Shipping FAQ's

How long until my order ships?  We don’t have robots, drones, or fancy automated systems. Each order is hand processed, picked, and packed with love. During non-peak periods, we do our best to ship all orders within 3 business days. Express and Priority orders are always prioritized over all other bookstore orders and will ship within 24-48 hours respectively. During our peak period (July-September) and sale periods, ground orders can take up to 7 business days to be processed and shipped. Please provide a phone number where you can be reached during our business hours in case we need to contact you.

How long until my order arrives? Our warehouse facilities are located in Brattleboro, Vermont. Delivery within the US for UPS Ground shipments is 1-5 business days depending on proximity (very rural areas of Idaho and Oregon are 6 days). Location-specific transit times can be found on this map (enter origin zip 05301). These in-transit days are not guaranteed, but are usually quite accurate. Delivery times may increase by several days during the 2 weeks before Christmas. Priority Mail often arrives within 3 days but is not guaranteed. All shipping companies generally close for major holidays, so please plan accordingly.

I just placed my order and I forgot something, can I add to it?  Please place a new order with a note in the shipping instructions field to combine with your other order(s). We will do our best to combine them and refund some of the additional shipping but this is not always possible.

What days do you ship? Oak Meadow ships Monday through Friday. Orders placed on weekends and holidays will enter the queue for processing the following business day. 

What does the “Ground” shipping option mean?  This is our standard shipping option which uses Oak Meadow’s weight-based, flat-rate shipping charges. It was created so everyone in the country pays the same price for the same materials. We will ship using either UPS Ground or USPS Priority Mail. At this time, we do not use FedEx services for any packages. Please inform us using the shipping instructions field if your address is not eligible for either UPS or USPS deliveries.

What does the “Priority” shipping option mean?  Priority orders are processed and shipped in 1-2 business days using an expedited shipping method. The order also moves to the front of the queue (behind express orders). Please tell us (in the shipping instructions field) if you need the materials by a specific date, and we’ll contact you if any changes are needed. “Priority” packages are generally shipped via UPS 2 or 3-day service to physical addresses and via Priority Mail to PO Boxes.

UPS shipping is upgraded to arrive at least one day faster than ground shipping. For example, a priority order to California will ship UPS 3-Day Select instead of ground, which is 5 days. However, a priority order to Maryland which is normally 2 days in transit, won’t upgrade to overnight shipping but will ship UPS 2nd Day Air for guaranteed 2 day service. Please inform us using the shipping instructions field if your address can’t receive UPS or USPS deliveries.

What does the “Express” shipping option mean?  Express orders are processed and shipped within 1 business day and will ship UPS Next Day Air to physical addresses, or Express Mail (1-2 day delivery, varies by location) to PO Boxes. A phone number is required. Order cutoff is 2:30 PM EST for same-day shipping. Express orders placed on Friday are not upgraded to Saturday delivery but we can do that over the phone for an additional $20. UPS may provide Saturday delivery at no additional charge in some larger municipalities.

If I need my materials tomorrow, how long do I have to place my order? Express orders must be placed by 2:30 pm EST to ship the same day.

I live in Hawaii and am just ordering a few things, can you use a USPS flat-rate box?  Upon request (please put a note in the shipping instructions field), we will evaluate your order for shipping using USPS flat-rate packaging and refund the difference in price when shipped. We generally don’t use flat-rate boxes because they are very flimsy and many items we sell don’t fit in them.

I’m not in a rush; what’s the cheapest shipping method that’s available? USPS Media Mail (for domestic shipping) is the most inexpensive but also the least reliable shipping method for sending educational materials. It’s not an available option on the checkout screen because many items we sell do not qualify for that level of service. Delivery times for Media Mail can vary widely, from a few days to several weeks or more. If you are ordering books or CDs only and would like us to use Media Mail, please submit your order using standard ground shipping, and add a note in the shipping instructions field to ship via that method. We will refund the difference when your order is shipped. Because there are no service guarantees, any Media Mail inquiries should be directed to the USPS. Media Mail items are not able to be insured.

When will I get a tracking number?  Once an order has shipped, our bookstore will automatically send a receipt to the email provided with an updated order status including tracking number(s). In addition, you will receive a series of notifications from the shipping company when the label is created, if there are any exceptions en route, and upon delivery. Be aware that these automated emails frequently go into spam folders.

Why does my tracking number not show any information?  Your tracking number is “live” when we print the label but, until the package has been picked up and scanned into the shipping company’s computer systems, no updates are available. Our pickups are usually between 5-7 pm EST.

Will I have to sign for my delivery? We do not mark packages to require a signature unless it’s requested. If you wish to choose this option, please add a note in the shipping instructions field on the checkout screen and we will pay the additional fee for that. There are instances when the delivery driver may decide to choose this option at their discretion.

What shipping company will be delivering my materials?  Using our standard “ground” shipping, most packages over 3 pounds will ship to physical addresses via UPS Ground. Packages 3 pounds and under will often ship via Priority Mail, but also may ship UPS Ground depending on rates. Please inform us using the shipping instructions field if your address can’t receive UPS or USPS deliveries.

Can I use my company’s UPS, FedEx, or DHL account for shipping?  For liability reasons, Oak Meadow does not use third-party shipping accounts for domestic or international shipping.

Can my bookstore order be combined with my eBay order? If you have an eBay order and a bookstore order, we will do our best to combine them and refund shipping if applicable. However, this is not always possible.

Does Oak Meadow accept purchase orders?  Yes! Oak Meadow accepts emailed purchase orders from schools, school districts, libraries, and other educational institutions. Please send all purchase orders to Terry Emond at temond@oakmeadow.com. If you must fax them, please use 802-251-7258.

Purchase orders usually ship within 3 business days (could be twice that during July-September). Unless otherwise requested we will ship UPS Ground to the contiguous US. We do not charge shipping on backordered items. PO’s shipping to Alaska or Hawaii will ship via Priority Mail unless otherwise specified. We will advise the purchaser of any delays in excess of 6 business days to ship. Institutions submitting purchase orders are subject to all shipping charges.

I just opened my package and an item is damaged or missing — what’s the next step? Damaged or missing items must be reported within 5 business days of receipt of materials by phone at 802-490-2042 or by email to Andy Lobenstine at alobenstine@oakmeadow.com. Please do not discard the packaging, packing material, or the merchandise. We will likely request photos from you to help us potentially mitigate similar damage in the future and possibly for use with a claim. Depending on the value, the carrier may want to inspect the package and the damaged items. At our discretion, we may send a UPS call tag to retrieve the damaged items when they are replaced.

What’s the process for returning an item I ordered?Please don’t return any materials without contacting us. See the Returns Page for more information. Soprano Recorders, CDs, and DVDs are not eligible for return, and credit will not be issued for them.

Who is the best person to contact for shipping questions that aren’t answered here? If you have questions or concerns that aren’t specifically mentioned in the FAQ’s, please call Andy Lobenstine at (802) 490-2042 between 9am - 4pm EST or email at alobenstine@oakmeadow.com.

 

International Shipping

Do you ship to military bases and foreign service officers? Orders placed to military and diplomatic addresses (FPO, DPO, AP, AE, and AA) ship via USPS Priority Mail. Please provide the zip + 4 in your address for the most accurate routing. Time in transit can range from 2-5 weeks and is not guaranteed. Please contact the military postmaster for tracking after USPS hands it off. Express Mail service is not an option. For more information about how to request a military discount, click here.

Is there specific information required for international addresses? We must have a local name (and company name if shipping to a business) and phone number for the ship-to address for all shipping and customs documents. Using a name and number other than the recipient may cause delays or may cause the package to be returned to us. UPS will not export a shipment without a proper phone number or email address (phone number must be from the importing country). Cell phone numbers based outside the destination country will not be called by the carrier. The recipient of the package should check tracking results frequently to see if any actions are required.

I see that USPS international rates are less expensive. How come? The USPS has no employees outside the United States and relies solely on the postal system of each importing country for handling and providing updates. They are also reliant on these systems for lost, delayed, or damaged package investigations. It could be as long as 30-60 days for a response to Priority Mail inquiries, approx. 5 days for Express Mail depending on the country and its postal union requirements. 

How long does a USPS international package take to arrive? USPS Priority Mail is the lowest level of international service for packages over 4 pounds. These shipments can arrive in as little as 6-10 business days. USPS Express Mail can arrive in as little as 3-5 business days. Per USPS, these delivery times are based on shipments to “major markets” and are not guaranteed to any address. Actual transit time will vary based on destination and time of year (some Priority Mail packages can take a couple months to be delivered). Once a package has cleared customs and has an export scan leaving the US, there is no way for any postal system to locate it until it has been scanned in the receiving country. At that point, the most accurate delivery information is available from the importing country’s postal service.

Is it worth paying more for UPS? Customers choosing UPS Worldwide Saver (Express) or Worldwide Expedited will have access to door-to-door tracking information and specific delivery dates. Delivery to most countries is between 2-6 business days but the most accurate time-in-transit info can be found here (enter origin zip code 05301). UPS has a much better response time versus USPS for package inquiries because of having employees working around the globe. Duties and taxes are not included in our shipping charges except for enrolled families.

If I just need one book, is there a cheaper way to send it overseas?  Orders under 4 pounds qualify for USPS First Class Package Service. Please put a note in the shipping instructions field if it’s not shown as a checkout option and you want to have your order evaluated for this service. Time-in-transit estimates are not provided by USPS, and there is no tracking once it leaves the United States. Oak Meadow is not responsible for any lost or damaged items shipped via this method.

UPS and the postal service aren’t reliable where I live. Any other options? DHL is available to countries where other services are unreliable or not available. Please contact Andy at alobenstine@oakmeadow.comfor a shipping quote. You will need to provide your full address and local phone number for the recipient as well as the exact list of items you will be ordering. If you approve the quote, we will send you an invoice to pay from instead of ordering through the bookstore. For our location, DHL shipments may require up to 2 days for pickup.

Will there be any additional charges before I receive my international shipment? Orders shipped outside of the United States may be subject to import taxes, customs duties, and fees levied by the destination country. The recipient of an international shipment may have to pay these once a shipment reaches their country. Additional charges for customs clearance would also be paid by the recipient; we have no control over these charges and can't predict what they may be. Customs policies vary widely from country to country; you should contact your local customs office for more information. When customs clearance procedures are required, it can cause delays beyond our original delivery estimates.

Who is the best person to contact for shipping questions that aren’t answered here? If you have questions or concerns that aren’t specifically mentioned in the FAQ’s, please call Andy Lobenstine at (802) 490-2042 between 9am - 4pm EST or email at alobenstine@oakmeadow.com.

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