All About Shipping?
We use the United States Post Office to ship books, both within the USA and internationally.
Where is My Order?
If you visit your home page you’ll see a list of all your orders. For PDF orders you’ll see the time that it was last generated (or not yet if the Gerbils haven’t gotten around to generating yet). For paper book orders, you’ll be able to see the date and time we shipped it. How long it takes to reach you depends on where you are and the shipping options you chose.
Shipping Options within the United States
We ship within the United States using media mail or flat-rate priority mail.
- Media Mail is the cheapest shipping option, but the low price comes with a downside—it is the slowest shipping method. It can take a week or two for books to arrive (longer to Hawaii and Alaska). We can ship up to 20lbs in an order with Media Mail.
- Flat-rate Priority Mail is a lot faster than media mail, taking on average 2-4 business days. We ship smaller orders snuggly bundled in flat-rate envelopes; larger orders go in boxes. A flat rate envelope holds a book or books with total spine thickness of 1.5 inches. A flat rate box accommodates books with total spine thickness of 5.5 inches.
We use Priority Mail International for all international shipments. The United States Post Office claims 6–10 business days for international delivery. Our experience is that this is generally accurate, but some countries seem to hold incoming packages for customs and security inspection longer than others.
If your order weighs no more than four pounds (or total spine thickness of 1.5 inches), we’ll ship it in a flat-rate envelope. We wrap our books in ‘poppy’ bags to prevent edge damage en route.
For heavier orders, we’ll ship in a flat-rate box. The maximum weight we can ship internationally is about 9lbs or total spine thickness of 5.5 inches.
There’s a trick to reduce your shipping costs if you’re buying two large books. If the order won’t fit into a flat-rate envelope, our system will opt for a box. However, the box is about three times the price of the envelope. So, you might want to place two orders instead, and have each use an envelope.
What if my order is too big?
If your order weighs more than we can ship, or has a total spine thickness to large for us to ship, you might want to split it into multiple orders for shipping.
For large orders, contact us: you may qualify for discounts.
What about taxes and other fees?
Within the United States, we collect the appropriate sales tax if you purchase from either North Carolina or Texas. For international sales, we pay the shipping and include an appropriate customs declaration, but the buyer is responsible for paying any duty, value-added taxes, import fees, or other taxes imposed by your local country.
What about customs and import licenses?
Some countries require import licenses or other paperwork for certain merchandise. We’ll provide duplicate invoices attached to international packages to assist with customs, as well as any paperwork required by the U.S. Post Office (such as Form 2976), but any other paperwork required by your country is your responsibility.
I noticed the shipping amount paid is more than the postage on the package I receive. Why?
The shipping amount includes the postage, plus the cost of the materials and services used to ship the goods. We work hard to keep the costs down, so we hope we’re giving you the best deal possible when sending your purchases to you.