Amazon is an online e-commerce titan.
Although it started as a business selling books, it quickly entered other markets and invited other sellers to use its platform to sell its products.
There’s no question that Amazon set the standard when it comes to logistics and supply chain operations.
That said, there are times when you want to buy a product and notice that it says, “In stock soon.”
Here’s what “in-stock soon” means on Amazon.
What Does “In Stock Soon” Mean On Amazon?
If you see this phrase, then it means the item is currently out of stock, but the seller expects it to be back in stock soon.
According to Amazon’s Help & Customer Service section, they define an “in-stock soon” item to be one that is currently unavailable, but a new supply is arriving soon.
You should see on the product in question how long Amazon expects the product to take to get back in stock.
It usually says something like, “usually ships in X–Y days,” or “usually ships in X–Y weeks.”
If you see that Amazon has an “in-stock soon” message on the product you want to buy, it means they expect a new supply of that product to arrive in a few days or a few weeks.
Amazon has several different terms to define the availability of a seller’s stock.
These terms help make the seller more transparent with their buyers as to how long they might need to wait for their orders to arrive.
One of those terms is “In-stock soon.”
What Does “In Stock But May Require An Extra One To Two Days to Process” Mean On Amazon?
Another common notification you’ll see when buying a product on Amazon is that the product is in stock, but it might require a few days to process.
This means that the product is in one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
It isn’t in many of them, however.
As such, it’s going to take Amazon a bit longer to process and ship the order out to you.
That’s because Amazon prefers to use the warehouses and fulfillment centers that are closest to your address.
This makes it cheaper for them to do business since they need to cover fewer miles to get the order to your door.
When a product is only available in one of the fulfillment centers, Amazon has to determine how to get that order to your address and how long it will take.
If you’re very far away from the fulfillment center, Amazon has to figure out a route that will take the order from the center to your address.
That might mean putting the order on a plane or covering a long distance on the ground.
However they do it, it’s going to take Amazon a bit longer.
This problem occurs when the product is almost sold out.
All the other fulfillment centers may have run out of the product except for that one.
It might also occur if the seller only chooses to use one fulfillment center to house their products due to their own budget.
Since sellers have to spend money to essentially rent out a space in an Amazon warehouse, they might want to keep their budget tight by only using one fulfillment center.
According to a report by Wired, Amazon is increasing the fee that sellers have to pay to use their warehouses.
To save on costs, some sellers might be trying to decrease their warehouse size.
As a result, you might see that a product is in stock but it will take a few days to process.
What Does “Usually Ships In X–Y Days” On Amazon Mean?
Another common notification that you might see on a product page on Amazon is “usually ships in X–Y days.”
If you see this notification, it means that the product is in stock.
You can expect the order to ship in the number of days that the notification specifies.
The key thing to look for is that it says days and not weeks.
If it says days, it means Amazon has a warehouse distributor nearby that can handle your order.
It means the product is in that warehouse, and it won’t take much time for it to arrive at your destination.
What Does “Usually Ships In X–Y Weeks” On Amazon Mean?
If you don’t see “usually ships in X–Y days” on Amazon but instead see “usually ships in X–Y weeks,” you can expect something a little different.
This indicates that the seller has the item in stock.
However, the location of the product isn’t a nearby distributor.
It’s going to have to travel a bit further to reach your destination.
Sometimes it also means that the product isn’t quite ready for shipping.
For example, if you’re buying something handmade or custom-made on Amazon, the seller has to make it after you submit your order.
It takes time for them to make the product.
This time gets added to the shipping date which is reflected in the number of weeks that you’ll see listed on the product page.
If you see “usually ships in X–Y weeks,” then your order is coming, but it’s going to take a few weeks.
What Does “Not Yet Published/Released” Mean On Amazon?
While scrolling through the products on Amazon, you might see a few with the phrase, “not yet published/released,” on them.
This means that item isn’t currently for sale.
The seller might still be producing it, or they might be filling their warehouse with their products before making them available for sale.
This is common when a new seller joins Amazon or when an existing seller releases a new product.
You’ll find it most often in books, albums, movies, and other items that have release dates.
Amazon will give you a sneak peek of what it will look like, some information about it, and may even give a price that you can expect to pay for it.
That said, unless you see a preorder option, you won’t be able to buy the product.
You can add it to a Wishlist on Amazon, but you’ll have to remember when the product gets released to come back and buy it.
What Does “Available For Preorder” Mean On Amazon?
When a product isn’t released or available yet, you’ll often see the notification “available for preorder” next to it.
This means that, although the product isn’t ready, you can still preorder it.
When the product does become available, your preorder acts like an immediate purchase.
It will immediately start shipping to you.
If you see that a product isn’t released and it doesn’t have a preorder option, then you can’t preorder it.
Preordering is ideal for those who have the funds set aside for the product at that specific moment.
If they know it’s a product that they want to purchase, getting the purchase over with enables them to get it a bit faster.
Instead of waiting on the product page for the product to become available and then purchasing it, you can save time and effort with a simple preorder.
Amazon will remember that you already paid for the product when it becomes available and start processing and shipping your order to you.
When something is available for preorder on Amazon, you can buy it early and get it as soon as it becomes available.
What Does “Temporarily Out Of Stock” Mean On Amazon?
Sometimes you’ll see a notification that the product you want to buy is “temporarily out of stock.”
You may wonder what this means, especially since you can still order the product.
In some cases, Amazon and sellers will still make purchasing a product possible even though it’s not in stock.
That’s because Amazon or the seller expects the product to be back in stock soon.
To make ordering an out-of-stock product less risky, Amazon will notify you when the product is back in stock.
You’ll be able to choose a shipping option and delivery date at that point.
If the seller goes out of business, closes their account, or stops selling the product, then you can get a refund.
If an item is “temporarily out of stock,” it means you can still order it, but you’ll have to choose shipping dates after Amazon contacts you.
What Does “Currently Unavailable” Mean On Amazon?
One of the more frustrating notifications that you may see on a product is that it’s “currently unavailable.”
This can be a confusing notification since it doesn’t always tell you what’s going on.
If you see this phrase on a product, it means the product is not in stock.
It’s also not available for ordering because Amazon isn’t sure if it’s going to be back in stock.
This sometimes means that the seller has given up selling that particular product.
It might mean that the seller is facing supply problems of their own and aren’t sure when they can get more products out to their buyers.
It’s also common to see this notification on discontinued items.
If you see this notification on a product, you can’t buy it.
What Does “In Stock” Mean On AmazonFresh Items?
If you use AmazonFresh, you may see a few different availability notifications on the items for sale.
One of those notifications is the “in stock” tag.
If you see this notification, it means the item is in stock.
You can add it to your Fresh Cart which indicates to the delivery worker that they need to get those items to you quickly to stay fresh.
If you don’t see this tag, it means the item isn’t available at a Whole Foods or similar Amazon-affiliated store near you.
What Does “Available By” Mean On AmazonFresh Items?
When shopping for items on AmazonFresh, you’ll sometimes see a notification tag that an item is “Available By.”
This means that the item isn’t currently available.
However, it will be available by the time that it lists.
This usually means that an item is temporarily out of stock.
Depending on what the item is, how busy the store is, and if the store has the item in stock in its warehouse, that item may be available as soon as the next hour or as late as a few days.
You’ll often see an “Available By” notification during the times when the store is at its most busy.
You’re contending with Whole Food buyers who are there physically shopping as well as those who are using AmazonFresh to make their orders.
Since more people are shopping at the store, some items are going to sell out quickly.
The great thing about the “Available By” notification is that it tells you when you can expect the item to come back into stock.
This allows you to make the appropriate decision like waiting until that time to complete your order or finding a substitute.
What Does “Stock Until” Mean On AmazonFresh?
Amazon emphasizes delivering fresh food.
In order to keep their deliveries fresh, they have specific delivery times.
Certain items also have specific times on them to ensure they’re kept fresh.
These items have the “stock until” tag on them with a specific time.
This indicates that you have that amount of time to put in your order for that item to get it fresh.
If you’re unable to complete your order by that time, you’ll need to either remove the item or switch to a different delivery slot.
This ensures that you’re able to get your items as fresh as possible.
It’s not unlike when you try to order an item on Amazon and see a countdown for being able to get it delivered the next day.
You’ll usually see something like, “Order in 23 minutes to get it delivered tomorrow.”
Amazon uses the same logic to deliver its fresh products from Whole Foods.
By ordering before the “stock until” time, you can get fresh food delivered to your home.
How To Buy Out-Of-Stock Items On Amazon
Now and then, you’ll come across an item on Amazon that is no longer in stock.
If you really want the item, you may wonder how you can get your hands on it.
Here are a few ways that you can still buy out-of-stock items on Amazon.
1. Amazon Marketplace
Amazon really has two stores in one.
There are the products that Amazon sells.
Then, there are the products that third-party sellers sell.
These are independent sellers who work through Amazon to sell their products.
Some of them sign on with the Fulfillment By Amazon program which enables them to save on costs to start their business.
Although the program does take out its share of fees, according to Amazon’s Marketplace portal, 225,000 sellers on its platform made over $100,000 in sales in 2019.
These sellers sometimes sell products that are out of stock in the official Amazon store.
Keep in mind that some of these sellers also sell used versions of the products.
Before you click to purchase any of the items, you’ll want to double-check the product description to determine if the product is new or used.
That said, buying the product from the Amazon Marketplace is a way to get your hands on an out-of-stock item.
2. Sign Up For Amazon’s Product Notifications
If an item isn’t in stock, then you can usually sign up for Amazon’s product availability notifications.
You’ll see a prompt on the product page that you can click to activate notifications.
When the item comes back in stock, Amazon will send you a notification.
This allows you to immediately hop onto Amazon and buy the product while it’s in stock.
It can give you a head start over other buyers who might have an interest in the product.
Signing up for availability notifications is a great way to ensure you can buy an out-of-stock item.
3. Other Stores
If the product has a brand name, you can usually find the product on other websites.
For example, you can visit the brand’s website and sometimes order the product from their official store.
You might also find information on their official site about other stores that they sell the product on.
If it’s a popular brand, there’s a good chance you can find the out-of-stock item either on the manufacturer’s official site or at another store that sells that particular product.
If you see that an item isn’t in stock on Amazon but it will be soon, it means that Amazon expects the order to come back into stock in a few days.
You can also find other useful availability information listed on each product page.
If the item isn’t in stock and you can’t wait, it’s worth checking to see if the brand has an official store where you can buy the item.