It seems like just a few years ago I would order something online, patiently wait 7-14 days for it to arrive at my doorstep, and I never thought twice about it.
But ever since Amazon Prime entered my life, I have this insatiable urgency to have everything I order arrive the next day. Even if it’s something as underwhelming as cat coasters, or a pack of Bobby pins. And if there’s even so much as a 12 hour delay, I feel like I might physically implode.
So naturally, for the sake of my own sanity, I’ve always been curious how Amazon manages to get orders out so quickly, so consistently. Luckily, former employees are more than willing to spill the beans.
Here are 9 Amazon secrets revealed by former employees:
Most of the warehouses are a lot smaller than the ones we’re used to seeing on the news.
When you picture an Amazon warehouse, you probably picture an enormous building, something the size of multiple football fields in width and height. But not all of the warehouses look like that. The ones located in major cities do, but there are a ton of smaller ones in between. In fact, a lot of the Amazon warehouses are of the smaller variety.
Prime orders have priority and are often picked within fifteen minutes of the order being placed.
If you use Amazon Prime, you’re probably curious how they are able to get your order to you so fast, while most online stores can take weeks to deliver something. Truth be told, Amazon pickers are working around the clock and pushing orders out within 15 minutes of the order being placed.
The Amazon picking staff have high quotas.
One former employee revealed that that quotas were much higher than at other warehouses. “At my peak, I was picking 120+ items per hour, and it was just good enough. As I had to sometimes walk 1/4 of a mile or more between items, it was very difficult and physically demanding.”
Amazon is working on having all items picked and packed robotically in the future.
For the moment, there are still humans fulfilling the picking and packing role. But Amazon has expressed interest in eventually making this more of an automated process.
Approximately one out of every fifty Amazon purchases made are sex toys.
Considering how many purchases are made on Amazon each day, that number is incredibly high. Can’t say I’m surprised though. It’s a lot less embarrassing than buying one in-person at a stag shop.
When you place an order, it automatically gets sent to a worker’s scanner so they can pick it and pack it as quickly as possible.
Pickers are given a remote scanning device that alerts them the moment an order has been placed with the item number, so that they can locate it, scan it, and have it packed.
Security is very tight in the warehouse to ensure safety and theft-prevention.
While working in such a giant space with countless of employees, you better believe theft is something that the company takes very seriously. There are security checkpoints, and many personal items need to be left at the door. “Cell phones, iPods, watches, anything that could be sold at Amazon was off limits (which is everything).”
Storage is kept chaotic intentionally to prevent pickers from accidentally grabbing the wrong items.
Amazon intentionally keeps similar looking items away from each other in the picking area to prevent pickers from mixing up orders. It looks disorganized, but it’s done on purpose.
It isn’t difficult to get hired by Amazon for warehouse work.
Some employees have found that depending on the department, getting hired by Amazon was surprisingly easy. They use staffing companies, Craigslist, Kijiji, and other ad platforms. The hiring process is very straightforward.
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