Long time lurker, recent new member, just wanted to clear up some misunderstandings on this ancient thread because I'm that kind of person
Back in the olden days, the crowdfunding site Pozible (Australian equivalent of Kickstarter) didn't have a separate shipping charge for all the various reward package tiers
So when we priced out each package, we had to guess the average cost of shipping for whatever that item would be (plus packaging, production etc.)
At the time, 80% of the band's audience was from overseas and shipping prices were approximately $30-50AUD for a 2LP vinyl record to most parts of Europe & North America.
So that $90 AUD 'Just Vinyl' option was basically a $40 AUD record plus $40 AUD average shipping cost, plus small extra contribution to the album in return for name in liner notes etc.
The band didn't have any international partnerships willing to invest in pressing vinyl at the time - Dunk Pressing didn't exist, Monotreme had opted not to get involved, a few other people at the time never got back to us. Plus, pressing vinyl overseas attracted huge shipping and customs fees to import (larger than they are now).
So everything had to be printed in Australia. We wanted to support local business/websites anyway so that was alright.
Pressing vinyl in Australia (at the time & also now) is SO much more expensive than in Europe/USA. The unit cost ended up being something like $30 AUD, which left very little room to move on price, especially when you factor in the fees charged by all online platforms (Pozible, Bandcamp, other distro range from 5%-25%).
We'd never done vinyl on our own before, had no idea how many copies we'd sell and the band had only just started playing shows overseas. In Australia, vinyl was sometimes requested by fans at shows, but the demand was nothing like it later became in Europe/USA. A national headline tour was usually only 10-12 shows (vs. 30+ in UKEU or USA/CAN). So we weren't able to bank on selling a load of copies in the first year or so.
The alternative was to leave out a vinyl option entirely and just let people buy vinyl online/at shows later, but we had promised to make vinyl available so we decided to give people the option. We didn't know people would react so strongly to the pricing. Plus we hoped that if pre-orders were really strong, we could print more copies and get a better unit price. That didn't happen though, the campaign was mostly funded on CDs, downloads & merch sales - and mostly by Australian fans, who'd seen the band play a lot in the preceding few months.
As it turns out, other than the vinyl pre-orders, things went very well - crowdfunding succeeded, album was well received, many more shows were played, album was eventually repressed on vinyl a couple of times etc. Happy days. But we didn't really know that's how it would all work out.
The initial '$200 vinyl' option was a mistake, it was meant to include extra items. I think the value of the items was intended to be something like $120 AUD retail with $60 AUD shipping factored in and 10% fees.
All in all, this was a good lesson learned in terms of crowdfunding, the internet and communicating with people. I don't think any of us realised what kind of reach the campaign would get, or the response to pricing tiers etc. Especially because our only experiences at the time were with a handful of fans at shows who had been asking for vinyl. CDs were still the main game for us (very different now).
It also revealed the flaws of using sites that don't have sufficient functionality and don't list the currency - I still read many posts complaining about prices being $5 higher than they are in the US, without realising all Australian post-rock bands typically charge prices in AUD. So a $35 AUD record is usually a $30 USD record etc.
These days, it's a lot easier and cheaper to produce, price, ship vinyl etc. and we have more experience. But the challenge for smaller bands still remains that you can't get cheaper unit prices unless you're pressing 1000-2000 copies. When you've never pressed vinyl before, or only hope to sell 200 copies, it's unaffordable to pay for that much. So unit prices go way up and it's a trade off between the band losing money + reaching a handful more people who are price sensitive at every $5 increment, vs. the band not losing money by charging slightly more for their rare physical package. Or just not doing vinyl at all.
Obviously a lot of this is obvious but perhaps not to everyone. It's a challenge we still deal with today with all Australian bands, but hopefully improve a little bit each time.
Since the label has grown we've also been able to do things like reduce overheads, negotiate way cheaper shipping rates with Australia Post, cheaper/recyclable packaging with suppliers, work out better deals with great pressing plants like Dunk & finally get around to signing up to message boards to give people more info and let them know we are accessible when questions like these come up, so that we can improve in future.
The MOBO album campaign pre-orders reflected some of these improvements a few years later, not perfectly, but still better.
Anyway, thanks for indulging me.