questionsis it common practice to have your credit card…

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You've been a member since 2006 and you're just wondering this now?

Yes, that's the normal practice. You order, they charge, and then (sooner or later, but withing five business days, unless it's wine, which may take longer) it ships.

That's the way it works. That's the way it's ALWAYS worked.

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@shrdlu: The OP does have a point. Generally a merchant will get a pre-authorization to your credit card to make sure the funds are available and set aside. Then, when the item ships, the card is actually charged at that time.

As for me, it doesn't really matter because even if the credit card is charged immediately, you have about up to 55-56 days before you have to pay it. That's assuming you bought it the day after your previous cycle ended. Then you have 30-31 days before the next statement prints plus a 25 day grace period (usually).

If, for some reason, it gets to 60 days AFTER your statement cycle date and you still have not received the product, you better begin the dispute process. If you do not, you can lose your rights to dispute it later if you never receive it. While an item is in dispute status, you do not have to pay for it. Once you finally receive the product, then you send payment to your credit card company for the item.

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That seems to be common practice about almost everywhere. I never worry about it since my orders usually ship within a week.

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If there is a significant delay between the order date and the ship date it makes more sense to "capture" the funds immediately. Sometimes is the customer sees the authorization and then the actual charge happens 10 days-2 weeks later and the customer either thinks they have been charged twice or now the funds are not available and the merchant has to cancel the order.

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Would you ship something then see if the funds were available?

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I understand authorization charges; however, my CC company posted an alert that appeared to be the final settlement charge.

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1. Of course they charge u before the item ships. That's the way MOST companies do things.
2. Perhaps it HAS shipped and the shipping/tracking info is not immediately updated.

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@dtursky: Since we sell that item for only one day, we put through the charge to hold the item. If we waiting until the items shipped, we would have a number of denied charges for which we have to manually go pull those orders out of the hundreds (sometimes thousands) already boxed up and ready to go. Added to that would be the unhappy wooters that could have bought the item had the charges already been processed.

Unlike a normal online retailer that sells many items, we pack and ship everything at once. They pull orders individually so it's easier to stop an order.
Does that help?