I'm buying a product from a company that is established in another country. I need to know how much time it takes to send the product to me.

What's the correct way to ask this?

I was wondering that something like "How much time it takes to deliver the product?" would make sense, but I don't know if it's correct and sounds right.

  • 1
    "How long will the product take to arrive?" Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 14:49
  • That doesn't really cover the matter of 'I need to know how much time it takes to send the product to me.', which for all intents and purposes only refers to the time the company needs to pick the order, pack it, and hand it over to a postal service. Looking at eBay for example, companies aim to send the product within 24 hours of receiving a cleared payment. If the OP means the shipping/travel time before he can take possession of the order, I think the actual question needs to be rephrased.
    – Terah
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 14:52
  • @Terah If the OP hadn't used "How much time it takes to deliver the product?" as a sample sentence I would have agreed with you, but the context suggests he wanted the total delivery time up until it arrives at his door. I may be mistaken, in which case the question does indeed need to be rephrased. Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 15:00
  • @John - Fair enough, I'm just all for having the least amount of potential confusion in a question (reasoning that that confusion that may influence the quality/applicability of the answer).
    – Terah
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 15:06
  • (new post because I was typing too slow) - I feel that the delivery question has some ambiguity to it as well (as in, from which moment onward? Arrival at destination country, local distribution center? It'd hardly seems fair to ask a company in China to predict how long the entire journey (handovers, customs, etc) of a package to Norway takes when that company really only has influence on the very first leg of that journey.
    – Terah
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 15:13

6 Answers 6


Duration is a single word to connote length of time.

Whereas, the question "What is the delivery time?" is ambiguous as to whether the question is

  • When will it arrive?
  • How long does it take to arrive?

Using the word shipment is more appropriate as it connotes the start of delivery to the delivery at door step.


What is the shipment duration?

How long would it take to ship the item?

There is a difference between item, shipment and product

When you ask "how long, or duration, of shipment of item", you are asking about one particular item.

When you ask "duration of shipment of product", you are asking about the general time that it takes to ship any item of that product, presuming you are interested in having an item of a product shipped to you more than once.

You could also ask for "duration of a shipment of product with a quantity of 5000". which would be asking for a particular shipment of 5000 in quantity.

However, if you are purchasing a large quantity, like say 20k items, it might take them two weeks to manufacture and prepare the product, as they may not have on hand that quantity. In which case it would be delivery duration, of an order. Using the word order when asking for duration, clearly distinguishes itself as the time between placing an order until time of arrival at doorstep.

  • What is the duration to deliver an order of 20 thousand units?
  • What is the duration to deliver an order of a single unit?

In summary, the keywords you need to consider and differentiate are

  • time
  • duration
  • item
  • product
  • delivery
  • shipment
  • order
  • quantity

Another way of asking, is asking for the LEAD TIME.


The most direct wording would be, "How long does it take to deliver this product?", or "What is the delivery time for this product?"

The sentence you give is close. You could say, "How much time does it take to deliver the product?"

You can't say "how much time it takes". To make it a question, you need a helping verb like "does" (as here) or "is" (if it's a question about existence or status). For example, "It takes 3 weeks" becomes "How long does it take?" Or, "Fred eats cheese" becomes "What does Fred eat?" For state, "The box is empty" becomes "Is the box empty?" Or, "There are lions in Africa" becomes "Are there lions in Africa?" or "Where are there lions?"


You could ask "What is the 'lead time' for delivery?"

Lead time : noun

1 - the period of time between the initial phase of a process and the emergence of results, as between the planning and completed manufacture of a product.


This term has the benefit of including all intermediate steps between ordering and delivery, rather than just referencing the time it takes to actually make the delivery. So what you are really asking is "Once I have ordered, how long will it be before I have it with me?".

  • Lead time is used exactly as in the cited def. It refers to the time needed to produce something once you get the go-ahead. It's not used for shipping time. If you need to order materials to make something, the shipping time of the materials may be a factor in the product's lead time.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 19:13
  • @PhilSweet you are being too narrow, in can refer to a production process, but exactly per the cited definition it is the time between beginning a process and the emergence of the outcome (note *not delivery of the product). If my process is ordering something on line and the emergence of the outputs of that process is when the delivery is made it is perfectly appropriate to ask for the lead time on delivery. The example given in the citation is just that, an example.
    – Marv Mills
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 15:10

Had I been at your place I would use the following sentence:

"How long would it take for the product to be delivered?"

I hope it helps.

  • 'At your place' means as much as 'If I were in your home'. Presumably, you mean 'in your place' (meaning 'If I were you')?
    – Terah
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 14:55

When can I expect my [product/order/shipment/item] to arrive?


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