Our local Borders at Sun Valley Mall broke the street date on the Player's Handbook 2. I called over there and the cheerful sales clerk put aside one of the last two copies for me. She was in a good mood as the book was selling well since they put it out for sale on Friday. The street date is Tuesday, today. A call to Wizards of the Coast merchant relations went to voice mail, so when the books finally arrived yesterday, they went directly to the shelf.
One problem however: about a third of the shipment arrived damaged. Since a third was already accounted for by pre-orders, this left a grand total of 3 books unsold by the end of the day. More won't arrive until tomorrow, so I'm bringing my own book back and offering up the damaged copies with the promise of a swap on Wednesday. If I had been Borders and received damaged copies on Friday, I could have had replacement books by today. It seems one of the truths in this trade is that whenever something big comes along, there's a big box store waiting to steal your thunder.