Buying Online Basics
Taxes: Per the North Carolina Dept. of Revenue, we do charge sales tax on shipping fees as well as all items sold in the store or shipped. If you shop online or through catalogues that are based out of state, don't forget to remit your use tax so that our state and local government services aren't hurt further by the wide spread loss of revenue that has followed the explosion of e-commerce.
The experience of buying online from City Lights Bookstore is a little different from shopping in the physical store. Here, it’s not so much about browsing through our currated sections, but you can search for and purchase a wide variety of unused books, any time you want, from wherever you are. We’ll also highlight a few of our favorites on a rotating basis so you’ll always have new reading ideas.
Here are some ways to shop using the City Lights Bookstore website.
1) Search for books using the “Search All Books” box.
See that search box in the left sidebar? Type in an author, title, ISBN, or keyword, and a list of possible book matches will pop up. Choose from the list, or refine your search if you don’t get what you were looking for. We also have thousands of Used Books that aren't listed here. Be aware that a status of 'Special Order' could be given for a book that we have on our shelves, or a book that is out of print and possilby scarce. We will always pass on current, verified information as quickly as possible.
Each of these pages will have the option to buy featured books with a few clicks.
3) Pick your format.
Hardcover, paperback, or ebook? On the City Lights website you can not only find almost any book in print in the U.S., you can buy ebooks for several reader platforms as well! Check out our eBooks Explained page for more specifics.
4) Choose how to get your books.
At checkout you'll be given the option to have your books shipped anywhere in the country, or pick them up in person here in Sylva at your convenience – choose whatever works for you. Remember: $25 worth of books in your shopping cart gets you free media mail delivery. If you need it delivered fast, and the availability is not coded, "Special Order" choose one of the expedited options.
5) Select a payment option.
If you want your books shipped to you, you can pay online using most major credit cards. If you want to pick up your book in the store, you can either pay online, or pay for the book in person when you pick it up. We may ask for pre-payment in some cases, such as books printed "on-demand", and requests for out-of-print titles or author inscriptions.
IMPORTANT: for your security, our system is very picky about matching your billing address with your credit card! When entering your billing address, you must make sure that any information other than the street address (apt. number, suite, etc.) is on the SECOND line of the address information, or you may find your card match rejected. Feel free to contact us if you have problems with this step.
6) Look for your confirmation.
The book information on our website comes partly from our own in-store inventory records, and partly from our distribution warehouses. The book details and availability status are updated often, but not constantly. For this reason, when you place an order, we recommend that you wait until you receive our confirmation email before assuming that a book is available for pickup or shipping. We will always email you with the status of your order as soon as possible.
7) Give us your feedback.
Having trouble navigating the website? Want to see some new features? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know! With the help of our site hosts at the American Booksellers Association, we'll do our best to answer your questions and take your ideas into consideration.