Customer Service

Ordering and Shipping

A note about ordering from us via our website, in-store, on the phone, or via email: we handle your orders individually and with care. We have many thousands of books in stock but will very often need to order your books in; this is a major part of what we do each day. We place orders almost every day from our suppliers and publisher vendors. When the books arrive, we will notify you and then handle the order accordingly, preparing it for in-store pickup, curbside pickup, delivery, or shipping.

When you look at a title on our website and it says "We can get this book for you, usually within 1 or 2 days," that means the book will most likely arrive in our store in that amount of time, but not always. The books' arrival speed to our store depends on their availability and location. Sometimes nation-wide demand for certain books is so high that publishers have to reprint titles and everyone, even the big guys, has to wait for the reprint for weeks before the books can be shipped. Sometimes books are only available used from other book dealers. Our shipping options for delivering books to other locations, shown in the checkout process on this website, list average, estimated delivery speeds starting from when we ship the books out from our store to you or the intended recipient, not from when you place your order. 

If your book order contains several books to be shipped, we will ship them together once they have all arrived. If some of the books take longer to arrive than others, we will hold the order until it is complete before it is shipped, and will notify you of any unexpected delays and figure out how best to handle this with you. If you are picking your books up in the store or they are being delivered locally, partial orders are no problem; you can pick up or we can deliver whatever has arrived. If you are concerned about your order to be shipped being delayed because of one book taking too long to arrive, we can help you by splitting the order up for an extra shipping fee. Or, you can divide the order yourself. For instance, if you are ordering a book that has a future publication date, and also want to order items to be shipped ASAP to your friend, do the preorder separately to save on delays. 

Books that are in our supplier's West Coast warehouses will arrive within a couple of days via UPS and a Spokane ground freight company; books that must come from other book dealers or from our supplier's East Coast warehouse will take around ten days to arrive via FedEx ground. Freight delays have been more common during the pandemic due to social distancing and other safety protocols at warehouses, post offices, and shipping depots, and also due to delayed publication dates and printing slowdowns. We are always happy to look up the tracking when available for your books if you are concerned; please just ask. Thank you!

Special Orders

BookPeople's shelves aren't big enough to hold every book in the we submit orders every single day to make sure we get the books our customers want as quickly as possible.

For the best service, please place special orders in person at the store, or use this website to special order your books. You can use the "Shop for New Books" box on the right hand side, and order the book directly through this website. If you found the book on another website such as Amazon, we encourage you to cut and paste the 13 digit ISBN from that site into our search box to take you directly to what you need. Be sure you've chosen the correct edition and be forewarned: some books are listed on Amazon that are not actually legally available in the United States, and we might not be able to get those for you. We handle order processing personally, even through the website.

We will ship books to you for just 99 cents if your order is over $30, or, you can indicate that you'd like to pick them up in the store, for no shipping fee whatsoever. We also offer curbside service and free delivery once per week in Moscow, Pullman, and Palouse.

We can also ship books directly for you to their destination, saving you the hassle of wrapping it and then standing in line at the post office. Gift wrapping is available for free, and you can include a gift message with the book.

If a special order is difficult to find, out of print, out of stock, self-published, or from a very small publisher, it might take several weeks to arrive. If the book is not available from our usual distributors, will will get the details of the book you want, do some research, and get back to you about the cost and estimated arrival date. Full prepayment will be required for special orders that we can not obtain from our usual distributors. Special orders are not returnable for any reason, except manufacturing defects.

We do not charge extra for shipping for special orders picked up in the store, except in very rare circumstances, such as you needing it shipped extra quickly. 

Returns and Refunds

We do our best to offer only high quality books and merchandise for sale, and to help you find exactly what you want. It is also the customer's responsibility to be aware of what you are buying, and to examine it to be sure it is exactly what you want. However, despite all our best efforts, sometimes a customer would like to return a book. When we accept a return, we offer store credit only, details below. We do not refund cash, credit cards, or checks.

If you are unhappy with a book you purchased at BookPeople or a book that was purchased at BookPeople and given to you as a gift, we are happy to give you store credit for the book if it is unread and still in absolutely new condition, and returned to us within 30 days after its purchase. (Trust us, we are professionals and can tell if a book has been read. Even if we decide to accept it to avoid embarrassing you, we will still know what you have done.) Store credit will be placed onto a store gift card for future use if you are unable to take the time to find a replacement item at the time of return. Gift cards can be used in the store or on our website.

Items that are found to have defects in manufacturing can be returned for replacement within 30 days of purchase. 

Returns are only accepted for new books purchased at regular price from the store stock. They are not accepted for special orders of any kind, including used, out of print, or new books. We can not accept returns of books purchased elsewhere, books that are not in new and absolutely unread condition, books from the sale table or used section, or books that were purchased more than a month earlier. We can not accept returns of books on CD, candy bars or other small items such as buttons or bookmarks, puzzles, or calendars.

We reserve the right to refuse or accept returns in exception to our stated policies, depending on the individual situation and merchandise in question.

Customer Loyalty Rewards

Participating in Customer Loyalty Rewards is super easy and you don't even have to carry around a little card in your wallet. Just give us your name and we'll enter it into our point of sale system. Then, whenever you shop, remind us of your name, and we'll make sure your purchases are credited to you. Whenever you've reached the point of having spent $150 on regularly priced eligible merchandise (most things but there are a few exceptions), you are awarded a 15% off discount on your next shopping trip. Then it starts over accumulating sales towards your next Customer Loyalty Reward.

Our point of sale software tracks the program for us, it is not a manual process, and our staff does not have the discretion to apply your loyalty discount manually. The loyalty discount is a customer perk, not an entitlement. We reserve the right to alter the program or eliminate it at any time should it become too much of a hassle for us or if it is the object of angst or abuse. We encourage you to enjoy the loyalty discount when it shows up for you; it's a lovely surprise!

Nothing in our point of sale system expires. So even if it takes you a year to get up to having spent $150, or only a month, your Customer Loyalty Reward discount will be there for you once you've earned it. Once you've used it, the discount goes away until you've accumulated another $150 in sales.

If you spend more than $150 at a time, anything over $150 goes towards your next discount. For instance, if you spend $300 in one go at BookPeople, you will earn two 15% discounts for your next 2 shopping trips.

Please note that if you have earned a Customer Loyalty discount, and you choose not to use it on your next eligible purchase, perhaps because you want to save it for a bigger purchase, that current purchase can not be credited to you. The point of sale can't save a Customer Loyalty Rewards discount for which you are eligible for future use while also still crediting new purchases to you. 

You are not required to join the Customer Loyalty Rewards program! If you, like several of our customers, are so loyal that you don't want us to ever give you a discount - but just want to go into the annals of the most beloved and selfless customers ever who helped preserve a cultural institution for the good of the community and future generations of readers - then please, just let us know, and we'll make sure you're not part of the program.