What is a Pre-order Product?

A Pre-Order Product is a product based on a zero inventory business model. That means that there is no pre-produced inventory that is held in stock and shipped as the orders come in. Orders are taken first, usually for a specified period of time, and then the products are manufactured. Once the manufacturing is complete, which can take from 2-6 weeks, the product is shipped to the vendor and then the vendor ships to you. I’ve included some general manufacturing times for products below.

4-6 Weeks – Coins
3-5 Weeks – Patches, T-Shirts, Keychains, Pins
2-4 Weeks – Stickers, Posters, Postcards, Trading Cards

What we are and what we do

So a question has come up a lot lately about shipping with n3rdsy.  I will try to answer those questions here for you by explaining a little more about the goals and structure of the site.

We are a marketplace
The first thing people should realize about n3rdsy is that it’s a marketplace.  There are several vendors on the site with their own products and shop locations.  Think of it like ThinkGeek had a baby with Etsy, the goal is to provide a place where producers, designers, and makers of nerdy swag/merch can sell their products without all of the headaches of running the store and to have a place to increase their sales through cross exposure.

What this means to you: This means that we have products that are sold in stores all across the globe so consolidated shipping is difficult if not impossible to do this way.

Custom swag takes time
The second thing to note is that most of the products on n3rdsy are pre-orders.  This means that the products are sold, the money is collected, and then the products are ordered, manufactured, and shipped.  This process can take anywhere from 2-6 months depending on the product.  You aren’t ordering from Amazon with Prime shipping, you are ordering small scale customized products that fit a very small niche market.  Most products contain a notice of this in their description text.

What this means to you: This means that most of the products arrive and ship out months to weeks apart, so not only might you have one product shipping from Asia and another from the US, but one might arrive in 3 weeks and the other 5 weeks.

Shipping from around the globe
We are currently working towards the aim of having shipping centers based in various parts of the globe, to improve shipping and efficiency, but we aren’t there yet. Currently we are taking our first steps with Robwear Asia, and hope to have a similar setup for Europe & Oceania moving forward.

Future Goals
I have a lot of long term goals for n3rdsy besides what is there currently.  Some of these things include a Mentor program for new swag makers who are putting their shops on n3rdsy.com as is happening with Kevin Coring Designs, and a few other merchants soon to open. This program will provide volunteer swag producers with experience in the field passing on their knowledge to new designers as well as focus groups to get pre-production critiques and advice.

I hope that this helps you to understand the future of n3rdsy and to help alleviate a lot of the confusion about products, ordering, and shipping.