National Geographic Store

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Does National Geographic have any retail stores?

A: Yes. We have three retail stores. However, most items online or in the catalog are not sold in the retail stores. The addresses are:
 
National Geographic Headquarters Store
1145 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
202 857-7591
9:00 – 5:00 Mon thru Sat
10:00 – 5:00 Sun
 
Grand Canyon IMAX Theater
National Geographic Visitor Center
Highway 64, US 180
P.O. Box 3309
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
928 638-2468
 
National Geographic UK Store
Lower Guildford Road
Knaphill
GU21 2EP
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Q: I bought an item from your catalog. May I return it to the retail store in Washington, DC?

A: Unfortunately, no. Since the Retail store does NOT carry 99% of what is online or in the catalog, any returns from the catalog or online must be made by phone with Customer Service. All returns should be sent via a trackable shipping method to:
 
National Geographic Catalog/Online Returns Dept
5510 E. Holmes Rd
Door 43
Memphis, TN 38118
USA
 
*Canadian returns go to:
National Geographic Catalog/Online
P.O. Box 1088
Oakville, Ontario L6J 5E9
Canada
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Q: I would like to buy some Christmas gifts for my staff. Does National Geographic have a corporate gift program?

A: Yes. The custom order must be for at least 10 units of one product totaling $500 or more. The discounts are as follows:
 
Amount Discount
$1,000-$4,999 15%
$5,000-$10,000 20%
$10,000+ 25%
 
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Q: I am purchasing a gift box for an item in my order. May I enclose a card?

A: Yes. If the item can be gift-boxed, you may also include a gift card for the $5 fee. back to top

Q: May I ship multiple packages to multiple addresses?

A: Yes. If more than one shipping address is provided, we will ship items to the designated addresses. You will be charged standard shipping and handling rates for each "ship-to" address. back to top

Q: I received a gift from a friend that I do not really like. May I return it for something else?

A: Yes. Gift returns received from gift recipients will be accepted. A gift certificate/card will be provided for the value of the purchase. When returning please indicate the item was a gift. back to top

Q: I'm placing an order with my correct address. Why do I get the message, "Address Match Not Found?"

A:  National Geographic uses an address verification system that compares your address with a standard format as well as postal records. If you've checked your address and it is correct, try: 1) adding spaces between numbers and letters; 2) removing spaces around characters such as hyphens. If you still continue to experience a problem with your address, please contact our Customer Service dept at 888.557.4450 back to top

Q: Do you ship to Canada?

A: Yes, by standard shipping only. Products will arrive in 10-14 business days via Canadian Post with no additional duties. back to top

Q: Why am I charged tax when ordering online or from your catalog?

A: National Geographic is required to collect taxes in states where we have a business presence. All taxes collected are paid to the state or local government.
 
State   Tax
California   7.25%
  County  
  Los Angeles County 8.75%
  San Francisco County 8.50%
Colorado   2.9 - 4.5%
District of Columbia   5.75%
Florida   6.00%
Kentucky   6.00%
Michigan   6.00%
Oklahoma Click here for OK sales tax info  
Tennessee   9.25%
     
Country   Tax
Canada   5.00% GST
  Province  
  British Columbia 12.0% HST
  New Brunswick 13.0% HST
  Newfoundland 13.0% HST
  Ontario 13.0% HST
  Nova Scotia 15.0% HST
 
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Q: Shop the Road Less Traveled: Is Shop the Road Less Traveled part of the National Geographic Store?

A: Shop the Road Less Traveled is a new shopping experience brought to you by the team at the National Geographic Store. Shop the Road Less Traveled features unique, handcrafted products created by artisans from around the world. Shop the Road Less Traveled offers the same high-quality customer service and fulfillment as the National Geographic Store. You can track your Shop the Road Less Traveled orders using your National Geographic account.
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Q: I purchased the Genographic kit and sent in my sample. When will I know something?

A: From the time you return your samples to us, it will take approximately six to eight weeks to test your DNA, analyze the specimens, and upload the results to the Genographic website.*.

Ten days after you send in your samples, you can begin tracking where your samples are in the testing process by visiting the Genographic website. After you log in to your account with your Genographic Project ID (GPID), you will be able to view updates on when your samples have been received, follow along step-by-step as your samples are being tested and analyzed, and see your results once they have been uploaded.

*Please note that in some cases, inconclusive data may occasionally require additional testing and might delay posting of results by two to three additional weeks.<
 
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Q: What do I do if I am having trouble finding my Genographic kit results online?

A: Make sure it has been at least 10 business days since you sent back your sample. Verify you are using the GPID number from the actual kit itself and not any number that’s located on the packing slip. The number is located on a sticker inside the flap of the Geno kit box and on the FAQ card that is included along with the consent form.

First, verify you are using the GPID number from the actual kit itself and not a number on the packing slip. You can locate the GPID number by looking for a sticker inside the flap of the Geno kit box, or on the FAQ card that is included along with the consent form.

After verifying that you are using the correct number, please remember to allow 8 weeks for your final results to appear online.

If the GPID is still not recognized after 8 weeks from the date you returned your samples, please send an email to genographic@ngs.org and an NG/Genographic Project coordinator will work to resolve the issue.
 
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Q: Are the DNA testing materials in the Genographic kit considered bio-hazards?

A: No. A bio-hazard is blood products, hospital remains, etc. back to top

Q: Is the envelope provided in my Genographic kit sufficient? Does it require any additional postage?

A: The kit includes a preaddressed envelope to return your samples. Yes, additional postage is required for a 1-ounce First-class mail package. The envelope included in the kit requires at least five stamps if mailing within the U.S. back to top

Q: I need to complete a postal form and need to indicate the contents of the package. What should I say?

A: If you are completing a postal form where you must indicate the contents of the package, we recommend you put “cotton swabs.” back to top

Q: I do not have any swabs in my Genographic kit. What do I do?

A:If a piece is missing or damaged, e-mail all customer and order information, including order number to genographic@ngs.org. A NG/Genographic Project coordinator will replace the missing part.
 
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Q: I have lost the GPID. What do I do?

A: Unfortunately, we are unable to provide customers with their GPID. If you lose your Participant ID and have not previously registered it on the site, you will not be able to access your results. Participant IDs are randomly and anonymously assigned to protect confidentiality, and National Geographic does not know which Participant ID has been sent to you in your kit. back to top

Q: My Genographic kit arrived and it does not include instructions. What do I do?

A: You can find instructions on how to use your kit by visiting: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/consent/. back to top

Q: What is the difference between the Geno 2.0 test and the previous test?

A: The first-generation Genographic Project Participation Kit asked participants to choose to trace EITHER their direct maternal deep ancestry OR their direct paternal deep ancestry (males only) results. Results determined each person’s haplogroup, or ancient line of descent. The Geno 2.0 test leverages what we learned from the first phase of the Genographic Project to give participants a much larger and clearer picture of their genetic makeup and ancestry.

Geno 2.0 will run a comprehensive analysis to identify thousands of genetic markers on your mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down each generation from mother to child, to reveal your direct maternal deep ancestry. In the case of men, we will ALSO examine markers on the Y chromosome, which is passed down from father to son, to reveal your direct paternal deep ancestry. In addition, for all participants, we will analyze a collection of more than 130,000 other markers from across your entire genome to reveal the regional genetic affiliations of your ancestry, offering insights into your ancestors who are not on a direct maternal or paternal line.

Included in these markers is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominin cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. [Note that we say hominin, not hominid, in the holiday 2012 consumer catalog on page 65.]

In addition, participants can choose to register for the Genographic online community to connect with other participants and find shared ancestry--an element that was not available during the first phase of the Genographic Project. Registering also helps if you misplace your GPID because your GPID can be retrieved through your online profile.
 
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Q: How recent is the ancestry for Geno 2.0?

A: For the regional genetic affiliation testing, the new Geno 2.0 test analyzes DNA identifiers, called markers, across your entire genome to reveal the regional affiliations of your ancestry, giving you insights into your ancestors who are not on a direct maternal or paternal line. You will be able to see what percentage of your ancestry is affiliated with specific regions of the world, with percentages as low as 2%. The percentage will be able to detect events on the autosomal side as recently as about 200–300 years ago, and reflect roughly the information that has been passed on by the past six generations of both your mother and father. It represents the information that those ancestors have been carrying with them over the generations.

For direct paternal and/or maternal deep ancestry, depending on what your haplogroup is the ancestry revealed can be as recent as 1,000 years ago; other haplogroups are more ancient than that.
 
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Q: Will I be provided with percentages of my ethnicity?

A: No, we will not tell people what country their ancestors are from, or a percentage of ethnicity. We report on regional genetic affiliation-what regions of the world a person’s ancestors came from. The regions we are reporting a percentage breakdown for regional genetic affiliation are:

* Northeast Asian
* Mediterranean
* South African
* Southwest Asian
* Native American
* Oceania
* Southeast Asian
* Northern European
* Sub-Saharan African
 
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Q: Why use regions instead of more specific ancestry?

A: The results of Geno 2.0 will give participants a percentage breakdown of their ancient ancestry. back to top

Q: If I participated in the previous Geno test, can my Geno 2.0 test results be combined into one results page?

A: Participants will have the opportunity to connect their first-phase Participant ID with their 2.0 Participant ID/results. back to top

Q: I already participated in the previous Geno test. Can you use my DNA for the new Geno 2.0 test?

A: Unfortunately, no. You will have to purchase a new kit. back to top

Q: Do I have to choose between paternal and mitochondrial?

A: No, participants will only check the consent form to note their gender and give consent for DNA testing. The Geno 2.0 test will run a comprehensive analysis to identify thousands of genetic markers on your mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down each generation from mother to child, to reveal your direct maternal deep ancestry, and the markers on the Y chromosome (male participants only), which is passed down from father to son, to reveal your direct paternal deep ancestry. In addition, for all participants, we will analyze a collection of more than 130,000 other markers from across your entire genome to reveal the regional genetic affiliations of your ancestry, offering insights into your ancestors who are not on a direct maternal or paternal line.

Included in these markers is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominin cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago.
 
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Q: How will the results for a male and a female participant differ?

A: As females do not possess a Y chromosome, we are not able to trace their direct paternal deep ancestral line of descent. Males’ results will have their direct paternal deep ancestral line of descent included. If a female wishes, she could ask a male blood-related sibling to test to give her a more comprehensive picture of her genetic makeup. Both males and females will receive their autosomal results, which include more than 130,000 other markers that were passed on from both mother and father and will represent both sides.
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Q: What is in the kit?

A:* Cheek Scraper Kit : two vials and two swabs
* A Quick Start Guide :Written instructions on how to collect good DNA samples, and a perforated consent form
* Preaddressed return envelope (postage required)
* Directions for accessing one’s own anonymous and confidential results on www.genographic.com
* Geno 2.0 overview brochure, featuring National Geographic photography
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Q: What is the shelf life of the kit?

A: The same as Geno 1.0 kits. The Geno 2.0 kits never expire. Participants should check that there is ample fluid in the two vials included in the kit. If there is no fluid, a participant should email genographic@ngs.org and request a new vial free of charge.
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Q: Who in the family should test with Geno 2.0?

A: We recommend that siblings do not both need to take the test. If there is a male and a female pair of siblings, the male should test because he will receive the Y chromosome paternal lineage deep ancestry results. Women do not possess a Y chromosome and therefore will not receive this information. Any other relatives should get separate Geno 2.0 tests since they will receive different results.
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Q: Why do women have to pay the same amount as males if they do not receive the Y chromosome deep ancestry results?

A: We use the same genotyping chip for everyone regardless of gender.
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Q: I am a female, so why are my results slightly different from my sister’s results?

A: Siblings will have similar but not identical results because 50% is passed on from the mother and 50% is passed on from the father, so results may differ slightly.
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Q: Are discounts available for teachers?

A: Yes, the Geno 2.0 kit can be sold to educators at a discount. Educators can go online and apply to receive the educator discount. The application can be accessed via the Genographic Project website. Find the area that reads For Educators. They can also email questions to Genothreads@ngs.org. Once they have applied for the discount, they will receive an email from Genothreads@ngs.org with information on how to order their discounted kits.
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Q: Are there different language versions available?

A: No, at this time we are offering the Geno 2.0 kit only in English. While at one time we did offer the first Genographic kit in different languages, we found the demand not high enough to continue production. The website for these languages is no longer available.
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Q: I purchased the Personalized Map Puzzle and it does not replicate my house or its surrounding area very well.

A: The Personalized Map Puzzles are made from the most current U.S. Geological Survey maps. If the U.S. Geological Surveyors have not surveyed your area in some time, then the map puzzle may appear somewhat old. Some areas may not have been surveyed since the early 1990s. back to top

Q: How do I renew my magazine subscription?

A: Please call the magazine division at 1-800-647-5463. back to top

Q: I’m trying to buy the CD-ROM set with old National Geographic Maps.

A: We're sorry, but this is no longer available and there are currently no plans for a new version. You can search for and view most of the maps that were in that product at www.ngmapcollection.com and even order full size copies if you wish. back to top

Q: I would like to buy a copy of a recent supplement map that was in National Geographic Magazine.

A: It may be available from the Maps Division. Please call 1-800-962-1643 for more information. back to top

Q: I would like to buy a copy of a supplement map from the past.

A: A few former supplements can be ordered through this web site. Maps from 1999 and earlier MAY be available at www.ngmapcollection.com. You may also purchase back issues of the magazine that included the map supplement by calling our magazine division at 1-800-647-5463. back to top

Q: Are there retail stores where I can buy National Geographic map products?

A: TOPO! software and Trails Illustrated maps are available in most outdoor recreation stores. Wall maps are available at map specialty stores and some bookstores. Please call 1-800-962-1643 for more information. back to top

Q: I am trying to find one of your map printing kiosks.

A: We have kiosks in 125 stores around the country where people can print and buy a custom TOPO! map. Please call 1-800-962-1643 for more information. back to top

Q: I have an old version of the Complete National Geographic, how do I get an upgrade?

A: Due to the changes in technology and computers since our original introduction of the National Geographic Magazines on CD-ROM, versions with a copyright date prior to 2009 are no longer supported. If you purchased the Complete National Geographic in 2009, an update disc is available to provide the 2009 issues. See here. back to top