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Wait list - reserve new inventory for Wait list only

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We have a wait list with our product that people are signing up for.
The current wait list sigh up numbers are about exactly equal to the next inventory order I have coming in after existing sales are fulfilled. I want the folks that signed up on the wait list to be able to get first dibs at this inventory. And then only if there is more inventory after they get first chance to open the store to the public.

It appears that the way the wait list works I can send out a bulk e-mail to those that are on the list letting them know I have more inventory but I have to open the store to the public so that it becomes whoever finds the inventory first and I am worried that some wait list people will then miss out.
Is there a way to only open the store to those on the wait list? Or convert them to sales (option to purchase) without opening inventory to the public?  I'm I understanding how this works correctly?


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you can put the product in its own shop page and then password-protect it. that way, only those who are in your email list will be able to buy your product. you can give them a timeframe (e.g., a week ahead of everyone else) to buy your product and then after that, you can move the product in the store page where you normally have products listed.

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