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Bookshop Santa Cruz Shipping FAQ

Bookshop Santa Cruz offers both nation-wide and international shipping on items purchased from our store or website. Please see below for Frequently Asked Questions on this service. All delivery estimates are for in-stock items, labeled on our website as "On Our Shelves Now." If you have a question on shipping not answered below, please e-mail our staff at .

Shipping FAQ during COVID-19

Are you shipping orders during the COVID-19 crisis?

We are! Bookshop Santa Cruz is continuing to process online and phone orders to be shipped locally, nationally, and internationally

Do you have any options besides shipping?

We do! As of June 6th, 2020, Bookshop Santa Cruz is re-open to the public, and we continue to offer free Curbside Pick-Up as well. As of December 4th, Bookshop Santa Cruz has not been affected by any new California restrictions, so continues to remain open. Please see our Guidelines for Reopening for more information, which we will update if we are required to close to the public.

Where are you shipping right now?
We are shipping across the United States (including everywhere in Santa Cruz County), and have some options for shipping internationally as well, though we cannot guarantee how international shipping may be affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

How do you deliver my books?
Bookshop Santa Cruz uses USPS for all of it's shipments, shipping your packages from our store via USPS byPriority Mail or Media Mail, depending on the customer's preference, for the appropriate shipping fee. Some orders we may have shipped directly from our distributor's warehouses, which will be packaed by the distributor, but then delivered via USPS. Orders shipped from Bookshop Santa Cruz will be packed by Bookshop Santa Cruz staff with all safety precautions, and then brought to USPS for further transport and delivery. We are also offering free Curbside Pick-Up for those who are local and prefer that.

What's the difference between Media Mail and Priority Mail?
Media Mail is a special rate the US Postal Service offers for educational materials, such as books. These orders usually deliver within a few business days of shipping, but can be deprioritized by USPS, and take up to 10-14 days to deliver, or longer. This rate is only available on books.

Are you offering Curbside Pick-Up?
Yes! We are offering Curbside Pick-Up for both online orders and phone orders between 10 AM and 6 PM every day. Please read more here.

Can I get tracking?
Absolutely! If we are shipping your order directly from Bookshop Santa Cruz, then we will have tracking sent automatically to the email address associated with your order, via If we mentioned that your order was shipping directly from one of our warehouses to your address, please email us at with your web order number, and we can provide tracking information.

My order hasn't arrived yet.
We're so sorry for the delay! You are welcome to email us at or call us at 831-423-0900 between 10 AM and 6 PM to ask about your order. Please let us know if you placed your order via phone or online, when you placed it, and have your web order number if applicable.

I have another question that you didn't answer yet.
Please review our regular Shipping FAQ below, and if your question still isn't answered, e-mail us at or call us at 831-423-0900 between 10 AM and 6 PM PT.

Shipping FAQ

Where do you ship?
Bookshop Santa Cruz ships locally, across the United States and also internationally, with some limitations. See below for specifics on prison and army base shipping.

Do you ship internationally?
Yes! Bookshop Santa Cruz ships internationally to most countries, with shipping fees calculated for each individual order via quotes. Please see our page on International Shipping page on our website for more detail on how to obtain a quote and have something shipped outside of the United States.

How much does it cost to ship something?
For domestic shipping of books you have a choice between USPS Priority Mail and USPS Media Mail. Non-book items can only be shipped Priority Mail. Priority Mail has a base rate of $8.50 for a single item. If your order contains more than one item, it will start at a base rate of $8.50, plus an additional $2 for each item after the first. Media Mail has a base rate of $5.95 for a single book, and an additional $2 for each book after the first. These rate applies to shipping across the continental US, as well as Hawaii and Alaska.

Our shipping prices are based on USPS base prices, as well as the prices charged for shipping by our distributor, who will from time to time ship items to customers on our behalf, if we do not have a requested item on our shelves.

International shipping usually starts are $25.00 USD, with costs fluctuating depending on the destination country, destination address, and size and weight of the order. For international shipping, see our instructions here.

What's the difference between Priority Mail and Media Mail?
USPS Media Mail is a special discounted rate the US Postal Service offers for educational materials such as books. Orders containing only books will qualify for this special rate. However, with this discounted rate, Media Mail shipments may be deprioritized by the US Postal Service, and take longer to arrive at their destination. Priority Mail orderss are expected to arrive at their destinations within 2-3 business days of shipment, while Media Mail orders can take up to 10 business days, or longer during times of high mail traffic. You can see the map above for estimated delivery times of Priority Mail packages. Local deliveries (in the Santa Cruz area) for in-stock items via Media Mail we usually expect to be delivered within a couple of business days.

Does it really cost $5.95 or $8.50 to ship a gift card?
No! Gift cards are the exception to our shipping rules. Gift cards we can ship FREE if you do not need tracking information, or ship for $3.50 if you would like to track the shipment. At check out, to send a gift card in the mail to yourself or your recipient, select Shipping option "Free Gift Card Shipping (Non-trackable)" which includes free USPS shipping for gift cards, or select "
1st Class Gift Card Shipping (Trackable)" to receive an email with tracking information when your gift card ships

Do you do the shipping yourself? Or do you use a service? Who is handling my order?
Our own Shipping & Receiving staff personally packs and ships your order via USPS, for items in stock. If you have ordered something out of stock, or you are shipping to the east coast, our staff may instead arrange for your items to be shipped directly from our distributing warehouse to your address, for faster shipping and your convenience. If so, we can still both send you tracking information and request gift wrapping, depending on your order's needs.

How long does your shipping take? When will my order arrive?
Bookshop Santa Cruz uses as our base option USPS Priority Shipping, which for domestic orders arrives within 2-3 business days. You can use the map at the top of this page to see if your shipping address will take 2 business days or 3 business days to deliver to. International orders depend on the country to which they are being shipped. This applies to in-stock items.

If your order contains only books, you will have the option to use USPS Media Mail Shipping. For local deliveries for in-stock items we expect orders to arrive within 2-3 business days. For non-local deliveries, or out-of-stock items (labeled as "Usually ships within 3-5 business days"), Media Mail is expected to take 3-10 business days. As such, if your order is time sensitive, we do NOT recommend using the Media Mail option.

Items not on our shelves now may ship directly from a warehouse. Warehouses operate on the same shipping schedule, though items shipped from our east coast distributing warehouse to an east coast address will arrive faster than shipping from our store directly.

Do you ship FedEX or UPS? Can you overnight something?
We do not ship UPS. FedEx shipping fluctuates in cost more than USPS, so we are not able to offer an online option for FedEx shipping. If you need something shipped via FedEx, you can come into the store or call us at 831-423-0900 and request a quote. FedEx quotes are available based on our current staffing levels for our Shipping team. During the holidays, please understand that we may not have the staff ability, due to volume of requests, to accommodate your quote request. As such, please plan ahead.

Can you track my order?
Our shipping team will send you tracking information as soon as we ship your order if you include an e-mail address when you place your order. If you did not include an e-mail address but would like to track your shipment, please e-mail with your order details, or call 831-423-0900.

If an order is shipped directly from a warehouse, the shipping will be handled by our distributor, rather than Bookshop Santa Cruz staff, which means we cannot automatically send tracking information. You can however request us to retrieve tracking for such orders by emailing with your order information.

Can you ship to prisons?
We can ship to some prisons. Most prisons will only accept books for their incarcerated populations if the books are shipped directly from either a bookstore or a distributor. For prisons that we know accept packages, we can either ship items purchased from or via us directly from our store or from our distributor's warehouse to specific incarcerated individuals. Please check directly with the prison you are shipping to to confirm guidelines for what shipping information they will need, and limitations on type of material that will be expected. You will need to set up your prison shipping either in person in Bookshop, or over the phone. Unfortunately prison orders cannot be fulfilled through our website.

Can you ship to an army base?
We can!

Will you gift wrap?
If you would like your item or items gift wrapped, you can indicate that in the "Order comments" at the bottom of the Check Out screen. This may increase processing time for your order.

You may also request a message be included with your package in the same "Order Comments" field. Our staff keeps a supply of small blank cards to include messages on. We unfortunately cannot accept requests for use of specific cards.

For any further questions, please e-mail For information on shopping on our website, please visit our Online Shopping FAQ.