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Volpe's Velox gossip


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Daniel Barenboim
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give me back my $$$$!!!!!!!!!

DB
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Volpe's Velox gossip Reply with quote

Gottfried Reiche wrote:

Seriously?

"This bad thing happened, and I'm going to mention it, but not talk about it."

Nice.


I'd imagine all you need to do is flip through some of the posts on this very thread to get a flavor of the general situation. It isn't that mysterious.

The Kickstarter launched on May 1 of 2015. That's 5 years ago. The last update on the page was a bit over 2 years ago. As far as I can tell, contributors last got an email update last fall and any other communication has been minimal or altogether absent.

It was a pretty ambitious project and five years on, it's clear that there are a lot of technological hurdles to clear. That's fine if you're a big company and all of this is going on in the background until a product is actually launched, but the stakeholders or shareholders - I mean, contributors - have sunk their money into this project and have bupkis to show for it after five years. One wonders what the prospects are at this point.

Not to mention, requests for refunds, info, anything have been met with complete radio silence for some time. There's plenty of things going on - production issues, the damn virus, protests and unrest in Minneapolis, but well, things are where they are and shareholders - I mean kickstarter contributors - can be justified if they're miffed.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1676721500/volpes-veloxtm-trumpet-case

I, personally, don't have a stake other than being a Minnesota neighbor and trumpet player, and a potential customer. I hope they turn things around. I remember I was chastised at some point, a few years ago, when I mentioned I was going to buy a Protec triple instead of a Torpedo Coyote... which was going to be re-imagined. Fortunately, I have an actual case and am not just imagining having one.
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TrptSTP
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This whole thread has lead me to check out the nuts and bolts of Kickstarter. It seems like a real gamble in all regards. If I had backed a project that didn't deliver, I certainly would be contacting my bank for a chargeback, since Kickstarter washes their hands of everything once they have their cut. I don't have the patience for this sort of thing.
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Daniel Barenboim
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does kickstarter fall under the better business bureau? If so, shut it down!

DB
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daniel Barenboim wrote:
Does kickstarter fall under the better business bureau? If so, shut it down!

DB

Why?

Did kickstarter fail on the only obligation they have? That obligation being to forward the money to the project when the funding reaches its goal.

Off with their heads.

According to the KickStarter terms any recourse has to be negotiated between the backer and the project.

KickStarter also states that the project team should communicate status clearly and regularly.
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Daniel Barenboim
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LittleRusty wrote:
Daniel Barenboim wrote:
Does kickstarter fall under the better business bureau? If so, shut it down!

DB

Why?

Did kickstarter fail on the only obligation they have? That obligation being to forward the money to the project when the funding reaches its goal.

Off with their heads.

According to the KickStarter terms any recourse has to be negotiated between the backer and the project.

KickStarter also states that the project team should communicate status clearly and regularly.


So it doesn’t. Thank you for answering my question. I hope everyone gets their money back.

DB
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daniel Barenboim wrote:
LittleRusty wrote:
Daniel Barenboim wrote:
Does kickstarter fall under the better business bureau? If so, shut it down!

DB

Why?

Did kickstarter fail on the only obligation they have? That obligation being to forward the money to the project when the funding reaches its goal.

Off with their heads.

According to the KickStarter terms any recourse has to be negotiated between the backer and the project.

KickStarter also states that the project team should communicate status clearly and regularly.


So it doesn’t. Thank you for answering my question. I hope everyone gets their money back.

DB

I don't understand. My answer has nothing to do with the Better Business Bureau nor whether reporting the business KickStarter to the BBB is appropriate.

The BBB is toothless and sometimes complicit with the fraudulent businesses based on articles published by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Any business can be reported to the BBB, but it is unlikely that anything will happen as a result.


Last edited by LittleRusty on Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LittleRusty wrote:
The BBB is toothless and sometimes complicate with the fraudulent businesses based on articles published by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Do you mean complicit, rather than complicate?
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crazy Finn wrote:
LittleRusty wrote:
The BBB is toothless and sometimes complicate with the fraudulent businesses based on articles published by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Do you mean complicit, rather than complicate?

Yup. I even corrected it to complicit once but missed that autocorrect “fixed” it.
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We all love autocorrect.... when it's correct. Lol
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mm55
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daniel Barenboim wrote:
Does kickstarter fall under the better business bureau? If so, shut it down!

DB


No business ever "falls under" the BBB. Businesses can join, if they want to pay the dues. BBB can't ever shut a business down. They have no authority. And what would be the justification for trying to shut down Kickstarter? The whole idea is laughable.
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stomvi2
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I placed my Velox order through the Torpedo website, not Kickstarter. I discovered their Kickstarter campaign after it ended, and decided to keep an eye out for the final product. Then I saw it listed on their website, where it is still available for purchase today:

https://torpedobags.com/product/volpes-velox/

So I've only ("only") been waiting 2.5 years, and not as a Kickstarter backer. Haven't received a response to any email involving the word Velox.
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Speed
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I'm not personally familiar with the Velox Kickstarter project, Kickstarter is in general a way for really small investors/patrons to have a stake in a new venture, although it's typically not a financial stake, but more of a "feel good" stake. There may or may not be any tangible benefit. It's not a loan or a down payment for a product or service. You pay your money and you take your chances.
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems it would be in their own best interest to supply at least some information regarding the project, because right now they're only getting a bad reputation for it. A kickstarter isn't ganrantueed to be a success, nor a definitive return of investment. So could they reasonably just share that their project failed because it was too ambitious without too many consequences?
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hibidogrulez wrote:
It seems it would be in their own best interest to supply at least some information regarding the project, because right now they're only getting a bad reputation for it. A kickstarter isn't ganrantueed to be a success, nor a definitive return of investment. So could they reasonably just share that their project failed because it was too ambitious without too many consequences?


I would think (hope) that if indeed they are at a “give up” point, they would do that. The way things seem to be now is not helping anyone, customers or the company.

Not saying they should toss in the towel prematurely, but little communication isn’t good at all.

Brad
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Dink
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI
Edwards has an awesome double carbon fiber case for under $400 weighing in at 5 lbs.
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adam.arredondo
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still no news on this, huh?
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Dink
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I were in this situation, I would have already filed a formal complaint with their state attorney general consumer fraud division. I'm glad I bought the Edwards CF double case!
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Steve A
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't help but notice that their previously usual stream of trumpet-themed on Facebook has also dried up, in addition to their communication about where things stand with this project and/or when refunds are coming.

Does anyone know if they're still in business?
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SHS_Trumpet
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve posted this on the kickstarter comment section 11 days ago.


Mini-update:

We spent a lot of time cutting the interior molds last summer (on our Velox CNC table), and I've been on and off looking for partners to make parts for us this fall and winter, similar to what I had accomplished with HED Cycle 2 summers ago. We did some more CAD/CNC work in Jan, and have everything we need to make these. Learning about carbon dust over the past few years, it was clear that our facility could not handle it safely, and as you know, I had to farm out part production. This is the problem — no one making high temp carbon fiber parts wants to make consumer products. They want to make military parts, aircraft, and hyper cars. I can’t get anyone in the US to even return an email about trumpet cases, which was why I was so excited that HED Cycle was interested and willing to make prototypes so that they could quote the parts and mold making.

However, one of the Kickstarter people actually contacted HED Cycle, sent them a very grumpy email, which blew up their confidence and the negotiations — lesson learned about revealing too much. We were literally all set to move forward on an aluminum compression mold — NDAs were signed, mutual tours given, meetings were held, oven samples were completed, aluminum blocks were priced, CNC files were exchanged — and then that happened. Sigh. Shortly after that, Covid happened, and here’s how our 2020 went down:

[Read the rest of this update first, and then click the link at the bottom]

I have a MN-based partner for at least the fiberglass parts, and that is moving forward next week. If I can’t talk them into making carbon fiber parts (they’ve done it before but don’t like it), I’ve started conversations with factories in Mexico and China after completely striking out in the US. We would then assemble the parts and inject the interiors in our Minneapolis factory. If our foam injection molds work as designed, we could be shipping a fiberglass Velox in a month or two.

Things we can’t do right now: Anything that takes time. Communication takes time, and I’m mostly on my own on the admin/sales/purchasing side. I have been since March 2020. I am working extremely hard on projects that keep us afloat during a pandemic that has left our entire market unemployed worldwide. Talk about pressure! I got us through 2020 with a solid profit, but there are still issues in the musician marketplace. A lot of my buyers’ music stores are struggling. So communication has been poor and will continue to be poor until I finish training someone to take over for Lindsey.

Lindsey normally kept up with emails and answered the phone, but she has only put in about 10 hours a week or less since September, and I was completely on my own from March into June. Officially, she is not working here any longer, but I did see that she replied to some emails this week — she’s so great, she can’t help herself from helping! But with her kids at home doing pandemic computer school, it just wasn’t possible for her to work anywhere close to full time for us. That leaves me with answering 200+ emails a day. Remember I have to keep regular operations moving, and that requires that I constantly communicate with suppliers, buyers, shippers, employees, designers, and customers. It is not easy right now. I did hire an operations manager last October, and she is taking on more and more responsibilities. I also hired someone I hope can take over Lindsey’s customer service job, but her main gig through Jan and February is to list all of our 50,000 product variations on eBay, Reverb, Amazon, and others. When she’s done there, I can turn her loose on the inbox.

It may not seem like it, but I probably think of the composites projects 5 times a day, and I have put more time and money in on it than anyone can possibly appreciate. I don’t want anyone to take this the wrong way, but calling me a cheat on this or any other forum will delay delivery. Since that was posted, I’ve had to reply to 6 additional emails, send 2 refund checks, and writing this took me two hours. In the case of the HED Cycle email guy, he cost me 4-5 months of work, burned a partner that had sunk a lot of time into my project, costing me a local high temp carbon fiber factory, and delayed this by more than a year. I know you all want to know what’s going on, and I completely understand why this project is frustrating — I still want this done more than any of you, and by an immeasurable exponential magnitude. But every time we get dinged online, we lose cash flow on a project that I’ve already invested well over $40,000 (I stopped adding this up at around $30K). Pressuring us does not speed anything up, but it does slow it down.

https://glenncronkhite.com/a-long-strange-year
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