If you preorder a popular item on Amazon, such as a new game console or video game, you avoid the risk that it sells out before you can buy it. You may also be able to arrange delivery for the release date, so you won't have to stand in line to buy it in a store on the day. In some cases, you may just want to order something in advance so you don't need to remember the release date later. Preordering on Amazon works in much the same way as regular ordering.

Paying for Preorders

You don't pay for a preordered item until Amazon starts the shipping process; the site doesn't take payment in advance. It may verify the payment before this point, and you should keep in mind that the payment process is likely to start a couple of days before the item's release date. You should make sure you have the money available to pay for it at the right time to avoid any issues or delays.

Getting a Guaranteed Price

Amazon has a preorder price guarantee on some items. This applies to DVDs, video games, CDs, videos, books and software. It means that you pay the lowest price assigned the item during the time between your order and the end of the item's release day date. For example, if you preorder a book for $10 and its price then goes up to $15, you'll pay $10. This works the same way if the item's price goes down after you preorder it; if it has this price guarantee on it, you'll pay less. If the price drops after your item ships under these terms, Amazon refunds the difference. This guarantee works only with items that Amazon sells itself; if you're buying from a third party seller, you might not get a price guarantee.

Delivery Options for Preorders

On some preorders, you have to choose a standard delivery method. On others, you may have the option to have your item shipped to arrive on its exact release date. Both the item and your delivery address have to be eligible for this to work -- it typically only works with continental U.S. ZIP codes. As of January 2014, this doesn't work for shipments to Amazon Lockers, Alaska, Hawaii, P.O. boxes, APO/FPO addresses or international locations. You may pay extra for this, although it is free in some cases -- for example, if you have Amazon Prime.

Canceling a Preorder on Amazon

As with any Amazon order, you can cancel a preorder as long as you cancel before it enters the shipping process. Just go into your account, locate the order, click on "Cancel Items" and follow the process. Once Amazon starts preparing items for shipping, you may not have the option to cancel. In this instance, if you really don't want the item, you'll need to refuse the package on delivery or return it.