While I can't really defend GW
's seeming inability to anticipate demand for AT
products, they are guessing with information that's 9 months old with production and shipping times...
The problem from our perspective as customers isn't so much that they keep consistently failing to properly estimate demand, that's just an annoyance. The problem is their response to that failure is seemingly completely random and we never get told what it's going to be.
Will they reprint the product? Sometimes, but they won't tell us either way, or they will tell us but not until enough time has passed that a lot of folk have gone ebay hunting and paid scalperscum over the odds for them. Will they put a high-res print-ready version up on WHC for free? Sometimes, again they won't tell us unless and until they put up the article. Will they just let it vanish into the ether, never to be mentioned again? Yup, that too.
This has been a consistent enough problem that by now they should have developed a policy to deal with it, and "make more up-front" is only one possible solution. They could set up their contract with the printers they use so as to give them an option to do another run at shorter notice. They could do exactly what they did way back in the day with plastic casting and buy up a small British printing business for the expertise and initial machinery and bring their printing - at least for cardstock products - in-house, and build in some capacity for production surges on products they underestimate demand for. They could carry on exactly as they are ordering only small print runs, but acknowledge openly that will be the case, that the print run is just for people who really like physical doodads, and commit to putting the high-res print files up for free as soon as the initial run sells out, in every
case. Hell, they could sell us
the digital version, so long as it's a standard option.