Amazon Shipping

(Disambiguation Alert: This post has nothing to do with boats traveling up and down a river.)

I’ve noticed something when I order books from amazon.com. When it comes to choosing the type of shipping for my order, there is the 2-day shipping option for 5bucks or so, and then there is the free standard USPS shipping for orders over $25 option. The latter in itself was a milestone in my amazonaphilia. Once shipping for orders over $25 became permanently eligible for free shipping, I not only started ordering more from amazon, I also started throwing in the extra book or gadget when my shopping basket was still under $25. Ergo, a successful marketing trick. Why pay $% for shipping when $7.99 will buy you another book and free shipping ?!

So I always choose free shipping. What I have begun noticing now is that with standard shipping the actual shipping doesn’t take longer than 2-day shipping. From the moment, I get the email saying things have shipped to the moment the box reaches my front door never takes longer than 2 days. What takes longer is for amazon to put the stuff in the box and get it out the door ! Isn’t that interesting.

So I placed an order last Saturday – May 10, 08. The email confirming my purchase informed me that things would ship on May 15 – Thursday. What could possibly take that long ? Then, yesterday (Thur) I get the email that things have shipped. The USPS tracking number they gave me though never showed any trackable item in the USPS system for the rest of the day. This morning, it did – 6 days after placing the order.

In effect, this makes the free shipping not so much a bonus for larger orders as a penalty for not paying the 2-day shipping fees. – – – Surprizingly, it said that my order shipped from the DALLAS, TX 75398 this morning. That’s only 22 miles away. No doubt, the order will be make it to my house today. But it got me curious: how does the whole amazon shipping thing work ? How many “warehouses” do they maintain all over the country to be able to ship from somewhere so close to home ? And most of all, what’s going on with my order from the time it’s placed to the time it leaves the “warehouse”?

Follow-up: Here, is an interesting article from Google Answers about the whole free-shipping issue at amazon. Never even heard of Google Answers before !?

Wow, check out the long list of shipping services amazon uses !!!

Here is a BBC look inside an amazon warehouse – videofile. Absolutely incredible !

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