I don't even remember how we found out when new albums were coming out in the 90's, when my collecting days were starting to peak. Maybe it was thumbing my way through whatever music magazine I could get my hands on, or chatting to the local record store dude, or just gathering snippets of information from friends.... What I do know is, when you knew a release was coming, it was so damn exciting!
Supply was almost a non-issue back then so your only real reason to pre order an item was to get the little bonus 'thingy' you go with it AND to have bragging rights. I remember I pre ordered Chili Peppers By The Way CD and got a free Beanie and Badge. The Vines pre order was cool because I got a free record bag, still proudly displayed in our warehouse today. Slash's Snakepit pre order gave me some stickers and a postcard... ahh the list goes on!
But those days are gone... there are reissues coming out almost daily and a new album is often dropped within a few weeks of its announcement, sometimes it's not even announced at all.
Running TNB Records means we deal with a LOT of suppliers, release dates, embargos, NDA's... all the normal stuff that comes along with being a 'shop'. We understand that information is so accessible today that it takes a lot of work to keep on top of what releases are upcoming. We spend a lot of time sifting through spreadsheets and PDF's with size 4 font size (until we almost go blind). We read a lot of news and blogs but it still doesn't beat a customer sending us a message asking "hey, will you be getting this new release in?". We've had people contact us who just finished chatting with a band member who mentioned there will be a reissue of an album... it's crazy!!! there's so much info out there and so many different ways to get.
We get asked a lot:
"should I pre order an item or should I wait until it comes out?"
The short answer is YES! Now it's easy for me to say this as it's a guaranteed sale BUT in the current production climate it is becoming more and more essential that you pre-order a title to ensure you get a copy.
Earlier this year Anthrax reissued 4 albums.... it was almost un-announced there was so little said about the release. We ran a pre order for the items and sold out shortly before release date. We ordered double the amount of pre orders worth of stock but only got issued half! We JUST managed to fulfill pre orders with no stock to sell to anyone that didn't pre order. 2 months on and we are still waiting for more stock to come in.
This all comes down to the new demand for vinyl and super deluxe (in particular) box sets. It is pretty common to receive an initial shipment of an album or box set and then not be able to get it back in stock for months. Metallica's S&M2 box was a great example of this. We brought in over 100 units of this when it came out last year, this is a lot of stock! We sold out and haven't seen 1 other piece of stock since late 2020.
The bottom line is, pre ordering is a safe way to ensure you get your hands on the release as soon as you possibly can and we highly HIGHLY recommend it for any releases you are interested in to ensure you are not let down!