What Does “Preparing” Mean at Walmart?

Walmart App

If you’ve ordered something online from Walmart, and the tracking status appears as “Preparing,” you might be eager to know what this means and when the company will deliver your parcel.


When your Walmart online order status shows “Preparing,” it usually means that the store is processing your order and getting it ready for delivery.

Preparing and processing the whole order normally takes 2 to 4 hours.

However, if the order status remains the same for over a week or more, then it means that the item you ordered is out of stock. But the store is working to arrange it at the earliest, and soon you will get your delivery.

Below, we’ll explore what “Preparing” mean at Walmart so that you have a clear idea about the status of your much-awaited delivery.

The Meaning of “Preparing” Status at Walmart

Walmart is the most popular and one of the largest retail stores in the world, with a vast network of physical stores and a thriving online presence.

In today’s digital age, the store has leveraged its online platform to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience that is convenient and accessible.

Customers can browse and purchase Walmart items from the comfort of their homes and have them delivered straight to their doorstep.

The company also features a robust tracking system that allows customers to monitor the progress of their orders, from preparation to delivery. However, while tracking your order, you might be confused about what Walmart’s “Preparing” status means.

Let’s delve deeper into finding this status’s meaning to help you better anticipate when your Walmart order will be delivered.

1. “Preparing” Status Change After 2 to 4 Hours

Walmart Website

When you place an online order on Walmart’s website, you instantly receive a notification that your order is being processed and is currently in the “Preparing” status.

This means that the store has received your order, which is being processed, packed, and made ready for delivery.

If everything goes well, your order will likely move out of the “Preparing” status and into the “Shipped” status within 2 to 4 hours.


You will receive your Walmart shipping tracking number after the status changes to “Shipped.”

2. “Preparing” Status Doesn’t Change for Over a Week or More

Out Of Stock Walmart

Unforeseen circumstances may arise during the Walmart order preparation process, which can cause a delay in the shipment of your online order. This usually happens during peak shopping seasons or if a high volume of orders is being processed quickly.

So, if the “Preparing” status remains the same even after a week or more, it implies that the item you ordered is out of stock. Hence, Walmart may need to delay the preparation process until the item can be restocked.

In such cases, Walmart’s team will contact you via email or phone to inform you of the issue and provide an updated delivery timeline.


Walmart typically offers alternative products to replace the out-of-stock item or allows you to cancel your order and receive a refund.

Changing Walmart Order in “Preparing” State

Customer Care

If you want to make some changes to your Walmart order in the “Preparing” stage, contact their customer service team as soon as possible to make the desired changes before the order is shipped.

The changes may include adding or removing items, changing the delivery address, or canceling the order. Unfortunately, if your order has already been shipped, Walmart cannot make changes.

However, they can still help you initiate a return once the order has been delivered.


In this article, we’ve explored what “Preparing” mean at Walmart so that you have better clarity of your order’s status.

We hope this information helps you to track your Walmart order, stay informed and have realistic expectations about when you can receive the delivery.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know if an Item in My Order Is Out of Stock?

If an item in your Walmart online order is out of stock, the company will notify you via email or text. You may also see a message on the website or app indicating that the item is out of stock or unavailable.

Can I Track My Order Status Through the Walmart Mobile App?

Yes, you can track your order status through the Walmart mobile app.

  • Open the Walmart app from your phone’s home screen and select Account.
  • Now, select Purchase History and scroll down to select the specific order.
  • Finally, select Track Shipment.

Does Walmart Offer Free Shipping for Orders in “Preparing” Status?

Walmart typically offers free shipping on qualifying orders that meet a specific dollar amount, regardless of status.

What Happens if I Cannot Receive My Order When It Is Delivered?

If you cannot receive your Walmart order by the time they deliver it, they’ll make several attempts to deliver it to your designated address.

If you are still unavailable after multiple attempts, Walmart may hold your order at a nearby store for a certain period, where you can pick it up at your convenience.

Will Making Changes to My Walmart Order Delay the Delivery?

Changing your Walmart order may delay the delivery, depending on the nature of the changes you make.

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