Things have been going smoothly. You’ve set up your shop, uploaded the products, and even found your first buyer. Everything is according to plan. A big smile stretches across your soon-to-be-rich face as you wait for the order to come through.
Then it happens. You are confronted with the infamous “Amazon Orders Pending” message. What? You’re instantly baffled. Everything stops. Your buyer contacts you to ask what’s wrong and you have no idea. Amazon provides zero information. You get more nervous by the hour as you click on every single link you can find. Nothing.
Sounds familiar? Don’t worry, you are not alone. This is something that happens to hundreds of Amazon sellers around the world. It happened to me as well, and shortened my life span by at least a couple of years. In order to figure it out, I did some research and here is what I found out.
What Does It Mean when an Order Is Pending?
A pending order is sometimes just Amazon's way of explaining that your product is being prepared and processed. In most cases this Amazon order processing will end in a couple of days and your product will be sent off to a new home. You’ll forget that this problem ever happened.
On the other hand, a pending order might also suggest an issue with the following:
- The buyer’s credit/debit card wasn’t authorized
- The buyer didn’t complete the order
- One of the items in the FBA order is out of stock
- The buyer qualified for free bulk shipping so all of the items need to be gathered
With the first two issues, you need to contact the buyer and try to resolve the situation with Amazon’s customer service. With the rest of the issues, you just need to wait it out a bit longer. Being an Amazon seller demands a lot of patience. Believe me, I know.
Why Does Amazon Take So Long to Process Orders?
If the order is pending verification, it is most likely due to an issue with the buyer's credit card. Amazon order pending verification can take up to 21 days!
Most of the time though, when the order is simply Pending for a few days, they’re just prepping and packing the order. Sometimes your package needs to be tossed around from one facility to another until it reaches the destination that’s the closest to the buyer. It’s frustrating because your product is actually on the move and you know nothing about it until it’s almost delivered.
Why Is Amazon Digital Order Pending?
Digital products can also be stuck in bureaucratic hell of pending orders due to payment issues or prolonged verification process. A few years back, my brother was selling some downloadable audiobooks. He thought it would go with lightning speed considering there’s no packing, shipping, or any other similar issue. However, when he went to his Amazon orders page, he saw dozens of pending orders with no explanations. Both the publishers and the buyers demanded answers but he had nothing to show for. The dashboard doesn’t offer any information besides that horrible pending note.
On the other hand, I’ve read stories on the Seller Central forums about people who sold online books with ease. The pending process lasted less than a minute and they were able to sell hundreds of copies by the hour. Basically, you should always be prepared for the worst and then be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t happen.
Does Amazon Charge the Buyer’s Debit Card Right Away?
When a buyer orders a product from your online store, Amazon verifies the payment method and authorizes payment from the card. It doesn’t remove the funds until you mark the order as shipped. Basically, Amazon just makes sure that the transaction is possible and waits for your cue.
Of course, there are exceptions. In certain predetermined cases, the company might charge automatically for the order but that’s quite rare. Usually they allow up to an hour to rule out any accidental orders. Imagine if just one misclick irreversibly took money from your account. You’d be angry, right?
How to Cancel a Pending Order on Amazon?
According to Amazon rules, a seller cannot cancel a pending order. Only the buyer can do that. If you’re still adamant about canceling it, your only option is to contact the buyer and try to convince him to cancel. Depending on the buyer, this might be a simple or a difficult process. Well, if you reach this point, you’ll have to rely on your negotiating skills. Doesn’t sound great?
What Is the Amazon Rolling Reserve?
Amazon reserves a certain amount of your funds called rolling reserve to make sure you can answer all of the refund requests. Great isn’t it? When you’re a seller on Amazon, you are constantly under the company’s surveillance even though you don’t always know it. Why? Because they want to make sure their buyers get what they want and how they want it. There are some red flags that you can raise and might trigger rolling reserve mode. Some of them include:
- Substantial increase in sales volume
- Higher refund rates
- Higher priced orders
- Long delivery times
So, a significant change in one of the parameters and you’re flagged as having an increased risk of claims and refund requests.
How Does Shopkeeper Display Pending Orders?
While your order is Pending, Shopkeeper does not get the details from the Amazon API yet, except for the fact that the item has been sold. So it has no data on what price your product was sold for, what fees were charged, etc.
Instead of showing zeros, it estimates the fees and price based on the last Shipped order item of the same product, or pulls an estimated fee and price from Amazon.
As soon as the order is Shipped, Amazon API sends Shopkeeper all exact fees and charges for the order, and the data is updated.
You can always switch off Pending orders, to only see Shipped orders in the report, to look at the data that is ‘settled’ and final:
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