Pre-selling a product before it even exists may seem crazy to you, but it can actually be an effective way to judge market interest and prove to investors that there is a demand for your product. Asking people if they want something is one thing, but getting them to buy it is completely different. But there can be downsides to selling a technically non-existent product, as well. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons, and you can decide if pre-selling might be good for your business.
- You’re generating interest in your product with the presales. You’re also validating that people will go out and spend money on your product. That’s a big step if all you have at this point are some focus groups where people agree that they like your product. People like a lot of things. They don’t always dig into their pockets to buy them, though.
- Pre-sales can also help you calculate consumer demand for your product. Production isn’t cheap, and knowing what the demand for your product is can save you a lot of money.
- You want to have an established community around your product. That is, you want people anticipating its arrival, and getting excited for the product launch. Once other companies start copying your product, it helps to have a dedicated customer base that’s loyal to your original product.
- The most obvious point against pre-selling your product before it exists is the simple fact that it doesn’t exist yet, and you’re putting tremendous pressure on yourself to come through. Even if you’re certain that you can manufacture your product and bring it to market, delays and setbacks can kill the momentum that you build with a pre-sale. Angry investors and pre-sale customers commenting on your site and social media is not a good look. This in turn can lead to businesses shipping a product that isn’t quite ready.
- You also might not want to sell your product early if you’re worried about competition or large companies who can quickly copy your product. Larger companies with better production facilities at their disposal can pose a significant danger to your product if it falls behind schedule.
- You also shouldn’t pre-sell if you don’t completely understand everything it’s going to take to make this product. Worrying about setbacks or being late with the product launch is one thing, but not being able to actually manufacture the product you’re promoting is another. When people give you their money, they expect something in return. So make sure you’re working with a manufacturing firm that has plenty of experience, and can work with you to get your product to market.
Selling your product before it actually exists isn’t going to work for every startup, but it could be a great opportunity for some. If you’re not sure whether you should be pre-selling your product, then contact Pivot International. We have decades of experience working with businesses just like yours, and we’d love to help you get your idea off the ground and turn it into reality.