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Subject: Why bother preordering games? rss

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Selah Fairport
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Newbie alert... Just sayin...

Ok so I preordered for the first time. I thought I was getting a bargain price. And I hoped I'd get faster shipping/purchasing than waiting till the game was regularly published (first come, first serve?). I must have been very delusional in thinking the publisher wouldn't rush to Amazon to sell and ship the game to non-preorder folks before their resellers had even received their preordered inventory (for a very similar price by the time you factor in shipping). It seems like an undercut move, like they don't really care about the resellers.

So what does preordering accomplish? Does it benefit the retailer? Am I helping bring games to market faster or supporting game manufacturers by forking over my money in advance? Why should I preorder in the future now that I see I can maybe get the game faster, and for very similar prices, by waiting for the publisher to direct sell on Amazon? Or is the only point of preorder to hope that you get some promotional card/item attached to your copy?
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Keith W
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1. Pre-ordering does frequently come with a bonus promo item, but not always.
2. Other benefits include helping to show there is interest for a game with the hopes that it means the publisher will print more copies.
3. In some cases you're also helping to foot the bill to get the item to print and packaged in the first place (especially if going through Kickstarter).
4. Finally, you're guaranteed to get a copy of the print run. This can be especially useful for small publishers of great games (Alien Frontiers comes to mind), since sometimes the prices go crazy after the first print run because it was such a small batch.
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Ryan Metzler
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twcrew wrote:
Newbie alert... Just sayin...

Ok so I preordered for the first time. I thought I was getting a bargain price. And I hoped I'd get faster shipping/purchasing than waiting till the game was regularly published (first come, first serve?). I must have been very delusional in thinking the publisher wouldn't rush to Amazon to sell and ship the game to non-preorder folks before their resellers had even received their preordered inventory (for a very similar price by the time you factor in shipping). It seems like an undercut move, like they don't really care about the resellers.

So what does preordering accomplish? Does it benefit the retailer? Am I helping bring games to market faster or supporting game manufacturers by forking over my money in advance? Why should I preorder in the future now that I see I can maybe get the game faster, and for very similar prices, by waiting for the publisher to direct sell on Amazon? Or is the only point of preorder to hope that you get some promotional card/item attached to your copy?


In addition to the previously listed reasons, the scenario you are describing rarely happens in my opinion. I often pre-order, and I don't think i've ever seen the title for sale online (or at least i've not seen them GET to someone) before I've gotten my pre-order copy.

What game did you pre-order that was online before you'd gotten it?
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Philip Pack
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Only time I've pre-ordered is for GMT's P500 series. I have pre-orders right now for Urban Sprawl and Dominant Species: The Card Game. My number one reason of placing this pre-order, it's around 25% off if you submit a pre-order. And you are still allowed to cancel if you change decision, it's not charged until shipped.
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TS S. Fulk
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Hell Dorado rulebook UK release. The game is cursed. I pre-ordered from Maelstorm games in June. The batch of boxes being shipped to the UK distributor got damaged in a flood in Chicago. Nobody knew until they arrived weeks later in the UK. Maelstorm got only 10 undamaged copies or so. I've waited over a month for my copy, since the original UK release date.

My order is still "processing," but the game has been available in Sweden for more than a week now.

slaqr wrote:
twcrew wrote:
Newbie alert... Just sayin...

Ok so I preordered for the first time. I thought I was getting a bargain price. And I hoped I'd get faster shipping/purchasing than waiting till the game was regularly published (first come, first serve?). I must have been very delusional in thinking the publisher wouldn't rush to Amazon to sell and ship the game to non-preorder folks before their resellers had even received their preordered inventory (for a very similar price by the time you factor in shipping). It seems like an undercut move, like they don't really care about the resellers.

So what does preordering accomplish? Does it benefit the retailer? Am I helping bring games to market faster or supporting game manufacturers by forking over my money in advance? Why should I preorder in the future now that I see I can maybe get the game faster, and for very similar prices, by waiting for the publisher to direct sell on Amazon? Or is the only point of preorder to hope that you get some promotional card/item attached to your copy?


In addition to the previously listed reasons, the scenario you are describing rarely happens in my opinion. I often pre-order, and I don't think i've ever seen the title for sale online (or at least i've not seen them GET to someone) before I've gotten my pre-order copy.

What game did you pre-order that was online before you'd gotten it?
 
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Selah Fairport
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It's not the financial risk, it just seems rude to resellers and preordered customers, in my opinion, to not make sure resellers have received their preorder shippments before going to a direct sell route like Amazon. I know not all retailers get their games at the same time. But the game in question is Dixit Odyssey which hit Amazon, directly from Asmodee, quickly followed by several retailers on Amazon, days before it reached places I had look to buy it as a preorder (like CSI, SciFi, can't remember the others). The place I did preorder (ThoughtHammer), still has the game listed as a preorder status.

I'm not angry at the seller, or for that matter anyone. I'm just trying to figure it all out. Yes, I did just see threads on kickstarters, all I can say is WOW! Publishing a game seems to be way more difficult than publishing any other thing (music, video, books). What a birthing process. I will keep my eyes open for a kickstarter that looks intriguing to me to help support new games getting successfully to the shelves!
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Selah Fairport
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Ohhh the plot thickens!

 
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Selah Fairport
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Thanks Keith, that helps me figure out when and why to support preorders.
 
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I've read enough posts that I avoid preordering. Amazon at least guarantees that you'll receive the lower of the pre-order "when you purchase it" or final sale price, and I have so many games I haven't played yet that I don't mind receiving the game after everyone's received their copy. For *really* small publishers, like kickstarters and the ones mentioned in this thread, you provide the publisher a guaranteed sale, but that would be about it for me.
 
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Danny O'Donnell
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red black wrote:
twcrew wrote:
It's not the financial risk, it just seems rude to resellers and preordered customers, in my opinion, to not make sure resellers have received their preorder shippments before going to a direct sell route like Amazon. I know not all retailers get their games at the same time. But the game in question is Dixit Odyssey which hit Amazon, directly from Asmodee, quickly followed by several retailers on Amazon, days before it reached places I had look to buy it as a preorder (like CSI, SciFi, can't remember the others). The place I did preorder (ThoughtHammer), still has the game listed as a preorder status.


I'm not sure that places like CSI, and ThoughtHammer get their stock from the Asmodee.. but I don't know.


Yep, this is very probably the explanation. Places like CSI and ThoughtHammer usually get their stock from a larger distributor, who in turn gets their stock from the publisher. The distributors likely got their stock shipped out before the publisher put it up on Amazon, but they still have to get it out to the stores they supply.
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Richard Morris
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Ah, thank you for the opportunity to rant.

JKLM/Prime games hawked The Great Fire of London 1666 around Essen and then an Italian fair before they shipped the (paid for) preorders. Seeing game reviews, etc., on here for a game I had paid for, two or three weeks before mine turned up really annoyed me. The best way to permanently lose customers that I can think of. Well, apart from crap customer service, which they did, too.
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Ian Scrivins
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AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
JKLM/Prime games hawked The Great Fire of London 1666 around Essen and then an Italian fair before they shipped the (paid for) preorders. Seeing game reviews, etc., on here for a game I had paid for, two or three weeks before mine turned up really annoyed me. The best way to permanently lose customers that I can think of. Well, apart from crap customer service, which they did, too.


..and that's not to mention the 1860 reprint fiasco. I got my copy through normal retail channels at least a couple of weeks before a friend got his pre-ordered copy. A total disaster.
 
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Steve Bauer
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I pre-order from online retailers all the time(CSI and thoughthammer). If it is a game I know I want and I am worried about it selling out, it also helps get my order to the level of free shipping. Generally this means you are going to get the game several days after it is released as it has to arrive and be resent by the retailer. I don't think this type of pre-order helps the publisher. The main reason is that it gets you on that retailers list and they will fill there preorders first. There are issues rarely but general it works out that the pre-order gets priority.

I have pre-ordered from the publisher which usually means they are going to be sent to you directly when they are available and you are giving all the money to the publisher, no retailer taking a cut and the publisher can use preorders to judge demand for the game. I dont do it more often because the cost of shipping general makes the game more expensive than ordering from a retailer.
 
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Padraic Kirby
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I pre-order only from GMT and MMP. My main benefit is I get the games I am interested in published as soon as possible. Cost reduction is secondary. They also produce a fixed number of copies so I do not want to regret missing out on acquiring a copy of a first print run. The bad thing is when all your pre-orders for the past year all come in in one month as happened to me in July. It is feast and famine.

Pat
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Philip Clayberg
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twcrew wrote:
Ohhh the plot thickens!



Like molasses in January?
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Brian Cox
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twcrew wrote:
The place I did preorder (ThoughtHammer), still has the game listed as a preorder status.


It sounds to me like your issue should be with the reseller you purchased from and not pre-orders in general.

You mentioned that you thought you were getting a great price when you pre-ordered. I've come to find out that sometimes if a price is too good to be true, it might not be worth it when it comes to pre-orders. I don't know if it's dirty tactics to make a sale or simply a miscalculation on supply and demand by online resellers, but I also got burned by a pre-order recently.

I pre-ordered an exclusive action figure from a site selling it for $18.99 when all other sites were selling pre-orders for 29.99. While I hesitated at higher price pre-order sites, when I saw it at such a deep pre-order discount, I pulled the trigger. Two months later my order was cancelled and money refunded without notice or explanation. I emailed the site, and they said that they stopped having a relationship with the vendor and will no longer carry the products.

Wow, thanks. I wish I would've known that before everyone's pre-orders closed.

I'm not anti-pre-orders now, but I am of the mindset that if I'm going to pre-order, I'm doing it through the actual company that makes the product, or through a site I trust to pull through like Amazon. Not some company I've never purchased from offering the item for way cheaper than everyone else.

Also, when it comes to pre-orders, it had better come with awesome extras or be a new product from a franchise I've been anticipating for months/years.
 
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Martin Larouche
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Some small publishers waiit until they have a minimum of pre-orders before they launch their production.

If they expect to sell 1000 units, they will wait for a minimum of 100 pre-orders, for example, so as to at least break even and not lose money.

Also, very rarely, but i can think of some situations where pre-ordering was *almost* an obligation in order to get your hand on a copy (Space Hulk (third edition))

But i agree that most of the times, for the bigger publishers at least, it's not useful. Pre-ordering from AEG or FFG for example doesn't serve any purpose from experience as we know their products are going to be available for all who want it for at least several months and if they sell that fast, they WILL get reprinted sooner rather than later.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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Sam and Max wrote:
Amazon at least guarantees that you'll receive the lower of the pre-order "when you purchase it" or final sale price,


Not in the UK. "Pre-order Price Guarantee applies only to not-yet-released books, CDs, videos, DVDs, software, and video games. It does not apply to other product lines".

They've stitched me up like that at least twice before, and as I currently have the D&D Legend of Drzzzzt game on order with Amazon for £20 less than their *current* selling price, I fully expect them to say "sorry, we can't supply the game to you" about six weeks after they've started selling they game at the higher price to other people.

The only answer to "why bother" would be to *almost* guarantee getting the game ahead of it selling out. Although as an Eminent Domain kickstarter, I've discovered that this doesn't mean that I'll get it ahead of retail customers, just that I will definitely get it *eventually*.

Actually, the best advice I can give is pre-order what you want, but for goodness-sake, don't pre-order what *I* pre-order, because I jinx it every time.
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Larry Bogucki
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The biggest reason to pre-order is to actually help get the game published, assuming the game interests you.

Without pre-orders at the publisher level, the game may never get published.

Warparty (a game of my creation) is currently available for pre-order through Lock 'n Load Publishing, LLC.. Pre-orders through retailers will not help actually bring the game to the publishing phase. We have been on pre-order since February and we still need almost 200 more pre-orders to make the game happen.
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lbogucki wrote:
The biggest reason to pre-order is to actually help get the game published, assuming the game interests you.


An this is the only one I can see as valid. Promo stuff is irrelevant for me, getting the game before others doesn't make me happier, small print runs are still obtainable.
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fuzzydice82 wrote:
twcrew wrote:
The place I did preorder (ThoughtHammer), still has the game listed as a preorder status.


It sounds to me like your issue should be with the reseller you purchased from and not pre-orders in general.


I don't think the vendor I ordered it from was the only vendor to have been undercut by the manufacturer direct selling through Amazon before initial shipments had been received. So that's what brought up the real "what's the point?" emotion. Because it seems like a customer and reseller relations nightmare.

I will be more selective in when I preorder from now on, now that I know when it's most appropriate (small runs or small manufacturers or very high demand or very must-have promo offer). Otherwise, a typical game from a typical manufacturer is probably worth waiting till the game is in-stock.
 
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Remi Letourneau
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Pre-Ordering means something different for different companies.

* For some it means you'll get their stuff first (they know they'll sell it and will produce it anyway, but it might tell them how to split up their production between their distributor - 300% more pre-orders from Down Under than Brazil could mean that more copies of "Space Mutant Kangaroo Cyborg VS Zombie Wombats From Hell" will be shipped there from Day 1.

* For others, it is footing part of the production bills, meaning no pre-orders, no game (Kick Starter)

* For some other company have some kind of program to help them produce games that will be likely to sell, instead of taking chances and having boxes collecting dust in warehouses. Simply put, getting pre-orders over a certain amount gives them the Green Light for such project.
GMT's P500 (http://www.gmtgames.com/s-2-p500.aspx) is one such thing, helping them determine if Hamster Wars will be produced at all, or if there is enough market for reprints of Board Game Geek Total Flame Wars, or even interest for some expansions to Divide & Conquer: Aztec.

* You also have to check if the pre-orders are made at the Producer level or only the distributor levels. When buying online directly from the company, it's not a problem, but from your FLGS, it might just be that the distributor only want to know where to ship its own copies, but they'll get them at the same time as everyone anyways.
 
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