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I don't know all the details, but I think one of the key components that online stores wait for is an official price. They may also check with their distribution channels to make sure they'll be able to get the game. After that, they tend to list the games for sale online when they get a chance, making them available for preorder.

When I was wanting to preorder Dominion: Intrigue, there was one online site that I wanted to order from. It had a few other games I really wanted and couldn't get from other sites. I waited for a couple weeks after Intrigue began popping up on other sites, but still no preorder. I finally sent a question to the company and they responded that they had just been so busy that they hadn't gotten around to it yet, but would have it up in a few days, which they did.

A number of these online stores are run by families or by a small group, so they can be rather busy. I imagine that keeping their offerings updated can be a challenge at times. It is strange, but not uncommon, to see preorders at one site and not another. But I think once a price is available, we'll begin to see more preorders for Alchemy.
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