The importance of pre-orders and subscriptions.
~By Steve Henderson
At Heroes’ Beacon we place many of our orders months in advance. This applies to comic books, games, toys, statues and many other novelties. Sometimes, we are able to order up to and past the release date, but this is not always the case, especially with comic books.
While games are easier than comics to get restocked, sometimes the initial wave is all we will have for weeks or even months at a time. Due to the cost and space requirements to stock these items, we tend to have a lower amount of copies on the shelf. With comic books, our initial orders are placed up to 3 months before the issues arrive and by the time of the release date, the distributor will have often run out.
With all this said, we will still always strive to fulfill customer requests for new items and special orders. We do need to remind everyone however that sometimes our distributors will have run out by the time the request has been processed. For games, we use a variety of distributors, which means that if one doesn’t have what you need; there is still a possibility that another might.
During the month, we will place a single large Previews order which covers all of the comics, trade paperbacks and many of the toys and novelties. This order is typically submitted around the 20th of the month. This order takes a few hours to compile as our main subscription program (Comicsuite) uploads the minimum number for each title that we will need to get in just to cover our pre orders. After the order is loaded, we will then go through approximately 3000 lines of products available to be ordered. During the process of checking through the titles, we will then determine how many copies of each title we should have on our shelf. The main hiccup that comes with this system is that most of the advertising for these titles begins a month to two after the order is placed, which means that sometimes if we did not get enough shelf copies, then we may run short to fill subscriptions. Most times we will catch shortages as they are arriving in time to still get extras a week to two late. The problem comes when something runs out after the release date, often Diamond will have run out and we will not be able to restock.
These advantages to preordering comics are in addition to the other advantages to signing up to our membership and subscription program, include discounts on new comics and points on most purchases. Details on our membership options can be found on our website or by speaking with the staff in store.
We also do gaming orders every week where we will update current orders and add in preorders for other upcoming releases. During these orders we can usually update quantities, but sometimes have to wait on extra stock from the distributors.
One of the best ways to keep up to date with upcoming releases is to check some of the available online resources like: Previewsworld and Game Trade Magazine. You can also follow your favorite creators online to find out what great projects they are working on!
The sooner, the order is placed, the more likely we can be sure to get you all that you want.