What Does Amazon Preparing For Shipment Mean?

No one likes the long wait for an Amazon package to arrive. It gets even more frustrating when it takes longer than expected or when it seems like it is stuck on one update. 

One Amazon update that is specifically more rampant these days is “preparing for shipment.” If you’ve seen this update, I guess you want to know what it means and how long it takes until your package arrives.

In this article, I will explain what the Amazon update “preparing for shipment” means and what to do if this update appears to be stuck. So, let’s dive right in.

What does “preparing for shipment” mean on Amazon?

You must have received various tracking updates if you’ve been an active online shopper. For Amazon, preparing for shipment means that your package is packaged and labeled for pickup by the courier.

This process contains a variety of steps that the shipment must go through to ensure the quality of the product. All these steps are otherwise termed or placed under the umbrella of “preparing for shipment.”

What happens during “preparing for shipment”?

Usually, preparing a package for shipping isn’t as technical as you’d imagine. It is very simple and straightforward if no problems are encountered.

Generally, Amazon will take all necessary precautions to verify the quality of the product that is to be delivered. Afterward, the item is packaged, labeled, and quarantined for pickup.

Next, Amazon contacts the courier for the pick-up, then the package is loaded into a truck for delivery.

How long does Amazon take to prepare a package for shipment?

There is no straight answer to this question, as it depends on a few variables. Amazon orders are placed in different categories, and each category is processed differently.

Fulfilled by Amazon orders, also called FBA, are orders packaged inside the Amazon warehouse. These orders can be processed instantly under most conditions or may take a day or two.

On the other hand, the time for privately fulfilled items may vary. It may take two to four days for these orders to be prepared for shipping.

How long after the “preparing for shipping” update till you receive your package?

Amazon is well known for its fast delivery. In fact, a study shows that in 2016, Amazon had a record delivery time of 13 minutes—pretty quick, right? Well, let’s not think too far.

Depending on the nature of the order placed, your package may arrive anywhere from 1 day to 5 days after seeing this update

For FBA orders, it may take between 1 – 3 business days, while for privately fulfilled orders, it may take between 3 – 5 days.

Why is Amazon “preparing for shipment” taking so long?

As I mentioned, this is one of the most common issues with Amazon orders. Orders can get stuck on “preparing for shipment” for several reasons.

In most cases, it results in minor delays due to the nature of the order. Amazon ensures that the quality of items ordered is verified before they are packaged and labeled.

A delay may occur if Amazon notices that an item’s quality is not as good as it should be. In cases like these, such an item will need to be replaced. The delay might also be because the item is out of stock and Amazon is awaiting a replacement.

For cases of privately fulfilled orders, it could be that precautionary measures are being taken. These issues are minor and are usually sorted out after a little time, so it is best to have a little more patience.

What if the update is stuck?

There are cases where the “preparing for shipment” update remains stuck, whereas it has already been delivered. This may be because of a system glitch; however, cases like this are rare.

That being said, here’s what you should do

If Amazon fulfilled the order

The best move for orders sold or fulfilled by Amazon is to contact the Amazon support team. You can do this by visiting your order page, selecting the particular order, and then clicking the “problem with order” button.

Afterward, you will need to click the “I need more help” button. Then you will be presented with the option to talk with a representative. Typically, you will have two options: chatting online or having a representative call you.

However, I recommend using the chat option as it tends to be quicker. The call may take a bit of your time as you may have to talk with a bot before you are redirected to a representative.

If the order was fulfilled privately

A different approach may be required if the order was fulfilled privately or by a third-party seller. Instead of contacting Amazon, contacting the seller should be the first move; perhaps he or she will have an explanation.

But if after two to three working days there seems to be no change or you still can’t reach the seller, then you may be able to cancel such an order. This can be done by following the above steps to contact a representative and requesting the order be canceled.


Are you charged if you cancel an Amazon order still being prepared for shipment?

No, you don’t. You only get charged once the order has left the fulfillment center.

What is the difference between preparing for shipping and shipping now?

Preparing for shipping implies that your order is being packaged and labeled. Shipping now, on the other hand, implies that the order has been packaged, labeled, and is already out for delivery.

Does free shipping take longer to prepare for shipping?

Yes, it does. Generally speaking, shipments are prioritized based on how much is spent. Free shipping may take longer if other shipments are being handled.

Can you cancel an Amazon order being prepared for shipping?

Yes, you can.

What happens after Amazon “preparing for shipping”?

After a package is prepared for shipping, it is held until the courier arrives to pick it up. Afterward, it is sent out for delivery.


As I mentioned earlier, “preparing for shipping” means your item is being prepared to be delivered. It passes through a few stages like inspection, packaging, and labeling, preparing it for pickup.

This process may take anywhere from 1 to 5 days before you receive your package, depending on the nature of the order. However, if it takes longer, you can contact Amazon for inquiries or cancellations.

I hope you found this article insightful; if you did, you should also learn how to refuse a package you don’t want.

Thanks for reading.