Why Walmart Is Stuck on Preparing Order: Troubleshooting Guide

Staring at your computer/phone screen, you refresh the Walmart order tracking page for the tenth time. Suprisingly, it’s still stuck on Preparing the order! Where’s your stuff?

Well, when Walmart is stuck on preparing order status, it means your order hasn’t left their facility yet.

This could be for reasons like inventory issues, payment processing delays, or warehouse backups. Their systems could also be inaccurate, and the item may be on its way to delivery or actually delivered.

Below we will cover the common causes of stuck Walmart orders and help you figure out what’s going on. 

Preparing Order Meaning on Walmart

After you finish paying for your purchase on Walmart.com, your order goes through various steps before being shipped.

Initially, the Walmart order is stuck on Placed once the checkout is completed. This first stage is Walmart processing and confirming the order details.

Following order verification, the status will then be updated to Preparing Order.

This subsequent status indicates your purchase is being handled at a Walmart warehouse facility.

Warehouse workers will have to find your purchased products within the fulfilment centre and get them ready for packing and shipment.

How Long Does Preparing Order Take Walmart?

The amount of time an order spends in “Preparing Order” status varies. Walmart does not provide an exact constant timeframe for this. 

Most orders will be “Preparing” for anywhere from a few hours up to 1-2 days. Others might take up to one month for this stage.

Reasons Why Walmart is Stuck on Preparing Order

Overselling inventory, system errors, or third-party delays can cause your order to get stuck
Overselling inventory, system errors, or third-party delays can cause your order to get stuck at preparing. Image: canva/fizkes

Here are the reasons behind your order being stuck on this status:

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1. Overselling Inventory

To make sought-after items available, Walmart may take more orders than it can actually fulfil from its current warehouse inventory.

Those extra orders will remain stuck in Preparing while customers wait for Walmart to secure more stock.

2. Overall System Errors

In some exceptional cases, outright system errors seem to cause orders to stay permanently stuck on Preparing even after the customer receives the shipment. 

This can occur if something goes wrong during fulfilment that fails to trigger the status update as expected.

Most customers receive their items without the order status ever updating to “Shipped” or “Delivered.”

3. Third-Party Shipping Status Sync Delays

Walmart fulfills orders through third-party distributors like FedEx. As such, the order status may not update to “Shipped” when the third-party shipper picks up the order.

Their site will show that your Walmart order is still being processed or Prepared even as the item ships out via the external carrier. 

What to Do If Your Walmart Order is Stalled in Preparing Status

In case your Walmart purchase remains held up in the Preparing status for over 3 days, there are some troubleshooting techniques you should try:

Step 1: Check Third Party Shipping Status

Log into the website or app of the third-party shipper handling your order.

Verify if your item has actually shipped from the distributor even though Walmart still shows Preparing.

If not, contact the third party or check if they have delays via these links:

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Step 2: Contact Walmart Customer Service

Reach out to Walmart’s customer support team for assistance. You can contact them via:

Explain your order status issue and they can look into it.

Important: Walmart has two main X accounts: @Walmart and @WalmartHelp.

The @Walmart account is for general brand updates/news and should not be used for customer service. Use the one that has the words “Help” for customer support.

Step 3: Wait It Out (If Possible)

For non-urgent orders, consider waiting up to 7-10 days in Preparing status before taking action. Inventory delays or warehouse backups could resolve in that window.

Can I Cancel a Walmart Order that is Stuck on Preparing?

You can cancel a Walmart stuck on preparing order
You can cancel a Walmart stuck on preparing an order. Image: canva/savushkin

Yes. If your Walmart is stuck on preparing the order and you need the item sooner, you may choose to cancel and re-order it. 

To cancel an order on Walmart:

  • Go to the Walmart website or use their app
  • Log in to your account with the correct credentials.
  • Access your Purchase History – this shows all your orders.
  • Find the order you want to cancel and select it.
  • If available, click the Request Cancellation button for that order.
  • You will get an email confirming if your cancellation request was accepted.

Note: The ability to cancel depends on the order status and items. Contact Walmart customer service if you don’t see a cancellation option.


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