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COVID-19 & Online Order FAQ

 

We highly encourage everyone to continue utilizing our website for contact-free book orders! We always check our store stock first, so if we have a title on our shelves you'll be the first to know, no browsing necessary. We are happy to continue shipping books wherever they need to go, and contact-free store pickup remains the default for all orders.

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Dear Readers,

We are currently once again open in a limited browsing capacity! All customers are required to adhere to the Covid-19 Store Policies (clearly posted in our store windows and also available below), and there is a strict capacity limit of FOUR customers at a time. When entering please check in with a bookseller to ensure it's currently safe to browse. If we are at capacity, we ask that you wait outside until space has opened up.

For those of you who enjoyed our appointment browsing system (or have a larger household of 4 and want everyone to get some guaranteed browsing time), we will have 15 minute appointments available every Saturday from 10am-12pm. Open browsing on Saturdays runs from 12pm-4pm. As you may imagine, this day gets busy, so we also ask that you limit browsing time to 15 minutes in order to be fair to everyone. You can book a browsing appointment by following the link in the upper left hand corner of our home page, or clicking on the link below. Please contact us at words@bookcellarinc.com if you have any questions!

Book a browsing appointment here!

Thank you all for your understanding, support, and passion for books. It really is what keeps us going in every sense.

An important note: Please wait until you are notified your order is ready for pickup! We may need to order your book(s) into the store, and that can take a couple days. We will be sure to let you know as soon as they arrive!

We appreciate your patience as response times might be slower than usual due to, well, everything currently going on! We have but two phone lines, and are currently adhering to social distancing guidelines for our reduced staff. If you are unable to reach a bookseller when you call, we are likely busy assisting other customers. Feel free to call us back another time, place your order online with no human interaction necessary, or shoot us an email at words@bookcellarinc.com and we will be sure to get back to you just as soon as we possibly can. Please note: We will only be manning the store phones Monday - Friday from 11am - 6pm and Saturday from 10am - 4pm. If you attempt to reach us outside of these hours, we will not be there to answer.

Covid-19 Store Policies

In order to browse at The Book Cellar…

  • All customers MUST wear a mask covering both their mouth and nose at all times when inside the store.
  • We will provide hand sanitizer (required) and gloves (optional) upon entry for your use.
  • Store capacity will be limited to FOUR customers at a time! Please wait outside if we are at capacity. If many folks are waiting, we ask you to limit your browsing time in the store to 15 minutes to allow everyone a fair chance. A bookseller will let you know as soon as it’s safe to enter!
  • If you have displayed any symptoms of sickness within the last week, PLEASE STAY HOME. We are doing all we can to keep our customers safe and request you extend the same courtesy to our booksellers!
  • Please continue to practice safe social distancing! Use the store’s markers to remain 6ft apart, and while browsing please limit one person per aisle and use your best judgement to avoid close contact.
  • All beverages will be To Go ONLY. We will not be offering any food items for the time being. Ask us about our beer and wine!
  • Plan ahead! Our restrooms will remain closed to the public for the time being. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  • Please ask our booksellers for any assistance! We are here to help with recommendations and finding books, let us know what you’re looking for!

If you are uncomfortable coming into the store, don’t fret! We highly encourage everyone to continue utilizing our website for contact-free book orders! We always check our store stock first, so if we have a title on our shelves already you’ll be the first to know, no browsing necessary.
 

Now, here are some answers to some frequently asked questions:

Q: How do I support you without coming in to the store?

A: We are still taking orders! You are welcome to place an order through our website, to be shipped directly to the address of your choosing, or to be picked up in-store (all online orders for pickup are contact-free by default!)

If you are interested in using a GIFT CARD for your order, please be sure to select the Credit Card payment option upon Checkout. If you select PayPal as your payment option you will automatically be charged, but as long as you opt to pay with a credit card we will easily be able to adjust your order before doing so. Make sure to provide us with the gift card number as well! If you do select to pay with PayPal we do not have that option. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience!

Q: I placed my order on Saturday. It's Sunday. Why haven't I heard from you? 

A: We are currently not fulfilling orders on the weekends. Any orders placed after 11 AM on Friday will be processed the following Monday.

Q: I placed my order and haven't heard anything from you in a few days. What's up?

A: If you haven't heard anything from us at all about your order, that means that something is backordered and/or out of stock at our distributor's warehouses. Please feel free to reach out if you'd like more information, but we promise we are not ignoring you! We circle back on all unfulfilled orders daily to see if/when we can fulfill them, and one of us will eyeball and log your order within a couple days of when you initially placed it, with the exception of the weekends.

On that note, we also check on ALL backordered books every single weekday morning, so we promise as soon as any copies at all are available one will be heading into the store for you!

Q: I saw on your website that this book is marked "Available." Can I pick it up today?

A: Please disregard the "Availability" status our website provides for products. Our website is not synced up with our store inventory. Availability typically refers to whether something is still in print of not. If you do need to know whether we have something on the shelves before you make an online purchase, please call the store at (773) 293-2665, or send us an email at words@bookcellarinc.com for the fastest response and most accurate information.

Q: You sent me tracking information for my book(s), but I haven't received the package yet. How do I get more info about this?

A: We are aware that USPS shipping times sometimes run slow. After many hours of back and forths with both the postal service and our distributor, we have discovered that due to the unprecedented backlog USPS is currently facing, particularly in large markets such as Chicago, packages are remaining at postal facilities much longer than usual. This is unfortunately even true for packages labeled priority mail. With such a large portion of the population currently depending on delivery for both essential and nonessential goods due to coronavirus, shipping times are simply stretching long. The good news is the vast majority of orders are now once again being delivered with no delays! If you do encounter any issues with shipping, please contact us directly. We are happy to troubleshoot as needed and if the worst does happen and USPS misplaces your books, we can provide replacements as long as we are notified of the lost package in a timely manner. 

Q: I miss your events. Are you still doing them?

A: While we have pressed pause on our in-store events, we're hosting plenty of wonderful authors (and books!) virtually! All events posted on our Events Calendar will be virtual, and we will provide the use of our Zoom for all book club meetings until further notice.

Q: I received an order message saying my books have been ordered. How long will they take to arrive at the store?

A: Unless otherwise indicated, books take on average 3-4 business days to arrive at the store once we order them from our distributor. If a book is backordered, the restock ETAs we provide are for when fresh copies are currently projected to arrive at our distribuor's warehouse, so add on a few extra days to account for shipping times to the store. Our special orders come from a variety of warehouses spread across the United States, so if you need a more exact estimate please indicate that in the "Comments" box when placing the order and we'll be sure to advise! The warehouse we primarily order our books from takes approximately 1-2 business days to arrive at the store, but some further away warehouses can take up to a week. If you are working under a tight deadline and are open to recommendations, we are always happy to score our shelves for a suitable replacement, just let us know!

If you are looking for additional ways to support The Book Cellar right now, here are a few things you can do:

  • Preorder, preorder, preorder!!! It helps us AND your favorite authors! Everyone wins!

  • Buy some bottles of wine/beer, or take a moment to look through our greeting card selection! We have a great selection of enjoyable non-book items for sale at the store. And yes, that does include puzzles!

  • Buy a Gift Card! You now have the option to purchase a Book Cellar Gift Card directly through our website. We are happy to mail the Gift Card to you for free if you provide your shipping address! This is a great way to support all local businesses and restaurants right now, and gives you something fun to look forward to once this is all over!

  • Subscribe to libro.fm! Libro.fm partners with independent bookstores across the nation to provide readers easy access to the wide world of audiobooks, while still allowing them to support their local neighborhood bookstore.

  • Check out our page on Bookshop! Bookshop is an online bookstore whose sole mission is supporting local, independent bookstores. Simply search your favorite local bookstore, and the proceeds from your online purchase will go directly to them! If you're struggling with our website, or are just curious to checkout a new online ordering platform (Am*zon who??), be sure to take a look! --> https://bookshop.org/shop/bookcellarchicago

The whirlwind of emotions we have experienced is hard to describe. It's our job to deal with words, but it's almost impossible to express how grateful we are to all of you who placed orders, bought gift cards, asked for recommendations, stocked up on wine, promoted us on your social media channels, or left messages of encouragement and support. We truly feel the love you have for your community and for indie bookstores in general.

We know things are changing quickly out there, and we just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU for your continued support during these uncertain times. We'll never stop saying it! Wherever you're sheltering, stay safe and stay sane out there. It's our firm belief that stories are necessary to manage any uncertainty or crisis.

Happy reading!

-The Book Cellar Staff

 

All titles are subject to availability. Prices Subject to Change. Please call (773) 293-2665 to confirm.
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