If you’ve spent time checking that number of orders you have in Seller Central, you might have noticed that you have ‘Pending Orders’. Pending orders on Amazon happen when a customer places an order and Amazon takes times to check their payment method, conduct fraud tests, verify other details, and so on. This can take anywhere from 30-90 minutes, or even days in some cases. The order will be released once it passes all of the tests and verifications by Amazon.
Pending Orders on Amazon
This might not seem like a big deal since usually pending orders on Amazon are released for processing fairly quickly. However, these orders left in limbo can cause inventory issues. This is especially true if the verification process takes longer than 30-90 minutes. Imagine if you had several orders pending for several days and then all of a sudden get released. If you haven’t planned your inventory adequately, you could risk going out of stock which is something you want to avoid if at all possible.
For those who sell on multiple platforms, this poses extra risks for inventory issues. It can be easy to overlook and not account for pending orders on Amazon while trying to keep track of sales from all the platforms you are selling on. Just as easy as it is for you to miss these orders when checking yourself, any software or technology you might be using to track your inventory could miss taking these pending orders on Amazon into account.
Let’s consider an example:
Jane completes an order on Amazon for one of your dinosaur taco holders. Her order turns into a pending order while it is verified by Amazon. This was the last dinosaur taco holder available in your inventory, which means once her order goes through you will be out of stock. Ten minutes after Jane submits her order on Amazon, Paul finds your dinosaur taco holder on Walmart.com and decides he has to have it and places an order. However, there are actually no dinosaur taco holders available because you have run out of stock. But since product quantities can take up to almost 90 minutes to be updated, it looks like they are still available. In this case, one of these orders will have to be cancelled since you have more orders than products.
Scenarios like this can cause multiple problems for sellers. Certainly having upset customers is not a good thing, but also having too many cancelled orders can lead to sellers having account problems and even be cause for suspension. This is why it’s important to consider pending orders on Amazon when doing your inventory planning. And since there is no easy way to say how long orders will be in a pending state, you need to give yourself some wiggle room on your inventory to account for these kinds of situations.
You can always check how many pending orders on Amazon you have by looking on the ‘Manage Orders’ page in Seller Central, and click on the ‘Pending’ tab. You can also see pending orders that Amazon will be fulfilling on the ‘View FBA orders’ tab.