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 a quantity and location of where the item is in the store.; if you are wanting to come down to the store and pluck it from our shelves, we recommend calling and requesting one of our staff members to double check our stock and place the book on hold for you. We upload our files once a day and occasionally a book will sell before your arrival. We can hold new books for three days and used books for two days.

'Usually ships in 1-5 days' simply means we either ran 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 shelves are limited. We receive shipments from our distributors daily and can typically have those books here in 1-5 days. Occasionally a book will ship from a publisher or a further warehouse than we would like. In those cases we will contact you with a timeframe for arrival and see if you would still like us to complete your order.

Our trickiest notation is 'subject to availability.' Typically this means the book is out-of-print or not available through traditional methods. When this happens, you still have options. First we will attempt to find the book from the publisher or directly from the author, if possible. This may result in a price increase. Our customers are important to us and we will never move forward on an order that requires a price increase without your permission. If we are still unable to complete your order, our book experts can recommend a similar title, perform an out-of-print search through our specialist or give you some great used websites to aid your search.

2. What does it mean to have a hold on my credit card?

A hold on your credit card is much like what happens when you rent a hotel room or car. The American Book Association (ABA), who hosts our site, ensures there are enough funds available on your card to complete the order. Once the order is complete the hold is turned into an actual charge. If your order is less than what the card is held for, those funds will be released.

3. I am having difficulty viewing your website?

Auntie's website looks and responds best when viewed with Mozilla Firefox. Other internet engines add html code that distorts our site. Make sure to check your browser settings as well. If you continue to have issues with the site or you find broken links, we would love to know. Please contact our Web Manager at melissa@auntiesbooks.com.

4. I selected in-store pick up. Can I come get my books right away?

We ask that you wait for Auntie's to contact you either by phone or email to ensure your order is complete. Occasionally we need to order a book and it will take a day or two to arrive at the store. If a book takes more than a couple of days, we will contact you to make sure you would still like 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 stock, we do require prepayment and an Auntie's representative will contact you and explain the situation. A majority of our customers receive a 15% discount for prepayment.

6. My shipping cost seems high?

Because books come in all shapes, sizes and weight we have calculated for what is most common in shipping these items. If shipping seems high, we will weigh out your items and reduce shipping when possible. If possible, you can select our in-store pick up for free.

7. Can I use a gift certificate or my Auntie's discount card?

When you check out of Auntie's website you will not be able to select gift certificate as a payment option. 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 an Auntie's representative will contact you. At that time you can give Auntie's your unique gift certificate number and we can order the book. You will be required to bring in the gift certificate when you arrive at Auntie's to pickup your books. If you have a gift certificate and would like books mailed to you, please contact Auntie's Bookstore 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 when checking out in the appropriate box stating: your name, the name of the primary person on the Auntie's card (if different than your own) and a valid address. We will verify the card and apply the 10% off before completing the charge of your credit card. Please note discounts are not allowed on shipping and when you first enter your credit card the amount prior to the discount application is what will be held by ABA. For questions on credit card holds please refer to question 2 or call 509-838-0206.

8a. I have questions about e-Books? Can you give me some basics?

Our e-books come in three different formats: Adobe (compatible with Sony and other stand-alone e-readers), Palm (compatible with iPhones and other mobile devices), and Microsoft (compatible with the PC-based Microsoft Reader). When searching e-Books the format will be displayed at the bottom of the description. Once purchased, you will receive instructions for download. If you are unsure of how to complete this download, we recommend coming into the store and one of our employee's will walk you through the process at our kiosk.

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 readers in a closed format. What this means is, although you may currently be paying $9.99 or less for an e-Book, that trend is unlikely to hold. Why, because these books are being sold for no profit to very low profit. Once the battle for market share is complete, it is expected those $9.99 prices will be raised to reflect the actual cost involved. If you have purchased a closed source e-Reader you will not be able to shop around from other businesses to purchase, but will be forced to download from your original retailer. An open source reader, like the Sony e-Reader, can be purchased from one company then download books from any business, including Auntie's!

8c. Does Auntie's sell the e-Reader?

The American Book Association (ABA) is trying to finalize a contract with Sony that would bring their e-Reader into independent bookstores. Once we have more information, we will post it on our Home Page. Remember, we do sell e-Books on our website and we will always be happy to assist!

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, this often yields better results. There are a few books Ingram digital has yet to gain the rights to sell. Once 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 shopping here means we are stocking books you want to read. Big chain stores typically have 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 local bookstores take chances on debut authors and writers in the area/ Pacific Northwest. We host readings and author 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 melissa@auntiesbooks.com.