(Topic ID: 110500)

ANNOUNCE: New CPR Playfield Preorder System in Place


By KevinCPR

4 years ago



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    #1 4 years ago

    ANNOUNCEMENT
    New CPR Playfield Preorder System Launched Today
    November 24, 2014

    For nearly 10 years, we ran a simple "stick your name in the hat" inbox system at our web site to count heads and produce playfields for those groups, at those numbers. It worked like a charm with very few headaches for that decade. What could be easier. Put up a playfield inbox, let it collect emails for 1-3 years, then when it comes production time, peek inside and count how many were wanted. Say 100 people requested 106 playfields in total. Great. Make 120 in case of spoilage. Great. Those 100 people were contacted for payment at shipping time, and for 9 of those 10 years, about 95 of 100 would come through and buy. It worked that well. Pretty reliable and easy-going system. Didn't need deposits. Didn't need anything except their request.

    But unfortunately, within 2014, something changed.

    For three straight playfield runs in a row now (our last 3 runs) we have experienced only around a 60%-70% sell-through. That means - yes - only about 60-70 of 100 guys are actually buying when it comes shipping time. Leaving a significant piling-up of leftover playfields that are simply sitting here. Representing a lot of time & resources spent that we truly thought were going to end users.

    Predicting forward the next 2-4 months, this will likely be the same situation on the fourth and fifth (and likely sixth) run since this trend started, but we will soon see. The old system was pretty loosey goosey, but worked so well it didn't matter. We never took deposits, never wanted to enforce anything, and never batted an eye at the occasional forfeit. After 10 years, and for some unknown reason, the loosey goosey system has turned around and suddenly bitten us in the butt... which leads me to the meat of this announcement:

    We must (and have) replaced the old legacy preorder/request process with one involving a type of harder commitment. Where an expectation is set up front. We need to get to a point where if we see 75 preorders for a playfield, we can be accurately sure 75 will sell. Thus we make ~90. It can no longer be we make the 90, and only 40 of the 75 people buy. It just can't anymore.

    So starting now, you'll see our former Request Page is back to being called the Preorder Page, and we now are going to make the preorders an actual promise. Still no deposits. We don't want/need your money. We only need your word. Unlike before - there was zero commitment before. Now there is.

    If we're not taking a deposit, how is it enforced? Well, we still have faith in the hobby. With this very basic change, we think "your word is your bond" will deflect 98% of the "fluff" requests, or wavering requests, or semi-serious requests, or dreamer requests. Because if somebody bails when it comes shipping time, you basically lose the welcome to participate in the "word-based" process ever again - those folks will have to switch to a secondary deposit-based system to lock in a reservation.

    We feel guys will want to play ball and stay on the easy path. CPR is going to be around for a long time. Nobody wants to have to deal with a second-tier deposit-based preorder system. But it's there, and it's the fallback, as clunky as non-refundable deposit systems are. We even allow for exceptions in dire circumstances (detailed at the site) just in case. But we don't think many will end up having a problem under the new system. It's not difficult. If you want it, sign up, and come through. Easy. It should really tighten up our counts, and we won't end up making 50-60 playfields that won't have homes. Those could be 50-60 playfields into the NEXT run! So we're not wasting our CNC time, our wood, our inserts, press time, clearcoating, and on and on...

    Complete details at the site.

    Some new preorder titles have been launched, as you'll see.

    http://www.classicplayfields.com/order.html

    FYI, Since we are now on an 18-month production clock (maximum) under the new system, we can't put ALL the playfields in the pipe up there at once. So a few less-active inboxes have gone offline for the moment, so don't fret. Once some playfields at the top of the queue are knocked off in the next few months, those others will jump back on at the bottom, with their new start dates, and their 18-month-max clock can start ticking too. Doesn't mean every playfield is going to be 18 months away... we just don't want to bite off more than we can chew.

    Most importantly - ALL EMAILS HAVE BEEN KEPT from the old inboxes, grandfathered under the old system. But remember, we'll be weighing those groups with about 60-70% count accuracy now, so there IS a chance there won't be enough playfields (depending on how those groups come through in the future)... if suddenly a group bounces back to 90%+ buying for some reason... there will be a quantity shock. Because for the old groups, we're simply not making 100 boards for 100 people anymore. We simply can't. So.... our advice is: if you KNOW you're still onboard - submit a new signup email under the new system, make that promise, and guarantee yourself a playfield. Post Nov 24th, we count all preorders as a guaranteed sold playfield to be made. Pre Nov 24th preorders are considered "loosey goosey". Make sense?

    This was lengthy, and I apologize. Just want it to be clear, and this thread can stand as a totem which can be linked back to in any future discussions, if necessary. To mark this date and change.

    Thanks

    KEVIN
    Classic Playfield Reproductions
    http://www.classicplayfields.com

    #2 4 years ago

    Great,

    Will the email requests auto-respond so that we know our order made it through?

    Thanks

    #3 4 years ago

    Cool stuff! Thanks CPR.

    #4 4 years ago
    Quoted from jjoravec:

    Great,
    Will the email requests auto-respond so that we know our order made it through?
    Thanks

    Both my pre orders did.

    #5 4 years ago
    Quoted from NinJaBooT:

    Both my pre orders did.

    Which ones did you order? I just put in a request for Space Invaders and Paragon and got no email reply. If we are committing to a preorder then we should get an email confirmation.

    #6 4 years ago
    Quoted from jjoravec:

    Which ones did you order? I just put in a request for Space Invaders and Paragon and got no email reply. If we are committing to a preorder then we should get an email confirmation.

    GOOD IDEA. I'll go turn on the autoresponders on ALL the inboxes.

    KEVIN

    #7 4 years ago

    Good idea. We trust you until you break our trust. I hope it will stop the problems you have been having. I am in for FT already. Do I need to send a new email under the new listing?

    Thanks

    #8 4 years ago

    This is fantastic! Thanks Kevin. Just ordered the Space Invaders PF. Can't wait. What an early Christmas present!

    #9 4 years ago

    Kevin, I noticed that Medusa is no longer on the list and with your statement regarding the 18 month production clock I am assuming that Medusa is not in the near future plans?

    #10 4 years ago

    Just got my auto response!

    #11 4 years ago
    Quoted from boo32:

    I am in for FT already. Do I need to send a new email under the new listing?
    Thanks

    I have the same question.

    Already placed an email for FT 2? years ago. Do I need to submit another email under the new system to ensure I get one?

    #12 4 years ago
    Quoted from KevinCPR:

    Because for the old groups, we're simply not making 100 boards for 100 people anymore. We simply can't. So.... our advice is: if you KNOW you're still onboard - submit a new signup email under the new system, make that promise, and guarantee yourself a playfield

    I'd submit a new one to be sure you get one.

    #13 4 years ago
    Quoted from boo32:

    I am in for FT already. Do I need to send a new email under the new listing?

    That's up to you. Under the old system, there is 2-way zero obligation. You can wiggle out. We don't have to have enough playfields. Right now if we saw, say, 80 FT requests from the old inbox, we're only going to make ~60 playfields. Just to protect against the new trend of forfeitures.

    Now what if all 80 guys decide to come through? We truly don't think they WILL, but what if?

    So the old system remains "loosey goosey" as I described in the OP.

    If you know you're a sure thing, then you can lock in 2-way *commitment* by sending into the new inbox. Those emails we are treating as promises, thus we're making a playfield for every one requested, as our promise.

    KEVIN

    #14 4 years ago

    Kevin,
    Didn't get an auto-response for Elvira or Fish Tales. Not sure if you turned them on yet or not.
    Thanks,

    #15 4 years ago

    Sweet!!!!

    Just noticed that CPR is taking pre-orders for the TAF playfield.

    I have my order in.

    I'm hoping to hear any day now from CPR on my BadCats playfield request.

    Have already received my auto-response on TAF

    Just pre-ordered a FT playfield too.

    Already received an auto-reponse.

    Thanks CPR!!!!

    #16 4 years ago

    PARAGON!!!!!!!!

    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from meSz:

    Kevin, I noticed that Medusa is no longer on the list and with your statement regarding the 18 month production clock I am assuming that Medusa is not in the near future plans?

    We want to play it safe and not over-extend ourselves. So we can't put every single playfield in the pipe up there live, taking emails.

    So for the time being, it's just hiding offline. Once a few playfields pop off the top in the next few months (BC, EK, ToTAN), then Medusa and some others can come back onto the page - with their 18-month-max clocks starting from January/February.

    KEVIN

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from Sethman:

    Didn't get an auto-response for Elvira or Fish Tales. Not sure if you turned them on yet or not.

    Yup. There is an active autoresponder on every inbox. Your emails are landed here, I just looked. Dunno about the speed of response, and always check spam folder. But they do work.

    KEVIN

    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from jjoravec:

    Which ones did you order? I just put in a request for Space Invaders and Paragon and got no email reply. If we are committing to a preorder then we should get an email confirmation.

    I pre ordered FT and NGS

    #20 4 years ago

    And Future Spa evades production (for now) yet again, lol.... =\

    Guess you guys found the 80k or whatever for a sander.

    #21 4 years ago

    I think it's cool of you to try and fix the problem without requiring deposits. Nicely done.

    #22 4 years ago

    I got my Paragon auto reply email.

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from KevinCPR:

    Well, we still have faith in the hobby.

    I applaud you for this change and your belief. Unfortunately, my faith in the hobby has been wavering by missed promises - not by CPR.

    Nice change.

    #24 4 years ago

    I didn't get an autoresponse for my TAF order. But I may have gotten in before you turned it on. It was from Erik in KS. Excited to see TAF on the list.

    #25 4 years ago

    If CPR could apply this to all their stuff it would be awesome. Like the plastics page. I've been waiting forever for WCS remakes but I can't preorder.....

    #26 4 years ago

    I'm still thinking that with this new method you will still see about the same back out rate. I think you have 2 main reasons for people signing up and not buying. One being they moved the machine and the other being that they over committed and don't have the cash anymore for a PF (new machine, pre-order game, life changes, etc).

    If I may suggest a possible alternative that may help. It would be a bit more work but may lead to a more accurate count.

    The suggestion would be to cont with the interest part. When you get to the point of being ready for production you send an e-mail to all those on the pre-order/interest list. You advise that everyone has _____ time to respond to commit to a game if they are still interested. Those not responding are removed from the list. You've now effectively reduced the chance of people backing out.

    Hope your new system works out as it's tough to run a business when you can't accurately forecast true demand for something. You wind up either under producing and losing out on potential income or you over produce and eat the storage cost. Lose/lose situation.

    Post edited by 85vett: typo

    #27 4 years ago

    Where's the Fish Tales BOAT? I thought they were screen-ready?

    In for the main PF, received my preorder confirmation.

    #28 4 years ago

    Ah, if I only had money I am fairly certain I would buy every CPR playfield and just wait for a project pin to come along. Bought several in the past and I have never been disappointed.

    #29 4 years ago
    Quoted from KevinCPR:

    Put up a playfield inbox, let it collect emails for 1-3 years

    Quoted from 85vett:

    I think you have 2 main reasons for people signing up and not buying. One being they moved the machine

    I'd be guessing that the combination of these 2 is the reason for a lot of the drop-outs. I know I fall into this category. Bought a Banzai Run with a trashed playfield, registered my interest for a new playfield right away. If there had been one available at the time, I'd have bought it. 12-18 months down the line, I moved the machine on and so I don't need the playfield any more.

    I think the new "yes I'm committing myself" approach will lower the numbers getting in contact, although making it a maximum 18 months waiting period will help for sure, at least you know that the playfield is very likely coming up.

    Quoted from 85vett:

    The suggestion would be to cont with the interest part. When you get to the point of being ready for production you send an e-mail to all those on the pre-order/interest list. You advise that everyone has ____ time to respond to commit to a game if they are still interested. Those not responding are removed from the list. You've now effectively reduced the change of people backing out.

    This seems like a good idea in my humble opinion...

    #30 4 years ago

    I understand why you are doing this,
    But what if you do another run like High Speed that you did earlier this year?
    Most of those came out less than perfect. I don't see why we should be forced to buy something not up to scratch

    I am a loyal customer who does buy most of your playfields, so ddon't get cranky

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from 85vett:

    One being they moved the machine

    Nope. When they sell the game, they simply come back and send in their forfeit email into the same inbox. Which cancels their original promise out. We only close the inbox when production starts (CNC machine starts cutting boards). So we already know not to make a playfield for them.

    If they remain "in" and sell the game during production, bailing when they get their payment instructions email at release time... well that's the kind of yucky forfeit we're talking about.

    Their bad. And then they switch tiers to the secondary deposit-based preordering method after that, if they ever want to participate in a reservation again.

    Quoted from 85vett:

    they over committed and don't have the cash anymore for a PF (new machine, pre-order game, life changes, etc)

    Then the CPR playfield commitment precedes the other things, as far as we're concerned...otherwise, simply send in that forfeit email to cancel out the previous promise. There is plenty of time if guys get attracted to other things and change their minds. All we're asking is they back out before we make their playfield.

    The new system is put in place to prevent that awful forfeiture at the end, when their playfield is in a box awaiting payment & a shipping label. Not forfeitures in general.

    None of the excuses you listed count (see the exceptions list at the site) as a reason to forfeit on a packed & ready playfield at shipping time.

    We don't need ANY reason provided for a pre-production forfeiture

    Don't think it's too much to ask for guys to simply plan their plans better. IMHO.
    Trust me, we thought of all the hundreds of scenarios when tweaking this.

    Nobody wants to end up in the non-refundable deposit system.

    KEVIN

    #32 4 years ago
    Quoted from SunKing:

    PARAGON!!!!!!!!

    I am really torn. I am doing a restore and clear on my current Paragon playfield. It isn't in that bad of shape, but I am having to replace all of the inserts. I think it will turn out good, but it might not. I guess I will just have to wait and hope the pre-order window is still open once I get my playfield done.

    #33 4 years ago

    Where did MEDUSA go on the preorder list? I was on it

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from catboxer:

    Where's the Fish Tales BOAT? I thought they were screen-ready?

    They are. It's just that inbox was beating a dead horse. Nobody's put their name in there in a while. Plus the amount we're making is fixated now anyway. So we just left it off.

    We're gonna finish them up here soon. Looking to wedge them into a period between fullsize playfield print runs.

    KEVIN

    #35 4 years ago

    Great new system.

    I hate to be the guy that asks the question you probably get asked all the time, but I'll be the guy.

    Any chance we will ever see Indiana Jones? I would buy two just because.

    Thanks for the great work.

    #36 4 years ago

    I see skateball is no longer listed. Will that be relisted like medusa? I did sign up under the old system for SB.

    #37 4 years ago
    Quoted from KevinCPR:

    They are. It's just that inbox was beating a dead horse. Nobody's put their name in there in a while. Plus the amount we're making is fixated now anyway. So we just left it off.

    Now that I'm able to pre-order the Fishtales playfield. I'd really like to add my name to the boat ramp as well.

    Any possibility to do that?

    #38 4 years ago

    One flaw that potentially remains in the new pre-order system is quantity. I was shut out of the original Flash Gordon run even though I sent an email request, because some people ahead of me bought multiple playfields each. It blows my mind that this isn't accounted for in the "ordering" system. For a company that really needs production to closely match demand, how you can you not consider quantity? Asking customers to say something like "I want three" in the pre-order email would be a start.

    (Standard disclaimer when griping about CPR: their products are great, where would we be without them, etc.)

    #39 4 years ago
    Quoted from Snux:

    I think the new "yes I'm committing myself" approach will lower the numbers getting in contact

    We thought the same thing.

    Yes. Absolutely. And we pray so.

    If we're supposed to make 60 playfields, we want to know that. Not seeing "higher" numbers that look great - like 100 people, 40 of which are not committed, and make 100 playfields for them. Only to sell 60.

    I would much rather have lower numbers - of precise, promised, ACTUAL buyers.

    To make that 60, and move onto the next playfield.

    KEVIN

    #40 4 years ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    It blows my mind that this isn't accounted for in the "ordering" system.

    The new process asks for quantity.

    #41 4 years ago

    Sorry if this has been answered in another thread but I noticed that Lost Vegas has dropped off the list,is this project still alive?

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    {ed:High Speed} Most of those came out less than perfect. I don't see why we should be forced to buy something not up to scratch

    Complete refund with shipping is still there for any returns. If a customer is not happy with a received playfield, returns and/or exchanges are still as normal in any of those cases.

    We'd never consider that a forfeit.

    Good question to bring up. Thx.

    KEVIN

    #43 4 years ago
    Quoted from catboxer:

    The new process asks for quantity.

    Thanks! Good job, CPR.

    #44 4 years ago

    If I can find a Fire or Bally Star Trek, I'll help with the overstock.

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from Hellfire:

    Where did MEDUSA go on the preorder list? I was on it

    Quoted from KevinCPR:

    FYI, Since we are now on an 18-month production clock (maximum) under the new system, we can't put ALL the playfields in the pipe up there at once. So a few less-active inboxes have gone offline for the moment, so don't fret. Once some playfields at the top of the queue are knocked off in the next few months, those others will jump back on at the bottom, with their new start dates, and their 18-month-max clock can start ticking too. Doesn't mean every playfield is going to be 18 months away... we just don't want to bite off more than we can chew.

    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from nocreditdot:

    I see skateball is no longer listed. Will that be relisted like medusa? I did sign up under the old system for SB.

    Quoted from KevinCPR:

    FYI, Since we are now on an 18-month production clock (maximum) under the new system, we can't put ALL the playfields in the pipe up there at once. So a few less-active inboxes have gone offline for the moment, so don't fret. Once some playfields at the top of the queue are knocked off in the next few months, those others will jump back on at the bottom, with their new start dates, and their 18-month-max clock can start ticking too. Doesn't mean every playfield is going to be 18 months away... we just don't want to bite off more than we can chew.

    #47 4 years ago
    Quoted from indypinhead:

    Sweet!!!!
    Just noticed that CPR is taking pre-orders for the TAF playfield.
    I have my order in.
    Thanks CPR!!!!

    Wow!! Brand spankity new TAF playfields for under a grand?
    Count me in! Got the autoresponse immediately in my inbox.
    Weren't some people trying to get that much for used ones not that long ago?
    Sure glad I waited.

    Thank you CPR!!!

    #48 4 years ago
    Quoted from Gibo:

    Sorry if this has been answered in another thread but I noticed that Lost Vegas has dropped off the list,is this project still alive?

    Quoted from KevinCPR:

    FYI, Since we are now on an 18-month production clock (maximum) under the new system, we can't put ALL the playfields in the pipe up there at once. So a few less-active inboxes have gone offline for the moment, so don't fret. Once some playfields at the top of the queue are knocked off in the next few months, those others will jump back on at the bottom, with their new start dates, and their 18-month-max clock can start ticking too. Doesn't mean every playfield is going to be 18 months away... we just don't want to bite off more than we can chew.

    #49 4 years ago

    Hey Kevin,

    Will all of the preorder e-mails receive a confirmation? I sent an e-mail on TAF a few hours ago before you turned on auto-respond. I received no confirmation. Definitely don't want to miss out on this one! Jason in Jeffersonville.

    #50 4 years ago

    Just confirming since the EK email is turned off, I don't need to do anything if I already sent an email?

    CRR provides an invaluable service, I agree it would be better to take non-refundable deposits (maybe $50-$100). I think the biggest reason people don't follow through is they sign up a year before the playfield is produced, and end up selling the game long before the playfield is ready (and they forget to send an email removing themselves from the list).

    Thanks again Kevin and the rest of the CPR Team for your awesome work!
    -Ed

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