Why is Amazon Prime One-Day Delivery not One-Day?

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Ever more items on Amazon Prime aren’t available to be delivered within Amazon Prime One-Day Delivery promise. Is Amazon simply slipping or could this instead be viewed as good for consumers paying their £79 annually for One-Day delivery?

The first and major benefit of Amazon Prime is and always has been unlimited free Amazon Prime One-Day Delivery to UK addresses on millions of eligible items at no extra cost. Amazon do say that depending on the time of day that you place your order and your delivery address, if in stock it’ll be dispatched that same day and delivered the next day.

Of course if you miss the cut off times which do apply, it’ll add a day’s delivery time to your order. But, if the major benefit of Amazon Prime is One-Day delivery, why are we seeing so many items which are Prime Eligible but take more than two days to arrive?

Amazon say that it’s to bring you the broadest possible selection of goods. But surely if goods can’t be delivered in less than 2 business days then they shouldn’t be classified as Prime Eligible? Why not simply return search results saying “No Prime Eligible search results were found, but here are some that aren’t Prime Eligible?

“In order for us to bring you the broadest possible selection, some Prime items cannot be delivered in less than 2 business days. Most common reasons include the item being restricted to ground transportation, or requiring extra time to prepare for delivery.”
– Amazon

One reason that some products are taking longer to arrive is Seller Fulfilled Prime. Many merchants don’t ship seven days a week so a delay in despatch and longer delivery period is understandable. But today is Monday and I’m seeing products dispatched from and sold by Amazon that can’t be delivered before Thursday. It’s reasonable that it’s the evening and I might have missed the cut off for a Tuesday delivery, but the one-day delivery promise that comes with Prime should surely indicate my membership should give me a Wednesday delivery?

As a merchant, you’re probably happy for your products to show the Prime eligible badge even if delivery does take longer than one or two days. But is this a healthy situation for consumers and the long term reputation for Amazon Prime? If we’re not getting a One-Day delivery on a regular basis then what are we all paying that £79 annual fee for? There is after all free delivery within 3-5 days on all goods sold and fulfilled by Amazon (for £20 or above orders) without paying for Prime Membership.

7 Responses

  1. Amazon have been doing this for years. I have personally seen an item on PRIME which states delivery in 1 to 3 months. Sold by and dispatched by Amazon. Devalues the prime filter. More worryingly I believe amazon are deliberately playing with this to test consumer behaviour and levels of acceptability in terms of fulfilment expectations. Abusing their market position. Again.

  2. We are a Merchant who enrolled with Amazon and used Royal Mail as our preferred Courier, we pay high rates to send all orders 24hr, however the Prime badge shows 48hr delivery to about 90% of customers. When questioned on this amazon say that the mail centre we use does not show good enough metrics to show one day delivery and that they prefer to over deliver on customer expectation. Royal Mail stated to me that the Mail Centre we use had hit amazon metrics. At the same time amazon were trying to persuade me to move my Prime Delivery to amazon Logistics which didn’t have this issue suprisingly.

  3. Ha

    you mean you think the item is warehoused and shipped by Amazon.

    Why do you think they are begging for people to sign up to Seller Fulfilled Prime.

    If you place the order with Amazon they often divert it through a seller fulfilled option without you or the seller knowing.

    If not can you imagine how big a warehouse Amazon would need to house all the items they claim to have and ship. It would need to cover the whole of North America.

    They are not bothered if they ship it or a seller ships it as long as they fulfill the time criteria.

    They are getting the sellers 15% if they sell and ship themselves .

    But if they ship it for Amazon (without knowing) then Amazon have no warehouse costs, no packers cost, no postal costs, and no returns cos,t and no issues if lost or damaged.

    If a person buys a coat from a seller on Amazon called Coats R US and someone says that’s a nice coat where did you buy it they always reply “Amazon”. Not Coats R US on Amazon.
    So even then Amazon gets the advertising.

  4. This is something that has been interesting for us to be involved with as we signed up for SFP last November. We should have kept a diary of the process because it was laughable at times and sad at others but to respond to the story here, we agree that Amazon should be brought to book regarding the one day delivery.

    We use DHL next day to ship almost everything that we sell on Amazon. If we receive an order today, it is packed and dispatched tomorrow so it should be at the customer the following day, the exception being when the weekend gets in the way.
    When we edit the item specifics, the smallest time we can give to handle the order is 1 day and yet Amazon insists on emailing our customers to tell them their order is 4-5 days away.

    With SFP, we were given an incentive on the Amazon Shipping rate to use them and we also use Royal Mail although this appears to be a default to solution when Shipping cannot meet the criteria for whatever reason. More often than not, the RM label produced says 48 hours on it, not 24 and there is nothing that we can do about it.
    The metrics of SFP are worse for us than DHL. We might ship more than 1000 consignments a week with DHL and to be fair, the error rate must be below 0.5%. However, with SFP, and again to be fair, we are talking Amazon Shipping here, not RM, the error rate is around 1%. Most of those are customer claims for non-delivery, or non-receipt. The AZ Shipping tracking is non-existent most of the time and some of the tracking data in the record is appalling inaccurate. Amazon don’t seem to care though, if we make a claim they refund our item costs but not the shipping so they have still been paid to ship it. We constantly argue with them regarding the size of cartons which are bigger if they get squashed and apparently, a computer measures them so its our fault we have recorded the size incorrectly!

    Some days, typically Monday for example, we request extra vehicle capacity to collect the packages and they don’t send it. They aren’t bothered but then everything not collected is a further day behind. Not much good when that happens on a Friday!

    Another issue we have – orders in pending. A Prime order can come out of pending after the 1pm cutoff for dispatch to occur that day, but it still has to be dispatched that day or it is marked as late. We have had orders come in after 2pm when the vehicle is loading all the Prime and it is still expected to leave us same day!

    As a buyer on Amazon, I look for the Prime badge and I expect the item next day. However, if I request it is sent to my work address it doesn’t come over the weekend. If I use my home address, it does, even on a Sunday.

  5. Seems to be more items being shipping from Italy or Germany to the UK, which causes the delay. On the other hand for some items I used to have to order by 10pm for next day delivery now its improved to 2am same day!

  6. Your paying the 79quid these days so Amazon can show the ATP and WTA tennis, Premiership and a whole bunch of Amazon exclusive TV shows Amazon music Amazon Cloud and everything else they have got their fingers into.
    Amazon are the world market leaders as the offer the whole package for that 79quid…which is right now brilliant value for money . Look what we have to pay for BBC….

    Shopping is just the add on now . I would pay the 79quid without the shopping which is actually very expensive when you compare products elsewhere anyway.

  7. Amazon was taken to court by The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK for advertising Prime as Next Day Delivery when they cannot achieve that a lot of the time. This was in response to complaints from about 250 customers and the complaints were upheld.

    The result was that Amazon was told they could not longer advertise next day delivery for Prime in the way that they had been doing. Therefore they have been forced to add an extra day.

    But SFP sellers are still required to deliver the next day to maintain metrics. But Amazon have covered themselves with their advertising by changing the expected delivery date. It costs a lot of money to pay for Royal Mail to do this and they do achieve it most of the time from where we are located. However, we used to be in a much busier area and Royal Mail simply did not do the job we were paying them to do.

    The problem is at the mail centres, the staff are not scanning the mail in on the same day it arrived. They are supposed to scan the mail in within 2 hours of it arriving and it is supposed to be in transit the day they received it. They were throwing the bags into corners and not opening them and scanning the parcels into the system. The result is that the parcels sit around and are not processed as they are supposed to be, 24 Tracked mail was not even being scanned into the system until the next morning.

    It took a long time for Royal Mail to investigate and find out exactly what was going wrong. They simply were not providing the service they agreed with Amazon they would do to get the business. So a lot of Prime does arrive the next day, I can tell from my reports that it does, but there are areas where Royal Mail simply are not doing the work correctly. We don’t and have never been located in an area where Amazon collect and deliver. But from what I have been told Amazon doesn’t deliver on time, then, of course, that is blamed on the seller.


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