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Amazon Shipping Delays: Seller's Guide to Delivery Issues and Refund

How do you feel when you get your Amazon delivery on time? Great, right? Your goal as an Amazon seller should be to provide the same experience to your customers. This is the key to building a successful Amazon business and the kind of life you are hoping for. In this article, we will discuss in detail how shipping delays affect you as a third-party seller and how to avoid them.


Quick Guide

  • How do Amazon shipping delays affect delivery time?
  • Why is on-time delivery so important for sellers?
  • What causes Amazon Shipping Delays?
  • How do shipping delays impact Amazon Sellers?
  • How to Avoid Shipping Delays?
    • Seller Tips
  • Amazon Shipping Delays Compensation
  • Shipping Delays FAQs for Customers and Sellers

How do Amazon shipping delays affect delivery times?


In 2024, 2 out of 5 U.S. consumers expect their items to arrive within 2-3 days of purchase. Amazon knows this and so constantly strives for customer satisfaction, especially with shipping and delivery.

However, there are still some days when your delivery doesn’t make it on time. If you have ordered regularly on Amazon, there is a big chance you have experienced a delay in your shipments at some point. It happens more often during peak seasons. Christmas, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday have a vastly higher volume of consumers ordering and, therefore, more bottlenecks and shipping delays.

During these busy times, there are a few things you can do to handle Amazon shipping delays as a seller. You should already know all about things like Black Friday deals, Amazon Christmas Gifts, New Year Discounts, and Prime Day deals. Most third-party sellers are well-advanced in creating offers for these events. If you haven’t yet created deals for this, you need to fix that for 2024.

Amazon always wants its customers to get the best service this season. They have a deals page listing all the Amazon Christmas gifts that can arrive on time, specifically at your delivery address. Shipping delays ruin the whole point of holiday gifts when they don’t arrive on time, making customers frustrated and dissatisfied. Who wants a Christmas present that comes on December 27th?

Why is on-time delivery so important for sellers?

Here are a few reasons why on-time delivery is essential for you as an Amazon third-party seller:

  • It builds you a more positive reputation and trust as an Amazon seller.
  • On-time delivery means you avoid penalties and account suspension.
  • Late shipments mean the risk of negative customer reviews and feedback, low ratings, and low sales.
  • Amazon FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant) sellers should take extra care. Amazon has strict policies for missing deadlines for shipping products late to customers.
  • Amazon will send an account violation warning and ultimately suspend or permanently close your Amazon seller account if the sellers keep failing to meet performance standards.

What causes Amazon shipping delays?

Amazon Shipping: Causes of Delay



Most buyers on Amazon in 2024 expect their deliveries to arrive in two to three days, with a week as the definitive upper limit. 

While Amazon is known for its fast and low-cost shipping, there can be setbacks that are caused by:

  • High Demand: A rise in orders can overwhelm warehouses, resulting in extended processing times before shipped items. Furthermore, peak periods, especially during Q4 holidays, increase demand for shipping carriers, causing delays during transit.

Amazon sales thanksgiving holiday weekend
Source: Aboutamazon.com

  • Inventory organization issues: Amazon is known for its efficient inventory and sorting. However, handling the immense volume of packages for packing and shipping each day can be overwhelmingly challenging. During peak seasons, when the amount of packages is doubled or tripled, there is an increase in the likelihood of employees mislabeling items.

  • Issues with third-party vendors: Amazon offers sellers the option to use third-party shipping services to deliver products. This flexibility allows sellers to choose their preferred shipping methods and carriers, offering a range of options to meet their specific needs and preferences. In this case, Amazon is not responsible for shipping delays caused by external partners.

Choosing third-party vendors for Amazon shipping
The following factors on the consumers' end can also cause shipping delays:

  • Incorrect shipping information: Packages get lost in transit due to incorrect delivery address or recipient details. Carriers need help locating the destination if essential details such as the shipping address or product information provided by customers or sellers are incorrect.

How do shipping delays impact Amazon Sellers?

Delivery delays can have a serious impact on Amazon sellers' performance:

You can lose Customers

Fast shipping is one of Amazon's best benefits to its customers. It shows the estimated delivery time for products listed on the marketplace. Customers always expect their products to arrive within the estimated time. If you fail to meet expectations as an Amazon seller, you get higher customer churn for Amazon as the shopfront, which causes knock-on effects all over the place for your metrics.

Losing Customer Trust

Customers who are unsatisfied with the seller's service due to delivery delays are most likely to lose trust in you. They will avoid ordering products from the same seller in the future, which can badly affect your listing’s performance.   

Negative Customer Review

If you don’t ship and restock the orders on time, you get negative reviews on your listing. Customers depend on these reviews before they decide to buy. As a result, it will significantly impact sales and revenue and cause a sales drop.

Account Suspension/Termination

Amazon takes customer service and seller policies very seriously. It first sends account violation warnings to sellers who must fulfill their orders on time. If you have multiple order backlogs, Amazon could suspend your seller account temporarily, and if the problem continues, it can even terminate it permanently. Amazon regularly tracks late shipment rates and expects every seller to keep it below 4%.

Tips  to avoid shipping delays on your Amazon listing


Seller Tips 

As a seller, you can avoid shipping delays or at least minimize them in various ways.

inventory performance 2

  • Monitor your inventory. Shipping delays are often caused by bad inventory management, which you can easily avoid if you apply the right strategies and tools. Closely monitor your stocks to avoid over-listing your products, which causes backorders.

Seller Candy can help you monitor and forecast inventory based on sales trends through our analytics team. Connect with our team today to discuss how we help optimize inventory management for sellers. 

Inventory dashboard 2

    • Offer tracking information. You should invest in good shipment tracking technology. It will allow your customers to know the whereabouts of their packages in real time, which helps reduce customer anxiety and frustration.

    • Communicate with your customer. If you are already expecting that there will be a delay in shipping someone's order, then it is best that you communicate with the customer as early as possible. Explain the reason for the delay and give them realistic estimations showing the effort you put into their purchases.
    • Free shipping and discounts. Providing deals such as free shipping or shipping fee discounts can help lower customers' expectations of getting a fast shipping delivery.
    • Explore Amazon Buy Shipping. One effective way to steer clear of shipping delays is by utilizing the Amazon Buy Shipping service. This feature streamlines your shipping process and enhances your control over order fulfillment.

    NOTE: Amazon Buy Shipping provides a straightforward method for managing your shipping processes. You can purchase shipping labels directly from Amazon's platform and simplify the order fulfillment procedure.

    To access it in Seller Central:

    • Go to the Orders tab
    • Select Manage Orders
    • On the right-hand side of the product listing, click on the Buy Shipping option.

Amazon Shipping Delays Refund


If ever you find yourself in a problematic situation of delayed shipping from Amazon, take a deep breath—your money has not gone to waste yet. Amazon has various perks in ensuring a satisfying buying experience, albeit with shipping delays.

Thankfully, you may get compensation should your delivery arrive late. However, it is better to know beforehand that there are requirements for you to qualify for redeeming such settlements.

Late-Delivery Refund

If your order does not arrive on the date promised to you by the seller, you have the option to demand a late-delivery refund, which should cover your shipping costs.

To enjoy this, your order must meet the following qualifications:

  • The order is shipped to an eligible address
  • The shipping option selected is the same one advertised on the product page
  • The order is placed before the ‘order within’ countdown on the product page
  •  The payment method must be successfully charged before the deadline listed in the checkout

Some instances that would nullify the request for a late-delivery refund are unforeseen circumstances that caused late delivery beyond Amazon's control, such as:

  • Strikes
  • Natural disasters
  • Severe winter storms

A more detailed explanation can be read on Amazon's Guaranteed Delivery Terms and Conditions page.

If your order indeed meets these requirements, here is a step-by-step guide you may follow to get a late-delivery refund from Amazon:

  1.  Contact the Amazon Customer Service through their hotline (1-888-280-4331) or their virtual chat (https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html)
  2. Answer the prompt questions so you can be connected to a human agent to help you with your concerns.

Shipping Delays FAQs for Customers and Sellers

Does Amazon Prime still have two-day shipping?

Yes, Amazon Prime still offers two-day shipping to selected products displayed while ordering. However, the shipment delay makes them worry about whether Amazon Prime still provides two-day shipping. There can be multiple reasons why Amazon packages are delivered late, such as an increased volume of orders, especially during holidays. Also, not all products are eligible for Prime two-day shipping like the products that are out-of-stock, shipping to far distances, shipped from third-party sellers, etc.

How long it takes to get an order from Amazon?


The estimated time is shown at the time of ordering the product, and the actual time of product delivery depends on the following factors:

  • Standard Shipping- Some products, like those from third-party sellers, get shipped in 3-5 days. It depends on the product availability and processing time.
  • Expedited Shipping- This type of shipping costs a fee to provide faster delivery with same-day or two-day shipping of products. 
  • Same-day Shipping- Same-day delivery is available for a few products from the same city for an additional fee.

Amazon also provides a Prime delivery service, where products are eligible for same-day or two-day shipment and delivered on time. Non-prime members, however, get a standard shipment of two to five days.

Can customers get a refund for the delay in delivery?

Amazon's refund policy states that customers can receive refunds for delivery delays in particular circumstances, but this is not guaranteed. Delivery dates can vary due to weather conditions like storms, transportation, or product stocking issues. Customers can get a refund from Amazon in case of promotional credits or discounts on the next orders. However, it is not guaranteed and depends on Amazon's customer service team to decide which customers are eligible for a refund.

What causes delayed shipments?

Some things that cause delays in delivery:

  • Weather events: Unforeseen weather conditions like snowstorms and hurricanes can affect product delivery by disrupting the transport networks. In such a case, Amazon prioritizes safety and can sometimes even cancel the order.
  • Carrier delays: Amazon delivery uses transportation networks and vehicles like trucks, planes, and ships. Any issue in transportation can lead to delivery delays.
  • Small PO Box: If the delivery address is in a rural area, it then needs special arrangements or additional processing, which causes a delay in delivery. 
  • Third-party sellers: Third-party sellers take their own processing and shipping time, which can sometimes cause delayed shipments.
  • High order volumes: Holidays are when Amazon receives a high volume of orders, and processing the orders sometimes takes longer than usual.

How do you request a refund for the delivery delay?

The first step is to contact Customer Care through chat or call. If you prefer virtual chat, the messaging assistant will ask, “Do you need help with a recent item?”. Select the item you need a refund for and choose the next steps. You will then be connected with an agent with whom you can share your issue, and the agent will help you request the Amazon shipping delay refund.

Can Amazon Prime members get compensation for delivery delays?

Customers with an Amazon Prime membership enjoy free shipping (except for products from third-party sellers). Compensation is provided when shipping is delayed, and shipping costs are involved. You need to contact Amazon customer service to enquire and understand it better.

So what’s next?

Your Amazon business success depends on providing an amazing customer experience, which includes on-time delivery of orders. You should find innovative strategies to improve your operations and solve shipping challenges.

Running an Amazon business and providing good customer service at once can be cumbersome.

Seller Candy is an all-in-one Amazon e-commerce service provider that helps you not just survive the holiday season but actually thrive and make your customers happy.

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