The recently closed preorder went very very well. So well, in fact, that we immediately thought "ok, how do we make this a part of our regular ops and give people a chance to trade us some delivery leeway for a lower price?" After a pretty efficient back and forth (10 years into this stuff, talking between us is like talking between different parts of our brains - it's pretty darn smooth), we'd figured it out. So now, on all of our "house" (or however you want to call it) disc road/cross/gravel builds, we have two delivery options; the standard 2 weeks from order to shipping price, and the preorder price. The preorder price on Cafe Racers, GX24s, RCGs, and GOATs is $100 less than the standard price. As promised, standard prices are now $50 more than they'd been, which makes preorder prices in 2019 $50 less than in-stock prices we changed last year, and $50 more than they were in the just-closed preorder.
Preorder delivery time frames will vary throughout the year. We plan to close the one that started this morning near the end of this month, which will mean that we start shipping those wheels toward the end of February. You don't have a lot of incentive to order early in the preorder cycle, other than that it's first-in-first-out, and if we get to where the preorder rims have shipped and we have rims in stock on our shelves to start building them, sanity would dictate that we do just that. So there's always some upside delivery potential for the early birds. And we'll send out "hey it's about to close" notices for the snooze bar fiends.
As we get into the nutty season, it makes sense that people will be more interested in getting wheels as promptly as possible. During the meat of our season, we're at capacity darn near all the time, so while we'll offer preorders, we will focus more on regular delivery stuff, and try to avoid owing 100 sets of wheels to ship on July 12th. That wouldn't be a fun situation.
As we hinted a few blogs ago, alloy prices are going up a bit for 2019. Most of them will be around $50 higher. We've always had the lowest margins we think we can cope with, and frankly that's sometimes been a bit lower than we actually could cope with. We're in pretty good shape with the majority of alloy builds right now, at prices that are generally within a whisker of, and often lower than, the price you'd pay to go out and buy the parts and leave yourself the build to do. We always try to do whatever we can to create a better customer experience, and this will leave us in a position to continue that. Let's face it, we're also still going to be at the low end of what anyone who does builds as well as we do charges.
We'll leave the prices as is for the next two weeks to give people a chance to get in at the 2018 prices, and then start raising them the weekend of the 19th and 20th (it takes a bit of work to get it done) so that by the 21st we'll be at 2019 prices.