Awesome Kickstarter as a Christmas present
December 16, 2016 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Our 19 year old niece is a college freshman, and I am out of gift ideas. I'd love to contribute to a Kickstarter with an excellent product so that she can receive such a thing when it's fully funded. Does anyone have a hot take on something like this?
posted by roomthreeseventeen to Grab Bag (7 answers total)
In my experience, Kickstarter isn't a place I would consider to Christmas shop. There are too many risks with unfunded projects, unfulfilled projects (Pebble 2, for one), or scams in general.

For a college freshman, I'd go for gift cards she could use for food, goods, or fuel.
posted by DonSlice at 7:34 AM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]

I have Kickstarted many projects over the past four (five?) years. And, on preview, that was a lead-in to what DonSlice just posted. Some have been terrific successes, but some are mediocre outcomes at best. At least two or three are now going on three or four years of pieces of the project trickling out. I've managed to avoid being completely scammed, but unless there is a very specific connection to a project it isn't where I'd head for gift giving.
posted by meinvt at 7:37 AM on December 16, 2016

Yeah, I'm an active Kickstarter (/Indiegogo/several other similar platforms) user, and I would never donate to one as a gift for someone else -- time and quality are just too flexible. If I found something that would be perfect for someone I know, I'd just link them to the campaign.

You know what college freshpersons love? Food that ain't from the usual place. Get her a gift card to a nice-but-not-dressup-nice restaurant near campus.
posted by Etrigan at 7:48 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

PinBox 3000 was a recently successful Kickstarter that you can now order and get in time for Xmas. It is a build-your-own cardboard pinball machine and I'm super excited about it. (My KS reward just got delivered today!)
posted by jillithd at 8:05 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I REALLY liked getting packages when I was in college - have you thought about subscription boxes? The more popular boxes have a whole monthly cycle of folks anticipating, guessing, and reviewing the contents of the box, which might somewhat simulate that feeling of ongoing involvement and anticipation folks get from Kickstarter.

They're not just for beauty samples anymore - here is what looks like a pretty comprehensive list (see category sidebar on the left).
posted by lalex at 8:17 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]

OK, thanks, everyone. I bought her a Go-Pro instead!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:18 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]

I've backed Kickstarter projects specifically to get rewards that I know friends of mine would like, and I'm actually giving a few of these things away as gifts this year!

But if you were wanting to go that route, you really either have to do it waaaaay in advance so the rewards actually get to you by Christmas (not really an option at this point) or you end up taking a real gamble on the actual timeline of the project's completion, especially if it's something that ended up blowing way up and that got way more backers than they were aiming for.

I've never been scammed, but I've certainly backed projects that ended up being bigger/more successful than the creators ever imagined, and it's pushed back their production timeline weeks or months, even over a year in some cases.

I'm not saying don't do it if you found something that is so incredibly perfect for her that you just HAVE to, but there is definitely a non-zero chance that even if you back a project and give her a placeholder card with a "hey, this is what you'll be getting in the mail when the Kickstarter finishes up!" note in it, she might still be waiting for that thing come NEXT Christmas.

posted by helloimjennsco at 8:19 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

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