Fitbit Doesn’t Seem To Understand How Preorders Work

Now available at Best Buy.

Andy was really excited about the new Fitbit One. He placed a pre-order back when the activity-tracking gadget was first announced, and waited patiently for the projected “early November” ship date. November began, and the new Fitbit began to show up on the shelves of virtual and real-life stores, but not in his mailbox. Why, he asks, does any random person wandering through Best Buy get their Fitbit before early orderers like him?

He e-mailed Fitbit:

I ordered a FitBit One ( [order number]). When is this shipping? I noticed they’re already available in retail stores. Why wouldn’t you ship pre-orders before shipping to retail?

They replied:

Dear Andy,

Thank you very much for your interest in The Fitbit One Tracker.

The Fitbit One will be shipping out in early November.

Please let us know if you have any other questions about our new products; we will be happy to answer them!

He forwarded the exchange to Consumerist, commenting:

FitBit must be using some other definition of the word pre-order that includes selling the product for awhile before fulfilling the pre-orders. This doesn’t even make good business sense! Presumably your pre-order customers are the ones most excited about your product and will be good advocates in the marketplace.

Currently, if you go to put the various Fitbits in your cart, the burgundy one is still in pre-order mode and not available until “mid-November,” but the black one is in stock and… not shipping until “mid-November.” Both are allegedly in stock at my local Best Buy.

Direct-to-consumer shipments and wholesale shipments to huge mega-retailers like Best Buy are separate entities, and it looks like the items shipped directly from Fitbit are delayed. The preorders need to be individually boxed and shipped, which could be causing the delay.

Does this really matter? Is it all that important that early adopters adopt a new device a week earlier?

More importantly, since when does a burgundy pedometer coordinate with a turquoise tank top?