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How can it take days for an ordered item to get to the carrier after the seller claims to have shipped?


Pegasus
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I've had this happen a few times.  I'll get an email from the company selling the item claiming that my order has been shipped.  However, when I check the tracking number, the carrier is still awaiting the package.  It can take a few days before the carrier has it.

 

What's going on in the interim?

 

I'm thinking it is sort of like on-time departure from the airport.  Your plane has left the gate on time but sits on the tarmac for a long time before actually taking off.

 

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You get notice when the seller prints the mailing label. Some sellers ship every weekday, others once a week.

 

The carrier won't have a tracking number register until they pick it up and it's in their physical custody. That's when they scan it.

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Because they will prepare to ship, print the label, include email notifications, but then a number of things can happen depending on the seller. Miss giving to carrier at place of business. Or take it home to give to carrier or to take to post office and then not have time to take it to post office and / or miss mail delivery. Also sometime the package can be handed to mail carrier who forgets to scan so there isn't any way of tracking and have to wait two see if it appears.

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I see that sometimes, with Amazon and eBay Sellers.   Sometimes, I receive an email, almost immediately after I click to buy, that the item has been Shipped. I usually assume that is far from the truth. I assume those Sellers do that so that the Purchaser cannot change their mind and cancel the purchase.

 

Other times, a one day delay is not uncommon. 

 

Sometimes, a Shipping Carrier (USPS, DHL Global Mail, FedEx, etc., can have an item in their possession for quite a while, before the item begins tracking and showing movement.  I think there have been items that didn't track until they showed up in the local post office in Miami FL.

 

ETA: Another thing is that it is common for a Seller to Print the Shipping Label one day and then to actually Pick and Ship the item the following day. When they print the Shipping Label, the item then shows to have been shipped.

Edited by Lanny
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My dh worked for a company that mananged the massive fulfillment centers that do all the shipping.   Here's what really happens.  The big companys...say Ann Taylor..have agreements with the shipping companies to ship on time.  What really happens is they print all the labels and that is when the email goes out saying it has been shipped.  There can then be 100's or 1000's (if there's a sale) labels sitting there waiting to be filled.  The fullfillment centers are gigantic and rely on cheap labor..which is also unreliable.  It's a terrible industry in many many ways.

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It means the label has been printed but the item hasn't been physically picked up by the shipping company or USPS.  If I print a label on Thurs. night, intending to take it with Friday's mail, but miss the Friday post office pickup b/c of traffic or some other unforeseen circumstance, and I live in a place w/o Saturday PO hours, then it won't get scanned in until Monday.

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