Is Amazon using Wish List entries to pre-position inventory?

This happened: I had a book on my Amazon wish list for several months.

Yesterday, I finally placed the order at around 3pm and today the book is in my hands, just about 24 hours later. And this is with regular Prime shipping, which is supposedly two days.

I wonder. Amazon is pretty clever. What if they used the presence of a book on wish lists as a clue to where to inventory the books, in effect pre-positioning them closer to the probable shipping destination. Wouldn't that be clever?

Of course a book on the wish list may or may not be ordered. And also, you wouldn't preposition a single book in Massachusetts because Pito might decide to order it.

But let's say you forecast that you are likely going to be selling 100 copies of this book in the next 30 days - it was a fairly geeky book, so not one that would sell in huge numbers. You might put 50 copies in a warehouse on the west coast and 50 in one on the east coast.

Or you might come up with a probability calculation of where in the US any particular book or category of book would be ordered from - City by City, State by State or something like that. And when you received inventory from the publishers you could distribute it according to this forecast.

Or it was just a fluke… Still I am pretty impressed.

Posted on February 2, 2012 .