2

Amazon's crazy-scary "anticipatory shipping"

Shipping orders go by on a conveyor belt at Amazon's San Bernardino Fulfillment Center October 29, 2013 in San Bernardino, California.

This final note about Big Data and what companies know about us.

Amazon has won a patent for what it calls "anticipatory shipping," which is just what it sounds like: It's gonna start shipping you stuff before you order it.

The Wall Street Journal says Amazon will consider previous orders, product searches, wish lists, shopping-cart contents, returns and even how long your cursor lingers on an item.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
Log in to post2 Comments

Glad to hear that Amazon is trying to find new ways to reduce delivery time. If you are like me and buy almost everything there, you should be happy to hear this. As I have a lot of purchases from there I’ve been trying to find a way to create a digital inventory of all of them where I can include all the information that comes with each purchase. I’ve recently come across Unioncy (www.unioncy.com) that automatically creates a catalogue of all my belongings with the information of the receipts in my email. Seems to be quite useful to me. I’m curious to hear if anyone else has tried and can share their experience?

I thought there was a law that if someone sends you something you didn't order that you could keep it without paying for it. I can tell you right now I'm not paying for anything Amazon (or the sainted Google) sends me without me ordering it. These companies are getting so arrogant and greedy that it isn't even funny. Oh, and they can send their privacy sucking drone to pick it back up because I'm not paying for the return trip either.
------------------
Updated comment. I have since learned that Amazon.com intends to send the anticipatory packages to a distribution center nearer to the prospective buyer so that if the buyer decides to buy, they can get it faster (because we wouldn't want to wait an extra day for anything, would we?). If the item costs more to ship back (if it is not among the chosen), then Amazon.com plans to offer it for free to the prospective buyer in order to encourage good will. A bit of extra information would have made me feel a little better about this, but not much. Who do they think I am...one of the mighty 85 of the world's wealthy who can afford an endless stream of stuff? Heck, I'm not even in the top 8,500,000.

With Generous Support From...