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When does Amazon charge you?

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  • 5 min read

Amazon is not only one of the world’s largest rivers but also one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world that sell everything from music, movies, electronics, home decor, furniture, books, beauty products, hardware items, clothes, food and so much more. When the list runs that long, it makes you wonder when you will be charged for all the items purchased from your cart.

So, in this article, we will precisely tell you when Amazon charges you for any purchase and the factors that influence the monetary deduction so you can shop with confidence.

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Amazon’s charging policy

Whether you are a shopaholic or a rare visitor to the Amazon shopping platform, Amazon’s charging policy varies with every purchase. The factors that can affect how Amazon decides to charge you can depend upon:

  • The method used for payment
  • The item purchased
  • The seller’s policies

Given below are various ways in which Amazon will charge you according to their policy:

After placing your order

If you have purchased electronic items or selected a third-party item, then you have to pay for the item as soon as you place the order. This applies to digital media like music, movies, and e-books sold by Amazon, which you can either buy or rent and you have to pay upfront for your order. The money will be deducted from your bank account via a debit or credit card immediately.

After your order is shipped

Amazon strikes now, as according to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in the US, it is illegal to charge a customer before their package is shipped. Hence, Amazon may not charge you till your order is about to be or already shipped. The rule is in place to make sure e-commerce platforms do not overcharge you due to fluctuating inventory levels, shipping costs, shipping dates, and other similar factors to give their customers enough time to cancel their orders if they change their minds.

Third-party sellers have their own policies and might charge their customers right away at checkout. Moreover, if you want to move up the date of your package delivery and you can inform the retailer, which might lead to a faster shipping and delivery process. Thus, you might be charged within a short anticipated duration right after checkout.

While using Amazon Pay

Using Amazon Pay to buy products from most third-party sellers will result in them charging you right after checkout. However, not all follow this method, and some charge after your purchased item has been shipped You can check the policies of any third-party seller to figure out when they will charge you: at checkout or after shipping.

While using Amazon Prime

If you have just joined as an Amazon Prime Member, then your card will be charged at the signup. After that, you can set the payment to annual or monthly. Being a member, also bumps you to be eligible for two-day shipping or next-day delivery. For such deliveries, Amazon will charge your card in advance to make sure that you can pay for your order before it is shipped and then delivered within a day or two.

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After pre-ordering items

You can pre-order an item that is popular in demand and has not been released yet. You can be charged for pre-ordered items on Amazon either at the checkout or after the release of the item when it is ready to be shipped. Pre-ordering an item means you are reserving your place in line instead of waiting in it to buy the item, hence it is important that you are willing to go through with the purchase. Amazon will inform you when your order is ready to be shipped.

While using Amazon Gift Cards

Having an Amazon Gift Card allows it to be applicable for charges before your debit or credit card. However, if your gift card is unable to fulfill the entire amount of your purchase, the rest will be charged to your other payment method.

When you order back-order items

If you are ordering anything which is not currently available on Amazon or any other e-commerce platform or store, it is called back-ordering. You don’t have to pay for the item until it is back in stock and shipped. Since the seller of the item currently does not have the item in stock, you will not be charged instantly. If the order seems to be unavailable for a long time, the seller is probably listing it as they can get it back in stock within 30 days. Amazon will inform you when your order is ready to be shipped.

When you choose to subscribe and save

If you order the same products regularly, you can choose to ‘Subscribe and Save’ the product for which you will be charged only when the product ships. The ‘Subscribe and Save’ price is more affordable than the regular pricing of the same item. This option is available with a delivery frequency set according to your choice and the item will be shipped to you regularly according to that schedule.

Amazon will inform you in advance about the items in your subscription, their price, and any discount which can give you time to cancel or change the delivery date. Once an order is shipped, your account will be charged.

In conclusion, you can always read up on the seller’s policies and the product description before purchasing any item so you are aware of any terms involved in payment and shipping. Being comprehensive about the charging policies of Amazon can give you an edge and help avoid any surprises on your card statement.

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Sania Usmani

Always curious, calm, and a little crazy, you can find me daydreaming or studying. An avid reader, traveler, and graduate of Aviation Science, I love gaining new experiences in life and star gazing. You can contact her here:

  • Brent says:

    This blog post is very informative and helpful for those who frequently shop on Amazon. I appreciate the breakdown of the various factors that can affect how Amazon decides to charge you. My question is, are there any additional fees or charges that could be added after the initial payment for your order, and if so, what are they?

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