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FACQs

Answers to all your FACQs (Frequently Asked COVID Questions)!

Are you still open?
How do I know what you have in-stock?
How do I get my books?
What are the different shipping options?
How soon can I expect a reponse on my online order?
What is your return policy?
How can I help kids who don't have access to books right now?
How can I help Red Balloon right now?
Can I still support you while buying audio- or e-books?
I need recommendations!! What do I do?

 

Are you still open?
We are open for online and phone orders! 

In the interest of public health, we are following all recommendations from the MN Department of Health, including closing the shop to in-person shopping. The state declared us a "critical business" and has allowed us to continue processing online and phone orders. Our website is available 24/7 for shopping and you can reach us by phone 10am-2pm Tuesday-Saturday or leave us a message and we'll get back to you as soon as we're able. 

Keep up-to-date with all of our COVID-19 happenings here.

 

How do I know what you have in-stock?
If you're shopping online, the best way to know whether we have a book, can order it, or probably can't get it is to check the "Availability" lisitng, which is underneath the "Add to Cart" and "Add to Wishlist" buttons on each book's page.

On Our Shelves Now. Please call our store for up-to-the-minute stock availability: These are the best bet—they are probably in-stock! Our site only updates availabilities once per day, however, so if you want to be sure, it's best to give us a call. 

Not on our shelves now. Usually ships in 1-5 business days from warehouse: These are available from the wholesaler and/or publisher, so we can order them for you! So far, the time estimate has held during all of this, though some publishers are experiencing delays or closures.

Backordered: These are not currently available. Many of them are waiting on re-prints or shipments and will be available again, though they probably will take a while to arrive.

Not in stock at our store or warehouse. Special Order. Please call or email for stock availability: These are rarely available—often they are books that have gone out of print. If it's a book you really want, feel free to contact us and we can double check.

 

How do I get my books?
There are three options to get your books!

1. Porch Pick-up! We are doing contactless pick-up on the shop's front porch Monday-Friday 4-6 and Saturday 12-5. Go here for details.
2. Neighborhood Delivery! If you're within one of our specified zip codes (a range of about 10 miles from the store), we can add you to our neighborhood delivery schedule and drop your books off at your house! Go here for details.
3. Shipping! We offer USPS Media Mail, USPS Priority Mail, and UPS Ground Shipping. For details on each type of shipping, see "What are the different shipping options?" below.

Orders over $20 dollars qualify for free media mail shipping (books only; use coupon code KEEPREADING) or free neighborhood delivery. Porch pick-up is always free.

 

What are the different shipping options?
We offer USPS Media Mail, USPS Priority Mail, and UPS Ground Shipping for domestic shipping. At this time we are not shipping internationally.

USPS Media Mail: This is for books (and CDs) only—puzzles, games, toys, art supplies, etc cannot be shipped using media mail. Media mail is offered by USPS to be a cost-effective way to send media and educational materials. Due to its low price, media mail packages are not insured and will not be replaced if lost. For free media mail shipping on an order over $20, use coupon code KEEPREADING and select "Free Media Mail Shipping" at check-out.

USPS Priority Mail: This option can be used to ship any materials. Delivery usually takes 1-3 days. Cost is calculated based on the distance the package is going.

UPS Ground: This option can be used to ship any materials. Delivery usually takes 1-5 days.

 

How soon can I expect a reponse on my online order?
Pick-up and delivery orders placed before 1pm Monday-Saturday can expect a same-day response. Shipping orders will get a response within 24-48 hours, depending on day of the week and our volume of orders.

 

What is your return policy?
To protect our customers and our booksellers we are temporarily suspending our return policy, given that we can’t trace what those books and gifts have come into contact with after leaving our store. If an item is defective or if we have made a mistake with your purchase, we will offer a refund or replacement.   

 

How can I help kids who don't have access to books right now?
With libraries closed, we're also worried about kids whose families can't afford to buy new books. We're working with several of our teacher partners to get books to those kids, and you can help us with your donations! Donate to Keep Kids Reading here.

 

How can I help Red Balloon right now?
First of all—THANK YOU. The support of our friends has meant so much to us over the last few weeks. Buying books (or puzzles or games or, or, or!) from us, either online or by phone, helps us stay open, keep working, and keep the lights on. 

But even with that support, we're facing big losses in events and school orders. If you're able, donations are the very best way to help us through this. You can donate to Red Balloon here. Another great option is buying a gift card.

Whatever way you're able to help out, we are so very grateful. Thank you, from all of us.

 

Can I still support you while buying audio- or e-books?
You absolutely can! Check out Libro.fm for digital audiobooks and Hummingbird (or Kobo) for e-books. Both companies partner excusively with independent bookstores to offer audio- and e-book alternatives to that big online retailer.

 

I need recommendations!! What do I do?
Send us an email or give us a call! While we're sad not to get to do in-person book recommending right now, we're still very happy to recommend books to you via email or over the phone. Emails should go to info@redballoonbookshop.com. Our phone number is 651-224-8320 and we'll be answering calls (to the best of our ability—the lines have been very busy!) between 10am and 2pm Tuesday through Saturday. If you don't catch us, leave a message and we'll get back to you as soon as we're able.