Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions

  • Did my order go through successfully?

    • All orders placed online successfully have an order confirmation email that contains an order number sent to the email address provided on the order. This number is 5 or 6 digits and is located towards the top of the confirmation email, near the billing information. If you did not get this email (or maybe it was filtered by your email provider) you can also see your order history on your Green Apple Books account. All successfully placed orders will appear in your order history. If you are still unsure please email us at or give our main store a call at 415-387-2272 for orders to be shipped, and if it's for pickup please call the location from which you ordered.

  • How will I know that my order has been processed?

    • We communicate via email for most orders, in special cases we may call the phone number associated with the billing information. You can always reply to any emails sent out by us, and it will be answered by someone on the orders team. We cannot send text messages.
    • All of our orders are processed by employees in our stores. Please note that we are open for in store browsing. This means it might take us a few hours to process your order, (even if the titles are in stock!) because we are also receiving and shelving books, helping in person customers, answering the phones, and tending to other bookselling tasks. If you need books immediately and do not wish to browse please give the location of your choice a call and we can either set titles aside for you or take payment and shipping information over the phone instead of ordering online. We do our best to process all online orders within 24 hours, so if your purchase isn’t time sensitive just keep an eye out for an email from us with an update! Thank you for your patience.
  • How do I login to my account?

    • Our website uses your email address to create an account, and also gives you the option to create a username. You can use either the username or email address to log in. If you can’t remember making a username or you didn’t set one up, it defaults to your email address before the “@” symbol. To reset your password please follow the instructions on the screen and the site will send you a temporary password. You must make a new password after you log in with the temporary one. The link will expire after you use it and you will not be able to log in again without making a new password. Still having trouble? Send us an email to  and someone from our orders team will help you out!


In Store Pickup

  • When will my order be ready? 

    • We do our best to process all our in store pickup orders within 24 hours. However, we are open for in store browsing. This means it might take us a few hours to process your order, even if the titles are in stock because we are also receiving and shelving books, helping in person customers, answering the phones, and tending to other bookselling tasks. If you need your order immediately and do not wish to browse, please give the location of your choice a call and we can either set titles aside for you to pay/pickup in person or we can take payment over the phone instead of ordering online. If the titles are not available at the location you have selected we may have to transfer them among stores or order them from our distributor’s warehouse. We will notify you within 24 hours if this is the case, and will update you again when the items are ready to be picked up. Our website inventory is only updated once a day. For up to the minute information it is best to call the location and speak to someone directly.

  • Where do I go to pick up my order?

    • To pick up an order in store you must follow the COVID protocols in place at each location which include: a mask over your mouth and nose the entire time you are inside, the use of hand sanitizer and/or gloves at the front door, and limited capacity inside the building. If the location is busy at the time of your pickup you may be asked to wait outside.  At the selected pickup location please approach the counter (or wait in line if there are other customers ahead of you) and tell the clerk that you are picking up an online order.  If you ordered to pick up at our Clement Street location please use the 506 Clement Street entrance. Please call the selected location if you need assistance or accommodations. 

  • What if my order includes a pre-order or books that are not all available at the same location?

    • If not all of your books are ready at the same time you can either pick them up as they become available or wait until they are all there! Don’t worry, we’ll let you know when your books arrive if they were not available immediately.

  • How long will you hold my order if I can’t get there today?

    • We will hold paid orders for up to six weeks. We send out a reminder email and give you a phone call after 30 days if it is still on our hold shelf. If you need it held longer, that’s no problem-- just let us know! We do not offer refunds on unclaimed items and uphold our standard return policy for online orders.


Shipped Orders/Tracking Information

  • Did my order ship?

    • Once an order has its status changed to “completed” the items are on their way to the shipping department. Pre orders are shipped the week of publication (or the week that they arrive at our store or distributor’s warehouse-- please note that there are many COVID related publishing delays). 

  • How do I get my tracking information?

    • Unfortunately not all of our shipping notifications are automatic, depending on the location it is shipping from we have to manually look up your order shipping information once it’s in transit. Because of the high volume of shipping orders that we ask that you request the tracking information once your order has been completed. You can do this by emailing  with your order number and last name. 

  • Oh no! I entered the wrong address!

    • If you realize that you entered an incorrect address please give us a call at our main store (415-387-2272) as soon as you can. If the order is not processed we can still make changes, but if it has been more than 24 hours it is too late to make changes to the address. We are not responsible for information entered incorrectly by the customer. 

  • How long will it take for my order to arrive?

    • Please note, delivery times are all estimates, and we cannot account for or be responsible for weather related delays or other unpredictable events that USPS may encounter.

      • FREE No Rush Shipping - 8-15 business days "I am in no rush and therefore would like to save on shipping costs"

      • Media Mail - 5-10 business days "I'm not in too much of a rush and would like to contribute more to shipping costs"

      • Priority Mail - 2-4 business days "I would like these books as soon as possible"

    • We do our best to ship out all ordes as soon as we can, but shipping times refer to how long the package is expected to be in transit. Sometimes things ship later than expected for reasons that are out of our control. These are instances like publishing or printing delays, deliveries that don't arrive on time to our store, or items that are printed on demand as orders come in for them instead of pre-printed in bulk. We appreciate your patience!


Payment Methods

  • Gift Cards vs eGift Codes, Trade Slips vs Store Credit Slip

    • Green Apple has several different forms of “credit” available. Some of these forms are only redeemable in store, others only online, and one can be used both ways. Here’s the breakdown:

      • Gift Card - a physical card with a barcode and number (begins with the digit 6) can be redeemed either in person or online in the Gift Card payment field. 

      • eGift Code - a code sent via email (begins with the digit “1”) and is only redeemable online, in the eGift Code payment field. 

      • Trade Slips - a green slip of paper with trade credit from selling books. It is worth its full written value for used books, and 5/6 of the value written for new books. Trade slips can only be redeemed in person at our Clement and Books on the Park locations.

      • Store Credit Slip - a green slip of paper (with the value written on the bottom portion) that is from an exchange or in lieu of a refund. This is worth its full value on all items and can only be redeemed in person at ANY location. 

  • PayPal

    • We accept PayPal on our website!

  • Credit Cards

    • We accept credit cards in person and online! Unfortunately we cannot process international credit cards. If you are looking to make an order and have any of the following: an international credit card and international shipping address, a US credit card but non-US billing address, or an international IP address (Yes, even if you have a US card and billing address if your IP address is international your order will not work. This is flagged as fraud by our card processing system, but you can contact us to resolve your order) please email with the subject line “International order inquiry” and someone from the orders team will see if we can arrange your order manually with a PayPal invoice. 

  • Refunds

    • We do not offer refunds on online orders that are unclaimed, or if the customer changes their mind. We do offer store credit (either in the form of a physical store credit slip or a digital eGift Code) for returns or exchanges within ten days of the item becoming available or received in the mail. If you order an item online and it is unavailable we will either adjust the pending amount on your credit card and you will not be charged for an unavailable item, or your PayPal refund will be processed within 72 hours. If you paid with a gift card/eGift code the funds will be automatically replaced onto the original form of payment. If you have discarded your eGift code email or your physical Gift Card please contact us and we will help you resolve this issue. 


Selling Books

NOTE:  We do not buy books at Green Apple Books on the Park (1231 9th Ave) or Browser Books.

We do not accept donations, so please be prepared to take away books we don't buy.

  • When do you buy books, music and movies?

    • Green Apple buys books at 506 Clement seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. 
    • Only 2 active book buys will be allowed in the store at a time (people will need to be prepared to wait outside, or in their vehicles, if there are more than 2 people selling books).
    • We do not buy books on December 24th and January 1st.
  • What do you buy?

    • Besides our usual, primary areas of interest (literature, poetry, philosophy, natural history/field guides, art monographs, and cooking) we would like to see current & classic titles on social justice and race studies.
  • What do you NOT buy?

    • Serial romances
    • Reader’s Digest condensed books
    • Books that are underlined or highlighted
    • Books that are out of date (older computer books, out-of-date travel guides, fad diet books no longer in demand, older business books, etc.)
  • How much do you pay for books?

    • There is no set formula for what we pay for books. It is based on supply and demand. That said, we pay very aggressively for the best books: the hottest bestsellers (while they’re hot), beautiful art books, quality cookbooks, graphic novels, collectibles, etc. Quality books that are in demand fetch top dollar. For more common books, we also pay competitively.
  • Do you pay in cash or in trade?

    • We usually offer both—your choice. Trade towards used books is 50% higher than cash, while trade for new (non-discounted) books is 25% higher than cash. We very occasionally offer trade only in some subject areas in which we get overloaded, like pocket books or young adult fiction.

  • What about music and DVDs?

    • We buy DVDs on the same schedule and principles as the books above. We buy music on LP  from 10-6 seven days a week. Again, we pay aggressively for the best LPs and DVDs. While we can’t buy quite as widely as some bigger music stores, we do pay competitively to provide the best stock we can.