Anytime I order a package from Amazon that I don't need in a hurry, it is shipped from Reno, Nevada and arrives within 2 days. Sometimes it's here the next day if I order early enough.

Anytime I order something I'd like soon (like my iPod), it'll ship from Illinois and take a week or more to get here.

This leads to my biggest beef in the world of on-line shopping: Insufficient shipping details at purchase time.

When I'm making the choice between UPS Ground and FedEx overnight, I'm shooting in the dark unless I know where it's shipping from. It if comes from Reno, I don't care. Give me the cheap rate. But if it's coming from across the country, I might want to spend the extra bucks.

Too many times, I've paid extra to have a package shipped across the Nevada/California border because I was worried that it'd be coming from Kentucky, Illinois, or worse.

Note to Amazon: Once a customer has decided to make a purchase, let them know where the product is today. I'm sure you inventory management system already knows this. You, of all on-line merchants, should see the value in this.

And don't even get me started on the utter lack of integrated shipping information available on Yahoo Shopping. Yes, I'm a Yahoo employee and I buy most stuff at Amazon. Only if I cannot find it there do I use Y! Shopping. Sadly, my complaints fall on deaf ears. So I vote with my wallet--and not my Y! Wallet.

Posted by jzawodn at December 30, 2002 11:20 AM

Reader Comments
# Gerald said:

I don't think that Amazon could tell you the bin location for every product, perhaps for some special products where there is only one sourcing location.

on December 30, 2002 12:33 PM
# john said:

Timely post - I'm grumbling about Amazon right now myself. Ordered a laser square on the 26th with overnight delivery (didn't get one for Xmas, all local stores are out and I have some work to do while on vacation!).

At the time I order it the availability was 1-2 days so I figured with the holidays at worst I would get it today, but now the estimate is Dec 31st - Jan 2nd and when I look at the availability now it is 1-2 weeks. Argh - this is about the only chance I'm going to get to finish that room!

Oh well, still a loyal Amazon customer.

on December 30, 2002 12:40 PM
# brandt said:

this is why i was willing to stand in a line at best buy before christmas. on-line shopping has left a bad taste in my mouth.

on December 30, 2002 12:55 PM
# Barnaby James said:

I think they probably could do this -- they know if it's in stock so they can probably tell you where it's in the stock.

But they won't. They don't want you to know if it will take a week if you go for the cheap shipping. They want you to pay extra for the FedEx overnight. You thnk they don't have a piece of that action? The uncertainty is the stick that the carrot is attached to.

It's like the airline industry -- they won't tell you if the flight you are on is delayed until it really is late because you'll bolt and switch to another airline.

on December 30, 2002 03:40 PM
# Brent said:

Amazon could certainly tell you which warehouse your item is located. However I'm betting they rather have you choose a higher priced shipping method. For example, a UPS Ground shipment that would cost them $3, they could mark up to $5-6. A FedEx Overnight shipment that might cost them $15, they will sell for $30. Working in the order fulfillment business, I can tell you that large companies such as Amazon are getting 30-40% off published shipping rates.

on December 31, 2002 12:27 AM
# Daniel Nolan said:

I guess this is where I get to go "yay!" because I'm english and due to the small size of the country theres only one depot :-) Sadly, also due to the small size of the country amazon doesn't sell half as much as it's american counterpart (what's a laser square?).

on December 31, 2002 02:00 AM
# Gerald said:

Although germany is small, because of sourcing queues and drop shipment I do not believe that even Amazon DE knows the source of every product in realtime. And I guess that in US this is more complicated than here in germany.

on January 3, 2003 04:45 AM
# Karl Knutson said:

Check out, they do show real-time inventory at their 3 warehouses. Doesn't work for books, but it should for computer hardware, etc. Now if they'd only ship out same-day...

on April 20, 2003 08:33 PM
# ShopB said:

In response to our customer's comment... thank you! Two small errors though... we do ship the same day orders are submitted, providing that it's before 4:45 PM Eastern, not a weekend, and the item's in stock. And, we also carry books published by Microsoft Press, in addition to all the current computer hardware, software, and accessories.

on September 9, 2003 05:33 AM
# Aaron Hurd said:

I too am experiencing frustrations with My item is shipping today (December 14th), but who knows when it will get here. I ordered December 4th, thinking that it would be here before I move out of my apartment on the 18th of December. Here's hoping. I'll have a mail forwarding order in, but I'll be in Germany starting on January 2nd, so who knows if I'll even get it! *grumble*

on December 14, 2004 11:05 AM
# DAHorton said:

I've been recently experiencing frustration at their shipping policy. I have Prime membership which gives me free 2-day delivery. I know they estimate the amount of time it would take to get the package from there to here and get the cheapest shipping possible to get it there in 2 days. But lately, they've been miscalculating. Instead of getting packages in 2-days, I get it in a week because even though it's coming from Illinois and I'm in California, they choose UPS ground., I think, is starting to show signs of staleness when it comes to dealing with customers. A trait many corporations have.

on November 16, 2005 08:13 PM
# TCole said:

Yesterday I put in a big order at and signed up for Prime shipping. Today I looked at the tracking, and lo and behold, it says that the books will arrive in 7-8 days!!!!!!!!!!!! After searching for a customer service phone number for 15 minutes (never found on and then deciding to google it, I called and was told that I also HAVE TO SELECT 2-DAY SHIPPING, or they send it UPS Ground!!!! The whole reason I signed up was because of the 2-day shipping. I told them that that was not specified on the web site. They don't care. That is my last purchase from

on August 15, 2006 05:25 PM
# said:

i ordered some stuff from amazon and decided i wanted to change the shipping option, i e-mailed customer service and they shipped instantly my order, they say i should recieve my package in 3-5 days, i'm no expert, but that's pretty good customer service , thanks, first of many purchases to come, i.e. if i actually get my stuff in 3-5 days

on October 21, 2006 06:34 PM
# shelle said:

Yeah. I'm starting to think that signing up for Prime was a mistake. When I use the Super Saver shipping I almost always get the stuff in 3 days or less, since I'm in So Cali and they have warehouses in Nevada. Plus it's USPS so Saturday counts as a shipping day.

With Prime, they use 2-Day Air with UPS. I'm recently hating UPS with a passion, as they never leave packages at the door, I will never be home when they deliver (cause I work, imagine that), and they never leave the package at the apartment office the first time (tho on the slip they offer to do it *next* time they come by...stupid!!!)

In the past week I've been to the UPS warehouse 3x to pick stuff up because I didn't want to wait another day for my stuff, which may or may not be delivered to me.

on February 15, 2007 03:20 PM
# grrlfriend said:

Yesterday afternoon I was planning on buzzing across town to pick up a Wacom tablet at Circuit City. The CCs closest to me didn't have it in stock and they have an online deal that would allow me to get the online price, saving $$, and pick it up at the store far, far away.

I bopped onto Amazon and found the same item, cheaper and, if I ordered in the next 46 minutes and selected Next Day delivery, I would actually have it next day without having to drive an hour+ roundtrip. In actual dollars including shipping it was a wash but I'd save myself time. Well, I paid $25 and it didn't show up next day and it is "estimated" to arrive tomorrow...and I may be out of town when it arrives!

I should know better but, Amazon in the past has been awesome in their delivery estimates. Shame on me for not doing the free shipping option. Shame on me for being a greedy consumer and expecting the company to follow through. Even the original confirmation email said that the estimated date was next day (today). I didn't receive another message until 6:00pm stating it would be next day (tomorrow).

Yes, I am whining...buyer beware...blah, blah, blah. BUT, when you are promised something if you fork over lots of extra dollars, damned if I don't expect it to happen. We'll see what actually transpires from here...

on August 9, 2007 09:43 PM
# said:

Ordered a large big ticket item from Amazon because it was a great deal compared to local area, no sales tax and delivered to the door but had no idea about the shipping..and bought into the 2 to 5 business days free shipping after processing order..... have had great luck in the past with UPS ground and USPS parcel post on Ebay (even with private parties)... but Amazon used CEVA which may do great for commercial accounts but not so good for the public as I live in a rural area and they only deliver in the area once a week (the postman and mr brown are daily).... bottom line is the item is scheduled delivery next week according to the LETTER received in the MAIL from CEVA subcontractor shipper putting it out 11 shipping days after order processing.... and the warehouse was only one state away... avoid Amazon and free CEVA shipping if you live in a rural area and don't have half a month......

on December 20, 2008 07:47 AM
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