Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question regarding the National Geographic Store? We're happy to help. We can only asnwer questions directly related to For any information about National Geographic, Please visit For Questions regarding a magazine, please visit To Find a quick answer to your question, please read our FAQs below.

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About My Order


Payment & Billing

Retail Store Information

Additional National Geographics Resources


About My Order

Q: Why can't I log in to my account?

A: Our new and improved sites have launched! They will be faster, more versatile, and there are great things to come. If you're contacting us because you are unable to view your account details or login, please be advised that you will need to reset your password if you created your account prior to March 28, 2018. Since all passwords are encrypted for your security, we weren't able to transfer your password to the new shop. Your previous order orders are still being processed, but please contact us if you need an updated status or further information.

Q: Can I cancel or make changes to the items in my order?

A: Since we strive to ship your orders as quickly as possible, we can only cancel or change orders that are on backorder or pre-order status, and that have not been prepared by our warehouse for shipment. If you change your mind about an order and we are unable to cancel it for you, you can either refuse the package upon delivery attempt or return the package to our warehouse. Please contact us to request the cancellation of a backorder or pre-order item

Q: What is a preorder?

A: Sometimes we make an item available for purchase before we actually receive stock in our warehouse. If an item is on "pre-order" the expected ship date will be displayed on the item page

Q: Why do you keep items on your website if they are Sold Out or Out of Stock?

A: Some items will remain online even if sold out so that you won't have to wonder why you can't locate the item. Other items are currently sold out, but we are expecting to have additional stock in the near future. Sign up on the item page to be notified and first in line when we receive additional inventory.

Q: Why is my item on backorder?

A: Items that are not available to ship when an order is placed are on backorder and will ship at a later date.

Q: One of the items I ordered is on backorder, but why haven't the rest of my items shipped (US)?

A: Orders that include a backordered item are typically held for 3 business days to wait for the arrival of the backordered item. If after three days the item does not arrive, U.S. orders will split. The in-stock items will ship, and your backordered item will ship upon arrival.

Q: Can I return or exchange my purchase or gift (all other than Domestic or International Genographic kits)?

A: Yes, please visit our returns page for details on our returns and exchange policies. Before shipping your return, please contact us for a ticket number and the proper return address. We will honor exchanges for purchases and gifts purchased from our site.

Q: Can I return my Helix Geno kit?

A: You may request a refund within 30 days of purchase as long as you have not yet registered your DNA Collection Kit. Shipping fees are not refunded, and a $25 cancellation fee is deducted by the distributor to deactivated kit. Once you have received and registered your DNA Collection Kit, your purchase can no longer be refunded.

Q: Can I return my Domestic or International Genographic kit?

A: Due to the cost of the DNA analysis, once a Genographic kit is opened, we cannot accept returns or administer refunds. You may request a refund within 30 days of purchase as long as you have not opened your DNA Collection Kit. Shipping fees are not refunded.

Q: Can I place an order or return my purchase in person?

A: No, all returns must be done via our Contact Us page or by calling Customer Service.

Q: Geno 2.0 Next Generation Kit

A: The International and Canadian versions of the Geno 2.0 DNA Kit are no longer available for sale. However, previously purchased kits are still eligible for sequencing and analysis. We apologize for the inconvenience. For all other Genographic Kit FAQ's, please visit our Genographic Project site.

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.

Q: I would like to buy some Christmas gifts for my staff. Does National Geographic have a corporate gift program?

A: Absolutely. Please Contact Us for information on corporate and bulk pricing.

Q: I am purchasing a gift box for an item in my order, and may I enclose a gift message?

A: Yes, for applicable items we offer a gift box for $5.00 and you have the option to include a gift message. You may add one gift message per order, even if there are several separate items with gift boxing.

Q: How do I add multiple items to one gift box?

A: Unfortunately, we can usually only accommodate one item per gift box.

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Q: May I ship multiple packages to multiple addresses?

A: No, each order must have its own shipping address.

Q: Can I send my order to a P.O. Box address?

A: We cannot deliver to P.O. Box addresses except military addresses (APO/FPO).

Q: How long does it take my order to arrive?

A: Most in-stock orders are shipped within two business days. Some items are made-on-demand and will take longer to ship. Made-on-demand items are made especially for you, it will always be noted on the item's page. You will receive an email with a tracking number the morning after your package ships. Please visit our Shipping & Delivery page for details on our shipping rates and policies.

Q: How long does it take my pre-order to arrive?

A: Pre-ordered items ship within two business days of being received from the manufacturer. Please be advised that we are subject to manufacturer/distributor changes in shipping dates. Estimated ship dates change often, but we ship to you as soon as it hits our docks. You will receive an email with a tracking number the morning after your package ships. Please visit our Shipping & Delivery page for details on our shipping rates and policies.

Q: What qualifies as a "business day"?

A: Our business days are Monday through Friday, excluding US holidays. Shipments are not fulfilled on Saturday or Sunday.

Q: Although I selected two-day shipping, I didn't receive my package on Saturday or Sunday as I expected. Why?

A: Shipments are not delivered on Saturday or Sunday. We do our best to ship all in stock orders placed by 1pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) the same day we receive them. However, we ask to allow one full business day for your order to be processed by our warehouse. Also, please note that our carriers deliver on business days, Monday through Friday, not including US holidays, Saturday, or Sunday. Please take this into consideration when placing your order.

Q: Although I selected two-day shipping for a made-on-demand item, I didn't receive my item in two days. Why?

A: Made-on-demand items are made just for you! Express shipping significantly cuts down travel time, but it does not supersede production time. Items still have to be produced and require a few business days, but will be shipped via 2nd day and not via ground. Express shipments are not delivered on Saturday, Sunday, or US holidays.

Q: I am in the continental U.S., can I get my Genographic kit via express?

A: Yes, if you are inside the continental U.S., we are happy to ship your kit to you via 2nd day. Helix Geno 2.0 shipping & handling is a $24.95 fee per kit for delivery via 2nd day within the United States. Kits ordered by 10 am EST will ship out the same day, and be delivered within two business days. There are multiple fees for shipping multiple kits.

Q: Can I ship my order to a freight forwarder or a hotel where I'm staying (all other than Helix Geno kits)?

A: Yes, we will deliver to freight forwarders and hotels, but we are not responsible for lost, damaged, or "missed" shipments. This does not include Geno DNA kits.

Q: Can I ship a Helix Geno Kit to a freight forwarder or a hotel where I'm staying?

A: We apologize, but we cannot ship a Helix Geno kit to a freight forwarder or hotel. You must reside in the U.S. to be eligible for this kit.

Q: Why is my delivery requiring a signature?

A: Please be advised that orders over $250 may require a signature for delivery.

Q: Do you ship to Canada or other international locations?

A: Please visit our shipping page for details, shipping policies, and shipping rates. Please note that you are responsible for any import fees, taxes, or duties required in your location upon delivery.

Q: Why can National Geographic not ship a Geno kit to Mexico?

A: Due to restrictions set forth by Mexican Customs, we are unable to ship Geno kits to Mexico at this time.

Q: Why can National Geographic no longer ship to Russia?

A: Due to restrictions set forth by Russian Customs, we are unable to ship to Russia at this time.

Payment & Billing

Q: How secure is my order?

A: We use the latest SSL encryption methods ensuring that your credit card information is transmitted to us in a safe and secure manner.

Q: May I order by phone?

A: Yes! You can place orders by calling 1-800-437-5521.

Q: What forms of payment are accepted?

A: We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Apple Pay, and PayPal. Money orders, personal checks or company checks NOT accepted

Q: When will my credit card be charged?

A: Please be advised of our new Terms & Conditions. New orders will be charged at the time of purchase.
Any order placed before 3/28/18, your card will not be charged until your order ships. When you placed an order with us, your card was authorized (but not charged) for the purchase. You will still not be charged until your order is preparing to leave our warehouse. If you did pay with a debit card or check card, you may notice that the funds are held from your account for a few days and then released back to you if your order hasn't shipped. These funds are not transferred to us until your order ships, they are just held by the bank during this period.

Q: I don't have a credit card. Can I order by mail with a check?

A: We apologize but money orders, personal checks, and company checks are no longer accepted. If you do not have a credit card, we now also accept Apple Pay and PayPal as additional forms of payment.

Q: Are purchase orders accepted?

A: We apologize but purchase orders are not accepted as a form of payment. A purchase must be paid in full via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Apple Pay, or PayPal before goods are shipped.

Q: Do you offer bulk purchase discounts?

A: Yes! We offer discounts for those planning events and the like. Find out more about bulk purchase discounts

Q: What currency are the prices?

A: The prices displayed in the shop are in US dollars. If you would like to know the conversion of the prices into other currencies, we suggest an online resource like for current exchange rates. The rate you are charged should be close to this rate, though it may not match exactly. The exchange rate is determined by your credit card company at the time the order is authorized.

Q: Why am I charged tax when ordering?

A: Our company is required to collect taxes in states where we have a business presence. All taxes collected are paid to the state or local government.

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Retail Store Information

Q: Does National Geographic have any retail stores?

A: Yes, we have two retail stores. However, most items online are not sold in the retail stores. The store addresses are:

National Geographic Headquarters Store
1145 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
202 857-7591
Grand Canyon IMAX Theater
National Geographic Visitor Center
Highway 64, US 180
P.O. Box 3309
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
928 638-2468


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Q: I bought an item from your online store, 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. any returns from the online store must be done with Customer Service. Please Contact Us here. All returns should be sent via a trackable shipping method to:

US Returns:

Shop National Geographic
459 Park Ave
San Fernando, CA 91340

Canadian Returns:

National Geographic Catalog/Online
300 Kennedy Rd South
Unit B - Returns
Bramton, Ontario L6W 4V2


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Additional National Geographic Resources

Q: How do I renew my magazine subscription?

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

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 and even order full size copies if you wish.

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

A: We sell reproductions of a select number of maps. You can look through our Wall Maps category. You may also purchase back issues of the magazine that included the map supplement by calling our magazine division at 1-800-647-5463.

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

A: Trails Illustrated maps are available in most outdoor recreation stores. Wall maps are available at map specialty stores and some bookstores.


Q: Are your DVDs closed captioned?

A: The featured programs on our DVD and Blu-ray products are closed captioned. There may be bonus material on some discs that is not closed captioned. As playback technology changes over time, be sure to check your player and display specifications to optimize caption functionality.

Q: I purchased my merchandise from another shop or online retailer, can you help me return my item?

A: Unfortunately, we’re only able to return or exchange items from our own shop. Please contact the shop you purchased from directly, and they should be able to assist you further.

Q: Can I get a printed catalog of all the items in the shop?

A: Unfortunately, we no longer have a paper catalogs. Please look around our shop which is updated frequently and represents all the cool items we have available for sale.

Still Stumped?

If we still haven't answered your question here, please contact us and we'll reply as quickly as possible.

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