Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between 'on our shelves,' 'usually ships in 1-5 days,' and 'subject to availability?'
When a book appears as 'on our shelves' it will be listed with the quantity and in-store location. If you wish to browse our shelves for a particular book, new or used, we recommend calling ahead and requesting a staff member to double-check our stock and put the book on hold for you. Our online inventory is renewed every day, and occasionally a book will sell before your arrival. We generally hold unpaid books for three days - be sure to alert a staff member if you won't be able to get to the store in that time frame.
'Usually ships in 1-5 days' means we are either out of stock or have never carried the book in-store. Auntie's does its best to stock as many titles as possible, but our shelving space is limited. We receive daily shipments from our distributors and can typically have customer orders delivered within 1-5 days. Occasionally, a book will ship from a publisher or a warehouse located further away than the 1-5-day time frame. In those cases, you will be given an estimated arrival time, and will be notified once your order is delivered to the store.
The final notation, 'subject to availability,' means the book is out-of-print or unavailable through our traditional order methods. However, there are other options available to obtain the book. Sometimes we can order the book directly from its publisher or the author. This may result in a price increase, and you will be notified before we continue with the ordering process. If you are uncomfortable with the potential price increase, or we are unable to order directly from the publisher or author, we can either perform an out-of-print book search, recommend a similar title or author, or provide other sources from whom you may be able to order your specific title.
2. What does it mean to have a hold on my credit card?
When a hold is applied to your credit card while shopping on Auntie's website, it means that the American Book Association (ABA), the organization that hosts our website, is ensuring that there are enough funds available on your card to run a transaction. When the order is complete, the hold will turn into an actual charge that will show up on your bank statement.
3. Why am I having difficulty viewing your website?
Auntie's website looks and responds best when viewed with Mozilla Firefox. Other browsers use HTML code that distorts our format. If you continue to have issues with the site, or you find broken links, please let us know. Please contact our Web Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. I selected in-store pick up. Can I come pick up my books?
We ask that you wait for an Auntie's employee to contact you to ensure your order is complete and ready to be picked up. Occasionally, we need to order a book that may take a few days to come in. If a book takes more than a couple of days, we will contact you to make sure you are still interested in the item.
5. If I select in-store pick up, do I have to pay prior to picking up my order?
For all books that we stock on a regular basis, payment is not needed until you arrive at the store. If you order an item that we have stopped carrying or do not generally stock we will require prepayment and an Auntie's representative will contact you and explain the situation. Customers who prepay for books get a 10% discount unless otherwise noted. Customers with an Auntie's discount card get a 15% discount for prepaying.
6. Why does my shipping cost seem high?
Books tend to come in all shapes, sizes, and weights, and Auntie's Bookstore has calculated the most common shipping prices based off of these numbers. If your shipping seems high, we will weigh out your items and reduce shipping if and when possible. As an alternative, you can also select in-store pick up for free.
7. Can I use a gift certificate or my Auntie's discount card?
Unfortunately, 'Gift Certificate' is not a payment option when checking out of Auntie's website. If you are picking up your order in-store we can use your gift certificate at that time. If prepayment is required for your order we will contact you, and at that time you will be able to provide your gift certificate number. Please bring the gift certificate with you when you come to pick up your books. If you have a gift certificate and would like your books mailed to you, please contact us directly to complete your order. We can be reached at 509.838.0206.
Auntie's discount cards can be used online, but the total will not be adjusted until your order is filled. To have your Auntie's card applied to your order, please leave us a message in the Order Comments box at the bottom of the checkout page when completing your order. The message should state the following information: your name, the name of the primary person on the Auntie's card (if different than your own), and a valid address. Once we verify your card, we will apply the 10% discount before completing the charge to credit card. Please note: shipping charges are not eligible for any discounts, and when you first enter your credit card number the amount prior to the discount application is what will be held by ABA. For questions on credit card holds, refer to question two or call us at 509.838.0206.
8a. I have questions about e-Books? Can you give me some basics?
Auntie's Bookstore sells Adobe e-Books, which are compatible with Sony and other stand-alone e-Readers. Once purchased, you will receive instructions for download. If you are unsure of how to complete this download, we recommend coming into the store so that one of our Kobo experts can walk you through the process.
8b.What does open format mean?
The best way to describe an e-Reader is to look at a similar product line: the iPod. When the iPod first appeared in the marketplace there was a lot of talk how mp3 players would ruin music as we know it and that it would cost thousands of dollars to purchase music and fill your mp3 player. The same has been said about the e-Reader. The truth is we don't know how the e-Reader will affect books. What we do know is there's an ongoing battle for market share. Some retailers have chosen to make their e-readers a closed format, which means that although you may currently be paying $9.99 or less for an e-Book, that trend is unlikely to hold. This is because these books are being sold for little to no profit. Once the battle for market share is complete, it is expected those $9.99 prices will be raised to reflect the actual cost of printed books. If you have purchased a closed source e-Reader, you will be unable to purchase books from other souces, and will be forced to download from your original retailer. An open source reader, like the Sony e-Reader, can be purchased from one company, but your books can be downloaded from virtually any business. Including Auntie's!
8c. Does Auntie's sell the e-Reader?
Yes. Auntie's Bookstore and other independent bookstores working with ABA are in partnership with Kobo in order to bring the best e-Reader experience to supporters of indie bookstores. We sell four different types of Kobo e-Readers in multiple gigabyte sizes: the Kobo Arc, the Kobo Aura, the Kobo Glo, and the Kobo Mini. For more information, call 509.838.0206 and ask to speak to one of our Kobo specialists. They will be happy to assist you!
8d. Are all books available as e-Books?
No. Some authors have chosen to keep their work exclusively in paper format.
8e. How come I can find an e-Book on another website but not yours?
If you've tried entering title only, try searching by author to yield better results. There are a few books that our main distributor has yet to gain the rights to sell. When and if they become available, the e-Book will appear on Auntie's website.
9. Why is it important to buy from a locally owned bookstore?
There are a lot of answers to this question, and some of the best explanations can be found at www.indiebound.org. What Auntie's would like our customers and potential customers to know is that shopping local means you have a more hands-on decision about the books we carry in our store. Big chain stores typically partner with buyers outside the local area deciding which books to stock. This may not seem like a big deal when you're looking for Stephen King or Nora Roberts, but can become an issue when you want more local variety to choose from. Being an indie bookstore means we bring you more authors and titles originating from the overall Pacific Northwest area for readings and signings. Think of some of your favorite local authors: Jess Walter, Sarah Conover, Tony & Suzanne Bamonte, Patrick McManus, Jane Kirkpatrick, Ben Marra, Samuel Ligon, Sherri Jones, Jill Malone, Patricia Briggs and Sherman Alexie. This is just scratching the surface of the talent in our area. Some of these authors have catapulted into the mainstream while others depend on local booksellers to stock their titles. There is a wealth of amazing authors being passed over by big chain stores that you can find at Auntie's. The fewer independents in your area, the less choice you have as a consumer.
10. I have a question that isn't listed here.
If you need to get a hold of us, please call the store at 509.838.0206. If you have a question for our web manager you can reach her at email@example.com.