FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Here you can find answers to the most common enquiries we receive, which makes it quite long - but please scan through to see if it answers your question as it may save you the trouble of sending an email, and if not, check the links on the left.

My order has shipped but has not arrived, where is it?

It is our experience that most packages arrive at their destination within the times stated in the information below. If your order has not arrived and has been shipped using Standard Mail please do not contact us until a minimum of 14 days have passed. We will then be able to assist you. We would always request that you contact your local sorting office before contacting us to ensure that the Royal Mail are not holding an undelivered package for you.

    By Standard Mail within the UK

We can usually expect items sent by Standard Mail within the UK to arrive within two to five days from shipment. However, if after 14 days from the shipping date the parcel has not arrived, please email us at support@waterstones.com with confirmation of your shipping address.

If the details provided are all correct, we will be able to take action on your behalf. In order to rectify the non-delivery of your goods, we will take the following action:

In order to get the missing items to you, a replacement order will be created, and a new order number will be generated. As this order has been manually placed on our system, you will not be able to track its progress via your account on the Waterstones website. However, if you wish for an update at any point, please email our Customer Service team at support@waterstones.com.

    By courier delivery

Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to deliver to a PO Box number using our courier service. Items shipped by our courier company should be delivered on the next working day following despatch from our warehouse. All parcels require a signature on receipt, so if no one is present to take delivery, the delivery driver will leave a calling card with their contact details. Please note that orders despatched on a Friday will not normally arrive until the following Monday. If you have not received your order within three working days of despatch, please email us at support@waterstones.com, and we will trace the package for you.

    By Standard Surface Mail

We expect surface mail deliveries to reach most destinations within 14 to 28 days. However, if after 28 days the parcel has not arrived, please email us at support@waterstones.com with confirmation of your shipping address.

If the details provided are all correct, we can declare the item lost and issue a replacement order to you.

    By Overseas Courier Delivery

We expect Express deliveries to reach most destinations within six days. All parcels require a signature on receipt, so if no one is present to take delivery, the courier will leave a calling card with their contact details. If you have not received your order within eight working days of despatch, please email us at support@waterstones.com, and we will trace the package for you.

I have been informed that my item is out of stock, and on order with the suppliers. When can I expect to receive the item?

If an item is out of stock at the time you place your order, we will request the goods from our suppliers. Most items from major suppliers should be received at our warehouse within three to 10 days. We keep in close contact with our suppliers and place orders with most of them on a daily basis.

    Special Orders

If your order status is 'Special Order' then you can rest assured that the utmost is being done to acquire your item, though delays may occur if the item is out of stock with the suppliers. We are unable to provide you with an exact date that the ordered item will reach us.

You will not be charged until the item comes into stock and is ready to be shipped.

    Overseas publications

Import titles that are not in stock at the time of your order must be ordered from overseas suppliers. These are usually received within 14 days, but waiting times may stretch to a few weeks.

Can I return my item for an exchange?

We are happy to exchange unwanted items that are returned to us within 21 days. Please send the items to the address below and enclose a your despatch note, specifying with as much detail as possible, which items you require in exchange.

Waterstones Returns Department, Waterstones Book Hub, Unipart Logistics, Fifth Avenue, Centrum One Hundred, Burton Upon Trent DE14 2UZ

For the return of high value goods, we recommend that you use a recorded delivery service, as we cannot be responsible for non-delivery of returned items. Please note: You should use recorded delivery for the Reader from Sony.

You can also return items to any Waterstones branch, but unfortunately we can't exchange items in store, only give you a refund (providing you bring your despatch note that accompanied your delivery). We hope to be able to offer exchanges for online purchases in Waterstones stores in the near future.

How can I return an incorrect, faulty or damaged item?

    UK customers

Should you receive any items that you did not order, or that prove to be faulty, please call us on 0808 118 8787 (Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm) to obtain authorisation to return. Calls made from a BT Landline will usually be charged at a standard local rate. Calls from a mobile and other providers will incur a charge with rates varying dependent on the provider.

You can also return items to any Waterstones branch, but unfortunately we can't exchange items in store, only give you a refund (providing you bring your despatch note that accompanied your delivery). We hope to be able to offer exchanges for online purchases in Waterstones stores in the near future.

Overseas customers

Please call us on +44 20 8495 4549 (Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm) or email us at support@waterstones.com to obtain authorisation to return.

How can I cancel my order?

You can cancel an order placed with us by signing in to your account and selecting 'My orders'.

Here you can view the status of your order. Providing the goods have not shipped or are in the final stages of despatch, you can cancel your order. Should you cancel an order you will receive and email to notify you. You will not have been charged for any orders that are successfully cancelled.

What is MasterCard SecureCode?

This is a scheme designed to add an extra layer of security to your online shopping. MasterCard call this initiative 'MasterCard SecureCode'.

We are participants in the MasterCard SecureCode schemes for Maestro cardholders only. These services provide an additional level of security when placing an order.

3D Secure can be thought of as an online version of 'Chip and Pin' technology, whereby the cardholder has a personalised password registered with their card that is entered during the checkout process.

To participate in the scheme you will need to register your details with your card issuer, who will be able to provide you with specific details on the scheme. To find out more information on the services click here.

If you experience any payment problems when placing an order on Waterstones.com, we would recommend that you try to resubmit your payment details. If your payment still fails, please contact your card issuer, to ensure there are no problems with your account, before contacting our customer service team.

MasterCard SecureCode- Learn more