Is your Amazon order stuck on “Preparing For Shipment?” What does that mean, and is there anything you can do to get it out of the preparation for shipment stage?
It’s common to see Amazon orders stay in the “Preparing For Shipment” stage for a short time. However, if your order gets stuck there for too long, it can get really frustrating – after all, isn’t Amazon supposed to be efficient and quick?
Today, I will be talking about this common issue and helping you resolve it.
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When your Amazon order is in the “Preparing For Shipment” stage, it means that Amazon or the seller has already received your order and is working on preparing it for shipment.
Amazon workers might be getting it ready for the shipping courier, labeling your product, packing it into a box, or loading it for delivery with other boxes onto the truck.
They may be waiting for the Prime delivery van to pick it up or otherwise getting it ready to be shipped out of the warehouse and on its way to you.
That depends on whether you’re a Prime member or not. If you are an Amazon Prime member, it should never take more than a day or two.
After all, the Amazon Prime promise is that customers will get all orders (or at least, those eligible for Amazon Prime) within two days. If you are close to an Amazon warehouse, Amazon can deliver the item from the warehouse to your home within a short time – sometimes as little as half an hour.
So, if you are a Prime member, you may see your order stuck in the preparation for shipment stage for up to a day or two, but no longer.
On the other hand, if you are not a Prime member, you may have to wait longer than that for the order to get out of the preparation for shipment stage and on its way to you.
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No, not necessarily.
For the most part, Amazon has got it all figured out. It knows how long it will take to get an item delivered to your door, and it does its best to get you your items within the promised timeframe, whether you have Prime or not.
For example, if Amazon knows that you are only 15 minutes away from a warehouse, it might hold your product for a day or two and still deliver it by the promised delivery time. If you live far away, make sure to use a shipping company and shipping method that will get you your product on time.
For example, even if your product gets held up in the preparation for shipment stage for an extra day or two, Amazon might use overnight delivery to compensate for that delay.
It’s important to note that there are two types of products on Amazon: those sold or fulfilled by Amazon and those sold and fulfilled by third-party merchants.
When a product is sold by Amazon, Amazon takes care of the shipping and handling. The same applies to FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon).
FBA is a program in which sellers can send products to the Amazon warehouses for Amazon to take care of shipping and handling.
In either case, if an order that is shipped by Amazon gets stuck in the preparation for shipment phase, you shouldn’t be too worried. It means that Amazon workers are packing your product, printing a label, or otherwise preparing it for shipment.
Amazon doesn’t even need to use third-party delivery services like FedEx. Amazon has its own transportation network that they built from scratch.
It’s a massive network, with over 40,000 semi-trucks, 30,000 minivans, and even 70 planes! Yes, that’s right – Amazon has an entire fleet of delivery planes, and even its own cargo airline, Amazon Air, which serves to deliver Amazon products exclusively.
So, when a product is sold or fulfilled by Amazon, you’re much more likely to get it on time. That doesn’t hold for all cases – Amazon products are still sometimes late, products can get lost, and glitches can occur.
I’ll talk about what to do when a product gets delayed later. For now, however, let’s talk about third-party sellers for a moment.
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When a product gets sold and shipped by a third-party seller, it risks getting stuck in the “Preparing For Shipment” stage a bit longer. The seller might get started on your order but then be unable to work on it further due to personal reasons.
Even if the third-party seller is a large store with a big warehouse, they won’t have access to the same logistics as Amazon. If it’s a small-time seller who operates independently, something simple as an illness can cause your order to get delayed in “Preparing For Shipment.”
For example, the seller might have labeled your product and packed it in the box but never got around to bringing it to the post office and sending it to you.
“Preparing For Shipment” is just one of the possible messages you’ll see when checking your order status. There are various other updates you may see, so let’s go through some of them to clarify the differences between them and “Preparing For Shipment”.
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If your order is holding at the “Not Yet Shipped” or “Ordered” stage, that means that Amazon or the seller hasn’t even started preparing it for shipment. Don’t worry, however – most likely, everything will proceed on schedule.
Even if delivery is the next day or later the same day, you may still get it on time.
Shipping Now isn’t that different from “Preparing For Shipment.” Usually, the Shipping Now stage doesn’t last long, if you see it at all in the tracking screen.
It just means that your order is ready to ship out and is about to be shipped, but it hasn’t yet left the facility. It may or may not be on the truck.
At this stage of the order process, your package has already shipped. It’s on its way to you, but it’s not almost about to be delivered to your home, either.
It may be in a transit facility, such as a post office. Or, it may be on a truck on the way to your local depot.
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When your order says “Out For Delivery,” you can typically expect it to arrive at your address the same day. Normally, when your package is out for delivery, it means it is on the delivery truck, making the rounds in your city.
It may come within an hour or only later in the evening. It depends on a variety of factors, such as whether USPS is delivering it, another Amazon partner is delivering it, or Amazon itself is delivering it.
Sometimes, your package might say “Out For Delivery,” but a delay may occur, and it may only arrive the next day. Those cases are relatively rare in the large scale of things, however.
Orders can get stuck in the “Preparing For Shipment”‘ stage for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, there is a delay at the fulfillment center, and your package gets stuck in limbo for a while until it gets shipped out.
For example, perhaps there is inclement weather, and the delivery truck can’t come to pick up the package.
At other times, there may be a glitch in the system, and your tracking status might never update the “Preparing For Shipment” status, even if it does get shipped out. It might skip over that stage, and you’ll only be notified when it’s out for delivery or when it gets delivered.
“Preparing For Shipment” is a normal part of the shipping process, so there’s usually nothing to worry about, even on the rare occasions it stays in the “Preparing For Shipment” stage for several hours or even a day or two.
However, if your item has been stuck in “Preparing For Shipment” for numerous days, and the delivery date is approaching, there are some things you can do to find out what is happening and resolve the issue.
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If an order gets stuck on “Preparing For Shipment,” your best course of action is to contact Amazon customer support or the seller, which you can do from your Amazon app or the website. The process will be a little different for products fulfilled by Amazon and those sold by third-party merchants.
If the order is sold or fulfilled by Amazon, you’ll need to contact the Amazon support team, which you can do from your app or on the website. In your app, tap on the hamburger menu icon in the bottom-right of your screen, then click on “Customer Service” at the bottom of the page.
Then, proceed to select the order you need help with. Follow the prompts and select the issue you have been having trouble with.
You may need to click on “I Need More Help” before you will be shown the option to chat with customer support. Typically, you’ll have two options: chat with a customer support representative online or have Amazon call you.
If you request a phone call, you’ll be able to speak with Amazon in real-time. However, chatting online is usually a bit quicker– there is almost always an Amazon rep available, though you’ll first chat with a bot.
You don’t have to be on the chat at all times, either. Once you start the chat, you have 24 hours to come and go, although if you wait a while before replying to the associate, you may have to wait a bit to get a reply from them as well.
You can also contact customer support on the website by visiting your order page, finding your order, selecting “Problem with order,” and proceeding with the same steps as above. If that doesn’t work, visit the help page.
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If you are buying from a third party, the process is a bit different. It’s worth contacting the seller before contacting Amazon, as they may have a simple explanation for what’s going on.
The process for contacting a third-party seller is similar to the process mentioned above for contacting Amazon. You’ll need to go to your orders page, find your order, click on “Problem with order,” select your problem, and tap on “Contact seller.”
Bear in mind that if the seller’s item is eligible for Amazon Prime, or if the seller signed up to participate in Amazon’s Customer Service program, Amazon will be providing customer support for them.
If the seller doesn’t respond within two days, you may be able to get a refund under Amazon’s A-to-Z guarantee. The Amazon A-to-Z guarantee covers most items sold by third-party sellers.
There are certain conditions to getting a refund under the guarantee, such as waiting three days after the estimated delivery time for the package to arrive. However, Amazon sellers are supposed to reply within two days – maximum – and the guarantee does kick into place after that.
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Typically, you may cancel an FBA order on Amazon anytime before Amazon ships it. So, even if the order has reached the “Preparing For Shipment” stage, you can still cancel it.
Sometimes, if the order is about to head out, you may no longer be able to cancel it. Amazon may not be able to get your item back before it’s shipped out, so they may remove the cancellation option.
Amazon won’t usually charge you until it ships your order. However, if you were charged, you can get a refund if you cancel your order.
However, if you are purchasing a product from a third-party seller, you only have 30 minutes to cancel it through the automatic cancellation process. After that, you will have to contact the seller directly and request a cancellation.
That applies even if the order is in the “Preparing For Shipment” stage. If 30 minutes have passed, you have to ask the seller to allow you to cancel.
Some sellers may not allow you to do that. You may be able to cancel the order, but they may not grant you a refund.
What if the order has already shipped? In that case, you can still cancel the shipment if Amazon is the one shipping it by going to your order page and clicking on “Cancel this delivery.”
However, if it was shipped via a third party, such as USPS, you will have to wait until it gets to you and refuse the delivery.
I recommend a third option, whether Amazon is sending the item through its own transportation network or a third-party one. That involves receiving the delivery and then returning it to Amazon.
Amazon has a pretty lenient return policy. You’ll typically be able to get a refund if you return the item within 30 days of receiving it, although some exceptions do apply.
For example, you can’t return grocery products and some jewelry items, nor can you return live insects. Yes, apparently, you can purchase live insects on Amazon – who knew?
You can see other items that you can’t return in Amazon’s Returns Policy.
Note that while this policy applies to products purchased from Amazon, third-party sellers typically offer a return policy that is equivalent or mostly similar to Amazon’s. Some sellers might be even more lenient and allow you to return items that Amazon does not, but others might have a more restrictive policy.
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You can always change the shipping speed before placing an order, and you can usually do so right after placing the order as well. However, once the order has entered the “Preparing For Shipment” stage, you may not be able to change the shipping speed anymore, as it might already be packed, labeled, and about to be shipped.
If you don’t see the option to change the shipping speed, see if you can cancel the order. If you can, just cancel your order and place a new one, this time choosing a new shipping speed.
In addition to changing the shipping speed, you may be able to update the delivery instructions – for example, you might want to tell the delivery person to leave it at your garage door instead of your front door.
Some products, such as heavy furniture, require scheduled delivery. If you ordered such a product, you can reschedule the delivery date for a later time.
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We know how frustrating it can be to see your order stuck in the “Preparing For Shipment” stage. However, that doesn’t usually last long, so even if it’s been that way for an hour or two, don’t panic.
Remember, you can always track your order from your order page and see live delivery updates as your order makes its way to you.