Terms and conditions

All of the terms and conditions as set out below refer to Waterstones Account Sales only unless otherwise stated. In these terms and conditions:

'Waterstones', 'Waterstones Account Sales and Waterstones.com, means Waterstones Booksellers Limited of 203/206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD any connected organisation that actually supplies goods ordered by you and any successor to its business;
'working day' means every day of a calendar year apart from weekends and statutory and public holidays;
'us' means Waterstones Account Sales and your account together; and
'you' and 'your' means the account and associated person ordering goods under these terms and conditions.

Your account

Waterstones Account Sales maintains credit facilities for tens of thousands of customers including schools, colleges, universities, libraries, businesses, government agencies and departments, hospitals, prisons, charities and other institutions. This credit facility is not available for individuals but our Hatchards branch in London does have a separate account facility for individuals who purchase £250 or more annually and would like to have a personal account. Their account service can only be used at the Hatchards branch. For further details, please contact them directly (Waterstones Branch Finder) inserting London in the city field.

Each Account Sales customer is required to have a primary account holder who is responsible for managing and maintaining their account including responsibility for all authorised users. The primary account holder and authorised users can place, chase and cancel un-despatched orders and raise returns authorisation requests, where permitted.

If you will be purchasing under a contract or framework agreement, you will need to notify us in writing so that your account can be flagged for the relevant contract/framework. The facility to notify us is included in the account application process so please be sure to select your contract/framework that you want to purchase under. If you are not sure if your account has been flagged for contractual/framework purchases please contact us at salesledger@waterstones.com to confirm and/or complete the flagging process.

If any of your account details change, such as the primary account holder, billing address, telephone numbers, or email addresses you must inform Waterstones Sales Ledger department as soon as possible. Please update your details by sending your change of details to salesledger@waterstones.com.

If your credit limit is not sufficient to cover your monthly spend, please contact salesledger@waterstones.com requesting an increase.

Our agreement

Any contract for purchases made through the Waterstones Account Sales will be with Waterstones Booksellers Limited, whose registered office is located at 203/206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD company registration number 610095 (Waterstones)

Waterstones must approve your account and credit limit for the goods that you order before your order can be accepted, and the contract formed. Please ensure your credit limit is set at a level adequate for your monthly purchase requirements. Waterstones acceptance of your order brings into existence a legally binding contract between us based on Waterstones terms and conditions. Any term sought to be imposed by you in your order will not form part of the contract.

Waterstones will not be obligated to offer any compensation for any disappointment suffered.


Waterstones Account Sales sells and delivers to both UK and customers internationally.

The Waterstones Account Sales team operates from dedicated order fulfilment shops called Regional Account Centres (RAC's) where we have specialist institutional booksellers processing orders and incoming requests.  As such, and for the fastest service possible, all purchase orders and requests for quotations should be sent to one of these locations.   Purchase orders submitted other shops that do not fulfil orders will be forwarded to a Regional Account Centre for processing. You will receive a list of these order processing locations when your account is approved. If you need a copy of this list please contact accountsalesinfo@waterstones.com.

Locally all of our shops welcome account customers in-store and can assist with stock selection from the shelves that matches your needs.  We can accommodate teachers and librarians with students by appointment where we can overlay activities that will engage and enhance the stock pick experience. These stock picks can easily be processed on account in any Waterstones shop with a purchase order or letter of authorisation.

Your order confirmation email will acknowledge receipt of your order. We aim to acknowledge and confirm all orders within 24-48 hours of receipt. This schedule could be subject to change particularly during peak holiday and academic periods.

All fully in-stock orders approved by 12PM will be despatched on the same day, where possible. Where all or partial orders are not in stock, stock will be ordered on your behalf. On average, the majority of book orders will be fulfilled and despatched within 5 - 10 working days. Where books fall outside of this norm, you will be notified. A despatch note will accompany each shipment. Invoices can be posted separately on request. These documents should be retained for future reference.

Postage & delivery

Individual purchase orders over £100 for the same address qualify for free postage within the UK. All postage-free orders are delivered in one consignment and cannot be delivered separately free of charge unless a consolidated delivery service has been agreed.

The postage charge for orders under £100 is £4.99 unless otherwise specified. This is a Standard 2 working days, traceable courier service. A guaranteed next day service can be arranged by your RAC.

Deliveries are made Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM.

Orders returned to us as undeliverable could incur additional delivery charges. Undelivered orders that have not been cancelled or had re-despatch authorisations agreed, will receive a credit note, excluding shipping charges.

You will become the owner of the goods you have ordered when the goods are despatched to you from the RAC or shop processing your order or stock pick.

Pricing & availability

Waterstones Account Sales will make all reasonable efforts to present accurate information but we cannot guarantee the price or our ability to supply any particular book as we rely on 3rd parties to provide us with this information. Retail prices on all books are subject to change. Where prices are received or quoted incorrectly, Waterstones reserves the right to invoice your order at the correct price and will at our discretion contact you for approval before processing your order or cancel your order and notify you as such.

Please note that goods are not supplied on a sale or return basis. For further details please see our returns policy (Returns, shortages & exchanges). Under certain circumstances we may authorise additional terms around your sale but these must be authorised and agreed in writing.

For all items eligible for VAT, the VAT will be shown separately on the invoice.

Discounts & extra-value opportunities

Waterstones Account Sales customers are invoiced with discounts based on a proportionate and competitive pricing grid. Where customers are purchasing in bulk, we may be able to obtain additional discounts in your Regional Account Centres (RAC). 

Where account holders are making purchases under contracts and framework agreements, discounts are honoured under those agreements as long as your account is flagged to the contract/framework.

All requests for mini-competitions under contracts/frameworks should be routed to the Account Sales Management team via accountsalesinfo@waterstones.com.


Waterstones Account Sales offers a 30-day returns policy on most books. Exclusions can apply to non-stock or UK titles, Print-on-demand (POD), other firm sale items and bulk stock orders. 

Where authorised, returned items must be in mint/resalable condition at Waterstones discretion. Print-on-demand (POD) and other special order titles are all sold on a firm sale basis and cannot be returned unless sent to you damaged, faulty or incorrectly supplied. Items customised in any way with institutional labels, stamps or other customisations, cannot be returned. It is your responsibility to inspect and accept the goods prior to making any modifications to them.

Shortages or missing items need to be reported in 5-7 working days to be investigated properly. Where items cannot be replaced, a credit note will be issued.

Returns must be requested, authorised and processed directly with the location where the books were ordered and the invoice was raised. This will be a Regional Account Centre for purchase orders and could be any Waterstones shop for in-store stock picks. A returns authorisation email does not constitute a final decision and all returns, whether pre-authorised or unauthorised, are subject to final returns approval following receipt and inspection of goods.. A copy of the returns authorisation email as well as a copy of the despatch note or invoice associated with the order is required to process authorised returns correctly.

Where authorised returns are for damaged, faulty or incorrectly supplied goods, a returns authorisation must be raised within 7 working days to arrange for a replacement or credit to your account. Where goods are damaged, faulty, a note summarising the details and locations of damage or omissions should be included with the return. Under these circumstances, Waterstones will arrange for and bear the cost of the courier service to pick up and return to the shop where the goods were ordered and the invoice was raised. In all other instances, it is the customer's responsibility to arrange for and pay the cost of the return.

Waterstones cannot be responsible for customer arranged returns that cannot be located and all goods will remain your property until we have received them.

Waterstones holds no responsibility to process a credit to your account or return back to you any unauthorised returns sent to us.


Payment for goods must be made within 30 days of invoice date. If payment is delayed beyond this period, Waterstones reserves the right to charge interest at the rate of 2% above the base rate of Lloyds TSB Bank Plc. Notwithstanding above payment for all orders shall become due immediately in the event that the customer is adjudged bankrupt or insolvent, has a receiver or administrator appointed over its assets or enters into any composition with its creditors.

Cheques and remittance advices must be sent to:

Sales Ledger Receipts
Waterstones Booksellers Ltd.
Virginia House
56 Warwick Road
B92 7HX

Remittance advices may also be emailed to salesledger@waterstones.com or faxed to 0121 709 5832. You can also pay using your credit/debit card by calling 0121 546 0480.

When purchasing on your credit account in Waterstones Regional Account Centres (RAC) or branches the following additional terms and conditions apply or orders may be refused if this information is not provided:

  • Purchase orders should be addresses to and sent directly to your preferred Regional Account Centre (RAC). On-going correspondence and order updates should be directed to this location.
  • Authorisation letters including Identification or official purchase orders, including reference numbers are required.
  • Account numbers must be quoted.
  • Account discounts quoted cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion.

If your account in not maintained within Waterstones terms and conditions, we reserve the right to request immediate payment in full and close the account. Waterstones reserves the right to review a customer credit status should the total value of purchases not exceed £500 per annum.

A statement of your account will be sent to you each month when your account shows a credit or debit balance.

Please notify Sales Ledger immediately if any of your details change.

Waterstones Gift Cards & book tokens

Waterstones gift cards are the perfect incentive whether for schools prize giving, or for corporate gifts for clients and staff.

Small orders under £250 for these items can be purchased from any Waterstones shop but all orders over £250 must be processed at our Corporate Voucher online site (www.waterstonesvouchers.com) to receive the relevant discount for this product.

Please contact your closest Regional Account Centre or branch (Branch Finder) to purchase Waterstones vouchers in values of less than £250 and book tokens of all spend levels.

Vouchers and book tokens cannot be accepted as payment to settle your account.

Waterstones Loyalty Cards

Waterstones Loyalty cards are for individuals only and cannot be used in conjunction with your Waterstones Account Sales credit account.


This is as follows:

  • a. If the goods Waterstones delivers are not what you ordered or are damaged or faulty or the delivery is of an incorrect quantity, Waterstones shall have no liability to you unless you notify Waterstones Account Sales of the problem where the order was placed, in writing by email within 7 working days of the delivery of the goods in question.
  • b. If you do not receive the good ordered by you within 10 days of the date on which they were despatched to you as notified in your despatch email, Waterstones shall have no liability to you unless you notify Waterstones Account Sales where the order was placed in writing by email within 40 days of the date on which the goods were despatched to you.
  • c. If you notify a problem to Waterstones Account Sales under this condition, the only obligation will be, at our option, to make good any shortage or non-delivery; to replace or repair any goods that are damaged or defective.
  • d. Waterstones will not be liable to you for any indirect or consequential loss or damage arising out of any problem you notify to Waterstones Account Sales under this condition and Waterstones shall have no liability to pay any money to you by way of compensation other than to refund you the amount paid by you for the goods in question under paragraph (c) above.
  • e. Nothing in this condition is, however, intended to limit any rights you might have as a business-to-business (B2B) buyer under applicable local law that may not be excluded nor in any way to exclude or limit Waterstones liability to you for any death or personal injury resulting from its negligence.

Nothing in this contract creates any right which is enforceable by any person who is not a party to the contract.

Force Majeure

Waterstones shall have no liability to you for any failure to deliver goods you have ordered or any delay in doing so or for any damage or defect to goods delivered that is caused by any event or circumstance beyond its reasonable control.


If any part of these conditions is unenforceable, including any provision in which Waterstones excludes its liability to you, the enforceability of any other part of these conditions will not be affected.


Waterstones Account Sales wants you to be completely satisfied with our products and services and operate a complaints handling procedure to try and resolve disputes when they first arise.

Please discuss any issues directly at the point of purchase (RAC for PO's/any shop for stock pick) both with the person responsible for processing Account Sales and if escalation is required, the shop manager. Where this does not meet your satisfaction, please contact the Account Sales management team via accountsalesinfo@waterstones.com.

Governing Law

This contract between us shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with English law, and the English courts shall have jurisdiction to resolve any disputed between us.

Entire Agreement

These terms and conditions, together with the current Waterstones Account Sales prices, delivery details and Waterstones Account Sales contact details, set out the whole of our agreement relating to the supply of the goods to you by Waterstones Account Sales. These terms and conditions cannot be varied except in writing signed by a director of Waterstones. In particular nothing said by any customer service or sales person on behalf of Waterstones should be understood as a variation of these terms and conditions or as an authorised representation about the nature or quality of any goods offered for sale by Waterstones. Waterstones shall have no liability for any such representation being untrue or misleading.

Trade marks

Waterstones and the 'W' logo are registered trademarks belonging to Waterstones. No permission is given by Waterstones in respect of the use of its trademarks, product names, titles or logos and such use may constitute an infringement of the holder's rights