Amazon will ship packages before you buy them, patent says

Amazon has patented a system whereby it sends out packages to nearby your house before you've even bought them, to cut delivery times.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Now this just sounds ludicrous. In a bid to make online shopping even more convenient, Amazon plans to ship packages before you've even bought them. This would slash delivery times, and give it a leg-up over rival retailers.

Here's how it would work. Amazon would keep tabs on your shopping habits, previous purchases, wish lists, and even how long your cursor hovers over an item. Scary. It would use all this data to ship out items it thinks you might buy to shipping hubs near where you live. Then when you do place your order, Amazon would ship it from this nearby hub, meaning it'd arrive far quicker than if you ordered it normally.

The system was revealed in a patent filed on Christmas Eve, The Wall Street Journal reports.

I've asked Amazon to comment, and will update this story if I hear back.

Amazon must be pretty confident in how accurate its predictions are. What it predicts I'll like based on my past purchases always seem way off, but maybe that's just me. I can see plenty of parcels being shipped unnecessarily, resulting in lots of unbought stock sitting in warehouses, though I suppose it's only going to sit unbought in another depot, so why not ship it closer to the customer? I'm sure Amazon can afford to take the hit on any items that are shipped without being bought.

It's not the most out-there delivery concept Amazon has come up with. Before Christmas it revealed a video of drones it said it was prepping to deliver packages direct to your door. You can't accuse the company of resting on its laurels, anyway.

Would you like Amazon to send stuff to depots near your house, even though you haven't bought anything? Or would it be a waste of time, and unnecessarily harm the environment? Is its customer monitoring tech just creepy? Let me know in the comments, or drop us a package through the letterbox of our Facebook page.