Investigating Amazon’s Shipping Time

If you’ve been following developments on this site over the past week or so, you know that Amazon.com, which is the primary retailer of the paperback versions of my camera guide books, has been having some issues. For a while, two of the books were listed as not in stock except through 3d-party sellers.  Now, all of the books are shown as in stock, but the 3 most current ones (on the Panasonic Lumix LX5, the Leica D-Lux 5, and the Canon PowerShot S95) are shown as shipping in 2-3 weeks, instead of overnight, as they should.  All of these books are printed by Lightning Source, a major print-on-demand company located in Tennessee. Normally, when someone orders a copy of one of these books from Amazon, if the book is not physically in stock, Amazon orders it from Lightning Source, which then quickly prints a copy of the book and ships it to the customer. This may take a day or two, but it should never take 2 or 3 weeks.

When I asked my representative at Lightning Source about the problem, she said it was a temporary “glitch” with Amazon.  But the problem has persisted, so now I need to do some more investigating. Today I placed an order on Amazon for a copy of Photographer’s Guide to the Panasonic Lumix LX5. I don’t really like to pay the retail price for one of my own books, but it will be worth it to see how soon it arrives. It seems to me that it should ship quickly, and should not take 2 or 3 weeks, because Lightning Source is not having any problems with printing or shipping.

Anyway, I will post updates as this experiment unfolds.  I hope to be able to announce within a few days that my copy of the Lumix LX5 book has arrived. I’ll also keep posting updates when the Amazon listings for the camera books change; hopefully, all books will soon again be listed as in stock and ready to ship overnight.

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