Bookstore Policies and Procedures
Hours of Operation
AALBC’s Bookstore operates from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. We observe all major holidays. We often operate outside these hours, but that is not guaranteed.
We only collect sales tax on orders mailed to the state for Florida. No one else pays sales tax!
- Orders more than $75 will be mailed for free!
- Orders over $20, that can be shipped in a single package, will be mailed via United Parcel Service (UPS) 3 Day Select® or United States Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail.
- Orders under $20 will be mailed via USPS Media Mail® (delivery, 2 to 8 business days).
- We do not ship books outside the United States.
- We mail books to prisons. Rules vary by institution. It is the customer’s responsibility know how books must be mailed and which titles are acceptable.
- We do not extend credit to customers for book sales, all books must be paid for, in full, before an order is shipped.
Order Status Descriptions
- Awaiting Fulfillment:
- This is the initial state of your order. Your payment has cleared and you have been provided with an order number. Your order should not remain in this state for more than one business day.
- Awaiting Shipment:
- The books in your order have been secured and are in the process of being mailed to you. At this stage we cannot refund an order unless the book(s) are returned to us.
Orders placed before 1 p.m. will enter Awaiting Shipment status the same business day. Orders placed 1 p.m. will enter Awaiting Shipment status the following business day. Your order should not remain in this state for more than one business day.
- Shipped and Partially Shipped:
- Your order been shipped, and you have been provided with your order’s tracking number(s).
You will get multiple tracking numbers if your order requires multiple shipments. We make every effort to ensure your order is mailed, in a single package, and within one business day of being placed, if submitted prior to 1 p.m.
It is up the customer to monitor their order’s shipping status once the tracking number has been provided. It is the customer’s responsibility to notify us if there is a substantial delay (greater than 2 weeks) in receiving their order. Orders not received, or damaged in transit, will be mailed again.
- We have emailed you a question about your order and are awaiting a response. For example, we may need a correction to an invalid mailing address. If an order is returned to us, we will put the order in a pending status until we hear from you.
- Refunded & Partially Refunded:
- We refund orders in the manner payment was made. Refunds made after an order has shipped (even if we have not yet updated the order’s status as “Shipped”) will require that the book to be returned to us. the customer pays the shipping costs for returned books.
Questions About My Order
If you have any questions about your order please email us at email@example.com. Be sure to include your 4-digit order # in the subject of your email.
Please use email to correspond with us regarding your book order; phone calls and social media are not efficient ways for us to track communications regarding your order.
Where Are My Books? The importance of Tracking Numbers
We provide a tracking number with every order we ship. The tracking numbers of the delivery services we most often look like this:
The most common question we get is, “When I can I expect to receive my books?” The tracking number can provide this information. Simply take the tracking number we provide you and copy and paste it into your browser’s address bar or favorite search engine. Most search engines are smart enough to return the tracking information for your order.
Again, once we provide the tracking number. We no longer track the order. Now if two weeks have gone by and the tracking information has not updated, by UPS or the USPS, please contact the shipper directly. If they report the package lost or damaged we will replace it.
Refund and Returns
- We now refund books that we cannot immediately ship* (see “Impact of the Global Pandemic” below).
- Requests for refunds during the Awaiting Fulfillment stage can be processed immediately.
- Orders in the Pending state for more than a week will be refunded.
- Orders in the Awaiting Shipment and Shipped may be refunded, but the books must be returned to us undamaged, in resalable condition, and shipped at your expense, before a refund can be processed.
- No orders will be refunded seven (7) days after they have been received (based upon tracking delivery date).
Selling Books Not Highlighted on AALBC.com
While our focus is on the books highlighted on AALBC, we can sell almost any book in print. If you are interested in purchasing a book not on our website. Just email us a let us know.
We are also willing to sell books for select events including author signings. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
We can also handle bulk orders.
Impact of the Global Pandemic and Increased Support of Black-Owned Bookstores*
On the heels of the murder of George Floyd there was a huge increase in demand for books dealing with racism, and readers wanted to buy these books from Black-owned book stores. Many booksellers, including AALBC, enjoyed record levels of book sales. This was a surprising turn of events, for many Black booksellers, were facing the prospect of going out business due to the global pandemic.
We were all grateful for the increase in sales, but many stores found it difficult to scale and meet the increase in orders during a pandemic. Some booksellers simply stopped selling books online – unable to handle the orders.
The global pandemic’s impact on the book supply chain remains a serious problem. Shipments by all carriers between booksellers, distributors, publishers, printers, and customers are strained. As a result, some book shipments are being delivered more slowly than normal. Both of our carriers announced Covid-19 related service delays (U.S.P.S.’s announcement, UPS’s announcement).
Delays in shipping, throughout out the distribution chain (printer, publisher, distributor, bookseller) sometimes makes it impossible to give customers definite delivery dates for books that have to be reordered.
Under normal circumstances, when inventory arrived more predictably, we might hold an order to wait, for all the books to be on hand, to avoid the additional cost of mailing books in multiple shipments. This type of delay has become longer during the pandemic.
While the vast majority of customers have been understanding and willing to wait longer for deliveries, the administrative overhead required to manage these orders is much higher. As a result, AALBC has adopted a policy, during the pandemic, of refunding orders for books that cannot be mailed immediately. We believe this temporary change will ensure that your orders are processed as quickly, and efficiently, as possible.
Last Updated: Friday, August 7, 2020