Quoted from CPR:
In your case with Xenon, I thought I fully explained this already but.... the run I made was only about 1/3 of the run and its only what I had materials for at the time. It was never going to be the entire run, I did the partial run to keep the guys employed using materials I already had on hand. I was planning on cutting the 30 PFs and then just keeping them under wraps until we received the rest of the materials and cut and glued the rest of the run. We would then print them all at once..... but, Kevin decided that he had a bit of a space in the production and went ahead and printed the ones we had ready to print, with the idea of printing the rest once we had them ready. So I understand you're upset you didn't get one of the initial part of the run but you were probably not in the first 30 guys who ordered. The rest of the materials came in and the PFs were cut and glued months ago. We are printing them this PF this coming week, silk screen by the way! Its is fully likely that you will get yours from this section of the run. The rest of the XENON run should be shipping in about 3-4 weeks.
That being said, we are a tiny operation, we finance each product on the sales of the last and on my home equity line of credit. Having anything more than a few PFs left over from the last run can get really expensive very very fast. When something like Corvette PF comes along and 75% of the guys who promised they'd buy just didn't I was left explaining to my wife WTF happened. Lets see how understanding yours would be on that!
We have tried being nice and asking people to only place an order if they 100% intend to follow through, we have tried threatening to ban people from preorders if they don't follow though on their promises, we have tried deposits. We have pleaded and conjolled.... nothing has really worked. Often we are left holding dozens of PFs that don't sell... and in a worse case scenario their costs are can exceed $500 each...... how do you think your family would handle you saying don't worry we can carry this debt because a bunch of guys backed out of their promises...??? Would your wife be understanding?
Anyway, this HUGE issue came to a head last spring at which time it meant closing CPR or finding another way to do things ..... and it could have gone either way. There was some very dour looking faces around the table when I explained this to the guys. We decided to change up the way we do things and by going more to an on demand system and spending the price of a new house on a 17 1/2' printer but it was either that or shut down. Kevin keeps touting an on demand just for you but that's not really the idea we are driving at, but we are trying to use the new tech to make drastically smaller runs, say 3-5 or even 10 instead of 100+. We can handle getting stuck with a couple of PFs but we can't afford to get stuck with 80+ PFs like we did on Corvette or Joker Poker. Over the next many months we are taking stock of the 300,000-400,000 plus inserts we have and trying to figure out which PFs we can make with these. We'll make small qtys of each title we have art and inserts for and they'll be available on a first come basis. The cool thing is we'll be able to make a few more when the first ones get low. In a perfect world we could make one for each guy as they order but, that does take time. I'd still rather make a small batch and open it on the website with actual stock numbers and every single person would know the quality of what they were getting BEFORE they ordered.
Its not perfect but it may be a sustainable model where the idea of making 100+ Pfs or glasses and getting stuck with a large percentage of the run was just not sustainable anymore, even in the short run.
Again I have to commend you for all the great information that was provided in this thread. As the OP, I get where you're coming from financially producing PF's. If the digital format is the future, so be it. I know that myself and many of the people I talked to in the hobby prefer the OE silkscreened process perhaps because we haven't seen a digitally produced PF in person. I know Mirco been doing them, few have seen them them side by side with a silkscreened version to compare the quality. Having a silkscreened and digital version of the same PF at the Allentown shown in May would be awesome so we could compare if possible. I don't think Larry @ Starship does that show but it's 2 months away and maybe somehow it could happen.