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Pre-orders: How pre-ordering works
What is a pre-order?

When you order an item that is not currently in stock, or an item that can't be dispatched just yet, you pre-order it. This usually includes items like convention notepads, and yearly diaries.

When are convention / assembly notepads, and diaries / calendars available to pre-order?

This is a guide only. The dates are not set in stone and may vary slightly depending on the year.
Convention Notepads: 1st April
Diaries & Calendars: 1st June
Assembly Notepads: 1st August

When will diaries and calendars (and other Yeartext items) be delivered?

This is a guide only. Delivery dates are approximate.
Orders placed between these dates will have the following delivery times:
Before 30th September: Delivery November
Between 1st October & 30th November: Delivery December
After 1st December:Delivery January onwards

Why are items available to buy before they are in stock?

Most pre-order items are items that are for a specific use, date or event, such as for the convention. We can usually only place one order with the manufacturer. Then once they are sold out, they are sold out. Therefore when you pre-order, it helps us gauge how many of that item to order in stock, and also means that you won't miss out when we run out of stock later on.

Should I pre-order, or wait for the item to arrive in stock?

This is completely up to you. However quite often with pre-order items, once they are gone they are gone. If you do not pre-order you may miss out.
With convention notepads for example, we use the number of pre-orders to try and judge how many we need to order from the printers to cover future demand. However it is impossible to know exactly how many we will need, so we may run out of stock just before your convention starts. Once we run out of stock we usually can not order more as there is then not enough demand so late on to be able to place another bulk order for them.

We quite often find that around a third of orders are placed a few days before the item is needed. This means that we then have a heavy work load in a short period of time, and therefore we can not dispatch orders as fast as usual. Please keep in mind that the later you pre-order, the later the delivery date will be. Once pre-order items do arrive in stock, there may still be a queue while we finish dispatching all the pre-orders.

When you pre-order, it means you are guaranteed to receive the item before it goes out of stock, and it means we can send your order out when it arrives in stock ahead of when you need it.

When will a pre-order arrive?

Items that are available to pre-order also have an estimated "due-in" date on the product page to give you an idea of when the item will arrive in stock. This is not the date you will receive the item, but the date we receive the product in stock. When you reach the checkout, the different delivery options will give you an estimated delivery date based on the delivery method you select, the due-in date, and how many people currently have the item on pre-order. The estimated delivery date will differ depending on what delivery option you select.

I pre-ordered an item and the item is now in stock, why has it not been dispatched yet?

All pre-order items go into a queue, with earlier orders being sent first, and the estimated delivery time you originally received still stands once the item is in stock. The estimated delivery date you originally received takes into account the time it takes to work through all the pre-orders. As you can imagine, if an item has been available to pre-order for 3 months, it will take us a while to work through all the pre-orders. While there are still pre-orders waiting to be sent for that item, any subsequent orders for that item will be added to the end of the queue, so you will still receive your order sooner than those who have only just ordered.

What about if I order other items as well?

You can either choose to receive the order and items all in one parcel once everything is in stock, or you can choose to receive the in-stock items first, and the pre-order items later. The checkout makes it clear when the order will arrive, so please simply select the option you prefer. Delivery cost will differ depending on what you select, as sending out multiple parcels costs us more for delivery, packaging etc.

Why can't you get pre-order items in stock sooner?

Usually pre-order items are items that we need to wait for extra information before we can have the item produced. For example, for the yearly diaries we must wait for the Bible reading schedule and the Year Text to be released before we can finalise the diary. After the digital file has been updated and edited, it goes through several stages and cycles of proof reading and re-editing, after which it is sent to the printers, and we wait for the delivery to arrive. All this takes time. After the items arrive in stock we then work through the pre-orders and mentioned above.

How do I know if an item is a pre-order item / isn't in stock yet? And how will I know when an order for pre-order items will be delivered?

Any pre-order item, or item that is not in stock will show that it is not in stock on the product page near the "Buy Now" button. The information will look similar to this:

There will also be more information about the estimated delivery date in the checkout when you are selecting the postage options. There may be more than one option for delivery, and each option will have different delivery dates. Selecting certain options will delay your order if your order contains items which are not yet in stock. This information is clearly displayed next to each postage option. This is an example: