When do you ship?
Most orders are shipped within 1-3 business days, and there are a variety of shipping options to meet your needs. Everything is mailed (by hand, with love) from my studio in Northeast Portland, Oregon.
Holiday Shipping Deadlines
This time of year, I am shipping nearly every weekday, often the same day you order. I'm hardly Amazon, but I want your holiday wishes to come true almost as much as you do. That said, there are some limits to what I – and the postal system - can do.
- USA: Order by December 17 with standard shipping, or by December 19 with Priority shipping.
- Canada: I make no guarantees, but generally Canadian parcels take 2-3 weeks to arrive after I ship, but this is dependent on customs and mail load at the border. If you are a Great Northerner, you probably know the recent postal strike has scrambled things slightly, but I am optimistic that if you order by December 3 or so, you have a great shot at on-time arrival.
- Australia/New Zealand: I make no guarantees, but generally Australian parcels take 2-3 weeks to arrive after I ship, but this is dependent on customs and mail load at the customs office. I am optimistic that if you order by December 3 or so, you have a great shot at on-time arrival.
- UK/Europe/Everywhere Else: Shipping internationally is very unpredictable, and I can't make any promises. UK and European orders generally arrive within 2-3 weeks (except Germany for some reason, which is more like 5-6 weeks in transit). Order as soon as you can to give your package the best chance of on-time arrival.
Shipping within the United States
When your order ships, you'll receive an e-mail from email@example.com that includes a tracking number and link. Everything ships via USPS, and you can check your order's progress at the USPS website.
- Standard Domestic: The cheapest shipping option. Books generally arrive at U.S. locations within 5-7 business days of shipping, sometimes faster on the West Coast. PO boxes, APO/FPO addresses and US territories usually take a little longer.
- Priority: Orders shipped via USPS Priority Mail typically arrive within 2-3 days of shipping. As above, PO boxes, APO/FPO addresses and US territories take a little longer.
- Overnight: If you're in a bind, and you need books super-fast, drop me a note: , and I'll see what I can do. If it's early in the day, and I'm in the studio, and you're quick on the email responses, I can sometimes manage to get your package dropped off in time for overnight or two-day shipping. Please be advised that shipping quickly is always expensive - overnight shipping costs start at $20, and go up quickly with heavy and/or bulky items. I'm happy to ship using your FedEx or UPS account if you have one.
Shipping to everywhere else
Due to the unpredictable nature of postal delivery and customs inspection, I can make no promises on international delivery times. I wish I could! Generally, shipping to destinations outside the U.S. will result in a delivery 2-6 weeks from the date I ship your goods, but every country is different. If your order still hasn't arrived within 6 weeks from your ship date, get in touch (), and we'll figure something out.
Why is international shipping so slow?
I ship almost everything via the United States Postal Service, which is the most economical method. It is very reliable, but it can be slow. Here's how it works in a nutshell.
- Once your package leaves my studio in Portland, it goes to an international shipment center in California and/or Washington state. There, it is inspected by the U.S. government to make sure it doesn't contain anything naughty or dangerous or secret.
- After that, the shipment gets put on a boat or airplane to your country. The plane or boat take off, and it's on its way!
- Once it arrives in your home country, your government clears it for entry via your customs people (who again make sure there's nothing dangerous or bad or secret inside). They may decide you should pay some kind of tax on the goods, which varies widely by country and order size. This cost, if assessed, is your responsibility.
- Once the customs folks clear the package, it enters your country's postal service, and is back on its way to your doorstep. You probably know better than I do how quick this bit goes.
If it sounds like a lot of steps, it is! Unfortunately, it's very opaque, as well. You will receive a tracking number/link from firstname.lastname@example.org when your order ships, but tracking will generally only show you your parcel's movement within the United States. Only a few countries have reciprocal tracking relationships with the USPS, so while your shipment might appear stalled in Portland, it might also show up at your door the next day! Crazy, huh?
I live overseas and I am made of money! Can you ship me something faster?
DHL, FedEx, UPS and other private carriers can be much quicker than the United States Postal Service (just a few days to most countries). They are also very expensive, unfortunately. It usually costs $75 or more, but send me a note if this is important to you and we can put it together.
My order is a gift! Can you keep a secret?
Everything from 33 Books Co. ships in pretty distinctive packaging, so if you're trying to be discreet, drop me a note and I can use Top Secret Anonymous™ packaging.
My package says it's delivered, but I don't see it?!
While surprisingly rare, packages do occasionally go missing. If you think that's happened to you, drop me a note and we can figure it out. Oftentimes, a distracted mail carrier has left the package with your neighbor and/or roommate, so you might ask around a little before you panic.
For large items like posters or tasting sets, I recommend shipping to an office or other secure location if you can, as they are too large for most mailboxes, and can attract unwanted "helpers."