is the most common question I get asked, and until now, I have been unable to offer a solid response. Before diving into the numbers, it’s worth mentioning a few points about where the Nest Box Live project is and ultimately managing your expectations regarding price.

In e-commerce, retailers often have a race to get prices as low as possible to capture business. When new products enter the market, they are often backed by big bank loans, investors or hedge funds. Unfortunately, being a single person tech start-up, none of these options is available to me, and I don’t benefit from economies of scale.

I believe that honesty and clarity are the best policy as with anything I do. I am always upfront about how much things cost and the benefits and constraints to our nest box partners.

The introductory price offered exclusively to backers on Kickstarter will be £220/€265/$290. This is a limited time offer for the campaign’s duration, and if I decide to do another production run in the future, I’m almost certain the cost will increase.

Most people will probably look at this and think it’s too expensive. However, if you look at the most costly nest box camera currently on the market, it sits at around the £190/€230/$260 price mark. Considering that these cameras are often low quality, have no integration app and don’t send you notifications each time a bird visits, paying an extra £30 for a system that does so much more might make more sense. 

The breakdown of the production costs for each nest box system is as follows (this is what it costs me to manufacture the whole system):

  • Wooden nest box £40
  • Components and manufacture – £90
  • Cables and accessories – £11
  • Packaging – £5
  • Kickstarter fees – £22
  • Taxes – £30
  • 10% margin of error – £22

Why am I not making any profit from selling the nest boxes?

One of the founding aims of the Nest Box Live project has been to create a worldwide network of connected smart nest boxes. Existing nest box owners have benefited from many exciting features that the technology offers, and in all reports, people have been delighted.

To make this affordable, one of the things that I do is live-stream some of the nest boxes on my Facebook and YouTube channels. These cameras have provided millions of people with much-needed joy and happiness at difficult times in recent times. We already know the benefits that nature has on mental health and wellbeing.

During the live streams, viewers send in donations and adverts are shown, for which I receive a small percentage of the revenue.

A lot of the money goes back into developing the project and supporting small wildlife charities and conservation projects. Everyone wins!

The actual cost of the nest box and all the technology inside is far greater than what is being offered on Kickstarter. Most businesses would estimate to make a 50% profit on their products. This would take the price of Nest Box Live over £440, which is not affordable.

This is the only way that the business model works, and it will form part of the legal terms of conditions of using the service. Almost everyone has been more than happy for me to share the live streams of their nest boxes with my 450+ thousand followers on Facebook. It has been an engaging and rewarding experience for users as they can get involved in the action through the live chat during broadcasts. If live-streaming does not sit comfortably with you, this project might not be for you.

As a user, you will still have exclusive access to your nest box live feed via the app, amongst other breakthrough features outlined on the website.

The bigger picture

One aspect of the technology not previously mentioned is the amount of data that the nest box collects. Information such as types of birds are visiting, temperature, air pollution and much more. At some point in the future, the aim is to share this with research organisations to help better understand species and what we can do to support them. By becoming part of Nest Box Live, you will also be helping conservation efforts.

If there are any questions, feel free to post them in the comments below, and I would be more than happy to answer them.

Categories
Production Updates

How Shipping will Work

The countdown is on, with only 16 days until we launch on Kickstarter. I know it’s not a very exciting topic, but it’s essential to deal with some of the particulars around how shipping will work for backers of the crowdfunding campaign.

If you do not already know how crowdfunding works, please take a moment to read my blog post on this, as it explains in detail: https://nestboxlive.com/crowdfunding-campaign-date-announced/

Sign up for the Kickstarter pre-launch page here

After backing the Kickstarter, you are essentially securing yourself a pre-order for the product before it is manufactured. For the reasons I explain below, delivery to backers won’t be until January 2023. This allows enough time for production to be set up and overcome any hurdles along the way. Although this process has been thought through in fine detail, there will undoubtedly be some unforeseen challenges along the way, which is why I am extra cautious with the delivery date. There is every possibility that delivery may be sooner if things go better than according to plan. But having been on this journey for many years, I know that this is often not the case.

The regions that Nest Box Live will be available to on Kickstarter will be:

    • United Kingdom 
    • Europe & the EU
    • USA & Canada
    • Australis and New Zealand
    • South Africa
    • Asia (Selected regions only)

There will be 20 units available for each region, except for the UK and Asia, where there will only be 10. The reason for a limited production run is as follows: Firstly, this is my first attempt at launching a product, and I don’t want to overwhelm myself and get things wrong. I have seen many product launches that start too big and, as a result, are unable to fulfil orders which leave customers feeling disgruntled and ultimately not having any faith in the product. Secondly, securing a batch of microchips is a challenge due to global supply shortages. Thirdly, I am looking to place nest boxes in locations outside of the UK, so that I can live stream a range of birds worldwide to social media channels.

If your region is not listed above, this is most likely because the import duty and local sales tax are too high and make the product unaffordable. If you believe I have got this wrong for your region and want to back the Kickstarter project, please drop me an email at jamie@nestboxlive.com with the subject line ‘Kickstarter Shipping’, and I will get back to you.

Shipping costs are not included, these will be charged if you choose to back the campaign. I estimate these costs to be £20-£30 for the UK and Europe and up to £55 for regions outside these areas.

As I am only a small business so won’t be collecting taxes at the point of sale. This shall be the buyer’s responsibility. The courier usually collects these before delivery to customers. I have produced a blog post for guidance that outlines these costs: https://nestboxlive.com/import-taxes/. Please bear this in mind before backing the project.

If you have any questions about this, please post a comment below.

Categories
Production Updates

Import Taxes and Local Sales Tax Per Country

For the benefit of backers of the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, I have compiled a list of countries and their taxes for goods being imported. Nest boxes sold through Kickstarter won’t be charged sales tax, so these will be collected at the point of delivery and is the responsibility of the buyer.

UK

  • None

USA/CA

  • USA No import tax and no local sales tax as goods do not exceed the minimum threshold of $800
  • CA No import tax due to trade deal between UK and CA. All imports subject to 5% sales tax

Europe (Non-EU)

Non-eu but part of Schengan

  • Switzerland  Import tax of 1% and local sales tax of 7.70%
  • Liechtenstein Import tax of 1% and local sales tax of 8%
  • Norway No import tax and local sales tax of 25%
  • Iceland Import tax of 8% and local sales tax of 24%

EU

  • Import tax of 1% and local VAT rate between 19-22% depending on the country

South Africa

  • No Import Tax but a local sales tax of 15%

Australia & New Zealand

  • No import taxes or local sales tax

Asia

  • Singapore No import tax but 8% local sales tax
  • Indonesia Import tax of 15% and no local sales tax
  • Philippines Import tax of 10% and local sales tax of 12%
  • Thailand Import tax of 10% and local sales tax of 7%
  • Malaysia No import tax but 10% local sales tax

If your country is not listed above, please check this website: https://www.easyship.com/en-gb/duties-and-taxes-calculator/. Select ‘shipment origin’ as the United Kingdom and the ‘shipment destination’ as your own country. Put the ‘item selling price’ as 200 USD, although this won’t be the sales price for the nest boxes.