‘How do Amazon pre-orders work?’: How to pre-order applicable items on Amazon

You can pre-order items on Amazon before they're released, and sometimes receive an item the day it's released.

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You can pre-order items on Amazon before they’re released, and sometimes receive an item the day it’s released.
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Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock
  • You can easily pre-order items on Amazon, allowing you to order not-yet-released items in advance.
  • A pre-ordered item will ship either when it’s released or just in advance of its release, and your card will typically not be charged until the item has shipped or a few days beforehand.
  • The checkout process looks the same as a regular Amazon order, and you’ll receive email updates and can check your order’s progress at any time.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Whether you’re waiting on a new book release or for a popular item to be restocked, Amazon’s pre-order process is easy.

The checkout process looks the same as a regular Amazon order, and you’ll receive email updates. Additionally, you can check your order’s progress at any time.

Here’s a bit more about the process, along with how to pre-order.

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How Amazon pre-orders work

When you pre-order a not-yet-released item on Amazon, you will not be charged immediately – instead, the card on file will be charged a few days before the item is released, typically when it ships or a few days prior to its shipping, depending on the item.

Amazon guarantees the lowest price – should prices change between placing your order and the release date – as long as the item has been labeled with “Pre-order Price Guarantee.”

The process to pre-order looks extremely similar to placing a regular order. Additionally, you may receive email updates if the release date changes – and if this happens, you’ll have the option to manage or cancel your order.

How to pre-order an item on Amazon

1. Open the Amazon website on your Mac or PC, or the mobile app on iPhone or Android.

2. Search for the item you wish to pre-order in the top search bar.

3. If it’s a yet-to-be-released item, you’ll find it says “Pre-order” in the “Add to Cart” button. You should also see its expected released date written above in green. Click the appropriate button to add the item to your cart.

Add to cart.

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Add to cart.
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Marissa Perino/Business Insider

4. If you choose to add the item to your cart, you’ll be greeted with a message confirming the decision and listing your subtotal. Click on the yellow “Proceed to checkout” button to continue.

Proceed to checkout.

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Proceed to checkout.
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Marissa Perino/Business Insider

5. Complete the checkout process like you normally would, including selecting the correct address and credit card information.

6. Click “Place your order” when you’re ready.

Place your order.

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Place your order.
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Marissa Perino/Business Insider

7. To check your order status, click “Returns & Orders” in the top toolbar. You can also click on your account information and navigate to the page from there.

View your orders.

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View your orders.
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Marissa Perino/Business Insider

8. Scroll down until you find your pre-ordered item. Click on the yellow “Track package” button to double-check the release date and track your package once it’s shipped.

Find your item.

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Find your item.
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Marissa Perino/Business Insider

You may receive email updates if the release date changes. You will have the option to cancel your order if this happens.

Your card on file will be charged a few days before the item ships. If the item has a price guarantee, you will be charged the lowest price listed on Amazon between your order date and the release date.

An email update.

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An email update.
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Marissa Perino/Business Insider

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