Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about the First Book Marketplace or need help? Explore our helpful FAQs to find the answer!

Student raising his hand to ask a question.Student raising his hand to ask a question.

New to First Book?

To log in and start shopping on the First Book Marketplace, educators and program leaders are required to sign up to become a First Book member (for FREE). Registration takes about 5 minutes. We'll ask you some quick questions about your school/program and the kids and families you serve to confirm your eligibilty to receive books and resources from First Book. Once you become a member, you’ll be added to our email list to receive info about additional First Book member benefits, including special offerings from the First Book Marketplace and funding opportunities thanks to support from our generous partners and donors. Thank you for the incredible work you do for children and families in your community every day! Click the button below to join our community of over 550,000 educators and practitioners serving children and families in need.

 

How do I contact First Book?

Our friendly Member Services team is available to assist you Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm ET (excluding major holidays). Please feel welcome to reach out anytime!


First Book Marketplace FAQs


What is the First Book Marketplace?

The First Book Marketplace is an online store exclusively for educators and program leaders serving kids in need. Throughout the First Book Marketplace you'll find thousands of affordable, high-quality, brand-new books and educational resources for kids ages 0-18. In addition to books, we offer a variety of school supplies, educational games and activities, digital learning tools, basic needs items, and much more! On the First Book Marketplace, members can also access brand-new books in bulk for just the cost of shipping and handling through our one-of-a-kind Book Bank thanks to generous donations from our publishing partners.

In addition to books and supplies, First Book also offers a variety of free resources for educators through First Book's Accelerator™. Explore our Free Resources page to find expert-informed free resources (such as discussion guides, toolkits, and webinars) on critical topics like social and emotional learning.

To log in and start shopping on First Book Marketplace, you must sign up to join First Book's community of educators serving kids in need and answer a few questions about your school or program's eligibility. Educators and program leaders can create a free account at www.fbmarketplace.org/register.

Can anyone purchase from First Book?

The First Book Marketplace is not available to the general public. First Book is a nonprofit that exclusively serves educators and practitioners working in high-need communities in the United States and Canada (if you're located in Canada, please visit www.fbmpcanada.org). Publishers and vendors sell and donate books and resources to First Book with the express knowledge that they will only be provided to schools and programs that meet First Book's eligibility requirements. If you are a teacher at a Title I school, health care provider, school support personnel, librarian, early learning professional, community program or afterschool staff, or you serve low-income children and families in another capacity, please visit www.fbmarketplace.org/register to sign up for free!

Need assistance with your registration or have a question about your eligibility? Contact our friendly Member Services team at 1-866-READ-NOW (1-866-732-3669) or help@firstbook.org.

For parents/caregivers who are interested in First Book, we encourage you to tell your child's school or program about us so they can become a member. Parents/caregivers are not able to order books and resources directly from First Book at this time. For more information about First Book's mission and other ways to get involved, please visit www.firstbook.org.

Does First Book offer funding for books and resources?

While First Book is not able to provide funding for every school or program in our Network on a daily basis, there are often opportunities for funding support available. First Book works with dozens of corporate and non-profit partners to provide our members with funding to help subsidize the cost of books and resources or offer them 100% for free. Depending on the program, funding opportunities may only be available to specific segments of the First Book Network (e.g., schools in New York City, second grade teachers, summer feeding sites, etc.). Once an opportunity becomes available, First Book will notify eligible members via email to let you know how you can participate. Funding is typically distributed in the form of first-come, first-served promo codes, grant programs, or special events through which members can receive free books or a credit to the First Book Marketplace.

I'm not receiving emails from First Book. Please help!

To ensure that you receive emails from First Book, please add firstbook@firstbook.org to your email account contacts or your safe senders list. This will make sure all our emails —including emails that contain information about funding opportunities or local book distributions —arrive to your primary inbox. Also, please double-check that we have the best email address for you on file. You can update your email address anytime in the Account Information section of your 'My Account' page.

If you've tried everything above and you are still not receiving emails from First Book, please contact our Member Services team for assistance.

How much is shipping?

To help you stretch your budget as far as possible, all orders with a subtotal of $25 or more include FREE shipping. Orders with a subtotal below $25 ship for a flat fee of $7.50. Instead of spending money on shipping, just add a few more books to your cart so it's over $25!

Please note that the flat rate shipping fee of $7.50 does not apply to items from the Book Bank section of the First Book Marketplace. The "You Pay" amount you see on Book Bank items reflects the cost of shipping and handling for those items—the books are FREE. If you have items from elsewhere on the Marketplace in your cart and your subtotal is below $25, you are welcome to add items from the Book Bank section to bring your subtotal over $25 so you are not charged the $7.50 flat rate shipping fee.

When can I expect my order to be delivered?

Due to labor shortages, increased demand, and supply chain disruptions related to the pandemic, our standard shipping timeline has extended. Please allow up to 20 business days for delivery from the date First Book receives payment for your order. We appreciate your patience while we prepare and ship your order and want you to know that we are working to shorten our shipping timeframe. Many orders are arriving in under 20 business days, but we encourage you to plan for this much time (especially when ordering books/resources for upcoming events).

If you need an order expedited, please give our friendly a Member Services team a call at 1-866-READ-NOW immediately after your order is placed to discuss your options. If we are able to expedite your order, an additional per-item fee will be applied.

You can access the tracking information for your order once it has shipped by clicking on 'My Orders' within your 'My Account' page. Please be aware that your order may arrive in more than one shipment over the course of several days, as orders ship from multiple warehouse locations.

First Book uses the United Parcel Service (UPS) as the primary carrier to ship all items purchased from the First Book Marketplace. UPS Ground delivers packages anytime Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Weekend delivery is available in eligible locations. Learn more about UPS weekend services. Please be aware that very large orders may ship freight and take longer than 20 business days to arrive. If your order ships freight, our freight carrier will call you directly to set up a delivery time and discuss any delivery requirements. Please note that orders shipping to U.S. territories including Puerto Rico may be delivered by a carrier other than UPS and may require additional time for delivery.

Please note that certain items on the First Book Marketplace (i.e. some cartons, collections, Playaways, and magazine subscriptions) ship from third-party vendors, and therefore the standard shipping time frame does not apply. The shipping timeframe for these items will be indicated on their product pages. Certain third-party vendors are not able to fulfill orders shipping outside the lower 48 (including Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories). Expedited shipping is not available for items shipping from third-party vendors.

What payment methods are accepted?

The following payment options are available:

  • Credit Card – First Book Marketplace accepts Visa and MasterCard. When you place an order, First Book contacts the issuing bank to confirm the validity of the payment method. Your bank reserves the funds until the transaction processes or the authorization expires, but this isn't an actual charge. Please note that some banks may put an authorization hold on the funds in your account exceeding the amount of your online order(s). The authorization will be removed from your account according to the policies of your bank. To remove an authorization, contact your bank to clarify how long they hold authorizations for online orders.
  • Check – Please note that your order will not ship until after payment is received. Please include your order number on the check for faster processing. Checks can be mailed to PNC Bank C/O First Book, Lockbox Number 826769, 312 W. Route 38, Moorestown, NJ 08057.
  • Purchase Order – Credit card and check are the preferred methods of payment to First Book. If you are ordering on behalf of an institution that strongly prefers the use of a purchase order for payment, you must email us a copy of your legally binding purchase order before your online order from the First Book Marketplace can be processed and shipped. Please help us make the First Book Marketplace the most efficient and affordable source for all educators serving kids in need. If you are required to use a purchase order, please carefully review First Book's purchase order policies, tips, and best practices in the section below.
  • Gift Certificates – Many of our partners provide gift certificates to local schools and organizations to purchase resources from the First Book Marketplace. If you have received a gift certificate, you will be notified via email with the gift amount, expiration date, and online redemption instructions. To check the balance of your gift certificate, log in to your First Book Marketplace account using the button at the top right-hand corner of the page. Once you are in 'My Account,' click on 'Gift Certificate' along the left-hand side of the screen to enter your gift certificate number and view the balance. If you have lost your gift certificate number or have any questions, please contact our Member Services team.
  • Promo CodesIf you are applying a promo code to your order, please see our helpful FAQs section concerning promo codes.

How does paying with a purchase order work?

To use a purchase order as payment for an order on the First Book Marketplace, your first step should be to place an order online (select “purchase order” as your payment method on the checkout screen). Once your online order is placed, First Book will hold the inventory for up to 30 days while we wait to receive your purchase order. First Book will only ship your order once a valid purchase order has been received and processed.

On the checkout screen, there is a field to enter your purchase order number—if you don't have this yet, no problem! Simply type "PENDING" in that purchase order number field as a placeholder for now. If your accounts payable office requires a quote to create a purchase order for you, please provide them with your order confirmation email which contains an itemized list of all the products in your order as well as the order total. Please DO NOT provide your accounts payable office with a printout of your shopping cart page as a quote—inventory is not held when items are added to your shopping cart and some items may fall out of stock. Also, your shopping cart total may not reflect the final amount due including taxes and shipping.

Important purchase order requirements:

After your online order has been placed and your purchase order has been created, please email it to purchaseorder@firstbook.org. To help us efficiently process your purchase order and get your items shipped as quickly as possible, please ensure that your purchase order contains all of the following items before you send it to us.

  • A valid signature and date.
  • A reference to your First Book order number (typically starting with "7000"). You can find this order number in your order confirmation email or on the 'My Orders' screen in your 'My Account' page.
  • A total amount owed that matches the order total in your order confirmation email. If this amount does not match, we will not be able to process your purchase order. Please note that First Book does not accept blanket purchase orders; a unique purchase order must be created for each online order placed. If your school/organization is exempt from sales tax in your state, we encourage you to update your account before placing your order online. Please see our FAQs section on tax exemptions for more information.

As a reminder, First Book will not ship your order or attempt to collect payment until after your purchase order has been received and processed. You have up to 30 days from the date your order was placed online to provide a valid purchase order. If we do not receive your purchase order after 30 days, your order will automatically be cancelled.

Please note that First Book does not mail invoices to your billing address. As your organization's representative, you are responsible for ensuring that your accounts payable office has all the information they need to remit payment and will be responsible for any unpaid purchase orders associated with your account. On our checkout screen, you have the option to add an additional email address to receive all communications associated with your order, including your invoice. We recommend using this feature if you'd like to copy an accounts payable representative on all your order communications.

If you have any questions or need assistance using a purchase order to pay for your order on the First Book Marketplace, please feel welcome to contact our friendly Member Services team at 1-866-READ-NOW or help@firstbook.org.

How do I apply a gift certificate to my order?

If your program has an available gift certificate to use, you can apply it to your order in your shopping cart or at checkout. To apply your gift certificate to your order:

  • Locate the field titled 'Gift Certificates'
  • Enter your unique gift certificate number (copy and paste recommended!)
  • Click the button that says 'Apply'

You should see the grand total of your order update automatically. If your gift certificate does not cover the full amount of your order, you will need to provide an additional payment method to cover the remaining balance. If your gift certificate does cover the full order, you will not be required to provide an additional payment method (please note that gift certificates may not apply to sales tax applied to your order).

Please note that your gift certificate may be restricted to a specific selection of books or other resources on the First Book Marketplace. Please pay careful attention to any instructions provided in your gift certificate award email, which may also include a link to a specific section or page where you can choose books/resources.

How do I apply a promo code to my order?

If you've received a notification about a promo code and would like to apply that towards your order, you can enter the code in the designated field on the shopping cart page or at checkout. Once you click 'Apply,' you should see your order total update automatically.

Please note that you can only use one promo code per order. If you have two promo codes you'd like to use, you will need to place two separate orders. Please pay close attention to any specific terms/fine print outlined at the bottom of First Book emails containing a promo code. Codes are often limited to one use per member, may be restricted to certain sections or categories, and are available to members on a first-come, first-served basis while funding lasts.

Why isn't my promo code working?

There are a number of reasons why a promo code might not work. Please pay close attention to any error messages that display when you try to apply a code to your order. Reasons why a code may not work include (but are not limited to):

  • The code has already reached the maximum number of uses. Promo codes are available on a first-come, first-served basis so be sure to place your order soon after you see an announcement!
  • The code is for a specific selection of books or other resources. If you received an email notifying you of the promotion with a link to a specific page, the code may only apply to books and/or resources from that designated section.
  • The code has expired. Certain promotions are only available for a limited amount of time.

If you have additional questions as to why your promo code is not working, please contact our friendly Member Services team.

I'm in my shopping cart and ready to check out, but it won't let me proceed...help!

If you are unable to proceed to checkout, please first refer to any error messages in red that may appear on the page and make the required adjustments to your order (e.g., remove out of stock items from your cart). If you have a quantity higher than current in-stock availability for an item in your cart, the quantity available will be listed underneath the product to help you adjust your order accordingly. If you have followed these steps and are still unable to checkout, please contact our friendly Member Services team.

What does my order status mean?

As we work to prepare your order you will see it go through several different order statuses. Your order status will always be noted in the 'My Orders' section of your 'My Account' page for your reference. Here is a quick summary of what each order status means.

  • Check Pending – First Book has not yet received your check payment for your order. The items in your order will be reserved for 30 days from the date your order was placed while we wait to receive your check. Checks can be mailed to PNC Bank C/O First Book, Lockbox Number 826769, 312 W. Route 38, Moorestown, NJ 08057. Once your check has been received and processed, we will release your order for fulfillment. To cancel an order in Check Pending status, please visit the 'My Orders' section of your 'My Account' page.
  • PO Pending – First Book has not yet received and processed the Purchase Order for your order. The items in your order will be reserved for 30 days from the date your order was placed while we wait to receive your Purchase Order. Once your Purchase Order has been received and processed, we will release your order for fulfillment. To cancel an order in PO Pending status, please visit the 'My Orders' section of your 'My Account' page.
  • Processing – Your order was placed successfully and is pending transfer to the warehouse for fulfillment. To cancel an order in Processing status, please visit the 'My Orders' section of your 'My Account' page. Please note that your order will only stay in Processing status for a few hours after you place your order online. We cannot guarantee cancellations or adjustments to your order once it has been transferred to the warehouse for processing.
  • Warehouse Processing – Your order has been transferred to the fulfillment warehouse and is being prepared for shipment. We cannot guarantee cancellations or adjustments to your order once it has been transferred to the warehouse for processing.
  • Partial – Some, but not all, of the items in your order have shipped.
  • Complete – Your order has shipped and tracking information has been posted to your 'My Account' page (you can find this by clicking View Order then click on the Shipments link). Please note that First Book operates out of multiple warehouses, so you may receive multiple shipments for your order.
  • PO Pending Payment – Your order has shipped and tracking information has been posted to your 'My Account' page (you can find this by clicking View Order then click on the Shipments link). While your purchase order was received and processed, First Book is still awaiting payment toward that purchase order. You are responsible for ensuring that payment is remitted to First Book within 30 days of receiving your order. Unpaid purchase orders will result in your First Book account being suspended.
  • Cancelled – Your order has been cancelled and will not be fulfilled. Orders can be cancelled by First Book if you do not send us a check or purchase order within 30 days of your online order being placed, or if we detect fraudulent activity (e.g., re-selling books received from First Book). First Book reserves the right to cancel orders when members violate terms of use for funded opportunities, or if we deem an account to be fraudulent or in violation of your user agreement.

Do any books/products come with reading guides or other resources?

Some products on the First Book Marketplace feature free resources (tip sheets, toolkits, etc.) to help support the reading or learning experience. If a product is paired with a free resource, that resource will be available for immediate download from the product page.

What is First Book's return policy?

Every time you make a purchase on the First Book Marketplace you are also supporting our mission to empower and equip educators serving children in need. To keep the books and resources we offer as affordable as possible, First Book cannot guarantee cancellations or adjustments to your order once it has been transferred to the warehouse for processing. We cannot accept returns and all orders are final (including orders for digital products).

However, if you notice that you made a mistake on your order, please call our friendly Member Services team (1-866-READ-NOW) as soon as possible to discuss your options with a representative. We encourage you to review the information provided on each product's information page carefully prior to placing your order. In addition, you may want to research titles before purchasing them by entering the product information that we provide (title, author, ISBN) into an online search engine for more descriptions or reviews. Please also carefully review the quantity of each item in your shopping cart prior to checking out, and note that certain items are sold in bulk. If you have questions about a specific book or product, please contact our friendly Member Services team before you place your order.

I placed an order with an incorrect shipping address. What can I do?

We encourage you to carefully review all order details prior to submitting your order. However, we understand that mistakes can happen, and we want to do everything we can to successfully deliver books and resources to the kids you serve.

Orders in Check Pending, PO Pending, or Processing status can be cancelled and reordered by visiting the 'My Orders' section of your 'My Account' page. Once your order has transferred to 'Warehouse Processing' status, we can no longer guarantee cancellation. However, if you notice that your shipping address is incorrect, please call our friendly Member Services team (1-866-READ-NOW) right away to discuss your options with a representative. In some instances, we can reach out to our warehouse to manually cancel your order before it ships. To cover the additional warehouse costs passed along to First Book in these cases, a cancellation fee of 12% of the order subtotal (plus tax if applicable) will be assessed. If your order has already shipped to an incorrect address, we recommend contacting your local UPS facility directly and request that they hold your package for pick-up.

If a delivery is unsuccessful due to member error, First Book is not responsible for reshipment. Once a package has returned to our warehouse, we can reship your item(s) for a fee of 20% of your order total. If you would not like your item(s) reshipped, a restocking fee of 20% of the order total will be assessed prior to issuing any refund. Member error includes but is not limited to: providing an incorrect shipping address, providing a Post Office Box as a shipping address, or providing a shipping address that is not available for delivery. If your order is returned to our warehouse and you would like it reshipped, you must contact our Member Services team within 30 days of the original ship date. If you do not contact us within 30 days, your order will be restocked and a fee of 20% of the total order value will be assessed prior to issuing any refund. Please note that any additional order fees must be paid via Credit Card over the phone.

An item from my order is missing or damaged. What do I do?

If something is missing from your order, please review the shipping timeframe and any tracking information you have received—you may have shipments that are still on the way as orders often arrive in multiple shipments.

If you are still missing an item from your order after you've received all shipments or if you've received an item that is damaged, please contact our Member Services team (1-866-READ-NOW). If possible, please email us a picture of any damaged items. Do not distribute any damaged items until after you contact First Book for further instructions. Missing or damaged items are subject to verification. Orders placed with a promo code that contain missing or damaged items may not be eligible for replacements.

Please note that refunds will not be issued for any missing or damaged items reported to First Book more than 90 days after your order has shipped. Refunds will cover the purchase price of the missing/damaged item plus any applicable taxes and will be issued using the original payment method on your order. The risk of loss for any items purchased from the First Book Marketplace and the responsibility of the seller end upon transfer of the inventory to the shipping carrier.

Can books be resold?

Books or resources received from First Book (either purchased or donated) may not be resold for any purpose whatsoever. Any violation of this policy may result in legal action. The First Book Marketplace is only available to programs and schools serving children in need as defined by First Book's eligibility requirements.

Why was I charged sales tax on my order?

By default, First Book collects sales tax from members located in states where First Book has a physical or economic nexus. To ensure that tax is not applied to your orders, First Book is required by your state's laws to have a state-issued sales tax exemption certificate on file. Please note that a state-issued sales tax exemption certificate is different from a federal 501(c)(3) determination letter. If you are not sure if your organization is exempt from state sales tax or if you don't know where to find the appropriate document, please contact your school's administration, your accounts payable office, or your local Department of Revenue (or similar entity).

Once you have located the appropriate document, please scan it or take a photo. Then, visit the 'Tax Certificates' tab in your 'My Account' page to upload your document. Please make sure to have your exemption approved by First Book before placing any orders. Sales tax will be automatically calculated and charged upon check out for all orders placed by members who have not submitted a valid certificate of exception by a state entity. Sales tax refunds will only be made on a case-by-case basis according to state regulations.

Once you've submitted your tax certificate, please allow up to 7 business days for First Book to verify your information and update your account. First Book's Finance team will reach out to you if there are any issues, and you can check the status of approval in the 'Tax Certificates' tab in your 'My Account' page. Once your document is approved, you will see tax automatically removed from your orders up until the date your tax certificate expires. Please note that an approved state-issued sales tax exemption certificate will only remove tax from orders shipping to the state where the certificate was issued (if you create an order shipping to a different state, you may still see sales tax applied). If you plan on placing orders shipping to multiple states where your organization is also exempt from sales tax, you can upload additional tax certificates in the 'Tax Certificates' tab in your 'My Account' page. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us at help@firstbook.org or 1-866-READ-NOW.

Please note that sales tax may be applied to certain fees associated with your order (e.g., expedited shipping, reshipment, restocking, etc.) depending on your state’s laws and regulations.

How can I find a copy of my invoice?

  • Log in to your First Book Marketplace account and visit your 'My Account' page.
  • Click on 'My Orders' along the left-hand side of the page.
  • Select the order you need an invoice for by clicking on 'View Order' in the 'Information' column.
  • At the top right-hand corner of that screen, click on 'Print Order.' The order summary serves as your invoice and will open in a new tab.
  • Please share that invoice with your accounts payable personnel if you require them to submit the payment on your behalf. First Book only sends an automated order confirmation email to the First Book account holder (and any additional email address you've entered using the additional email feature at checkout).

Will my shopping cart be saved?

Items added to your First Book Marketplace shopping cart will be saved and visible to you the next time you log in—even if you log in from a different computer. If you wish to save a list of items separate from your shopping cart, you can add items to your wish list. Please note: Adding an item to your shopping cart or wish list does not reserve the item, and it may go out of stock. Items are not reserved until your order is placed. Items may disappear from your shopping cart or wish list when they go out of stock. You can only have one shopping cart and one wish list at a time.

I am looking for a specific title. How do I find it?

If you are looking for a specific title or product, use the search bar at the top of your screen. Please ensure all search terms are spelled correctly. To narrow your search further, click on 'Advanced Search' (in the header or the footer of any page). In 'Advanced Search' you will be able to enter more information about the title you're looking for including language, age range, ISBN, etc.

I searched for a specific title but can't find it. Will you be getting this title?

The products that you see on the First Book Marketplace reflect our entire available inventory at the time you are on the site. We are not able to guarantee that a specific title or item will be back in stock as we make room for newer titles.

If you have any questions about specific titles, or would like to find out if we are in the process of reordering them, contact our friendly Member Services team.

I wrote a product review, but I don't see it on the page. How long will it take to post?

Product reviews usually publish within 15 minutes but may take up to 72 hours to appear—thank you for your patience!

Please note, reviews are moderated to ensure they add value to First Book members and will be published only if they meet the following criteria:

  • The review must not contain profanity or explicit language.
  • The review content is in no way racist, sexist, homophobic, or in any other way demeans, ridicules, bullies, or displays bias against a group or individual.
  • The review must not promote the services of and/or include a website URL or email address for an individual, organization, or company.
  • The review may not contain any false allegations.

How can I update my account information?

You can update your account information by logging in to your account and visiting your 'My Account' page. You can edit your contact information, saved address, and password at any time.

Where are the free books?

Once you become a member, you'll start receiving email updates from First Book including announcements about special funding opportunities to receive free books and/or resources thanks to support from our generous donors and partners. See our FAQs section about funding opportunities to learn more. While funding opportunities are not available 100% of the time, here are some additional free options we encourage you to explore!

  • Visit the Book Bank! Books and resources in the Book Bank are available for just the cost of shipping and handling (often in bulk) thanks to generous donations from our publishing partners. The Book Bank is a great solution for schools and programs with limited budget, a lot of kids to serve, and flexibility around content (as we cannot control which titles are donated). Once you're a member, we'll send you updates every time new donations arrive. You can also opt-in for text message updates about the Book Bank by texting "BOOKBANK" to 89304.
  • Get access to thousands of FREE eBooks through the Open eBooks app! Open eBooks allows kids and families to access an amazing catalog of thousands of popular and award-winning children's and YA eBooks through their free iOS and Android app. A great perk of being a First Book member is that you can order as many Open eBooks access codes for your students as you need.
  • Explore free educational resources from the First Book Accelerator™. Our members drive everything that we do, and every now and then we may ask you to share your unique needs and concerns in surveys or focus groups. The feedback you provide drives the development of expert-informed free resources for educators on relevant topics like race and social justice, student mental health, and social and emotional learning (SEL).

Who can I contact for additional help?

Please feel welcome to contact our friendly Member Services team! We are available to assist you Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm Eastern Time (excluding major holidays).