I saw that there is a pile of loot option. I read the instructions but how does it work in practice?
It's actually quite simple. Works much better than their competition's stack system. (I'm still kinda confused by it, honestly.)
POL works like this:
With Pile Of Loot turned on, you can combine orders to save on shipping and more or less guarantee that you'll get what you were looking for. (It doesn't always work, however. More on that in a moment.)
Say you want to preorder something, go ahead and commit to buy once it's in the cart. Your card on file will not be charged until that preordered item arrives at their warehouse and is ready to ship.
Say you want to buy more than one in stock item, you'll put 'em in the cart, check out, they charge the card on file and then place it in the POL. It will not ship until you hit the giant yellow button that says "SHIP MY LOOT NOW!". This allows in stock items to be combined under one shipping cost, instead of being charged for each item separately.
Say you want to mix and match both in stock items and preorders, you go ahead and pay for the in stock items now, which includes the full shipping price for the first item (which can range from $8-10.00) and every additional item adds cents to dollars to the shipping quote, which is automatically adjusted. (Most items add about a buck to the shipping.)
If you leave the POL sit until the preorder comes in, you'll save even more. Once the preorder arrives, your card will get charged the full amount for the item itself and an additional shipping charge (again, probably not more than a buck and likely less than.)
At this point, you're shipping a box full of toys/collectibles that might weigh 5, 10, maybe even 20 pounds, but only paying a drastically reduced rate. If you were to pay out of pocket for the full amount, it'd probably be $30-50.00, easily.
Now, there are some catches:
While it does save you money on shipping, it does have a time limit on it. They can only hold your POL for 180 days (6 months), after that, it automatically ships to you. Why does this suck? Perhaps your preorder didn't come in yet. Well, the POL's going to ship without it. When the preorder comes in, it becomes a new POL and you're charged full shipping price for it.
This next one is very rare, but it does happen... Sometimes people have a POL sitting for so long and there are so many items at the warehouse constantly moving, that smaller items can sometimes fall through the cracks and be oversold or misplaced, and in that case, you'll receive store credit. What sucks though, is that if it's a rare item and it's long since sold out and you were banking on it being in your POL, you're SOL at that point.
Sometimes if their stock is low and you wait too long for your POL to ship, they might run out of collector condition packaging and have to give you standard or substandard packaging. (Again, this is rare, but it does happen.)
Me, personally, I use the POL all the time and I've had zero problems. I've had no items misplaced or oversold, I've saved a LOT of money on shipping (sometimes enough to afford an extra figure!), and I usually get what I paid for in terms of packaging condition.
NOTE: Realize that I am not a perfect Christian, nor do I profess to be. I apologize if anyone's ever offended by me, I'm not perfect. Don't hold my posts and opinions against other Christians.