How to get cheaper shipping with Amazon

When ordering from Amazon you get to choose between grouping items into as few shipments as possible, or shipping when the items become available. Of course, the first method (shipping all items in one shipment) is the cheapest – both for you and for Amazon.

Here’s how I was able to get the items shipped when available, without paying extra!

I ordered 9 books from Amazon on the 18th of October, and of course, being the cheapskate I am I selected the “one shipment” option:

18/10/2005: Your Amazon order Shipping Details: (order will arrive in 1 shipment) Order #: 002-4215657-5393667 Shipping Method: Standard International Shipping Shipping Preference: Group my items into as few shipments as possible Subtotal of Items: $156.64 Shipping & Handling: $44.90 —— Total for this Order: $201.54

On the 31st I got this mail:

Your Amazon.com order: your approval required We wanted to let you know that there is a delay with item(s) in the order you placed on October 18 2005 00:58 PDT. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this delay.

Clicking the link I got a page where I could choose between approving the delay, or choosing to ship the available items right away (and the rest later) – of course, for an extra fee. Still being a cheapskate, I chose to approve the delay.

The 1st of November I got this:

Amazon.com – Order Revision Thanks for approving the delay in your order of #xxxxxxx placed with Amazon.com We appreciate your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience. Please note that we don’t charge you for an item until we’re ready to ship it. On the day we ship your order, we’ll send you an e-mail message confirming its contents and the shipping method. Thanks for shopping at Amazon.com.

.. and then later that day:

Greetings from Amazon.com, We thought you’d like to know that we shipped this portion of your order separately to give you quicker service. You won’t be charged any extra shipping fees, and the remainder of your order will follow as soon as those items become available.

You see what happened? I got the expensive shipment method, without paying! All I needed to do was accept the delay. This is revolutionary!! (not really, it’s probably the cheapest excuse for a blog entry ever, but hey it’s been a couple of days).

If you’re wondering what books I purchased it was:

Ah, it’s going to be a good christmas ;)

5 Comments
  1. Yes, the same happened to me about half a year ago. I ordered about 10 books about go (the game). I got the same messages about delayed delivery for some of the books, but chose to accept the delay. But in the same way as you, I still got the first books delivered before the lasts without having to pay extra.

    This might be something they allways do, hoping that some will choose to pay extra for the same service you will get even without paying extra?

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