Definition of pretailing

Pretailing means the selling of a small number of products online to test whether there might be demand for a larger number to be made. It allows a designer to recoup production costs for a limited manufacturing run of his product and to go with that success to a seek funding to pay for a larger number.

Pretailing platforms now exist, such as Quirky where you might find items such as a bed desk or a device to remove egg yolks from egg whites. Some might also regard crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo as pretailing platforms, although typically people invest in projects in the latter two examples, without any expectation of a return.


Pretailing in the news

In 2012, Scott Hartley, a venture capitalist, wrote that he could see a new trend emerging in the retail space. He said the pattern for new ideas now was pre-tail, then e-tail and then retail. The pattern was being driven by consumers wanting unique, customised products and services and by the ability of entrepreneurs to access crowd funding.

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