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preparing for shipment

Amazon Preparing for Shipment — Everything You Need to Know (FAQs & More!)

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There are few things more frustrating than waiting for your Amazon shipment to arrive. This is especially true if it seems to be perpetually stuck in the ‘preparing for shipment’ stage. Sometimes, your Amazon order may even be listed as ‘preparing for shipment’ for days at a time. It gets draining quickly.

To help you through your shipping status struggles, we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions, both new and old. We’re sure you’ll find the answer to your question right here with us!

Why Does My Amazon Order Still Say “Preparing for Shipment”?

This is one of the most common Amazon shipping issues that people put into Google. It is not unheard of for your order to appear stuck on preparing for shipment. The longer this goes on, the more frustrating it becomes. No one wants to repeatedly check their shipment status for days at a time.

But what does ‘preparing for shipment’ actually mean? Well, it can mean a few things. The most likely causes are that your shipment is caught up in the process of packing, labeling, or the arrangement of delivery.

‘Shipment’ actually refers to numerous processes, which is why it can feel like it takes forever for your order to move on. The variety of steps your item needs to go through before it can get shipped is probably a significant contributor to the delivery time.

Checking up on your delivery status frequently can be an effective way to get an approximation of when your item should arrive, but if you find yourself getting obsessed it might be time to step back. Stressing won’t help Amazon ship your item any faster! If it would, none of us would need Prime.

How Long is Amazon’s ‘Preparing for Shipment’ Supposed to Take?

This question is not quite as easy to answer. There are so many variables at play to expedite or delay your order, which means a firm timeframe is almost impossible.

However, there are certain guidelines available depending on how you have placed your order through Amazon. For instance:

Of course, if you pay for same-day shipping as an Amazon Prime member then your new order should be shipped almost immediately.

Still, something could go wrong during warehouse delivery, so sometimes delays can still occur. A lot of this comes down to where your new orders are sourced from and what makes up your shipment.

There are two key ways that Amazon posts their shipping, which are:

  • Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
  • Privately fulfilled items

Needless to say, FBA stock is usually shipped much faster than privately fulfilled items, though your experience may vary. This is largely due to how the warehouse in question houses its stock.

See Shopify Vs Amazon FBA for further reading of your options.

Amazon has greater regulations over its own items, which means they can ship them as soon as possible.

This is also what allows Amazon to ship its orders within the same day, meaning you don’t have to wait long at all. Thanks, FBA!

My Order is FBA But I Still Haven’t Got it, How Soon Can I Expect It?

preparing for shipment

FBA is not perfect, like any other delivery service. This means that even if you buy an FBA product, delays in preparing for shipment are entirely possible. They are not as common as when you buy from privately fulfilled storage or 3PL, but it is something you could still experience.

It usually means the item you have ordered is presently out of stock, but it will be shipped as soon as it becomes available. If you find that you would no longer like to wait, you can simply cancel your order.

Further reading: Amazon inventory management software by Helium 10.

What is the Difference Between ‘Preparing for Shipment’ Status VS ‘Shipping Now’?

If your order status has changed to ‘shipping now’, congratulations! The wait is over and your order has been shipped. This means a few changes.

First, you should be given an estimated arrival date. You will also be granted a tracking number to chase up your order.

This is also the part where your card will get charged, and you will be unable to cancel or change your order has already been shipped. Any queries after you have been charged will fall under the ‘refund’ category.

I Feel Like I Ordered my Item years Ago, Why is it Still ‘Preparing for Shipment’?

It is probably tied up in one of the several processes all Amazon items must go through from the warehouse to your front door. If you feel like it is really taking too much time, it may be wise to go back to Amazon and email their customer support or the seller that you ordered from.

Unfortunately, you won’t have a tracking number at this stage, so it will probably be a little difficult to get specific details, but it could still be worth following up.

Sometimes with online Amazon orders, you will see ‘preparing for shipment’ for over a week. In this instance, an email sharing your experience is not a bad idea. Something may have happened with your item preventing it from reaching you yet, which you have every right to question.

More often than not, Amazon will reassure you that your post is on its way to you soon.

Does Free Shipping Take Longer to Arrive?

preparing for shipment

In short: yes.

There may be exceptions depending on your location and the nature of your order, but generally speaking, your shipment will be prioritized based upon how much you spend. The fastest order will always arrive through Amazon Prime, but this does incur greater shipping costs. Free shipment ordinarily takes the longest to arrive, usually between 5-8 days.

If you aren’t in any rush to receive your order, there is nothing wrong with utilizing the free service. It just may take a little more time for your order to be shipped. Some Amazon users cite that their box was ‘preparing for shipping’ for up to a week.

If it extends beyond this time, you should contact Amazon or see what the seller says about when they think your post should be with you. Sellers can’t always be exact, which means you might have to deal with tracking estimates, but that is still better than no online contact at all.

Can I Use the Tracking Number to Find What Stage my Parcel is At?

You sure can! Once it is actually on its way to you. Unfortunately, until it has gone through the shipping process, your box is simply preparing to be shipped and is not issued its own tracking number.

This doesn’t mean you can’t check up on its current status if you become concerned that it won’t be shipped soon. Simply contact the seller for an update. If you hear nothing back from them, make sure to contact Amazon themselves as it may have been a fraudulent merchant.

Can You Cancel an Order on Amazon if it Says ‘Preparing for Shipment’?

Yes. Until your card is charged, you can cancel or update your order as you please. As long as it doesn’t say ‘shipped’ yet then you can cancel or make changes as necessary, as this indicates that it is within the fulfillment facility. If it says ‘shipped’ then the period to cancel has gone, and you will have to consider a refund if you are unsatisfied.

Does ‘Preparing for Shipment’ Mean my Card has Been Charged?

No. Your card is only charged once the item has left the fulfillment center. If it hasn’t left yet, then you are free to cancel or update your order, and your card is not charged. This way, customers aren’t charged while Amazon is preparing the item. Once your item is ready to ship, you should be given an approximate arrival date and your card will be charged.

Have Patience and Don’t Lose Your Cool!

Thanks for making it to the end of our guide! Hopefully, our answers could give you some insight into how Amazon ship their products. If your question hasn’t been answered above, don’t worry! You can join the relevant forum and a member should be able to help you. Your question might have already been answered in previous posts!


Further Reading:

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