Amazon USA and shipping books to loved ones | Write a Prisoner


Amazon USA and shipping books to loved ones

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PeteMo's picture
Amazon USA and shipping books to loved ones

I ordered a paperback book for my loved one on Amazon USA as I'm in the UK, but am encountering delays.

Amazon state that they need a little more time to provide an estimated delivery date, but that was 12 days ago. There is no obvious way to contact the book seller to find out what the hold up is.

Does this delay sound normal for Amazon USA when delivering to a prison?

They must have sent items to other inmates in K.C.I.W. (Kentucky Correction Institute for Women) where my girl is, because Amazon automatically amended the postcode from KY 40056 to KY 40056-0337 by tagging the PO Box number to it.

She trains Full Access Service dogs for disabled people and veterans, so the book is about training Seeing Eye Dogs (Guide dogs to those of us in the UK). A lot of books are for Kindle only, so she won't be able to read them as they are not yet allowing inmates the JPay or Kindle tablets.

I appreciate that my question is a bit left field.

Edited by: PeteMo on Apr 18 2018 - 8:25am Reason: Imported from old database.
CLW's picture

When you log in on Amazon, there should be a button 'get help with order' next to each item on your list of orders on Amazon . You can use this button to contact Amazon. They normally don't let you contact a 3rd party seller directly, but they forward your message. If you have an issue with a 3rd party seller, Amazon will handle it.

porcupine73's picture

Was it sold by Amazon itself, or a third party? I've encountered this sort of thing on some books sold by Amazon, but usually for me it tells me that when the order is placed. It seems to be on books that aren't high volume sellers. The last one I ordered it said it would e-mail when they knew the ship date, which fortunately ended up being only a couple weeks.

I think what happens is on print books that aren't high volume sellers, it doesn't necessarily make sense for them to keep printed copies of all those books in stock. So if they're out and then an order comes in with modern printing especially for soft cover books I think they just print or have printed a few copies at a time.

Teacuplittle's picture

I would email Amazon. I've never encountered such things but I am in the U.S. I was also going to say that maybe Amazon never updated and it's already on its way, somewhere in the states.

PeteMo's picture

Hi thanks for the advice,
There is not a Get help with order button against the book I am trying to send, but I do have it against another product I've ordered for other people. So I guess the Help with order button is particular to certain products.

I'll email amazon and see what they say.
As an alternative, I might order books from the UK Amazon site and get them posted to Kentucky.

Thanks again everyone.

PeteMo's picture

Hi Porcupine
Apologies for the delay, I'm recovering from eye surgery.
The book was sold by Services, Inc. I have since received an email that they will update me with a delivery date.
It does seem to be a rare book, so they might be waiting to run of a few more reprints.
At least things are in progress now.

PeteMo's picture

Hi Sbarnett, I'm looking at other books to send from Amazon USA, that are more general. I have sent things for wishlists to people in America via Amazon USA so know that I can use the USA site with my UK login. One thing I have noticed is that I have Amazon Prime on my account but this is not recognised by the site in the USA. Understandable because they use different postal services and the like. I was assured an invoice would be included to enable the prison to trace the sender.

I'll send her a book on the Northern Lights and see what happens there. I'll also experiment sending things to the USA from Postage will cost me more, but worth it for my girl to get things in the mail.

Actually the dog training book is coming from California, so what you have advised about postal times there may be a contributing reason for the delay. I'm not worried, I'll let it happen. It just wasn't the present I hoped she'd get in time for Valentine's Day.

PeteMo's picture

Update - The book arrived 2 weeks ago and was delivered according to Amazon.
I don't know if she got it yet because one of her children died last so she has other things on her mind right now.

Sbarnett's picture

@PeteMo, I've just noticed your post. I've ordered a book for one of my penpals in a California prison he's a SHU inmate. I say that because usually mail to Ca. inmates and especially the SHU ones takes much longer than other states. SHU inmate's mail/deliveries take even longer.

With that said, the book I ordered for him got there quicker than normal mail would, it only took 6 days from ordering to in his hands.
I'm in the U.S.A. though and ordered via the American site,and used my Prime membership options of two day delivery. It does seem strange that your friend's book is taking so long. with my own experiences with Amazon after being an 8 year customer.

If a book isn't in print or is not available for immediate shipping it will not allow you to purchase it. It WILL give you a button to click for updates when the book or whatever item is back in stock. Some items say, they don't know if it will ever be available again. I've got an account with the U.K. site to and have noticed the same button there for obselet items.

Zarchery's picture

I was going to say that any time I order something off an Amazon seller in the U.K., it takes time to reach me in the United States. Then I realized you are in the U.K, but both the item and the recipient are off in the United States. I don't understand why there would be any extra processing time just because the buyer is across the Atlantic Ocean.

Who was the seller? Was it Amazon itself or one of the 3rd party sellers of used stuff?

Amazon adding in the 4 digit ZIP extension doesn't mean that they have shipped to that address before. It likely just means that the extension was in a database of millions of addresses.

I sent something via Amazon to Illinois. It took them about a week to get there, which is about the same as when I order stuff to myself. Amazon isn't going to care that the address is a prison. It should still get there just as fast. Getting from the drop off point to the actual recipient is where you would experience a delay as it goes through the prison's mail screening process.

PeteMo's picture

Just an update about KCIW and their approved vendor policy. 

Apparently any books via Amazon must be "Christian Books". My girl was notified that a book I had sent her via Amazon was rejected. She ended up forwarding it to a relative on the outside.

The other main book vendors BAM (Books-A-Million) and Barnes & Noble both require a USA residential address so I am unable to set up an account and send her anything. I'm from the UK so this is not goig to happen. Has any one else encountered this?


Northernyank's picture

@PeteMo what do they consider "christian"? Does it have to be religion based or G-rated?

Giuseppe Lanzav...
Giuseppe Lanzavecchia's picture

Problemi di ordinare da così ho ordinato da Amazon Italia e spedito in Texas, vedremo

PeteMo's picture

Hi NorthernYank, I did wonder myself just what constitutes a "Christian" book. For example, if a TV Evangelist wrote a Ford Mustang Car Repair Guide wold that be Christian? If an Atheist wrote a book with Christianity in the title would that be Christian? My loved one didn't say much more than the official reason. The actual book I was recently trying to get to her was on Cross Stitch by Ed Hardy, but I suspect the cover with an embroidered skull and message "Love Kills Slowly" probably did not help. I suspect that they allow daily devotional type of material. It is not as if this embroidery book was titled "knit yourself a prison escape kit in 3 easy sessions".