- order (an item of merchandise) before it is available, with the understanding that it will be shipped later.
- an order for an item that has not yet been made commercially available.
It seems like a good chunk of the kit I post is available only by pre-order. It can feel like a sales tactic to create the presumption of ‘limited edition’, giving you that BUY NOW rush to your mobile or computer. But for small start-ups or creative cyclists with a knack for graphic design, it can be the easiest way to share great kit design without breaking their personal bank. I ask several players of the pre-order game to explain how and why it works.
Prism.Bike is a one-man operation on a mission to make dynamic kit that expresses personality. Kit is available through pre-order only, creating an exclusive feel to those that purchase before the window closes. Often that window is only 24 hours before selling out. Oliver of Prism.Bike shared his view on using pre-ordering:
A pre-order usually means I am paying upfront for a kit that I am attracted to but really unsure about how it fits and unable to see it on other cyclists similar to myself because it’s not an available product. How do you address this concern for consumers?
I think this is tough for buying any clothing on the interwebs. Especially anything lycra. I took the approach of just paying a great photographer (@beardmcbeardy), to take some photos of people wearing the prototype of the kits. I got tired of seeing people standing in front of a wall wearing a kit [in ads] and wanted to know what kits look like on the bike when you are sweating bullets after having a bit of a crack. So for the photos we got the models to smash it up a hill for 15 minutes then took some snaps.
Also, my designs are pretty unique, so people either immediately love them or they don’t. If people love them and know there isn’t anything similar, they are pretty cool to take a punt. If anyone emails me or has questions about quality I put them in touch with other customers on social media. I am really passionate that the stuff I make has to be comfortable on long rides and really good quality… otherwise, what is the point?