Subscribe to
Posts
Comments
NSLog(); Header Image

The Falsity of Amazon’s Shipping

The timeline goes something like this…

February 6, 2009: At about noon, I make a $676 purchase. Not needing the items all that quickly, I opt for the "free" 7-10 day Super Saver shipping. The only shipping estimates on the order pages are "order in the next 13 hours to have it by tomorrow!"

February 8, 2009: Puzzled by the fact that I didn't get a shipping notification, I check the order status and Amazon tells me that my order will ship on February 11, most likely. It lists the delivery dates as February 19 - 25 - a full 13 to 19 days after the order date.

That's not even 7-10 days if you subtract the five days it's taking them to put my stuff in a box. And why's it taking Amazon five days to put my stuff in a box? You can order the same exact things I've ordered and they'll be delivered to you (or me) tomorrow if pay more money - the products are in stock. Delaying putting the items in a box probably takes more time and effort than if they just packed up the products immediately like every other order. It's apparently a custom feature to "delay" shipment to cheap customers.

This is exactly the opposite of "surprise and delight." The opposite of "under-promise, over-deliver." This is "screw you, cheapwad - you should have paid $7 for our 5-7 day stuff, and oh yeah, we lied when we said 7-10 days and are going to do all we can to ensure that you don't somehow get a good bargain."

This rubs me the wrong way. It introduces fakery and lying into the process in a lame attempt to, what, get me to pay for faster shipping in the future? I'm more likely to avoid Amazon than I am to choose faster shipping.

P.S. I don't order enough stuff from Amazon to make a $79/year Prime membership at all attractive, and while I was willing to wait 7-10 days, that's not the same as waiting 13 to 19 days. I've heard, too, that once something actually ships from the local warehouse it'll only take 1-2 days, but even if that holds up and I get the stuff on the 13th (seven days), it doesn't mean Amazon shouldn't handle this better. Why tell me the 19-25?

P.P.S. The items I ordered are also a few bucks less today. I could re-buy them right now and pay for five-day shipping at $7.35 and be within a dollar of the original price… yet I can't cancel my first order because it's "being processed." You know, so it can ship in two more days.

125 Responses to "The Falsity of Amazon’s Shipping"

  1. Maybe one of the items was delayed for some reason, and you chose to ship all items in one shipment. At any rate, nothing is perfect, including Amazon. They most certainly did not delay your shipment because you chose the cheapest shipping just to punish you for being a "cheapwad". Next time you spend about $700 online, the extra few bucks might be worth it huh?
    I'm a member of Amazon Prime, and have been since they started it. Although the price has gone up considerably, it is still worth it even if you only order a few things a year. I got free shipping on my big screen TV because of Prime, can't beat that!

    1. Razorhog said on February 9, 2009:

      Maybe one of the items was delayed for some reason, and you chose to ship all items in one shipment.

      I ordered four of the same thing and they're all in stock. They remain in stock. Nothing was delayed.

      Razorhog said on February 9, 2009:

      Next time you spend about $700 online, the extra few bucks might be worth it huh?

      No. Did you read what I wrote? I was fine with 7-10 days. I made that choice knowingly and willingly. But 7-10 != 13-19.

    2. Actually, he's right. I just ordered 3 books from Amazon 2 days ago. I had not yet recieved a shipping notice, so I checked the site. Turns out, my order will not be shipped until Monday (estimated per Amazon). No special instuctions from me, nothing that should hold anything up. Also, it took me 16 days to get a water filter from them (chose free shipping there too). I've always paid for shipping in the past and had my stuff in a couple of days. Amazon usually has the lowest prices, so I haven't spent a lot of time looking for better deals. Next time I will, due to their "free shipping".

    3. Amazon does definitely delay free shipping intentionally. Every order I've placed (probably 20 or so) ships from Phoenix, which is one day mailing time from me, and they always take at least a week to get here. Even after being "shipped" they will sit at the "fed-ex smartpost" for days before they actually ship them. It's ridiculous, and is clearly an effort to get us to pay for shipping out of frustration.

  2. My extensive experience with Amazon free shipping has been that my orders ship either the day of or the day after I place my order and typically get to me just as fast as standard shipping. My guess is that something is holding up your order.

    1. This is precisely my experience. I always choose free super-saver shipping, and I have even received some of my items on the next day, if I order early enough in the day.

    2. This was my experience in the past as well, but recently I've noticed that whenever I choose free shipping, nothing ships for 2-3 days after I place the order. I can only assume they're introducing artificial delays, and it's ridiculous. It's the equivalent of those sites like RapidShare that try to get you to sign up for a premium account so you don't have to wait 60 seconds to get your download. (They used to pretend those delays were real too, back in the day, but now they don't bother).

  3. Amazon has a 30 day price match guarantee. You can request a refund of the difference from them via their customer service page.

    1. Jonathan Johnson said on February 9, 2009:

      Amazon has a 30 day price match guarantee. You can request a refund of the difference from them via their customer service page.

      Thanks. Will do that now. (Edit: Now the price is $168.48, or $0.52 cheaper than I paid. Earlier today it was $162.xx. BTW, it's just four PocketWizard Plus IIs.)

  4. Well it sucks your shipment got delayed, but I highly doubt Amazon was trying to be deceitful, or trying to punish you into opting for the more expensive shipping method in the future. You act as if this has happened to you multiple times. If that is the case, I'd be pissed too.

    1. Razorhog said on February 9, 2009:

      Well it sucks your shipment got delayed, but I highly doubt Amazon was trying to be deceitful, or trying to punish you into opting for the more expensive shipping method in the future.

      I order from Amazon so infrequently that I can't really recall. But perhaps this is why I order from them so infrequently - every order leaves a bad vibe? Maybe not.

      I posted this to see if anyone else had similar experiences. Seems like that's not the case, and I can give them a break if this is a one-time thing.

      I'll probably update the post when it ships and when I receive the package.

      P.S. I just bought a book on January 28 and paid $3.99 for USPS shipping. It shipped the same day and arrived two days later. So again, why the five-day delay in shipping this time? I don't know.

  5. Jonathan Johnson said on February 9, 2009:

    Amazon has a 30 day price match guarantee. You can request a refund of the difference from them via their customer service page.

    Wrong. They did away with that policy a few months back. Amazon will no longer refund you the difference if you see the price lower after placing an order.

    My experience has generally been the same as yours; when choosing the faster 2-day or Next Day shipping (or using Amazon Prime), my orders ship out the next day or even the same day. But, when not using it and choosing free shipping, my orders are held for a while before they are shipped out.

    1. Amazon.com will price match eligible purchases of televisions and cell phones with select other retailers, including those who sell their items on our website. For all other items, Amazon.com doesn't offer price matching.

  6. Amazon started this new shipping practice a few years ago. I do my best to shop elsewhere. It's my experience that they intentionally hold orders with 'free shipping' selected.

  7. It's important to remember that Amazon's "Super Saver" shipping is not just regular shipping made free. As they put it:

    When you choose FREE Super Saver Shipping on an order, you're letting us know you are willing to wait a little longer to get your items as long as the shipping is free. This option allows us to better manage our inventory and order demand and pass the savings on to you in the form of free shipping. Most Free Super Saver Shipping orders will ship out within 5 business days.

    My understanding is that when you use "Super Saver" shipping they'll do whatever it takes to minimize the total cost (to them), while meeting the 7-10 day delivery window. Sometimes this means they use their own internal systems to move items around from warehouse-to-warehouse before shipping to you. If shipping immediately from the item's current warehouse will incur the lowest total shipping cost, they'll do that, but if they can reduce the cost (to them) by moving an item and shipping from a different warehouse, they will take advantage of that cost savings at the expense of a small delay. Similarly, if an item is "in stock" at one warehouse, it may actually be better for them to order another from the distributor, have it delivered to a different warehouse, then ship it to you. Just because it hasn't shipped yet doesn't mean nothing is happening. Of course, it's still possible that nothing is happening; I'm sure Super Saver orders are the lowest priority. If delaying your order can save them some labor cost until a lull in other orders, I'm sure they'll take advantage of that savings, too.

    My best advice at the moment is to relax. It's only been three days since you ordered. You have another week before they will have missed the original delivery window. Delivery estimates can be wrong and there's no sense freaking out prematurely. Believe me, I speak from experience. I completely lost it when Apple delayed the estimated ship date of my last MacBook Pro just before I was scheduled to go on a trip. Just as I was calming down, the doorbell rang and there it was: early. It was another two days before I received an email with the tracking number.

    But by all means, set aside the evening of the 16th for a more timely freakout.

    1. Brad said on February 9, 2009:

      It's important to remember that Amazon's "Super Saver" shipping is not just regular shipping made free.

      Well, that pretty much ends any beef I thought I had. I was going to say that I still don't understand how delaying a shipment is less effort/time/expense/etc. for them than just shipping it normally, but the internal warehouse shifting likely covers that.

      Oh, and I'm fairly relaxed. If I truly cared when the stuff would get here (within reason), I'd have paid a little money. :-)

    2. Wow, I had no idea. I was about to order a book from Amazon because it was half the price as the one I bought from Borders that day, but the notice that I might be waiting over a week made me change my mind.

      Adding paid shipping to have it delivered within a few days boosted the price to almost what Borders charged, so I just kept the book.

      Thanks for the info - I didn't realize it wasn't just free shipping because they liked me. :razz:

  8. I order quite a bit on amazon (but not enough to justify Amazon Prime) and just about always use their free shipping option. Usually it does take around 1-2 days after placing the order before they ship it, but it usually only takes around 3-4 days (and often less) in transit before I get it. But often the delivery estimate will be 7-10 days later than the actual delivery. As far as I can tell, the delivery estimate on the free shipping is a worst case scenario.

    btw, Razorhog, you don't need Amazon Prime to get free shipping on TVs. All TVs over a certain size always ship free from Amazon. I just bought a 46" Samsung LCD from Amazon a few weeks ago and got free shipping. :-)

  9. Tim Buchheim said on February 9, 2009:

    btw, Razorhog, you don't need Amazon Prime to get free shipping on TVs. All TVs over a certain size always ship free from Amazon. I just bought a 46" Samsung LCD from Amazon a few weeks ago and got free shipping. :-)

    Good to know :mrgreen:

  10. I buy a good amount of items from Amazon, and since I'm usually not concerned with delivery dates I opt for Super Saver Shipping.

    I've had things ship as soon as the same day of order or as late as 2.5 weeks later. Given the sporadic nature of the shipping I've thought for some time that amazon's systems send these to the packers when all the paid shipping orders have been filled. If there are a lot of paid shipping orders the order gets bumped back in the line. I think they just shuffle around human capital allocations to maximize packing capacity with fewer hands packing.

    Similar to the way the post office deals with media mail, it's the last thing to go on the truck and if the truck is full, well the package waits till the next day.

    I of course could be wrong but it seems as likely a theory as any.

    Additionally it seems a relatively fair policy. In exchange for no cost shipping, I grant Amazon the ability to pack and ship paid shipping orders first. I don't think it's a matter of them actively holding back super saver orders, rather they are actively prioritizing paid shipping orders first. Ship all the paid orders, what time is left is devoted to free shipping orders.

  11. Amazon also has the freedom to ship out early if it will help meet quotas for discounted shipping. (I would imagine that their shipping suppliers offer them prices breaks at certain volumes.)

  12. I have the same problem and reading some of the explanations helps me understand what they are doing, but as a customer I don't really care.

    If they say free shipping in 7-10 days then it should arrive on the 10th day the latest.

    Otherwise their actions are letting me know that they value cost savings for them at the expense of my loyalty to them. That is how I saw it when it happened and I simply cancelled my order and gave my business elsewhere, locally as it happened to be last time.

    Locally also helps because the sales tax I pay goes back into my own community in the form of schools, libraries, police, roads and what have you.

  13. The shipment data for the PocketWizards:

    Ordered on February 6.
    Shipped on February 11.
    Delivered on February 13.

    So that's seven days, two of which were weekend days.

    Some other recent orders from Amazon include a Lowepro camera bag (first) and a Canon G10 camera, both ordered on February 10 and shipped February 11. The bag was delivered on the 12th, and the camera on the 13th.

    Given these numbers, and if you don't mind waiting a little, it makes almost no sense to pay for even the 5-7 day shipping and even less, imho, to pay for Amazon Prime.

    1. So, in the end, they hit the shipping date right on the nose and the delivery date was at the low end of promise. It seems like their original delivery date estimate fall squarely in "under-promise, over-deliver".

    2. The Plaid Cow said on February 13, 2009:

      It seems like their original delivery date estimate fall squarely in "under-promise, over-deliver".

      Not quite the same, no, but at this point I'm not really interested in hashing out all the minor details, either. Amazon shouldn't have ever told me February 19-25.

  14. I think they are delaying shipping my last two orders have taken more than ten days to get them with free shipping option, used to get them within five business days, I'm going to start shopping around and will try not to buy from Amazon if at all possible. Not good for Business Amazon!!!!

    1. With anything free, you get what you pay for. If you want it now, pay for better shipping.

    2. The Plaid Cow said on March 24, 2009:

      With anything free, you get what you pay for. If you want it now, pay for better shipping.

      I think that misses the point that Amazon may be intentionally delaying something they could ship.

      It's a guess as to whether they do that for "optimal inventory levels" or some other thing or whether they do it just to try to get people to pay for shipping.

  15. I don't see how it could be good for business to piss off customers by delaying shipping unnecessarily.

    I'd appreciate it if Amazon were more upfront that their free shipping comes with a different cost, though - nobody's going to read it when the reason is buried in an FAQ.

  16. Here's my experience with Amazon. This was a gift certificate so I had little choice. Fool me once, shame on you...

    Here is the letter I sent them:

    Here is another "bitch" letter regarding Amazon's shipping policy. I'm sure you get many of these.

    OK, I don't order much from Amazon but we received a gift certificate. We ordered several items (4 kids, you know). Each has a shipping charge. I can use the super saver shipping if I combine the orders BUT, a couple of items are future releases set for August sometime. I don't mind waiting for them and I don't mind the 7-10 days for the stuff that's in stock, but now Amazon is holding the items in stock hostage until the other items are released in August. The order was placed May 1st. This is unacceptable and I have changed the order for standard shipping which is $20+ on $35 worth of merchandise. I will pay this but I am not happy with Amazon's policy and I will not use Amazon in the future.

    I probably should have just ordered the in-stock items first, received them, then placed the order for the future items.... or something. I just want to shop not f-ing play games.

    Thanks for your answer. I just didn't like the answer.

  17. It is very deceptive to say 7-10 days for free shipping, and then put a date of 2 weeks on the invoice.
    It seems mighty suspicious to change the dates so drastically.

    I will look elsewhere in the future, but my girlfriend wants a Kindle. Good thing Amazon paid so much to be exclusive, or I would surely buy it somewhere without the shell game tactics.

  18. Andy, 10 business days is two weeks, so it isn't so suspicious.

  19. Daniel,
    To be shipped? Not received.
    I expect it will come early.

  20. In my experience Amazon deliberately sits on free shipping orders (they used to ship out on availability back when Amazon was fighting harder for customers) so that it can create an artificial demand for it's $79 two day shipping.

    As Amazon opens up more distribution centers, many people could get sent items the cheapest method (first class is often just as cheap as media mail especially if you are on a dist center doorstep) and get them one or two days after the order. So why bother paying the steep 2 day or 1 day shipping charge? While in the past free shipping usually meant media mail, nowadays even that method will end up cannibalizing Amazon's HUGE markups on 2 day and 1 day shipping.

    Amazon would rather get those markups.

    What Amazon is doing is the darker shade of capitalism: manipulating their shipping times to create a new "service". Amazon's distribution center expansion is probably designed to facilitate its paid shipping, so it needs to artificially restrict free shipping customers from reaping the benefits.

    What is shady as hell about this annoying practice is that Amazon does in fact freeze the order so that even while it is sitting in shipping purgatory--which they have no intent of releasing it from prematurely--you can't cancel the order and get the same thing at Walmart or Target. I imagine there is some truth to the warehouse stock theory, but telling customers they can't cancel the order while it sits for days afterwards in limbo is not kosher at all if you ask me.

    A fairer and more truthful way to advertise free shipping would be to provide a checkbox that says "treat me as a second class customer" because that is what they will do. You have to wait, you can't cancel (usually), and their motive is to make you feel the pain and pay next time.

    When I offer my customers freebies, I don't drag my feet on purpose to annoy them. If I did, they would stop being my customers. I feel pretty much the same way about Amazon, no matter what their excuse is.

  21. I order from Amazon multiple times a month. In a year, I probably spend close to $5,000. What I have seen in the past is that Amazon has gone down hill. Recently I ordered a converter box for my mother. It was EXACTLY $40, which meant I was able to use the $40 card that the FCC was sending out to purchase converter boxes. All I had to pay was shipping, which I did. A week later, I got a message saying my order was canceled because the item is not in stock and they don't intend to purchase more. Now, I know it was canceled because somebody decided they wanted to make some more money off of this digital transition and wanted me to spend more.

    Then a few months later, I buy a DVD and it was cracked. So I emailed Customer Service and they simply apologized. No offer for a refund, no offer to send it back out. Nothing.

    Now we have this Super Saver shipping. What a joke. I literally live within miles of the largest Amazon warehouse that ships out most of the electronics to the east coast. Every time I order electronics, it takes about 10 days for me to get it. 10 days to go a few miles. I know for a fact that they DO sit on free shipping orders. It's like a punishment. If I pay for shipping, I get it the next day from the same warehouse.

    But here's Amazon's new trick. They send out an email saying your package is shipping but USPS never actually gets it for at least 5 days. You can check the tracking number every day and you'll see. "No Record of this Package"

  22. Same as Mike (above), I have ordered several items from Amazon with "Super Saver Shipping" and have been very disappointed when, even though they send an email saying that it has shipped, I check 3-4 days later on the USPS website to track it, and USPS has never even heard of the shipment. I now assume that it will ship 5 days after I receive the shipment email, because that's what it has taken on average for me. Totally not worth the "free" shipping.

  23. Elizabeth,

    Problems with Amazon's shipping are not related to problems with USPS tracking. In my experience, USPS tracking is horridly unreliable and outdated, regardless of who the shipper is. If I want something tracked, I do NOT ship it USPS - I use FedEx or UPS, preferably FedEx.

  24. If you can find it somewhere else, buy it! The saving in shipping does not cover the aggravation of having to wait 7-10 days for something that should only take 2-3 days to arrive. I live less than an hour from Seattle and regular shipping between my address and any address near or around Seattle only takes 1 day (I do it all the time!). So when I ordered from Amazon (which is located in Seattle) and my item qualified for the SuperSaver, I said why not? I'm only a day, perhaps three if they drag their feet or simply want to walk my item from Seattle to my house. Well it's been 5 days and no item yet. WTF?

    Well, to put mildly I am not a happy customer and AMAZON will never see my business again! To ship what I bought would only cost $3 tops for First Class shipping, but because I didn't want to pay the $7 I am now having to wait for something I should have received a long time ago. I could understand if I lived across country or if the item was on back-order (which is not, I checked), but less than an hour away? Give me a break! AMAZON simply sucks!!

    1. Amazon doesn't ship from Seattle. They will ship from various warehouses depending on where your item is in stock: typically from Nevada or even the East Coast.

      Free shipping doesn't need to be fast, if you want it faster you have the option of paying for faster shipping or using Amazon Prime to get unlimited free 2 day shipping.

  25. I don't have a problem with waiting longer for the free shipping. My problem is that I judge which type of shipping by the estimate that they give you, but when you purchase the item(s) the shipping then becomes quite a bit longer. Give better estimates!

  26. I've ordered many things from Amazon and I could tell you that they DO hold the orders. They usually hold them for five working days. Even when I paid for 2 day delivery they held my order for five days (they did the two times I paid for 2 day shipping). It's a lie that usps tracking system doesn't work. Next time you ship something with them, check online and you'll see that it's being tracked (maybe not perfectly but why do you need to know where it is every ten minutes). At least they post when they receive a package so the person getting the package knows its shipped. 7 days to have something shipped is too long and 10 days is ridiculous. Anything shipped domestically doesn't take more that 5 days.

  27. Guys quit your whining, Amazon is normally cheaper to buy from then other e-tailers or local stores. If you dont want to pay shipping, then dont expect the order to arrive the next day, Amazon.com is a business, not a charity. I alway use free shipping for orders less than $100 and I always get the item delivered under 8 days. USPS sucks, tracking is unreliable regardless of if you use Amazon or send mail through the post office. When using standard shipping (and paying for it) my orders always arrive within 4 - 5 days. If you dont want to wait that long, go to a store, pay the higher price, taxes, and shut up.

  28. Yes, AK. Amazon has wonderful prices. Nobody is debating that. The issue here is that they keep the items in their warehouse for DAYS for no reason other than to punish people for not paying for shipping. If it's that big of a financial challenge, then they shouldn't offer it. Companies like Buy.com and Walmart are perfectly capable of sending their orders out VERY quickly and they have prices just as low as Amazon in most cases.

    When I choose Buy.com free shipping, I always get it in less than a week. Why can't Amazon accomplish this? It seems simple enough. It just seems like Amazon is trying to wring every cent of savings out of an order at the cost of customer satisfaction. They're getting arrogant. They think we may complain but we'll keep coming back.

    Yes, Amazon is a BUSINESS but if regular customers don't air their grievances with the company, they will go OUT of business. Just last night I bought an Xbox 360 from Buy.com and NOT Amazon because of this. If it keeps up, more of my orders will go to them.

  29. Jonathan Johnson said on February 9, 2009:

    My experience has generally been the same as yours; when choosing the faster 2-day or Next Day shipping (or using Amazon Prime), my orders ship out the next day or even the same day. But, when not using it and choosing free shipping, my orders are held for a while before they are shipped out.

    I agree 100% They send you a notification informing you that your order has been shipped however when you go to USPS' website and insert your tracking number ... not so much. SCAM!

  30. The last three things I've ordered from Amazon with Super Saver Shipping have been delayed in one way or another. One I thought was the problem of the USPS, but I'm not sure. I ordered something on the 4th of this month, and the estimated deliver is now the 11th. There is no indication of it not being in stock. I would've bought locally, but there is no place locally that sells the item.

  31. Okay, I have a new experience with Amazon. They recently had this deal where if you sign up for 12 months of Audible, you get $100 off an MP3 player. I was initially hesitant because I know Amazon's reputation but against my better judgment, I signed up for Audible and got my $100 off credit.

    So I went shopping for the MP3 player I've wanted, which is the Creative Zen X-Fi2. I was so excited to get the new 16 GB X-Fi2 for only $140. Minus the 100, it would only cost me $40. I signed up for standard shipping. The item said it was in stock. So I ordered it.

    Afterwards, I looked at the order details and it said it wasn't going to ship until January 22nd! I ordered this December 31st. I was furious, so I emailed customer service. They said that the item is listed as shipping within ONE TO TWO MONTHS, which was certainly NOT listed on the product page. They actually typed that and expected me to be okay with it. I responded and told them that it was certainly not alright. Their response was "You can cancel your order." That right there highlights Amazon's customer service philosophy: "If you don't like it, tough."

    Now many of you may say that I got it at a huge discount, so why complain. Really? I'm stuck paying for Audible for 12 months at $15 a month. That's FAR more than the $100 I saved.

    I've been sucked back in with Amazon too many times in the past and I'm done. I've reported this to the Better Business Bureau. Let them deal with these idiots.

  32. Initially, I wasn't sure of what Prime was about and what it had to offer but considering how much I buy there and my lack of patience for delivery, this service has worked very well for me. Now I have started to buy things other than books and music off the site. If you forget to turn off auto-renewal and are charged the membership after a month, don’t despair. The fee is refundable as long as you haven’t made any purchased through Amazon Prime outside of your trial period.

  33. Add another annoyed customer to the list. Amazon's policies have driven me away - and I used to spend a lot with them. Their ever-changing prices are annoying - I've ordered stuff and the price dropped before I even received it. Buy something from a B&M store and if it goes on sale, they'll make a price adjustment. Amazon won't. Bye-bye Amazon...

  34. I must be the only one around these parts who has any success with Amazon's free shipping. When I order something with free shipping, it is almost always shipped out the next business day, and I almost always get it within 3-4 days after that.

    Anyway: Tim: I hope you are letting Amazon know this, instead of just venting your frustration here, where Amazon won't see it...

  35. Nice to see I'm not alone. I ordered a PS3 on the 13th with free shipping. Initially got a delivery estimate of the 19th (after the weekend, bummer, but hey, stuff USUALLY gets here faster than advertised - MAYBE I'll have it on Saturday). Then the order sat at "Shipping soon!" Wednesday, Thursday, and now, Friday. When I checked on it today, the delivery estimate was pushed back to the 26th-30th.

    I contacted them through the "Call me" feature on the site, talked to someone with an Indian accent, and after some bitching, her explaining 'free shipping takes time,' and me saying that even at Christmas, I've NEVER had a free-shipped order take that long, she offered me 'free' 2-day shipping and said I would get it on the 20th. I took the offer, but I'm still debating going back and just canceling it.

    Like others, I understand you get what you pay for (free = slow), but they really set up lousy expectations when 'free' stuff you don't really care about gets to you in a day or two, but something like a PS3 can take up to 17 days (by their estimate).

    I guess it's true, a watched pot never boils.

  36. I ordered some items (april 26) from amazon and used super saver shipping. This is what I noticed. Amazon sent a shipping notice (april 28) showing a USPS tracking number. These items were in stock and I could have had it on april 28th if I had opted for expensive shipping method. But this tracking number was not recognized by the post office until May 1st. On May 1st, postal tracking said they received shipping notice from amazon. On amazon's site, tracking the postal tracking number said it was arrived at an unknown place on April 29.

    It seems like, amazon is not really shipping this item on the shipping notice date. They attach a postal tracking number and then hold the item. They ship it out after a holding period to purposely delay the delivery. The customer gets the feeling that it is already shipped and see no reason to cancel it. Normally post office delivers an item with in 3-4 days.

    It is game amazon is playing to make sure that you wait for the merchandize if you do not pay for the shipping. Notice that, if amazon is not the seller you get your stuff faster, most often.

    I'll get my stuff on May 4th.

  37. I personally have a theory--free shipping worked great for me UNTIL I signed up for the free trial of Amazon Prime. After a month of free overnight-2day service, I turned it off before they could charge me for PRIME. Since then I've had TERRIBLE service from Amazon. I ordered 2 books which were in stock on 5/12, and they just shipped today, 6/7. That's 3 weeks later! I also had items held hostage with an order including a preordered book that won't come out until September! In December, before my trial, I ordered a set of stuff including a preorder, and all the other in stock stuff was shipped immediately, while the preorder came when it was available, all with free shipping since the total order was > $25.

    I think I've been put on some sort of black list for people who have sampled PRIME so that they get so frustrated with mail service that they sign up again. I honestly never had these problems until that trial service.

    I'll probably be using Barnes & Nobles more now that they offer free shipping too. I agree that Amazon is driving away loyal customers with substandard service. Personally, I'm going to take this post and email it to Amazon's customer service, and see what they say.

  38. I like to think of myself as a pretty regular Amazon shopper. Books, mostly. Heck, I even sold a few video games through their Marketplace system.

    However, I have been getting the impression from them that the Super Saver Shipping option is causing orders to be, if nothing else, placed in a lower priority Queue.

    In other words, if feels like they have a stack of products in this pile and in that pile. That pile is for paid-for shipping and will be loaded before the free shipping pile because the free shipping has a built in "grace period" as their listed ship date.

    Ergo, a priority queue.

    It's also likely due to how they might be consolidating items between warehouses. No doubt there might be one order in Warehouse 1 which is in (say) California and Warehouse 2 which might be in (say) Illinois.

    They probably have regular inter-warehouse trucks that go between their warehouses that deliver such fragmented orders to the closest warehouse, to be assembled into one package and shipped.

    Which could explain why a UPSP tracking number can be generated several days (3-4) before items actually ship. Delay due to consolidating. If you paid for shipping, they could very well still consolidate, but instead of waiting for the cheap inter-warehouse truck to deliver their goods, they could just ship it right away via UPSP to the warehouse and reship from there.

    Who knows. *shrug*

    Long story short, I've always taken free shipping, however it has felt like it's taken a lot longer to ship stuff than it use to.

    However, the orders that feel this way are often for 6-7 items, oppose to just buying 1 item. So, I think there's a consolidation issue that causes the delay for the most part.

  39. I also have been using amazon for years. The free super-saver shipping was great that entire time. Now, recently there has started to be this typical five-day holding time before the product is even shipped. This all started happening after sampling Amazon Prime for a month and not signing up. Coincidence? Maybe...

  40. OK here is a new one....I paid for shipping ...regular shipping and it still sits.....check this out...

    Basically there is no reason to pay anyone for shipping if they allow packages to sit in one location for 3 days after they supposedly “shipped” …it’s complete BS

    Oh what the hell I can explain…..

    DVD order…ordered June 18…right?
    You pay $2.98 for shipping…( should be .99 cents for a DVD but...)
    They have a month to get ready for a "July 6 release date"…
    They 'ship' it July 5...
    OK fine….
    You cannot check on progress for a 3 day waiting period? "in transit"....( till the 8th)...I suspect...it is sitting. I check by calling...
    Obviously today it is still in the same location it was on July 5? The day it ‘shipped’?(obviously it did not ship)...why?

    I complained...and they refunded the shipping cost altogether....This still won’t arrive till July 12……ridiculous. …it weighs the same as a letter.

    What exactly are we paying for?...I did not even ask for free shipping in the original order?

  41. About 3 years ago amazon standard shipping and free shipping would usually take the same amount of time from order until delivery. Unfortunately the speed has gone down since then with 5 day holds. I would actually expect a lot of variance in the shipping time, e.g. longer wait around holidays, faster shipping on Tuesdays, etc. But that does not seem to be the case.

  42. Ordered some electronics 8/4 with free 7-10 day shipping. After ordering, it said will ship on 8/10 and arrive by 8/19-25. That's three weeks total. I canceled the order and reordered on 8/5 with newegg standard shipping. I will get it at the latest by Monday, but maybe even on Friday.

  43. As I've posted before, I've never had a problem with Amazon's free shipping. The longest my orders have ever been held was two business days (usually it ships the next day); it arrived 2 days after that, as my orders typically do.

    I think the trick is that I have never tried Prime, and I have never intentionally paid for shipping at Amazon. Perhaps it is that since I have always gotten the free shipping, they are not penalizing me for once again choosing free?

  44. Ordered a PSP game on July 18th 2010. It shipped on July 22nd, thats great. Its now Aug 7th. No updates from "Where's My Stuff" since July 30th, just layin' around in KC. Eleven or twelve business days if you count the "Shipped" date. I asked for a refund, which they processed yesterday Friday Aug 6th. I have used Amazon's "Super Saver Shipping" for a few years and have always had good luck, everything usually arrives early when ordered directly from an Amazon warehouse. This time it was a third party warehouse fulfilled by Amazon.

  45. I've just placed several orders with amazon and vendors within it. I track my credit card--every charge gets put on immediately. It takes 3 or more days to get it into a box. I get it 10 days later. Sometimes, I literally could have walked to the vendor, taken it, and walked home in less time. All that time, someone is making money off the charge to my credit card. I don't want a charge until the package is actually out the door. Seems like a small thing, but add it up. Three days of free interest on our money, millions of dollars of purchases per day, a revolving account that surely brings in a lot of money.

    Once again, business proves it cannot self-regulate, that it will cheat if given half a chance. There should be a law and regulators, no matter how ineffective. This must stop.

  46. I love amazon, i use amazon prime and could not be happier with it. You get what you pay for

  47. I also got the 5 day delay as well, I ordered on Aug. 28th, it was shipped on Sept. 2nd, and delivery estimate is on Sept. 10. This is my first order (technically second, my first was sold by another vendor and fulfilled by amazon), I will probably make another order from them, but if they keep up with the same BS, bye bye amazon.

  48. I had a simple order placed Wednesday morning that I expected tomorrow (Friday). I paid $14.95 for 2nd-day shipment of a $58 item - ouch! This is NOT a SuperSaver example. My order went immediately to "shipping soon" status. 'Awesome', I thought. As expected, the scheduled delivery date was Friday, Sept. 10.

    Unfortunately, the "shipping soon" status remained for over 30 hours. When UPS finally was notified and picked the package up, Amazon had burnt 30+ hours of the 48 hours. UPS.com immediately reported a "reschedule" of delivery to Monday. Still, my Amazon.com shipment report tells me it will be there tomorrow...

    This item was in stock and in PA - I live in MA. I am sure that Amazon closely monitors its processes. It is highly likely that Amazon could calculate the "handling" time would be too long to meet the delivery expectation. I believe that their delivery estimates are substantially misleading and the "shipping soon" is a handy lock-in mechanism in the event of shipping time frustrations. Don't get me wrong, I believe there is a time when changes have to be locked out due to processing and handling, but not 30 hours before placing an item in the box.

    I admit that this is not a BIG deal, but I paid substantial shipping charges for that 2-day delivery, I am disappointed in Amazon. I will write a retraction if my product arrives tomorrow, but it doesn't look good...

  49. I'm a long time amazon customer since 2003. I buy a lot of stuff from them. honestly their free shipping used to be great till the past couple of years. more and more, orders are stucking in 'shipping soon' for days or even over a week for items that are IN STOCK. understand free shipping is slow, but that's for the time in transit by shipper. Hold a week before handing item to the shipper isn't acceptable.

  50. Dang, you really like to rant.

    I have used Free Super Saver shipping for years, quite extensively, and my stuff almost always ships within a day, plus it gets delivered within 2-3 days of ordering most of the time.

    I understand the desire to rant after a bad experience, but just realize that you may have had an unusual experience.

    1. George said on October 10, 2010:

      Dang, you really like to rant.

      As rants go, this had to be a pretty tame one. C'mon now…

      And yes, maybe my experience was "bad," but what about the other 50+ comments here? Were their experiences also "unusual"?

  51. I placed an order on Oct 11, with super saver shipping, with estimated delivery between Oct 19-22 (6-9 business days). I got the notice the item shipped on Oct 12 and the item was delivered Oct 13 (less than 48 hours after the initial order).

  52. The Plaid Cow said on October 13, 2010:

    I placed an order on Oct 11, with super saver shipping, with estimated delivery between Oct 19-22 (6-9 business days). I got the notice the item shipped on Oct 12 and the item was delivered Oct 13 (less than 48 hours after the initial order).

    May you share with us what kind/kinds of product did you purchase? I got a 5 day delay when I ordered my Kitchenaid Blender, maybe the delay's only for appliance.

  53. David said on October 14, 2010:

    May you share with us what kind/kinds of product did you purchase? I got a 5 day delay when I ordered my Kitchenaid Blender, maybe the delay's only for appliance.

    I ordered a Fuji ScanSnap 1500M. I wouldn't expect everyone to have the exact same experience I did (I live close to a warehouse), but there was no five day delay in waiting for the product to leave the warehouse.

  54. I have ordered several things from Amazon in recent weeks, and I stick with the theory I posted earlier: if you have never tried Amazon Prime, "FREE Super Saver Shipping" is acceptably fast. If you have ever tried Amazon Prime, the free shipping is painfully slow.

    Here are some of my recent orders:

    1.5TB WD SATA HD. Ordered 12/2. Shipped 12/3. Arrived 12/6. Amazon shipping estimate was 12/9. That reminds me, I need to plug that into my Drobo, now that it has warmed up after having been inside for several hours, after having been outside for several hours/days.

    Samsung Blu-Ray player. Ordered 12/3. Shipped 12/4. UPS says it will arrive on 12/10. This is UPS Ground from Arizona, 2200 miles from the destination. Original Amazon shipping estimate was 12/13. I also ordered an "Amazon Basics" HDMI cable on 12/3, but it hasn't shipped yet. Oh well. I have a spare, and it'll be fun to use my HDTV for an HD source this weekend. I should upgrade my Netflix account with Blu-Ray.

    I also ordered several things yesterday. They have not yet shipped, and they show a delivery estimate of 12/10 to 12/15.

  55. I looged on amzon.com site and it was about a Kindle. It says if you order within 10 minutes, get your kindle absolutely within 2 days. Since I was planning a trip on 3rd day, I ordered it. However, until the next day, the kindle was not shipped. I called the customer service several times to cancel the order, but no one will do that with different excuses that kindle has been picked up by the shipper or its in warehouse so on. Amazingly it has not been shipped even when the delivery is promised. What a crap this company is. It neither allows to cancel the order which it knows that it has not been shipped or might take couple of days to ship. This is a false advertisment to tangle the customer. Shame on its reputation.

  56. The hole situation is if you, let them do it too you then you are part of the problem ! What you have too do too stop the problems is not too buy from them and if they don't change they will be gone

  57. Amazon is fairly misleading in the way it advertises its "free" shipping. I recently placed an order with them and choose the standard shipping, which it defaults to, thinking that was the "free" option that was mentioned when I placed the order, only to realize when I looked at the invoice after it finally did ship (2 days after placing the order), that I was charged $7.35 for shipping, and this was an item in stock and shipping directly from amazon. I contacted them via their chat and told them that their "free" shipping advertisement is very misleading, they did not try to defend it, and promptly credited my shipping back to me. To top it all off, their "standard" shipping that they charged money for is fedex smartpost, which I would have expected them to use if they werent charging for shipping because of how awful it is, but they DO charge for the worst shipping around. That being the case, how bad would shipping be if I actually did choose the even lower method?

  58. I ordered an item that was in stock at Amazon. It has been in "Shipping Soon" status for 5 days. When I ordered stuff from them before it got shipped right away so I thought they were prompt. I am beginning to agree with the others that say they just set the free shippers aside for a few days. Also, if there is a passover stack, who is to say that there won't be a steady stream of higher priority shipments that will take precedence? How do they know when to finally pay attention to the dead beats?

    In the world of on-line ordering, "soon" should mean, pretty much "today" not "when we fill all the higher priority shipping orders and have absolutely nothing else to do."

  59. Ask them why hold the order some times up to 5 days before it's filled and Was told by amazon that the reason for the delay is that people who want free shipping are not in a rush for product . Yea right *&%*(*&

  60. Amazon sucks, i ordered a laptop for my college study chossing the 3 to 5 days system. It was supposes to arrive on April the 7th and they push the delivery date to May 22nd.I just cant understand this. Amazon has dissapointed me tremendously

  61. I ordered 2 small items which both were "in stock," but continued not to be shipped.

    I was so annoyed by the customer service reps obfuscating the policy (but failing to deny the "holding shipment to penalize customer" suggestion) that I wrote an email to Jeff Bezos. He had one of his employees respond to confirm that they do indeed hold the shipment so that it will not arrive before the stated arrival date.

    I am still awaiting the arrival of a Kindle battery (which I apparently could have bought quicker and cheaper at a Radio Shack.)

    The response is lengthy, but I can copy and paste it here if anyone is in doubt.

    1. Do you realy expect us to believe that Jeff Bezos had someone write back to you confirming your crazy theory that amazon is deliberately holding back shipments so they dont arive early? And that they deliberately want to piss off and "penalize" there customers? Come on... What do they want to penalize you for? Amazon is the best. I have never experienced this and alot of times my order comes ahead of the scheduled delivery date and I do a lot of shopping from amazon.

  62. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person in America who has success with Amazon's free shipping option. I always choose the free shipping option, and usually my orders are shipped next day or day after that. I recently had the longest delay I have ever seen - 1 week - and the item still arrived a day before Amazon said it would be here. (They showed an arrival date of 5/13 to 5/19, and it arrived yesterday, on 5/18.)

  63. Brad said on February 9, 2009:

    It's important to remember that Amazon's "Super Saver" shipping is not just regular shipping made free. As they put it:

    When you choose FREE Super Saver Shipping on an order, you're letting us know you are willing to wait a little longer to get your items as long as the shipping is free. This option allows us to better manage our inventory and order demand and pass the savings on to you in the form of free shipping. Most Free Super Saver Shipping orders will ship out within 5 business days.

    My understanding is that when you use "Super Saver" shipping they'll do whatever it takes to minimize the total cost (to them), while meeting the 7-10 day delivery window.

    Ordered a hard drive 2 weeks (!!!) ago. It is available on amazon for at least 4 months, not a new hot item or something. It is not holiday time. STILL NOT SHIPPED! I fail to see how is that "will ship out within 5 business days" or "meeting the 7-10 day delivery window".

    1. I once waited a month for half a dozen books, all of which were in stock:)

  64. Just ridicoulous. Stuff from newegg ordered the same time ALSO WITH FREE SHIPPING was delivered within 2 business days.

  65. I just got off the phone with an Amazon rep -- who I could barely understand due to poor English. She said that the delay in SENDING my order was due to my choice of Super Saver shipping -- so the shipping choice not only changes the actual third-party "shipping" but also the fulfillment time on the order.

    Misleading to say the least.

    We'll see if my item comes within the "promised" interval.

  66. I had the same thing happen to me. When I called about it, they actually told me that it was being delayed so that it would arrive 'on time' in 8 days. The warehouse is 2 days shipping tome away, so they held off shipping it for 5 days. I will never use Amazon again.!

  67. well amazon officially likes to deceive its customers...what a bunch of bs....see live help transcript below.

    You are now connected to Vijay from Amazon.com.
    Me:I ordered the Kindle on Monday and it is now Friday afternoon and it is still shipping soon? I am getting really frustrated with this and I have to have it for a trip next Friday morning. I choose free shipping because I never thought it would take 2 weeks to get here. I may cancel my order and get a nook instead, but I'm not sure yet....I have heard similar reports about long shipping soon times even though the item is in stock....what is the problem?
    Vijay:Hello Stephen, This is Vijay. I'll be happy to help you today.
    There is no need for any concern Stephen as an exception I have upgraded your shipping method to standard shipping at free of cost.
    Me:so what does that mean about shipping times?
    Vijay:You will receive your order by July 25, 2011
    Me:do you know why it had been 'shipping soon' for 5 days now? ...All my purchases from amazon in the past have never had this occur.
    Vijay:As it was free super saver shipping the item takes 5 days to ship
    Me:I have chosen that method in the past and never had to wait 5 days.....thank you so much for your assistance... If I could suggest, I feel amazon should let buyers know about this as I was completely unaware.
    Vijay:Thanks for that suggestion. I'll pass it on to the right people in our company.
    Me:Ok thanks, that will be all then

  68. Happen to me too, but I think the explaination given makes sense.
    Ordered few items (all sold by AMazon, no retailer) on 8/19. Projected delivery for super saver 8/25-8/27. Was in "Shipping Soon" till 8/24. Today it as shipped via UPS in Hodgkins, IL (150 miles from Madison WI, my place) with a delivery date of 8/25.

    So looks like they used their internal shipping to get everything to their Illinois warehouse before using external shipping service.

  69. I have never seen a company sit on an order so long??? Well my stuff has been sitting in their "shipping soon" pile for a week. Luckily for me they give you the option to cancel, which I will do today.

  70. So the lesson here is... don't use the super saver program if you want your item ASAP. Right? If you want your item ASAP, then I'm pretty sure you would be willing to pay the extra few dollars for the shipping. Yesterday I placed an order that was a $7.50 item, but the shipping was about $8.50, more than the item itself. But you know what? I paid the extra money because I want my item. If it holds for a bit, then oh well. What can people expect with an online business? Things happen.

  71. I don't think that's the "lesson." Though paying for faster shipping guarantees delivery faster, the point is that Amazon seems to "sit" on packages unnecessarily when people choose the cheaper shipping.

  72. I've learned to expect the worst on arrival times for Amazon's free shipping, although they've never actually missed their delivery window. I've used it several times and it always arrives on the last day of the window or the second to the last day.

    Therefore, I can't say they are dishonest - they do keep their delivery commitment. But I still can't figure out how it takes them over a week to put the darned thing (which is in stock) in a box and slap on a label. I've noted through online tracking that this is the holdup. Once the item actually ships, it only takes 2-3 days.

    Furthermore, I don't see how it is in their interest to drag things out like this since they can't bill me for it until they ship it. It's cutting off your nose to spite your face. Bad business . . .

  73. Ordered an item from Amazon for a Christmas gift this year, used Free Super Saver Shipping based on the "Order by XX date, have it delivered by the 24th." Item showed in stock, ordered first week of December, (well before the cut-off date so timing wasn't at issue,) yet after ordering, the shipping date became Dec 16, with delivery estimate between Dec 29 and Jan 6 -- a far cry from "in time for Christmas." What the heck? After waiting 10 days for a single "in stock" item to ship, I gave up and located the same item on the manufacturer's website, (same price, free UPS delivery, estimated to be on my doorstep w/in 3 days,) so I requested my Amazon order be canceled...after never getting a cancellation confirmation, I contacted Amazon to verify, the rep said my order was "shipping soon" and couldn't be changed or canceled, telling me to refuse delivery if I didn't want it...amazingly enough, after registering my complaint, my unchangeable order suddenly moved from "shipping soon" with a 7-10 day delivery window to "shipped" by 2nd day air...coincidence?

    1. Imagine that! My favorite part of ordering with Amazon is the "Shipment has left seller facility and is in transit" status on the order status page... and then it shows an Estimated arrival date a full 7 days after the Shipment Date..... huh? It doesn't take that long to get here by mail. But anyhow, yes they are clearly delaying Super Saver Shipping orders in order to cater to those who are paying more. They have to, or no one would pay anything to ship their products. Everyone would be using Super Saver. It's like tickets to a ball game: the closer the seats, the closer you are to the action while the farther seats aren't so good. That's why they're cheaper, right?

  74. Ordered a whole bunch of items for the holidays even as late ad Dec 22nd all via super saver free shipping. All if it came within 2-5 days. Well I ordered another item on 12/25 and it still hasn't shipped as of 12/31. So they are clearly delaying shipment now. Somehow the week before Christmas they had time to ship super saver immediately, but the week after they were too busy! There is no way that they are busier shipping the week after Christmas than the week before Christmas.

    1. Yep, I noticed that too. I think they did it that way in order to keep people from getting angry and possibly exposing their intentional shipment delays to the media. With so many people ordering gifts for Christmas and expecting them before the 25th, they didn't want people 'rocking the boat'!

  75. Here's how accurate Amazon is on estimating the arrival date, "Delivery Estimate: Monday, February 6, 2012 - Wednesday, February 22, 2012", and I paid for 5-7 days. I agree with Erik completely and I plan on moving away from Amazon.

  76. I see a recent trend with my last few Amazon purchases. As a Prime (free 2-day shipping) member, I select an item to purchase on Thursday afternoon, & am told if I pay the extra $3.99 for 1 day shipping, the package will arrive on Saturday. However, it arrives on Monday instead, when the person is not home & the item can be stolen off of the porch.

    I was just reading & Amazon says that 'some areas' don't have weekend delivery, so apparently, I am wasting the extra $3.99 to get it there. If I understand correctly, the Saturday delivery sure was an inducement for me to part with my $, & may be based on areas that do deliver. However, the email confirmation sent, clearly says Monday.

    Unfortunately, I'm now forced to take a screen shot of the promised Saturday delivery before purchase, & compare it to the email confirmation. If its delayed, then I have to quickly cancel the order.

  77. I ordered an HD TV from Amazon on Mon, Mar 11, 2012 after noting that the item was “IN STOCK (and “sold by” and “shipped by”) AMAZON. The order was placed using Super-Saver Shipping.

    It’s now Sun, Mar 18, and the item still has not shipped from Amazon.

    The critical issue to me – and I suspect to other customers - is that IN STOCK normally means that an item is READY-TO-BE-SHIPPED, without delay. (Of course, delays by USPS and FedEX still might occur, but those delays can’t be held against Amazon.”)*

    In addition, IN STOCK contrasts in my mind with something called OUT-OF-STOCK, which normally means that an item is NOT ready-be-shipped, because, well, it’s out-of-stock.

    Bottom Line: In Amazon’s eyes (not in mine), IN-STOCK means nothing as far as when an item will ship from their warehouse. As long as they think they can meet the delivery window for Super Shipping, they can:
    a. Sing “Kumbaya, My Lord,” while delaying shipment for no reason;
    b. Put a pin in a doll that looks like you while saying, “Sucker,”
    c. Chant, “If the customer wanted faster delivery, the cheapskate could have paid for faster delivery. In the interim, We’re going to delay the order so we can …[reason here].

    If Amazon wants to delay shipping for any reason after listing an item as IN STOCK, that’s fine: Just tell them to put the following message beside IN STOCK: “”IN-STOCK isn’t any different than OUT-OF-STOCK as to when an item will be shipped from our warehouse. All we guarantee is that your item will be delivered in the timeframe stated. Have a nice day!”

    *[Another issue is that a single customer can’t really judge whether his delay is an aberration or pattern. However, based on the comments here, it’s the delays are more like a pattern than an aberration.]

  78. Amazon has gone down the crapper. I ordered an item at approximately 12am on March 22, 2012. As soon as Amazon sent me a tracking number (later that day) I kept checking to see where my package was. The USPS showed no info for my package. Finally, today March 26. 2012, the tracking through Amazon shows that it was sent through FEDEX and arrived in San Diego, where I live at 3:03pm. The only problem with this is a.) It was not even 2pm when I checked the tracking and b.) the USPS shows through the tracking number that they have only been notified electronically to expect the package. I contacted Amazon (some Indian woman in a call center) and was given the runaround. She was trying to explain that they use two different carriers to save me money. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! What a joke! I paid for shipping and enough that if they would have sent it via USPS only, I would have received my order on Saturday March 4, 2012. The order was shipped from a location only about 1 hour north of my location. As of today, I am officially done with Amazon.

    1. Correction: I would have received my order on March 24* not March 4
      Also I was assured that It would be delivered tomorrow, March 27, 2012. What a joke.

  79. I ordered something from Amazon UK, but I live in a different country. Only it's used (my mom keeps me on a buudget) and it's 6days delayed (says it should arrive between the 20th and the 29th of June which OBVIOUSLY have passed) only it isn't giving me any iinfo other than "dispatched". Does anyone know if it will ever arrive or if I've been robbed??? Ps: Sorry if i'm diviating from the subject but I'm kinda worried and need any and all help! Merry weekend:)

    1. Also sorry if I'm a bit annoyedd but I ordered on the 14th of June, with standard shipping. Ok i didn't pay extra (JUST ABOUT 6 POUNDS) but all the same.....

  80. All I'm doing is ordering a Kindle book, price a whopping $1.99. That would put me over the $25 mark to qualify for SSS.

    But I don't even know if I can use it on my old PC, circa 2003. Help/input greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  81. Real chat conversation just now w/ Amazon confirms intentional delay:

    Me:Why is order 002-7738188-XXXXXXX taking so long to ship?

    Charles:Hello Howard, my name is Charles. I'll be happy to help you.
    The reason the [product] still shows shipping soon is because free super saver shipping needs some extra days to ship the product.
    I confirmed this product is expected to ship in the next 24 hours.

    Me:Translation: Super saver shipping means we ship it the same way, we just sit on your order for a while?

    Charles:That's correct Howard. I will make a follow up .....

    In the end they offered me a "no charge" shipping upgrade. Not really sure they upgraded anything as opposed to removing the "delay shipment" order.

  82. Just as a suggestion, you mentioned in your post that this was a $600 order. I didn't read through all the comments, but you should definitely consider doing large orders in batches (two $300 orders for example). The reason is that amazon will wait for your entire order to be in stock. So if I have 10 items in a $100 order and 1 item is out of stock, the order doesn't ship. If I have 2 $50 orders and 1 item is out of stock, one of the two orders will ship.

  83. Erik J. Barzeski said on February 9, 2009:

    P.S. I just bought a book on January 28 and paid $3.99 for USPS shipping. It shipped the same day and arrived two days later. So again, why the five-day delay in shipping this time? I don't know.

    Is is a fairly old thread, but it pops up on Google on searching "Super saver shipping", so I figure I would comment with my theory for future readers. This is hot on the heels of my own frustration with the shipping.

    Here is my theory:

    Super Saver Shipping (SSS) works by holding off from shipping your items in order for Amazon to save on the transportation fee. I'm not sure whether this is geographically dependent, but suppose it is. Suppose that you live in NY. Amazon will have a certain number of packages that will trigger the SSS, say, 1000. Once 1000 New Yorkers have ordered items, then Amazon can then send them all out in one big truck, thus saving on shipping.

    This kind of theory explains the weird delays that you sometimes will get. Sometimes, your item ships out in a day (because you just caught the last truck) and sometimes it ships out in a week (because there is no truck or low demand in your area).

    What I also suspect is that there is a large penalty to putting together multiple items, and this is related to Amazon's warehouse distribution. Suppose that you order 4 items with SSS, and these 4 items lie in different warehouses. Well, Amazon will now have to apply their SSS threshold to determine when these items go out (usually in one box or two boxes), and this produces further delays.

    If my theory is right, then I have two pieces of advice:

    1. Don't assume that just because your last SSS order went out in a day means your next one will leave in a day.

    2. Given the choice of placing one large order for many items and many orders for many items, always do many orders. Be very careful with many orders with many items that are coming from different locations (for example, if I order tennis shoes and kitchenware and have them in the same free-shipping order).

  84. The other way around:

    Wednesday 17-10-2012:
    Order for two travel bags (on stock at seller) placed in the morning for my holiday (starting 20-10-2012).
    To be sure I receive the parcel before my holiday starts I click 1 - 2 days delivery for £6,95, expecting the parcel by end of day Friday 19-10-2012.

    After ordering delivery estimation says: delivery expected between 19 - 22 of October.

    Monday 20-10-2012:
    Me being on holiday without ordered bags, parcel being delivered at work.

    Responses on asking for refund delivery costs:
    Seller (TEAM SOUTH WEST ltd.): 'Amazon provides us delivery dates: we fulfilled these dates so we can't refund your costs.'

    Amazon: 'Dates are provided by the seller (TEAM SOUTH WEST ltd.) and we can't give you your delivery costs back.

    They both don't even acknowledge that I might be right that a 1-2 day delivery does NOT mean delivery on the third working day :s.....

  85. I can't agree more to the fact that Amazon has started intentionally delaying shipment when you choose "Super Saver shipping".

    Previously it used to be 5-8 business days, now it's practically 15-20 days (even if the estimates says quicker delivery).

    One more interesting thing to notice is that, previously you could also take the tracking number and see the status in google, now they hide that info. The tracking history is view-able in in Amazon site.

    I have bought online from other stores with free shipping, e.g. a high-end camera from Adorama. The free shipping uses road/ground shipment, which takes at most 7 days to ship across the country (NYC to bay area). They were much more transparent in providing shipment details.

    Ebay has much better service - fast and free. I love the fact that they don't confuse you with multiple shipping options.

    1. For my last order, I placed it late on a Monday (10:30 pm on October 29) with an estimated delivery of November 5-8. When the order had finally shipped, the estimated delivery date was moved to November 3. Using the free shipping option, it was finally delivered on the 2nd of November (Friday).

      Sometimes free shipping is fast and sometimes free shipping is slow. If it was always fast, then no one would ever pay for shipping. If it was always slow, then it wouldn't offer any business advantage.

    2. The Plaid Cow said on November 13, 2012:

      If it was always slow, then it wouldn't offer any business advantage.

      It'd still be free to the customer. That's the advantage. :)

  86. I just had my first seemingly intentional delay of Amazon Super Saver Shipping. "In Process" for three days on in-stock items, then "Shipping Soon" with a note that the delay should not affect my expected date of receipt, then "Shipped" with an expected receipt date two shipping days past the last date in the original timeframe.

    I'm wondering if I'm being targeted for these delays because I signed up for the Amazon Prime trial in late November to expedite shipping on Christmas purchases, then cancelled it before I was charged.

    Please, Amazon...go back to impressing your customers with expedient order handling, great prices, easy returns, friendly customer service, and free shipping on most orders over $25 (which often used to arrive earlier than the 5-8 business days projected).

    This (intentional?) delay means there may be no way to get my nephew's Easter basket to him in time for Easter Sunday. When I ordered, the last estimated arrival date was the Friday prior to Easter--OK, I can ship it overnight to him after assembling the basket--now the estimated arrival date is the Monday after Easter.

    Guess I get to start shopping around at other online retailers, as Amazon Prime is not a bargain for me when I only need to expedite 1-3 purchases per year.

    Boo--Hiss, Amazon!!

    1. Three days and counting for free shipping on two items, which both show as "in stock". This is becoming much more frequent lately and I am beginning to think I should help "relieve the workload" for those poor, overworked shipping employees. Time to find other vendors for my purchases.

      Amazon - put up or shut up - if you don't plan to honor and support free shipping in a reasonable manner, stop offering it and take the hit to your sales.

  87. I place an order LAST Thursday March 27, 2013. I still haven't received an email. Out of curiosity I chose to check my account status through Amazon. Still nothing this morning. Checked back this afternoon & TA DA!!!! I'm ANGRY. I placed an order that I researched extensively. I came to the conclusion that Amazon was the only way I'd get it by my daughter's birthday party on April 6th. I kept checking and checking. Status: Shipping Soon Estimated Delivery, Wed. April 3-Sat. April 6 by 8pm. I was like yeah, I can handle that. I log in this afternoon and it was SHIPPED! YAY! (NOT) The estimated delivery has changed to Thursday April 11th! If I would have known that I would have just ordered it from Walmart, saved money and had it shipped site to store for the EXACT same product. But because it was going to be shipped April 11th, I went with Amazon. BIG MISTAKE. HUGE. And this is NOT the only time they have changed their shipping times AFTER you have placed your order, even when I paid the extra money to get it shipped sooner. The only upside to this story is because of my temper tantrum, the customer service lady through chat was very kind and said she would try her best to get it shipped and here on the 5th of April. I hope all goes well because apparently the 3rd time is not a charm and it would be a shame if they lost more customers.

  88. I seriously have to think about buying stuff from Amazon, because whenever I have chosen 7-10 day free shipping, Amazon tends to ship them 7-10 day after the order has been placed. When pay for shipping the items are delivered most of the time before the estimated date of delivery. I have a small kid and I buy stuff quiet frequently but now I have to serious think is it worth it!!

  89. Signed up for a trial of Amazon Prime since I needed two day shipping of a camera for a wedding. Ordered from Amazon (not an affiliate, but from Amazon itself) Saturday, "guaranteed delivery date" was Wednesday.

    First, I'm not sure how an order on Saturday with delivery on Wednesday is two days. But you know, I only ordered with 2-day shipping to give myself a buffer. You see, I *needed* the camera by Thursday because I was flying out to a wedding early Friday morning. So, Wednesday would be fine.

    Wednesday rolls around and lo and behold, the package was delivered! Well, at least that is what my Order status on Amazon showed. Funny though, I didn't have the package at all. So, using the Fedex tracking number, I discovered that the package was in fact delivered just like Amazon said it was.... to the local USPS facility!! Then, the mail man brings the camera 1 or 2 days later.

    So, the so-called 2-day delivery is a fraud. No reasonable person thinks that 2-day delivery means a Saturday order will be delivered to the post office on a Wednesday with the package being in the hands of the customer 1 or 2 days later. By my count, that is 5 or 6 day delivery. Even allowing that the Saturday and Sunday don't count as shipping days, that means it was 3 or 4 day shipping, not 2 days.

    Best of all, they are using this "2-day shipping" to sell Prime memberships.... seems like a problem ripe for a class action lawsuit IMHO.

  90. Amazon's Free Super Saver Shipping is a joke. I order stuff all the time, (mostly Blu-ray's). I used to always get my orders in the same amount of time as regular shipping. The promotion is always the same, if you spend $25.00 or more on the movies, they will offer you free shipping. So if you went online to buy a particular movie, for say 14.99, you end up buying an additional movie you weren't planning on buying, in order to get the free shipping. It was a win win for everyone. Now it seems every time I make an order like this, my "IN STOCK" items sit at their warehouse for a week! Then they ship them with regular shipping which takes another week. What a joke. Whatever happened to "In stock items usually ship within 24 hours"? You also have to ask why Amazon holds there sellers to a handling time of 1-2 days, but they don't hold themselves to the same standard. I think I will start ordering all my movies from BestBuy.com, they offer free shipping all the time, Which arrives quickly, ships immediately, and I get reward zone points. Bye bye Amazon.

  91. I have been trying to order some things from Amazon and qualify for free super saver shipping, and I have to say, the entire experience has really put me off that company altogether. For eternity. IMO, they are just not being honest with their customers. What evil marketing genious dreamed up all this nonsense?

    The last message I got was that I needed to add another .83 cent purchase to qualify for free supersaver shipping. Now, when someone says 'if you buy all these things you will qualify for free shipping', I expect it to mean just that -- free shipping. But no, after going to all that bother to find enough to qualify, at checkout I see a $13 shipping and handling charge. What? How is that free shipping?

    I made a point to select only items where the seller said 'free shipping'. But now Amazon tells me that because some of the items I have in my checkout cart do not qualify for free super saver shipping, they have to charge me for shipping for those items. This is insanity. It's also dishonest.

    The seller said free shipping. Amazon said repeatedly to keep adding items to my cart to qualify for super saver shipping. I do all that. But when I check out, they are STILL finding some perverted rationale for why I will be paying shipping and handling.

    You know what? Maybe I won't be paying that shipping and handling. Maybe I will just cancel my order. In protest!

    When a seller says it's free shipping, it shoud be free shipping.

    1. I have something that might help you in the future. It's called a Filler Finder. All you do is enter the amount you need to add to your cart to quality for "free shipping" and make the $35 min. order amount. You can enter amounts as low as One Penny... and it will display pages and pages of stuff you can add to your cart.

      I tested it out when an order was like .43 cents short and it found a .50 cent phone case...

      Here is the link.. keep this and the next time you are a few cents short on an order for free shipping.. use this tool:

      http://www.filleritem.com/index.html

  92. YeaRight said on September 1, 2013:

    But now Amazon tells me that because some of the items I have in my checkout cart do not qualify for free super saver shipping, they have to charge me for shipping for those items. This is insanity. It's also dishonest.

    It's not complicated. There are two sorts of items: (i) items that qualify for free super saver shipping, and (ii) items that do not.

    Add up all items that are in your cart that satisfy (i). If this is over the free shipping limit, then they should be shipped free *on these items*. If there is a technical mistake, contact their customer service.

    There may be some debate about how the super saver shipping actually works (I gave a theory here. But in terms of transparency, Amazon is a fairly reputable and straightforward company.

  93. "...but in terms of transparency, Amazon is a fairly reputable and straightforward company'.

    I beg to differ. I have NEVER been so frustrated as when I ordered stuff from them. Wasted tons of time trying to get my order set up such that I would get free shipping. All their ads SAID free shipping, but then they tacked on a S/H charge at the backend (after I had gone to al that trouble) because certain items didn't qualify. I get that NOW, but at the time I was trying to place my order, I did not. Because their INSTRUCTIONS WERE MISLEADING. ALL their enticements about free shipping were just not true. Why don't they put the truth up front and center. Because their marketing folks know that after you have gone to all that trouble, you're probably not going to cancel your order. You're just going to pay the $10 extra for shipping items that did not qualify. Ordering from them was by far the most frustrating online order experience I have EVER had. From anyone. They are anything BUT straightward and honest, IMO. The experience was so distasteful that I doubt I will order from them again! If I do, it will be out of desperation.

  94. That is why I buy from Ebay, I be-leave Amazon "Free Shipping" is painfully slow on purpose to make you buy Prime.

  95. […] Free shipping is pretty slow, though. And they may play tricks with it… […]

  96. Here's my experience with Amazon: they too have changed their delivery estimates several times AFTER my (STANDARD shipping, NOT FREE) orders have been processed. Changing the delivery estimate once an order has been placed is totally unnaceptable.

  97. I'm late but I just ordered today Tuesday July 8th 2014 .
    Order says estimated delivery date Aug 7th - 14 .
    I choose free shipping and It made my items ship little as possible . Like group them but there all in Stock ?

  98. For comparison purposes I am building a PC. Roughly half of my parts were cheapest on Newegg and half were cheapest on Amazon. I ordered the case, ram, wireless adapter, motherboard, ssd, and water cooler from Newegg. I ordered the cpu, gpu, the hdd, and the power supply. Both 5 items. Both standard "free" shipping. Both ordered one after another on 7/27/14. Within minutes the order from Newegg had confirmed, gone through, and began preparing for shipment. By Monday morning it had shipped. This order which had just as many high priced items was on my doorstep by 7/30/14. Before Newegg's 5-7 day estimate. Two days before.

    Now for Amazon. Ordered minutes after the purchase on Newegg it confirmed and the charge went through. However the order didn't even begin to prepare until 3 hours after it was placed. 3 hours. Now at the time of writing this post, 7/30/14, it is still "preparing for shipment".

    Two orders, both for computer components, both free shipping, and both of similar price and amount. One got here in within 3 days of the day of me placing the order, the other, well it's still "preparing for shipment". I feel your pain about "surprise and delight" and "under-promise, over-deliver".

    Never buying computer components from Amazon again.

  99. Googled for problems like this and right away hit this site. Even if it's an old entry, it's still vallid.
    I preordered a monitor from Amazon.fr, a week later 2 are in stock and are sold, with estimated delivery for 2-3 days.

    In the mean time my preorder stays stuck at "processing" with a delivery date estimate in 6-8 weeks.

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact I preordered at 608 EUR and now they can sell it for 740 EUR...

    Or maybe it has to do with the strikes and worker actions asking fair wages in their distribution centers.

    Or maybe they're too busy extorting publishers right now.

    Amazon has turned into another moloch with such a dominating market power, they think they can get away with anything.

    My money from now on goes elsewhere!


Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Please abide by the comment policy. Valid HTML includes: <blockquote><p>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, and <a href>. Please use the "Quote Me" functionality to quote comments.