Friday, January 27, 2012

Pre-orders Please

When customers pre-order items, it really helps us gauge the level of interest in the game or book.  The store puts in pre-orders 2-3 months ahead of the estimated release date of the game or book and, once we do that, we are committee to purchasing that quantity of the item from our distributor. Sure we can refuse to take delivery of it, but a store can only do that once before getting a reputation as an unreliable partner with suppliers.

In effect, stores gamble that we know what our customers want and in most cases, we are correct. Those stores that aren't, go out of business.  However, pre-orders allow us to better gauge the level of interest in a product and we get very few of them on most new releases.  Of the half dozen Pathfinder releases in January, and despite the fact that we have a comparatively large Pathfinder Society group, we had a pre-order for exactly one of them.  Pathfinder modules sell very slowly, so we have moved to a special order only on them.  Pazio mapping tiles and flip mats also move periodically.  We sat on a number of the flipmats for several months before most of them sold so are loath to restock them heavily.

Similarly in the field of comics, we had a customer in recently asking if we had gotten in the new hardback collection of Teenage Mutant Turtles comics.  Since we don't sell a lot of the comic off the rack, that indicates to us there is not much interest in a hardback collection of earlier issues. A pre-order on this book would have indicated there was and probalby encouraged us to order another one for the shelf.

Help us have the items on the shelf that you want to buy by either letting us know you are interested in it, or better yet, committing to a pre-order for it. That helps us manage our inventory better and lets us offer a more targeted selection to you.