February 24, 2011: Warehouse 23 Is No Longer Taking Pre-orders
Some of you may have noticed that several items which were listed as "Printing -- available for Pre-Order" have shuffled back into "In Production." This is not a change in the schedule, but instead a change in the way Warehouse 23 (whose database drives most of the status fields on the product pages) handles incoming games. W23 is no longer accepting pre-orders.
The reason is simple, but we'll make the explanation a bit long just in case others can learn from our errors. Some customers were paying up front for games (ours, or other W23 publishers) which weren't shipped for months -- sometimes many months -- after the expected date. In the meantime, other parts of their order might go out of print. The work-around for that was to pull incomplete orders and keep them until the last item came in, and that was a nightmare at inventory time . . . and shipping orders a piece at a time is not only costly on this end, but completely unsupported by our ancient homebrew shopping cart.
Whatever the reasons, shipping your order late or incomplete is bad customer service, and shipping late and incomplete is worse, and we know it. Travis and the W23 crew have spent a lot of time over the last month locating stalled pre-orders and individually making them right. In some cases, this involved raiding our archives for items that were no longer available any other way.
(If you've placed any order with W23 that's currently older than two months, please touch base with firstname.lastname@example.org and include your order number!)
Before we consider restoring pre-orders, we'll need both a live inventory system and an upgraded shopping cart. We're not certain how long these will take, but we want them for other reasons, too! We'll keep you informed as we move forward.
In the meantime, please use our Retailer Finder to hook up with your friendly local game store. Many brick-and-mortar shops accept pre-orders, and you never know what you'll find -- a new book, a gaming group, or even a Munchkin bookmark you missed!
-- Paul Chapman
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