Maximizing Profits: Pre-Order or Pre-Made?

Maximizing Profits: Pre-Order or Pre-Made?

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the Pre-Order Method 2.1. Designing Your Collection 2.2. Creating Presentable Mockups 2.3. Building Hype for the Drop 2.3.1. Facebook and Instagram Ads 2.3.2. Utilizing Reddit's r/StreetwearStartup 2.3.3. Contacting Archive Pages on Instagram 2.4. Launching the Store and Collecting Orders 2.5. Production and Fulfillment 2.6. Post Purchase Behavior
  3. Implementing the Inventory Method 3.1. Designing the Collection and Submitting Samples 3.2. Placing the Bulk Order 3.3. Receiving and Verifying the Bulk Order 3.4. Hype, Launch, and Shipping 3.5. Post Purchase Behavior
  4. Pros and Cons of Each Method
  5. Conclusion

How to Run Your Clothing Brand: Pre-Order Method vs. Inventory Method

Running a successful clothing brand requires careful planning and strategy. One crucial aspect is deciding between two popular methods: the pre-order method and the inventory method. Each has its pros and cons and can greatly impact the success of your brand. In this article, we will explore both methods in detail, discussing the steps involved and providing insights for execution. Whether you are a new brand or an established one, understanding and choosing the right method can make all the difference in maximizing profits and customer satisfaction.


When it comes to running a clothing brand, two primary methods are commonly used: the pre-order method and the inventory method. At first glance, both might seem similar, but upon closer examination, their fundamental differences become apparent. In this article, we will delve into each method, exploring their unique characteristics, advantages, and potential pitfalls. Whether you are a brand owner looking to start fresh or an entrepreneur contemplating a switch in strategies, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision about which method best suits your brand's needs. Let's begin by understanding the pre-order method.

Understanding the Pre-Order Method

The pre-order method allows you to generate revenue prior to producing your products. Here's how it works:

2.1. Designing Your Collection Before anything else, you must have a clear vision of your collection. Decide what type of clothing you want to create, whether it's new ideas, fresh colorways, or iterations of existing products. The key is to expand on pieces that represent your brand identity.

2.2. Creating Presentable Mockups With the pre-order method, you don't have physical products to showcase. Instead, you rely on mockup pictures to present your collection to potential customers. Create professional and appealing mockups using wholesale websites, screenshots from other Avenue websites, or even your own product pictures.

2.3. Building Hype for the Drop To ensure a successful pre-order launch, it is crucial to generate hype and create awareness. Here are some effective marketing tactics:

2.3.1. Facebook and Instagram Ads Running ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram is essential to reach a broader audience and increase brand visibility. Set up your Facebook pixel, research the algorithm, or consider hiring an external ad agency to optimize your campaigns.

2.3.2. Utilizing Reddit's r/StreetwearStartup Tap into the active community on Reddit's r/StreetwearStartup. Post your content and engage with potential consumers. While not every post will go viral, consistent posting can drive traffic to your website and social media channels.

2.3.3. Contacting Archive Pages on Instagram Archive pages act as publishers, reposting clothing-related content and helping brands gain exposure. Engage with these pages and inquire about promotional opportunities to reach a broader audience.

2.4. Launching the Store and Collecting Orders Once you've built hype, it's time to open your store and start collecting orders. Ensure your website is set up correctly, with shipping rates and product details accurately displayed. Leave the store open for a designated period, and promote exclusivity by limiting the order window if desired.

2.5. Production and Fulfillment After closing the store and collecting orders, it's time to begin production. Work with your chosen manufacturer to coordinate timelines, order quantities, and design specifications. Once production is complete, receive the products and organize them for fulfillment.

2.6. Post Purchase Behavior Engage with customers who have placed orders, answering their questions, and providing updates. Be responsive, helpful, and dependable to establish trust and loyalty.

The pre-order method allows brands to validate demand without investing heavily in inventory. However, it requires effective marketing strategies and careful attention to customer expectations. Now let's explore the inventory method and its unique approach.

Implementing the Inventory Method

Unlike the pre-order method, the inventory method involves producing and holding inventory before launching your collection. Here's how it works:

3.1. Designing the Collection and Submitting Samples Begin by designing your collection, just like with the pre-order method. Submit these designs to your manufacturer to produce samples, which you can receive or view electronically to ensure they meet your expectations.

3.2. Placing the Bulk Order Once satisfied with the samples, place a bulk order with your manufacturer using the same designs and measurements. This step requires a financial investment upfront as you pay for the production costs.

3.3. Receiving and Verifying the Bulk Order After a few weeks, you will receive your bulk order. Verify that the products meet your expectations and match the quality of the samples. This step is crucial to ensure customer satisfaction.

3.4. Hype, Launch, and Shipping Similar to the pre-order method, build hype, launch your store, and start collecting orders. The key difference is that with an inventory on hand, you can ship products immediately, making customers feel special and enhancing the sense of limited availability.

3.5. Post Purchase Behavior As with the pre-order method, engage with customers, respond to their queries promptly, and maintain a professional and helpful image.

Pros and Cons of Each Method

Both the pre-order and inventory methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Let's summarize them:

Pre-Order Method:

  • Pro: Allows you to validate demand and avoid excess inventory.
  • Pro: Lower upfront investment as revenue comes in prior to production.
  • Con: Requires effective marketing to generate hype and drive sales.
  • Con: Potential delays in production and shipping may affect customer satisfaction.

Inventory Method:

  • Pro: Creates a sense of exclusivity and limited availability, attracting customers.
  • Pro: Allows for immediate shipping and fast customer turnaround.
  • Con: Involves a higher upfront investment in inventory.
  • Con: May lead to excess inventory if demand is lower than anticipated.


Deciding between the pre-order method and the inventory method requires careful consideration of your brand's financial situation, target audience, and production capabilities. Both methods have their advantages and can lead to success when executed correctly. Understand the unique characteristics of each method, weigh the pros and cons, and choose the one that aligns best with your brand's objectives and resources. Remember, marketing and customer satisfaction are vital in either approach. With the right strategy, your clothing brand can thrive in a competitive market.

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