PSA: How To Find Out If An Item On Amazon Is Really In Stock

So, I learned something interesting today. I ordered a pair of reading glasses on Amazon last week. I made sure to get a pair with the "Prime" logo because, hey, if I'm going to pay for Prime, then I might as well use it. As you can see, the glasses I chose were in stock, so I expected to get them in 2, or more likely, 3 days.

When I got my confirmation email, I was told that even though this item was Prime, I wouldn't get it until early the next week. Today, I got another message indicating that the glasses wouldn't arrive until early May.

So, I got on chat to see what was going on. The glasses I ordered were out of stock. I mentioned that the order page said they were in stock at the time and, curiously enough, still did. What was going on?

It turns out that the stock status on the sales page is not a reliable indicator of much anything. That's more than a little annoying, but there is a way to find out the true status of any item. The first thing you need to do is to scroll down to the "Product Description" section on the item's page. Make a note of the ASIN, which is an internal Amazon tracking number.

Then, append the ASIN to this URL:

For this item, the URL is:

This will give you the real stocking status of the item you're looking it. It's not cool that you can't trust the sales page to see if your item is really in stock, but if it's really important to get something, at least there's a workaround.