- Express Receiving – this is where we receive the books, check that the number of cartons on the package indicated are the number of cartons we received and mark off any major damages that we see. This also includes setting it aside for further distribution.
- Normal Receiving – Normal receiving is when we do all the above and begin to check against the packing list for total quantities (not cartons but quantities) and check for damages on every single game / part / etc. This is a much more thorough procedures where we are looking for damages of the kind that you see to the right.
Does the little ding there look a little picky to you as a publisher? Maybe it doesn’t and you understand that some customers want pristine copies. The problem with mass distribution online is that there’s no way to tell which customers will:
a) receive a pristine copy
b) care about minor dings
As such, every single copy has to be pristine and/or you must be willing to reship boxes / games as necessary to the customers who complain.
It’s worth noting that while we will reship packages that are damaged due to our fault, for damages like the above and if we never did normal receiving, there’s no way to tell if the game was damaged initially and was never caught when shipping (yes, we do try to catch damages when packing but for damages like that, it’s very easy to miss) or it was damaged by being drop-kicked by the courier.
In addition, another problem we’ve encountered is insufficient items being sent to us. We’ve received promotional items before and been told that we received 120 copies (as an example) but instead only had 115 sent when we needed 116. We only find out about something like this at the end, when the poor backer is going to be stuck waiting for that final piece (or ending up receiving 2 different shipments).
This isn’t all doom and gloom though. We’ve often received some great shipments where we’ve had no to little problems (like 1 ding / replacement across 300 shipments). At that level, it’s definitely cheaper to NOT have us do the receiving. At the end of the day, it’s the publisher’s choice. We just need to know what you want us to do and understand the risks involved.