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Pending orders

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I've never really understood pending orders, never having had a problem paying for an order myself.

When checking out, the order either goes through or my card is declined.

But ok, Amazon do something in the background after the order is placed to ensure the payment is genuine. That's a good thing.

But I've had an order from France pending since lunchtime on the 28th April and today is the 4th May.

Is the customer aware their order is on hold or if I do eventually send it, will they think the delivery was slow and give poor feedback?

If anyone knows or has had an issue as a buyer, please share.

Many thanks

I have experience of pending orders as both a seller and a buyer.

When you place an order with a credit card that has expired or is over its limit, Amazon accept the order but put it on pending status. They email the buyer to notify them of what has happened, and ask them to complete the payment. They allow 10 days for the buyer to do so, and a sale can remain in pending for that long. Alternatively the buyer can ask to cancel the transaction. If payment has not been made after 10 days Amazon will automatcially cancel the transaction, and the item in question is then re-listed to the seller's inventory. Although, in practice, I have found that on occasion an item can remain pending for more than 10 days.

While an item remains pending, the seller cannot contact the potential buyer. However, if it converts to a sale, it may make sense to contact the buyer immediatel. I use something along the lines of:
"thank you for your purchase. As you are probably aware, Amazon experienced a delay in processing payment for this transaction. You placed your order on xx date, but payment was not confirmed until xx date. I will post your item on xx date." I also amend the date shown on the packing slip, which will show the date the order was first placed, to the date on which it was confirmed. Whatever date shows in the Manage Orders section of your seller account, Amazon still allow you 2 working days from the date on which the sale was completed. Provided you despatch within that period, your metrics will not be affected.



The buyer will be made aware through correspondence emails from Amazon updating them with the status of their order. Once the payment is verified (if!) they get a confirmation email with the estimate delivery timeframe for them to expect their order.

Occasionally we have had the odd phone call from someone who is aggrieved "we" haven't taken payment but we just explain that we don't have their money until the moment the order is confirmed as dispatched (and even then we have to wait for disbursement) and that any payment queries are handled direct by AMZ.

As for the length of time an order is in pending - that's an irritation but will eventually result in a sale or stock being returned to your inventory.

I understand your frustration. I had an order pending for 9 days, eventually the order was cancelled and the item returned to my inventory. Needless to say the item is now still sat there and there are six other items now cheaper than mine, which was not how it was originally.

I was led to believe that payment can be a problem if the card details of a buyer are out of date but there should be a time limit for customers to up date their details. In the drop down "pending" tab the explanation of a pending order says that when asked for payment by Amazon if payment is not forthcoming that order is cancelled and the item returned to your inventory. Clearly, that does not happen.

I hope your pending turns into an order very shortly.

Good luck,


pegasus wrote:
I (snipped) In the drop down "pending" tab the explanation of a pending order says that when asked for payment by Amazon if payment is not forthcoming that order is cancelled and the item returned to your inventory. Clearly, that does not happen.

I hope your pending turns into an order very shortly.

Good luck,


Yes, Martin - what I meant was if payment is refused or whatever, the explanation is Point 3: that the item is returned to the inventory (and that should take approximately 30 minutes) - and that is obviously not the case or why did mine take 9 days - it doesn't take that long for (a) payment to be refused (b) or somebody to up date there details, unless of course they have gone on holiday, and that is the most ridiculous state of affairs. Why did it take 10 days for my item to be cancelled and then returned to my inventory and in the meantime my product is still sat there behind 9 (at the count this morning). You are probably very lucky if all your pending orders turn into orders within the allotted time frame.

I was just trying to be helpful and tell the seller what had happened to me and the above is exactly what did happen.


Edited by: pegasus on May 4, 2013 8:13 AM

Edited by: pegasus on May 4, 2013 8:17 AM

Thanks everyone, all clear now.

That would lose way too many sales. It takes 10 days, vast majority of the problem pendings will become sales in a few days.
You'd chuck away all those sales for all sellers? Thats probably millions of pounds a month overall that could be chucked away and buyers move to other sites.

Had just one last month take the full time and then disappear while well over a dozen did convert to sales in that month.

Yes, quick process to update details. But do people know to update details? My amazon buying account links to an email address I check every few days only. A problem reported by email may be missed for 3 or 4 days easily.
Or maybe the person only logs into the amazon account to see why their order has not arrived then only to find out there's a problem.

Oh my goodness.... this is exhausting. Mind you I'm new and therefore know nothing. I think the best thing for me to do is to keep to my Seller account page and not look at the forums which I will do from now on.

As I said I am just giving the facts as they happened to me and trying to be helpful to the other seller.


Edited by: pegasus on May 4, 2013 10:12 AM

I would still be considered a newbie too but I come here as much to learn as anything else and only answer questions on the most simple of things!

It does also help to fill in the (increasing) down time between orders but trying to understand a system that has grown like topsy is a help when problems do come up.

Posters views are just that and not always "correct" but reflect their opinions too.

Speaking selfishly, it would be a shame if you did what you said!



Sorry, can be a little blunt at times.

x Sue

x Sue

Pending orders will be cancelled automatically after either 10 or 12 calendar days depending on the reason for the cancellation.

The timeline of an order is explained here:

Hope it all works out Constantine and now I have my yellow slippers.

Just walked in from shopping and there they are. Wow.