Walmart Pre-Order Policy: How Does it Work? [Must-Know Tips]

Last updated: 4 Nov, 2023 |
Walmart Pre-Order Policy How Does it Work [Must-Know Tips]

Walmart, a leading retail giant, offers customers the ability to pre-order items before they are available on the shelves. This policy is a game-changer for eager shoppers looking to get their hands on the latest products.

But how does Walmart’s pre-order policy work? In this article, we delve deep into the workings of this policy, offering you a detailed understanding that will prepare you for your next pre-order experience.

Walmart Pre-Order Policy: How Does it Work? [Read Before Ordering]

Walmart’s pre-order policy for 2023 allows customers to reserve items before their official release. Customers can pay for pre-orders using various methods, including debit cards (charged immediately) and credit cards, Walmart gift cards, Walmart Rewards cards, or PayPal (set when the goods are received or ready to ship).

Walmart Pre-Order Policy How Does it Work [Read Before Ordering]
Walmart Pre-Order Policy How Does it Work [Read Before Ordering]

Pre-ordered items are typically delivered on the product’s official release date, but high demand may cause a delay of 2-3 days.

What Can You Pre-Order at Walmart?

Walmart offers a wide variety of products for pre-order, including game consoles, Apple products, video games, music, collectibles, films, books, smart home devices, wearable tech, outdoor gear, home appliances, and beauty products.

Walmart regularly announces new pre-order items on its official website. To pre-order an item, find the item you want on and click the “Pre-Order” button.

Walmart typically charges your payment method for pre-orders when you place the order. You can cancel your pre-order at any time before the item ships.

Step Into Pre-Ordering: A Detailed Walkthrough at Walmart

For those new to pre-ordering, this step-by-step guide will take you through the process at Walmart. Pre-ordering an item from Walmart is easy. Once Walmart announces the pre-order and release dates for a product, follow these steps:

  1. Visit and navigate to the product you want to pre-order.
  2. Add the product to your cart and proceed to checkout.
  3. Select your preferred payment method.
  4. Complete the purchase as you would with any other item, including applicable discounts.

It is important to note that quantities of highly sought-after pre-order items may be limited. If you miss the initial release, you may need to wait for the next opportunity.

Step Into Pre-Ordering A Detailed Walkthrough at Walmart
Step Into Pre-Ordering A Detailed Walkthrough at Walmart

After successfully placing your pre-order, Walmart will send you a confirmation email with details about your transaction and the expected delivery dates.

Online and In-Store Pre-Orders: Understanding the Differences at Walmart

Pre-ordering your favorite items at Walmart is a great way to ensure you get them on their release date, especially if they’re in high demand. But with two pre-order options available—online and in-store—which one is right for you?

Online Pre-Orders

Online pre-orders are convenient and straightforward. Visit and add the item you want to pre-order to your cart. Then, proceed to checkout and select your preferred payment method. Walmart will typically charge your card immediately and ship your item on or shortly after its release date.


  • Convenient: You can pre-order from the comfort of your own home, 24/7.
  • Easy to use: Walmart’s online pre-order process is simple.
  • Wide selection: Walmart offers a wide variety of items for pre-order, including electronics, video games, movies, music, and more.


  • Shipping delays: It’s important to note that Walmart cannot guarantee that your pre-order will arrive on the release date. Shipping delays can occur due to high demand or unforeseen circumstances.
  • Returns: Walmart’s standard return policy applies to pre-ordered items. You have 90 days to return most items, but electronics have a 30-day return window.

In-Store Pre-Orders

In-store pre-orders offer a more personal shopping experience. To pre-order an item in-store, visit your local Walmart and speak to a customer service representative. They can help you place your pre-order and answer any questions.


  • Personal touch: You can interact with a customer service representative and get personalized assistance with your pre-order.
  • Guaranteed release-day pickup: If you pre-order an item in-store, you can guarantee it will be available for pickup on the release date.
  • Easy to cancel: If you need to cancel your pre-order, you can do so easily by speaking to a customer service representative.


  • Limited selection: Not all items are available for in-store pre-order.
  • Time-consuming: You may need to wait in line to place your pre-order, especially if you visit Walmart during peak hours.

Which Pre-Order Option Is Right for You?

The best pre-order option for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a convenient and easy way to pre-order items, online pre-orders are an excellent option.

However, if you prefer the personal touch of in-store shopping and want to guarantee that your pre-order will be available on the release date, then in-store pre-orders are the way to go.

How do you pay while pre-ordering at Walmart?

Knowing how payments are processed is essential when pre-ordering from Walmart. Here’s a breakdown of payment methods and when you can expect to be charged:

  • Debit card, Walmart gift card, Walmart Rewards, or PayPal: You will be charged immediately upon placing the pre-order.
  • Credit card: Your account will typically be charged once Walmart has received the order and is preparing to ship it. Please ensure that your account has sufficient funds available. Walmart may place a financial hold on your account to reserve funds for the pre-order.
How do you pay while pre-ordering at Walmart
How do you pay while pre-ordering at Walmart

Walmart aims to deliver pre-ordered products on their release date. You should receive a shipping notification a few days before the release date. However, exceptionally high demand can occasionally lead to delays in stores or distribution centers, resulting in pre-orders arriving 2-3 days after the release.

Payment Flexibility: Options for Pre-Ordering at Walmart

Walmart offers a variety of payment methods for pre-orders, including:

  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Walmart gift card
  • Walmart Rewards card
  • PayPal

You can choose the payment method that best suits your financial preferences. Walmart will typically charge your payment method immediately when you place your pre-order.

Tip: If you’re on a tight budget, use a Walmart gift card or Walmart Rewards card to pre-order items. This allows you to spread the cost out over time.

How Long Does It Take for Pre-Order Charges to Appear in Your Account?

The time it takes for a pre-order charge to appear in your account depends on the payment method you use:

  • Credit card: 3-5 days
  • Debit card: 24 hours
  • Walmart Pay: Immediately

How can I Cancel and Return Preorder Items?

Walmart understands that plans can change, and they offer flexibility regarding cancellations and returns. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cancellations: You can cancel pre-order items that are still being processed. To cancel an order, log in to your Walmart app or access your order history online. If you see a “Request Cancellation” option, you can cancel the order. Otherwise, you can contact customer service for assistance. Once an order has shipped, it cannot be canceled.
  • Returns: Walmart’s standard return policy applies to pre-ordered items. The return window begins on the day of in-store purchase or the date of delivery, depending on the item. While most items have a 90-day return window, most electronics, including pre-order items, have a 30-day return window. Always check the specific return policy for each item before making a purchase. You can return pre-order items in-store at the customer service desk or by mail using a free USPS or FedEx shipping label.

When pre-ordering multiple items simultaneously, Walmart will combine the shipping costs under one order, even if the items arrive separately. You will receive regular tracking information via email, ensuring you can keep tabs on your pre-order every step of the way.

Does Walmart Charge For Pre-Orders Immediately?

Walmart typically charges for pre-orders immediately. It is essential to understand the payment process to ensure that you have sufficient funds available.

It is important to note that there is no guarantee that pre-orders from will arrive on their release date. While Walmart strives to fulfill expedited pre-orders on time, delays may occur.

Does Walmart Charge For Pre-Orders Immediately
Does Walmart Charge For Pre-Orders Immediately

In contrast, in-store pre-orders can be picked up on the release date as soon as the store opens, ensuring you are among the first to enjoy your purchase.

Insider Tips for Making the Most of Walmart’s Pre-Order Policy

  • Sign up for Walmart+: Walmart+ members get free shipping on all pre-orders, regardless of the order total.
  • Create a Walmart account: This will make it easier to place and manage your pre-orders.
  • Turn on email notifications: Walmart will send you email notifications about your pre-orders, including shipping updates and release date reminders.
  • Be prepared to act quickly: Popular items can sell out quickly, so it’s important to act quickly when pre-ordering them.

Tips to Avoid Unwanted Pre-Order Charges

Here are a few tips to help you avoid unwanted pre-order charges:

  • Pre-order in-store: This way, you can pay for the item in full at the time of purchase. If you don’t pick up the item, your money will be refunded.
  • Use a prepaid gift card: Prepaid gift cards are a great way to budget for pre-orders and avoid overspending.
  • Wait until the item is released. This way, you won’t be charged until you want it. However, remember that popular items may sell out quickly after release.
  • Set reminders: If you’re prone to forgetting about pre-orders, set reminders for yourself. You can do this by writing it down, adding it to your phone’s calendar, or setting a sticky note.

Troubleshooting Common Pre-Order Issues at Walmart

Pre-ordering your favorite items from Walmart is a great way to get them on their release date, but it’s not without occasional hiccups. Here are some common pre-order issues customers face and how to resolve them swiftly:

Problem: My pre-order didn’t ship on the release date.

Solution: Walmart strives to ship pre-orders on or shortly after the release date, but delays can occur due to high demand or unforeseen circumstances. If your pre-order hasn’t shipped yet, you can contact Walmart customer service to check on the status.

Tip: If you need your pre-order by a specific date, it’s best to choose in-store pickup. This guarantees that your item will be available for pickup on the release date.

Problem: My pre-order was canceled.

Solution: Walmart may cancel pre-orders for various reasons, such as if the item is no longer available or if your payment method is declined. If your pre-order was canceled, you will receive an email notification explaining why.

Tip: If you’re worried about your pre-order being canceled, contact Walmart customer service to confirm it’s still active.

Problem: My pre-order arrived damaged.

Solution: Walmart offers a satisfaction guarantee on all pre-ordered items. If your pre-order arrives damaged, you can contact customer service to request a refund or replacement.

Tip: Be sure to scrutinize your pre-order upon arrival and report any damage to Walmart immediately.

Walmart vs Competitors: Pre-Order Policies Face-Off

How does Walmart’s pre-order policy stack up against other retailers? All three retailers offer competitive pre-order policies, with a wide variety of items available for pre-order, flexible payment options, and good return policies. However, there are a few key differences:

  • Walmart: Walmart typically charges your payment method immediately when you place your pre-order, while Target and Amazon usually wait until the item ships.
  • Target: Target offers free shipping on pre-orders over $35, while Walmart requires a Walmart+ membership for free shipping on pre-orders.
  • Amazon: Amazon offers the widest variety of items for pre-order, but its pre-order policy can be more complex than Walmart’s or Target’s. For example, Amazon sometimes offers different pre-order prices for other customers, and it has a more restrictive policy for canceling pre-orders.
RetailerVariety of Items for Pre-OrderPayment MethodShippingFree Shipping for MembersReturn Policy
WalmartYesImmediateAfter Release DateWalmart+ MembersFlexible
TargetYesWhen Item ShipsAfter Release DateOver $35 PurchaseFlexible
AmazonWidest VarietyWhen Item ShipsAfter Release DatePrime MembersFlexible

Overall, Walmart’s pre-order policy is a good option for customers who want a convenient and affordable way to pre-order their favorite items. However, if you’re looking for the widest variety of items or the most flexible pre-order policy, you may consider Target or Amazon.

Final Words

Pre-ordering from Walmart can be a great way to secure your desired items, especially if they’re in high demand. However, it’s important to manage your expectations and understand the potential for delays. By following the tips above, you can make the most of your pre-order experience at Walmart.

Frequently Asked Questions: Walmart Pre-Order Policy

Does Walmart charge you right away for preorders?

Yes, Walmart typically charges your payment method immediately when you place a pre-order. This is true for both online and in-store pre-orders.

Does pre-ordering guarantee a copy?

Pre-ordering does not guarantee receiving a copy of the item on release day. Walmart strives to fulfill pre-orders on time, but delays can occur due to high demand or unforeseen circumstances.

How do pre-orders work?

When you pre-order an item from Walmart, you are essentially reserving it to be shipped to you on or shortly after its release date. You will typically be charged for the item immediately when you place your pre-order. Walmart will then ship your item to you on or shortly after the release date.

Can you preorder a pickup game?

Yes, you can pre-order a game for pickup at your local Walmart store. To do this, visit the Walmart website or app and select the “In-Store Pickup” option when placing your pre-order.

How Many Items Can I Pre-order At Once?

Walmart does not have a limit on the number of items you can pre-order at once. However, it’s important to note that popular items can sell out quickly, so it’s best to place your pre-order as soon as possible.


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Faisal Mian

With a decade of experience as a manager, advisor, and marketer in the retail and consumer service sector, I understand the intricacies of the shopping landscape. I’m committed to delivering valuable insights to enhance your shopping endeavors.

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