Pending might be an odd status to see on Amazon. What does pending mean to buyers and sellers on Amazon?
Here are the definitions of the term pending:
- For buyers on Amazon, pending is both a time to allow them to cancel an order and a way to ensure the seller has enough quantity of products.
- For sellers, pending gives the buyer time to cancel if they did not mean to order or if they changed their mind. Also, it can happen when the buyer’s payment is unverified or incomplete.
Let’s go into detail about the causes of the pending status for both buyers and sellers on Amazon and what you should do.
For Amazon Buyers
Amazon and Amazon Prime services are well known for having a two-day or less delivery for some designated products and services. Given the rather fast time guaranteed by Amazon, it might seem like having an order go “pending” might be a bad thing.
The good news is that a pending order is more of a way to protect buyers. Amazon’s warehouses are very efficiency-oriented.
Your product could be picked up by a robot or a person minutes after your purchase. This is great if you want to get your product immediately, but it can lead to problems. But what are those problems?
Some users experience regret right after placing their order. Rather than making them go back to the Amazon website or app to cancel or call customer service right away, Amazon makes the order go to pending status for about 30 minutes after you place the order.
Most users do not notice their order is in a pending status. The next email is a confirmation of the order, then shipping.
In some cases, users also order multiple products that could be low in stock or used. A pending status gives the merchant time to verify that they have enough products to fulfill existing orders.
Finally, we have a different kind of buyer protection. Unfortunately, identity theft and stolen credit card numbers are all too common.
A pending status gives Amazon a chance to verify with users, banks, and other public systems that the payment is legitimate and that they do not have to fear losing money on a stolen item.
For Amazon Sellers
Amazon sellers see pending too. Most of the time, a pending status goes away after 30 minutes once the above-mentioned buyer protection methods are complete. This is mostly a good thing for the seller, as the buyer tends not to notice the pending status, giving them a few moments to check. Hence, it can lead to a reduced return rate.
The status indicates that the buyer is qualified for free bulk shipping. One or more merchants verify if they have merchandise in stock so that all items can be purchased at the same time. However, there is a possibility that an item might be out of stock.
We mentioned issues with credit cards for the buyer’s end in the transaction. Amazon tries to protect sellers here too. After waiting half an hour, Amazon tries to complete the purchase using the credit card or payment method on file. If this fails due to potentially fraudulent activity or is waiting for verification, you’ll see pending here still.
Action to Take
As the seller, there isn’t much you can do about an extended pending order. Your best bet is to send the customer a message to see what is needed to complete the order, which involves just asking them to check what Amazon and its customer service team say about the order. Otherwise, the seller is just playing the waiting game.
Since pending means that payment is not collected properly yet, you, as the seller, should not ship the product until the status says “Payment Complete.”
Timeline for Pending
The vast majority of pending statuses will take just about half an hour for both buyers and sellers. Amazon says that the status can last up to 21 days.
Many merchants and customers believe that 21 days seems like a long time, but remember that the delay is an attempt to verify multiple pieces from the order. The seller or buyer can also cancel an order within the pending timeframe if they do not feel like waiting anymore or can’t solve the reason for the status.
Amazon’s pending status is mostly an attempt to sync up multiple orders or a protective process for Amazon buyers and sellers. The pending status tends to go away after 30 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Common Is Pending?
Yes, nearly all of them will! Since the status is part of Amazon’s buyer and seller protection, Amazon uses “Pending” to slow down the process just a little bit.
Yet, you probably never notice the status because Amazon and its seller’s process work well so often that you do not look for the status once you have completed the order.