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Special Order FAQ

In order to provide you with the largest possible selection, our catalogue includes many non-stock books that need to backordered ordered from the publisher or supplier. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions relating to special orders.

What is a special order?

A special order is an order for any book where our supplier does not have stock at the time that you place the order. The lack of stock could be due to a number of reasons, but is normally one of the following:

  • The supplier has a temporary stock shortage and should get stock within a week or two. This is often the case when popular titles are out of stock.
  • The book is not available from the publisher. For example, availability may be dependent on a print run scheduled at some future date.
  • The book is not a stock item and is only ordered on demand.

Why can't I include special orders with other products on the same order?

It's hard or impossible to predict how long a special order might take to complete. It could take anything from a few days to a few months, or the product might not be supplied at all. As a result, we can't offer consolidated deliveries for special order items, and they need to be ordered individually.

Shouldn't one just wait until it becomes available again?

If the book is relatively popular, you could wait until it becomes available and then order it. However, there are millions of books that are not kept in stock by any supplier and the only way to get them is by special order. Also, even for relatively popular books it often helps to be proactive.

If you decide that you would rather wait than create a special order for a book, you can just add it to your wishlist and we will automatically send you an email if the book becomes available.

How long will it take?

There's no fixed rule, but most books can be sourced within 4-8 weeks. If the book your're interested in is very popular, the stock shortage is probably just temporary and it is likely that it will take less time. On the other hand, availability may be dependent on a publisher's print run, and it is possible that you may have to wait a few months.

If we haven't received the special order after about three months, we automatically cancel it and refund any money that you may have paid.

In a nutshell, its best to make sure that you really want the book before placing a special order.

Why can't I return special order items?

Most of our suppliers will not accept returns of products that have been backordered for us. Again, its best to make sure that you want the book before placing the order.

Can I cancel a special order before it is complete?

If a particular item is taking too long you can cancel that item, provided that it has not already been dispatched to us by our supplier. We will credit you for the full value of the item.