I used to love pre-ordering things: books, DVDs, even games (but never music though, I can actually wait for albums to come out), but now I’m a little bit more wary of pre-orders. And this has possibly come about after I pre-ordered my copy of Isla and the Happily Ever After all the way back in April. Yeah, April. That got me to thinking: when is it too early to pre-order something?
Another thing that I’d been itching to pre-order is Only Lovers Left Alive on DVD, which won’t be released in the UK until the 15th next month. Obviously that isn’t too far away now, but the pre-order was announced in about May because the DVD was released in the US on the 11th of this month (I think). Now this just strikes me as weird. Why? Because the film was released in cinemas in the UK first, but we’re still getting the DVD later. I just want it now!
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Ah, this is where my problem lies: money. I’m a student who is particularly terrible with money. I mean, really bad. The amount of times that I’ve gone broke in the past year is pretty alarming because I like spending money so much. One of the things I like about online shopping is that the store doesn’t take the money out of your bank account until your things are dispatched, which is good in case you need to cancel your order (or you get jerked around like I did one time). However, this is where I’m more hesitant with pre-orders. With my order for Isla, I had to leave an appropriate amount of money for months until the book was actually dispatched on the release day. I’d always thought that if you pre-ordered something, you’d get it on the actual release date, but that only happens if the store you’re ordering from does that, or you go into an actual physical shop and buy it in person (I did that with Beck’s album Morning Phase, but mainly because I was at uni the day it was released).
Even though I’ve been pre-ordering books and DVDs less and less these days, there are only one thing that I will continue to pre-order: cinema tickets. Whenever I go to the cinema, I prefer to book my ticket in advance because I like to sit in the exact same seat every single time. For spur-of-the-moment cinema trips I book the day before, but if it’s a film that I’ve been waiting for absolutely ages for, I’ll book my ticket the day the bookings are available, which is usually a week or a few days before (I’ve done this for Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, and Godzilla). But obviously that’s different because once a seat in the cinema is taken, you’re not going to be able to get it. Booking in advance is the best way to get the seat you want. When The Avengers came out two years ago, my friends and I made the mistake of going on the first Tuesday night after it was released (Tuesday is saver day at my local cinema), and we didn’t book our tickets online so we went down and the only seats left were at the very front. I always refuse to sit at the front because it hurts my eyes really badly, so we had to wait two hours for the later show. Because of that, I always book tickets in advance.
As of right now, I’m really impatiently waiting on both Afterworlds and The Infinite Sea to come out (as well as OLLA), and I’m seriously debating on whether to pre-order them or not. It’s getting closer and closer to the release dates, so it actually seems better to just wait until I can go into a shop and physically buy them in person. I can wait. Not very patiently, but I can still wait.
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When do you think is too early to pre-order things online? Do you pre-order, or do you prefer to wait until you can buy it in person?