Monday, September 10, 2007

The Story of FREE Super Saver Shipping

This has been tested and shown to work.

Boring story about Amazon's slightly screwy shipping system...

So, I pre-ordered some stuff on Amazon. I ordered it with FREE Super Saver Shipping, grouped into as few packages as possible. I looked at the delivery date: next month, even though everything is published within the next week.

Unacceptable!

So I switched it over to standard shipping, and it predicted that my delivery date was a full week earlier. Which was, well, acceptable, but not great. Price: +$5.

So I switched to delivering my order in as many packages as possible, as soon as things come in. The slow one is pushed up a week, the fast one is pushed up two weeks. Yay! Price: + another $3.

But, hey, let's change it back to shipping it in as few packages as possible... wait, "minimum shipment is two packages"? That's not any fewer. Is the charge the same? No, in fact, now we're back down $3, to simple standard shipping prices (maybe plus a dollar?). No change in the shipping dates...

Well, let's just see... we'll switch it back to "FREE" and... well, it's free again, but the shipment and arrival dates are still unchanged. A final three weeks earlier on one, two weeks earlier on the other.

But... but... all I did was go in a big circle!

There's a lesson in this... somewhere...

9 comments:

Patrick said...

What were the books?

Craig Perko said...

A comic and "The Stuff of Thought", a book on language.

Adrian Lopez said...

Here I am checking the status of my long-delayed Amazon order, and here you are posting about your own. I placed mine on September 1st, and its estimated arrival is October 10 - 26.

Perhaps I should attempt your little trick.

Craig Perko said...

Let me know if it helps.

Adrian Lopez said...

Update: It seems to have worked, and I don't feel the least bit guilty. The delayed book by itself would have qualified for free shipping if I had ordered it separately.

Craig Perko said...

Whee! We cracked the system!

Adrian Lopez said...

*clap* *clap* *clap*

By the way, the estimated arrival date is now September 18 for all but the delayed book. Pretty big difference!

Glenn said...

This just means that amazon's shipping date calculator is broken.

What we need is an experiment in which we order two sets of the same books, one with super saver, and one with the re-calculated super saver, and see if they show up at different times. Now THAT would be interesting.

Craig Perko said...

Well, I guarantee both mine and his will show up earlier, because originally they were being shipped as a single package, delayed until the very last thing was ready to ship.