06-17-2017, 08:25 AM
#1
User Info
The subject of paid pre-orders has been mentioned in passing in some posts, but I think it merits its own discussion.  How do you feel about paid pre-orders?  The benefit to the vendor is clear, but is there a benefit to the buyer?  What potential problems do you see?  Have you ever done, or would you ever do, a paid pre-order?  Let's have your thoughts.

50 6,053
Reply
 06-17-2017, 08:34 AM
#2
  • garyg
  • Active Member
  • Great Lakes
User Info
Funny, I just posted about pre-orders.  I've done a couple, one turned out well (albeit delayed from the original estimated delivery) the other was quite the long march.  In both those cases there was a not insignificant discount offered with the pre-order.  I think the benefit to the buyer may be the discount, or in some cases  a better shot at ever obtaining an example when the item in question's popularity exceeds ongoing demand.  I don't mind a wait, I have many many good razors.  

Where the item is an extension of an established line of products, absent a big discount I'll just wait.

44 473
Reply
 06-17-2017, 08:38 AM
#3
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
User Info
I'm opposed to preorders.
There is potential risk to the customer in my view.

102 18,647
Reply
 06-17-2017, 09:09 AM
#4
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
I have no issue with pre-orders as long as they are not accompanied with pre-payment.

46 18,314
Reply
 06-17-2017, 09:42 AM
#5
User Info
(06-17-2017, 09:09 AM)bullgoose Wrote: I have no issue with pre-orders as long as they are not accompanied with pre-payment.

I should have worded my post more precisely.  My intent was to inquire about paid pre-orders.  I've revised the post.

50 6,053
Reply
 06-17-2017, 09:52 AM
#6
User Info
With so many long runways and missed or delayed launches, I steer clear of pre-orders.

73 4,303
Reply
 06-17-2017, 09:53 AM
#7
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
(06-17-2017, 09:42 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote:
(06-17-2017, 09:09 AM)bullgoose Wrote: I have no issue with pre-orders as long as they are not accompanied with pre-payment.

I should have worded my post more precisely.  My intent was to inquire about paid pre-orders.  I've revised the post.

I definitely have an issue with that -it is really no different from Vaporware or kickstarter. It is essentially an interest free loan and, consumers lose some protection due to elapsed time. Everyone is free to do what they want but, I steer clear of pre-payments.

46 18,314
Reply
 06-17-2017, 10:18 AM
#8
User Info
(06-17-2017, 09:53 AM)bullgoose Wrote:
(06-17-2017, 09:42 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote:
(06-17-2017, 09:09 AM)bullgoose Wrote: I have no issue with pre-orders as long as they are not accompanied with pre-payment.

I should have worded my post more precisely.  My intent was to inquire about paid pre-orders.  I've revised the post.

I definitely have an issue with that -it is really no different from Vaporware or kickstarter. It is essentially an interest free loan and, consumers lose some protection due to elapsed time. Everyone is free to do what they want but, I steer clear of pre-payments.

This is definitely an issue to be aware of.  A PayPal dispute must be filed within 180 days of payment.  Production delays arise all the time and conceivably the 180 days could lapse before one either gets a problem item, or decides not to wait any longer and cancel the pre-order.

50 6,053
Reply
 06-17-2017, 11:33 AM
#9
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
User Info
I've done it once, it turned out OK but I won't do it again for the reasons stated above.

11 659
Reply
 06-17-2017, 12:08 PM
#10
  • SCOV
  • Active Member
  • Minnesota
User Info
I define pre-order as any "made to order" item and or item with delivery 30 or more days after a payment

I am ok with deposits or pre-payments for custom orders to respected artisans (examples: Brad Sears, Mervyn Cadman, Popov Leather).  Any product that is personalized (example: name engraved) should be 100% pre-payment.

I view Kickstarter/payment with order as like playing the ponies,  Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose.   I always go to the $2 window.  If Secretariat was running in the 2nd race, I might go to the $5 window.  

My bigger issue is with delays.  My highly desired Rockwell 6t was due in March and now delayed 4-6 months.  Since March, I have become the proud owner of a B&R Adjustable razor in titanium (thanks Bullgoose/TSN), a Guerrilla razor, and a Charcoal Stainless Level 1 razor (guessing both thanks to TSN).

4 387
Reply
 06-17-2017, 12:25 PM
#11
User Info
I'm open to pre-paid pre-orders in select cases, where I trust the vendor/artisan. I bought a Brad Sears/M&F prior to their policy of a down-payment, but wouldn't hesitate to secure a brush in that manner in the future. If I wanted a custom from Bernd at Shavemac, I'd certainly be open to pre-pay. If Simpsons or Paladin came out with something unique that could only be had via pre-buy, I'd be ok with that. Keep in mind that vendors/artisans listed previously have developed a reputation for reliability and/or solving disputes. I trust each of one of them.

Unfortunately, there are those who've garnered the exact opposite reputation (I won't call out any to be fair, and to allow them to repair their name).

I've only highlighted brush artisans/vendors - but the same logic applies to any product & industry. If I trust your organization, I'll be open to taking risk with a pre-order/down-payment.

27 1,077
Reply
 06-17-2017, 12:31 PM
#12
User Info
For me it varies based on the company and the risk involved.  I also dislike when it is not made clear during pre-ordering when you will be charged.  I have pre-ordered products in the past and did not realize my card would be charge on order instead of shipping.  I think each case is unique and judged on its own merit.  As for pre-paying: 1) it should be made clear payment is made on order  2) A defined drop dead delivery day should be defined  3) What happens when the drop dead date is reached and the product is not shipped.  An option for refund or possibly a further discount should be applied for breach of contract not delivering on time.  With this information, a consumer can make an informed decision on whether or not they still want to pre-pay.  

The benefits are a secure place in line for a product that will be in limited supply with a high demand.  Many times I would be happy to pay in full or even put a deposit down to avoid the "click before your cart is empty" syndrome.  There is nothing worse then dealing with a site that has an item in stock, allows you to put it in your cart, then it disappears in a very short time because you were adding something else or even just typing your address!  It should be like Ticketmaster where items will stay in your cart for something like 5 minutes to complete a transaction.  I digress, nevertheless, for me pre-paying is not always bad as long as the terms are provided and the buyer can judge the risks for themselves.
Steve

0 520
Reply
 06-17-2017, 12:36 PM
#13
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
User Info
(06-17-2017, 08:38 AM)Agravic Wrote: I'm opposed to preorders.
There is potential risk to the customer in my view.

Not to mention unfairness to other vendors, IMO.

102 18,647
Reply
 06-17-2017, 01:36 PM
#14
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
User Info
I can't think of a circumstance where I would make a pre-paid order, although I would if something was offered by Phil or another respected vendor that I use. I order many items that aren't made and ready to ship for up to a year, such as a custom straight or even some brushes, but payment is always requested when the item is actually being made or before shipment.

38 5,107
Reply
 06-17-2017, 01:45 PM
#15
User Info
I imagine payment terms for customs vary but I think if a brush artisan, for example, asks for an up front down payment and the balance at shipping, that's more than fair since you may be specifying non-standard materials or methods.

73 4,303
Reply
 06-17-2017, 05:05 PM
#16
  • SCOV
  • Active Member
  • Minnesota
User Info
- A pre-payment or deposit keeps the buyers "honest" with fewer "I changed my mind cancelations" 
- I am not sure if PayPal has "pay later" options. PayPal does seem to have partial invoice payment which would require more admin time.
- A pre-payment or deposit helps cash flow for small artisans - may be required to buy tooling or pre-payments required by vendors
(try getting a bank loan to make "custom shaving brushes" or ask a machine shop to make 200 close tolerance titanium TTO razors and 30 day payment terms)
- Hopefully some of the savings with the pre-payment are passed on to buyers (less inventory, better vendor pricing, etc)

There is a time and place for pre-payments or deposits.  Unless I am 99.9% sure of the purchase and seller plus all terms clearly stated, I will pass.

FYI - Tesla May 2017:  Customer deposits were at $616.4 million at the end of the first quarter

4 387
Reply
 06-17-2017, 05:15 PM
#17
User Info
I have no problem with getting on a list and when it's ready paying.

I disagree with paying before it's ready tho.

Too many issues happen and things seem to always be delayed.

Too much bs to deal with for me to be interested.

82 2,207
Reply
 06-17-2017, 08:34 PM
#18
User Info
(06-17-2017, 05:15 PM)Skinny Rogers Wrote: I have no problem with getting on a list and when it's ready paying.

I disagree with paying before it's ready tho.

Too many issues happen and things seem to always be delayed.

Too much bs to deal with for me to be interested.


What about all the folks who ordered a custom from Brad Sears, only to cancel when the brush was ready? Brad started with a zero down policy, but then after being taken advantage of too many times - had to chnage things. The community really let BSSW down.

27 1,077
Reply
 06-17-2017, 08:45 PM
#19
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
(06-17-2017, 08:34 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote:
(06-17-2017, 05:15 PM)Skinny Rogers Wrote: I have no problem with getting on a list and when it's ready paying.

I disagree with paying before it's ready tho.

Too many issues happen and things seem to always be delayed.

Too much bs to deal with for me to be interested.


What about all the folks who ordered a custom from Brad Sears, only to cancel when the brush was ready? Brad started with a zero down policy, but then after being taken advantage of too many times - had to chnage things. The community really let BSSW down.

I can definitely understand pre-payment for a custom item.  That is a whole different kettle of fish.

46 18,314
Reply
 06-17-2017, 09:37 PM
#20
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
User Info
IMO pre-orders enable a vendor to better gauge demand and subsequently augment supply or release dates. 

Most importantly for me, is the fact that pre-orders also facilitate an easier buying experience for customers. 

I'm tired of waiting for releases only to be disappointed when an item sells out in moments. Its very frustrating, especially if you are working with international time zones and staying awake all hours of the night. I'd much prefer to pay a deposit for a pre-order and feel confident in the knowledge that I've secured an item. I do expect that the vendor then keeps me updated when the inevitable delays arise. 

Waitlists and email subscriptions seem pointless to me as the same outcome of missing out is the only real assurance. Take my money and then we have a binding contract. Patience is a character trait that separates adults from children. We're often childlike in our enthusiasm for new products, but I'm prepared to embrace anticipation over the frustration associated with the "sold out" message (especially when encountered mid way during the checkout process).

Further, it often seems that many new and subsequently in demand items are regularly only readably available to the same select group. While I'm not naive to marketing concepts, it would be refreshing to see some early reviews outside the usual first adopters/recipients.

For a start-up vendor/manufacturer pre-orders might provide necessary capital to facilitate the fruition of a product, but this also represents a risk to the consumer if production is not realised. I am less inclined to promote pre-orders as a preference in this scenario. However, for established and reputable vendors and manufacturers I would have no hesitation in paying in advance for a product. From their perspective though, I realise that there is little incentive for pre-orders. The system of pre-ordering is more complex than selling from existing inventory and the inevitable complaints that result when delays arise would make pre-orders less appealing (especially when the product is expected to sell regardless).

99 18,011
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)