We have changed our prepurchase policy at BPL.
If an item is out of stock in the gear shop, a customer will no longer be able to backorder or otherwise prepurchase it.
The reasoning behind this:
1. It’s not fair to the customer to charge their credit card prior to shipment of the goods, and our software unfortunately has no way of doing the Amazon thing whereby subsequent shipments are charged at the time of shipment. For us to do this “manually” would be a nightmare of inefficiency and place undue burden on our customer support staff, whose time is far better spent dealing with customers who have real issues. Over the long term, we expect to rewrite some of the code and bring this functionality in place.
2. It’s been very difficult to hold some suppliers accountable for reliable shipping dates. We communicate to our customers the best we can, but when a supplier doesn’t come through, our customers get frustrated because they’ve paid already. It’s simply not fair to the customer to take their money and string them along. Consequently, the bulk of new production runs will now be financed by BPL and not by the customers.
For large items, like Vapr Bivies, Tarps, etc., we will open up a pre-purchase period shortly before a CONFIRMED shipping date, but IT WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE TO STAFF, PRO DEAL CUSTOMERS, AND PREMIUM MEMBERS.
I’m open to feedback on the policy change. In the short term, this policy change will dramatically and negatively impact our cash flow. However, over the long term, I hope that it will provide a better customer experience and relieve some of the administrative stress (which is severe) on our shipping and customer support staff.
In light of all this, I am nothing but grateful to customers that have pre-purchased items from us in the past. You have helped us "get off the ground" and your pre-purchases have contributed in a meaningful way to helping finance the growth of BPL by helping us with our cash flow.
This policy change in no way affects those of you who have pre-purchased items that are currently out of stock. Nothing will change with your priority order or delivery.