Pre-order confusion is common, you are not alone! To be clear, pre-ordering an album does not necessarily mean you'll receive it before the rest of the world. In fact, depending on where you live and the ship date, you may not even get the album until after its official release.
Pre-ordering is simply an opportunity to purchase albums, or other merchandise in advance, which are often bundled with limited items. All pre-order products will display an pre-order label and an expected "SHIPS ON OR AROUND" date in the product description. Take note of this! It's generally pretty accurate, but will occasionally shift, due to unexpected delays, beyond our control.
Disclaimer: Additional items purchased on the same ticket as a pre-order will not ship until the time specified in the description of the pre-ordered item.