It is acceptable in the manufacturing industry to have three payment installations throughout the manufacturing process.
1- Paying for a Prototype game
Before deciding to move forward and mass-produce a game, most customers prefer making a prototype game to check the quality of the material they chose and the way all game components fit together. They usually take the sample game to game events, show it to friends, and even to market influencers. After all their checks, they might decide to make adjustments to the game, the artwork, and the pieces.
Currently, the average cost for a single sample game from a factory ranges between $150 to $300 a game.
However, this cost is very high to accept for a single game, especially in the days of Kick starter, where it is wise for inventors to get at least a dozen or more copies to show influencers.
To answer this problem, HeroTime cooperates with small print factories in inland China and manufactures sample games for the low cost of between 20-50$ a game. Though the game is not made in the same factory as the mass-produced games, still the game will be 90% similar, and the inventors can afford to have as many sample copies as they want.
A single copy of a game that is identical to the final game, costs between $150-$300.
A dozen copies with some minor variants will cost 20-50$ a game.
2- Down Payment + Performa Invoice
Following the authorization of the final version of the game, HeroTime will send a Performa Invoice (PI) to the customer. In this PI, all the details of production will be agreed upon: game specification, production timeline, payment structure, and delivery status. The PI is a binding document which both parties agree upon and sign.
With the signing of the PI, the customer needs to pay a down payment to HeroTime. Most private and one-time customers transfer 50% of the order. While repeating customers and established publishers, pay a down payment of around 30%.
To ensure customer safety and satisfaction, HeroTime will continuously update the customers with the progress of their game using videos and pictures. Customers will take an active part in the production and will be able to comment on the output (this is an added value service not provided by other manufacturers).
3- Final Pay
After production has been completed and before delivery, the customer will need to pay the remaining balance of his order. After the customer has settled the balance, HeroTime will provide him/her with the final invoice and Bill of Leading, which he/she can then use for customs and shipping. HeroTime can ship the products to their destination.
Customers can have HeroTime manage their shipping. HeroTime will quote an estimated price and include it in the Performa Invoice. However, shipping prices are very volatile and at times, change between weeks. Hence, HeroTime will notify the customer in regards to any changes that occurred to the shipping prices before the final payment.