Orders Shipped to You Even Before You Click ‘Buy’


Amazon.com knows you so well it wants to ship your next package before you order it.

The Seattle retailer in December gained a patent for what it calls “anticipatory shipping,” a method to start delivering packages even before customers click “buy.”

Amazon thinks that customers may be discouraged from shopping online because of the delay between ordering and receiving purchases, so “based on previous orders and other factors” like wish lists, Amazon would box and ship products to “shippers’ hubs” and wait for orders to arrive, which would drastically cut down on shipping times. The company is calling this “anticipatory shipping.” I don’t know about you, but this idea sounds totally crazy and unnecessary!

Photo: Carl Malamud

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7 Comments / Post A Comment

Why don’t they just ship you everything you could possibly desire, and then make you return the items that you don’t want? And maybe set up some sort of automatic deduction from your paycheck to pay for the cost of future items?

Aunt Scar (#5,377)

@TrotskyHolds MyiPod Ha ha, library vendors do that. It’s called a standing order on approval.

Allison (#4,509)

Looking at my past orders on Amazon…I wouldn’t have anticipated half of these purchases, so how could they? (also 2 days is usually fast enough for me)

NoReally (#45)

This must be for the people who paid for Prime and then never bought any non-perishable anything from any local source ever again. Toilet paper once a month, Windex once every six weeks, six pairs of blue boxers once a year. The agorophobe special.

sea ermine (#122)

@NoReally Haha yeah. It is really convenient when you don’t have affordable local options though. Near me I have a bunch of bodegas and some run down pharmacys that sel mini bottles of detergent for $5. Amazon.com is the same price as Target except it doesn’t involve an out of the way trip and then carrying everything home on the train by hand.

I do try/prefer to shop in a local store but Target isn’t really local (as much as I love it) and sometimes certain things are more practical to get online.

sarahsayssoo (#4,237)

A lot of my friends with kids use Amazon’s baby service for diapers and wipes and all the other things babies need. this seems like it would fit in with that (ans also will make them very happy to get that stuff quicker)

It’s only unnecessary if it doesn’t result in increased shopping cart->order conversion.

In reality, it’s only a more granular version of housing products close to where they will be geographically sold. There’s no reason to have a warehouse full of snow blowers in Florida.

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