Amazon Order Pending? What does this mean?

Amazon is one of the best marketplaces to sell products, both, physical and digital. And, if you’ve already set up your store and maybe even made your first sales, you know the sleekness of using Amazon FBA. But, while checking your orders, today, you’ve noticed something different. You saw that an order is PENDING. What does that mean?!

I know that “pending orders” sound scary and the first thing that comes to your mind is that something is wrong with the order. And, you are probably wondering if there’s a mistake on your side or there’s something wrong on the seller’s side. Too many worries, I’d say.

Don’t be anxious, there’s a perfect explanation for everything, especially on Amazon. Although the support center may have not still responded to your query and you don’t know whom to ask for help, stop for a moment and read this article. Here, you will find the answer to your question “What is Amazon order pending?” Also, you will find out why is that happening, what can you do, and some other information.

What Is Pending Order?

As the name suggests itself, this is an order in a pending state, hence, it’s not processed yet. When you see an order with this status, it suggests that the product is in a processing or preparation stage. It happens for every sold item and lasts for at least 30 minutes and up to a few days. During this time, Amazon performs various checks, such as authorizing the payment, checking the number of available orders, preparing and packing the order, transferring the order from one facility to another, and other administrative tasks until it ensures that everything is alright and the product can be shipped out to the customer.

However, some orders stay in the pending status for days, up to 21 days. When this happens, it can mean that there is an issue with the product being sold. It happens for several reasons, including:

  • Amazon hasn’t been able to authorise the buyer’s credit card.
  • The customer hasn’t completed their order.
  • The buyer has selected hasn’t completed the payment after selecting convenience store payment.
  • The customer has qualified for free bulk shipping and the order is waiting for all products to be gathered.
  • An item from the bulk order is out of stock. In this case, Amazon can split the order and ship the items that are in stock to the buyer, but the order will remain in pending status.

What to Do With a Pending Order?

The first and most important thing to remember in this situation is NOT to ship the order. The buyer may contact you to ask you about the problem and that they are waiting for days, but you can’t ship the order until it leaves the pending state. This because in pending status, the Buyer Name, Buyer E-mail, and the Shipping Service aren’t available on the Order Details page.

Moreover, you won’t be able to cancel the order until it changes to Unshipped status. Then, the Confirm and Cancel buttons will appear and you’ll be able to ship the order and confirm it as shipped.

Even if you’ve fulfilled the pending order(s) yourself, you won’t be able to ship the order even if you want. You have to wait for the status to change from Pending to Unshipped.

In case the buyer contacts you directly to cancel the pending order, refer them to Amazon Customer Service where they will get more information.

If the problem is on the buyer’s end, e.g. their card hasn’t been authorized or they haven’t completed the order, you should contact the buyer. Tell them to check the issue and try to solve it, e.g. check the credit card information or if there’s enough money or complete the order. Of course, you should also contact Amazon Customer Service to see what to do next.

Where to Check for Pending Orders?

If you want to keep an eye on your orders and find if there are pending ones, you need to go to the Manage Orders page in the Seller Central and open the Pending tab. There, you will find all the orders with this status and check what’s the issue.

Note: Pending orders don’t show in the Order report nor the Unshipped Orders report. Nonetheless, your inventory will be updated, including the order that is pending.

Can I Cancel a Pending Order?

As a seller, you can’t cancel a pending order according to Amazon rules. Only the buyer can do that. But, if you are determined to cancel it, contact the buyer and ask them to cancel their order. You may try to negotiate but if the buyer is stubborn, there’s nothing you can do but wait for the order to be processed. It can’t last longer than 21 days.

Although selling on Amazon is easy, there are many issues that can happen. So, you need to be prepared to face them and how to act in that case. And, most importantly, you need to be patient.

How Does Amazon Charge the Buyer’s Card?

Having in mind that one of the most common reasons for having pending orders is a problem with the buyer’s credit card, you are probably interested in how does the charging process happen.

When a customer buys a product, Amazon verifies the payment method and authorizes the payment. This guarantees that the card is valid and has enough money for the order. However, Amazon doesn’t charge the card until you mark the order as shipped. Once you ship the order, the payment is processed and the buyer is charged for their order.

There are also some exceptions to this tule but they are very rare. In these cases, Amazon automatically charges the order. However, again, this is extremely rare and there is up to an hour charging delay to prevent accidental orders.

Can Digital Orders Be in Pending Status?

I know you may have not expected that digital orders can also be in pending status because they are simply downloaded, not packed and shipped out. But, the same can happen with them.

Well, the thing here is that these products also go through administrative procedures as physical products. There can also be a problem with the customer’s credit card and other of the above-mentioned issues. It happened to many people, including sellers I personally know. They thought selling digital books will be a piece of cake since there’s no packing and shipping, but it turned out they had many pending orders. And, the worst thing is that there’s no explanation of the issue. You just see that the order is pending and that’s it.

If this happens to you too, you need to immediately contact the support center and your customer to see what’s the problem and if they can solve it on their side.

Amazon Rolling Reserve

Before I explain what this is, let me tell you that it’s of great benefit to sellers. Basically, Amazon puts all the money you make from a sale on hold for 14 days from the date you marked the order as Shipped. After 14 days, the money will be put on your account on the next settlement date if you have a positive account balance.

Although many people find this feature annoying, it’s a good one because it makes sure you have enough money in case there are refund requests.

This feature affects all individual accounts, but not the Pro accounts (although there are some cases). To affect a store, it must raise red flags, including:

  • Higher amount of refund requests.
  • Higher priced orders.
  • Drastic increase in sales.
  • Long delivery times, etc.

Hence, any change in these parameters can trigger the rolling reserve feature.

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