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Shopping FAQs

  1. How do I order books through your website?

    • Login or Register your account on the left hand side of the website. 

    • Search for books in the top right corner or by browsing sections of the website:


      • Shop

        • Browse Best Sellers

        • Browse New Releases

        • Browse Favorites

      • Events

        • ECB Book Clubs

      • Kids, Parents, Schools

        • Books We Love for Kids

      • Staff Picks

    • Add items to your cart.

    • Click Checkout.

    • Add required contact, shipping, and payment information necessary to complete your order.

  2. How do I locate non-book items through your website?

    • We are trying to put as many non-book items on our website as possible during this time.

    • Under the Shop tab, you can browse journals and planners, East City merch, and other non-book items. 

    • If you don’t see something you are looking for, give us a call at (202)-290-1636 from 1-6 PM, Wednesday - Saturday.

  1. What is an In-Shop Gift Card?

    • In-Shop Gift Cards can be used when shopping in the store or by placing an order over the phone from 1-6 pm Wednesday - Saturday. Please note, In-Shop Gift Cards cannot be used as payment for online purchases. 

  2. What is an Online-Only Gift Code?

    • Online-Only Gift Codes are gift codes that work for online orders only; these gift codes cannot be used to make in-store purchases. 

  3. What are Wish Lists?

    • Wish Lists are lists that you can customize for yourself on our website. You can use it as your own to-be-read list or as a gift registry to send to others so that they can shop for you and send books your way. All Wish Lists are searchable on our website under the Shop tab.

  4. How can I tell if you have a book or item in-stock at the shop?

    • Our online inventory is updated once per day, therefore available copies may vary from those seen online. If your order is time sensitive, please call us at (202)-290-1636 (M-F from 1-5 PM) to confirm availability.

    • "On Our Shelves Now” - This message means that based on the last time our inventory was last updated, we had the indicated number of copies at the shop.


    • “Available from Our Distributor”  - This message means that we do not have the item in our store, and will need to order it from our distributor. We sometimes receive items in fewer than five days but current shipping times are hard to predict.
  1. I received a confirmation email. Does this mean that my order is ready to be picked up in-store or has been shipped?

    • No. This just means that we've received your order. An E-Commerce team member will contact you directly within 72 hours of your purchase date to let you know the next steps for your order.

  2. How are orders processed?

    • Every step of our order processing is performed manually by a member of our team. Currently, we have limited staff in store to prioritize staff health. Our staff prints invoices, checks stock availability, orders books as necessary, receives books once they have arrived from our distributor, sends confirmation emails during processing and when the order is fully filled, packs books up, creates mailing labels or pickup labels, and prepares items for in-store pickup or USPS.

    • For many orders, we have all the books and/or non-book items in-stock. In these instances, we can pull all the ordered items from our shelves, and pack up your order for shipment or in-store pickup.

    • Any out-of-stock items will need to be ordered, shipped, and delivered to the shop from our distributor before we can get them to you. Because of the pandemic, orders from our primary warehouse typically take 3-4 business days to reach the shop. Orders from our secondary warehouse typically take closer to 7 business days to reach the shop.

    • The goal of our E-Commerce Team is to email or call you directly about the next steps for your order within 72 hours of your purchase. With COVID-19, we have not been able to always meet this 72 hour goal - know that we are working our hardest.  Please note that our 72 hour processing time does NOT include time it may take for us to receive items from our distributor.

  3. How long will it take once I place an order online? 

    • The length of time it will take for you to receive your order depends on whether we have items in stock, from where we must order items, and your selected delivery method. Know that we are prioritizing getting your order to you!

    • We begin processing all orders within 72 hours of receiving the order (even if confirmation has not yet been sent.) If we have all items on hand, we put them in our shipping or delivery queue, and let you know they are ready for you to schedule an in-store pickup. 

    • If we have to order a book from our primary warehouse, books normally arrive in 2-3 days. With COVID delays this has varied.

    • If we have to order a book/item from our secondary warehouse, it normally arrives within a week. With COVID delays this has varied.

    • As soon as we have all items in our store, the order is prepared for in-store pickup or shipping within 24 hours.

    • If you have selected shipping, it may take up to two business days to receive your confirmation email from USPS.

  4. How can I check the status of my order?

  5. What does my order status mean?

    • “Pending” / “Paypal pending” - Your order has been received and will be processed within 72 hours of your purchase date, in the order in which it was received. 

    • “Processing” - Your order is being processed by our E-Commerce team. Often we are able to pull all your ordered items from our shelves. In other cases, we need to order items from our distributor. An E-Commerce team member will contact you directly about the next steps of your order.

    • “Payment received” - We have processed your order and contacted you about how we have ordered your items or other next steps for your order. 

    • “Ready to Ship” - All of the items of your order are ready to be mailed out to you. Your order is in our shipping queue and will be packaged and shipped as soon as possible.

    • “Available for Pickup - Partial Order” - Part of your order is ready for you to schedule in-store pickup through Schedulicity.

    • “Available for Pickup - Full Order” - All of your items, or the remaining items, are ready for you to schedule in-store pickup through Schedulicity.

    • “Pre-order prepaid” - You have received all the items of your order except for any pre-ordered books that have not been published yet. You will hear from us closer to the book’s publication date.

    • “Completed” - All books have been shipped or picked up.

  6. How does In-Store Pickup work?

    • Here’s a link to our ECB update with all the ins-and-outs regarding scheduling and picking up your order at East City Bookshop!

  7. What if I need to return something?

  8. What forms of payment do you accept online?

    • We accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express), and cash when shopping in the store.  East City Bookshop gift cards can be used in the store or by calling us on the phone, and East City Bookshop online-only gift codes can be used on our website.

  9. Can I use my Indie Shopper Coupon online?

    • Currently you cannot use an Indie Shopper coupon when ordering online or by phone. Our online payment system does not cooperate with our Indie Shopper account system. We've shifted our system to automatically deduct your reward when you reach the $250 threshold.  If you still have any of the paper coupons, we'll accept them in the store. 

  10. What is the best way to get in touch with an online order question?

  11. What if I have a Surprise Pack question?

    • If you have questions about a Surprise Pack order, please contact and include the name of the person who ordered, the name of the Surprise Pack recipient, and the date it was ordered.

  12. How will I know my order is ready?

    • We will send you a confirmation email when your order is in our shipping queue or is in-store and ready for you to schedule in-store pickup through Schedulicity.

    • If your items are being shipped, you’ll be emailed a tracking number as soon as USPS ships your book in order to track your order through their system.