Frequently asked questions about shopping online


How does an eticket work?

When you buy a ticket online, you are buying what is known as an eticket. After selecting your preferred exhibition and time slot online, you will be prompted to pay with a credit or debit card. The screen will present you with a payment confirmation receipt and an order confirmation will be emailed to you.

The day of your visit to the Museum, you must bring a printed copy of your eticket order confirmation and the debit or credit card with which you bought it. These will be checked by a member of staff before you are allowed access to the exhibition.

Are there booking fees for buying online?

Yes. A minimal booking fee of £1 will be charged against each online ticket purchase. If, instead of booking online, you decide to book via the British Museum Box Office you will be charged a £2 booking fee for every purchase.

How far in advance of visiting do I need to buy an eticket?

You can purchase tickets for any British Museum exhibition or event up to 24 hours before you visit. After that time, you will need to buy your tickets at the Museum.

As a Member, do I have to buy an eticket?

No, as a Member you are entitled to free entry to Museum exhibitions. You can present your Membership card at the exhibition entrance to gain immediate access during regular opening times.

Placing an order, payment and delivery

How do I know that you have received my order?

When you submit your order we will reply to the email address you have given, confirming all your order details, including the products you have ordered and the total cost. You will also receive email notification when your order has been processed and dispatched. In addition, you can set up a personal account for yourself which will keep records of any past and current online transactions. To do this, go to the ‘My account’ section and follow the instructions to set up a new account.

What forms of payment do you accept online?

We accept payment by Access, Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Amex, Diners Club and Maestro.

Is it safe to use my credit/debit card?

All orders are encrypted so they cannot be read during internet transactions. The secure server software used by the British Museum encrypts all your personal information, including credit card details, name, and address. A small padlock icon should be visible in the bottom right hand corner of your screen when checking out. This is your guarantee that your actions are safe.

How much do you charge for delivery?

When you buy books and other products online, delivery charges are calculated depending on the weight and destination of the order. If you have any questions regarding delivery charges for books and other products, please contact Customer Services directly.

Do you deliver or send products outside of the UK?

Yes. Occasionally however, due to licensing or contractual issues, we may not be able to ship prints from certain artists outside some areas. We deliver orders for the USA from a print facility in Massachusetts.

Are import duties payable on international orders?

Some countries may impose import duties on deliveries from the UK. Customers are responsible for any applicable customs duties or taxes that may be imposed on a delivery in the destination country.

When will I receive my order?

Deliveries to the UK are usually delivered by Parcelforce. We try to deliver the majority of products within five working days of the order being placed (see below for exceptions). Parcelforce will not deliver the package if there is no one present to accept it – instead they will take it to the Parcelforce depot for collection or delivery on an alternative day. We strongly recommend that you propose an address where there will always be someone present to receive the delivery.

Deliveries abroad are delivered by Parcelforce International. Delivery times vary depending on the destination, but we try to deliver them within five to seven working days for Europe, North America, the Far East and Australasia or seven to 28 working days for the rest of the world. At busy times, particularly before Christmas, please allow more time. Again, we strongly recommend that you propose an address where there will always be someone present to sign for the delivery.


I wish to place an order that is a gift, can you deliver directly to the recipient?

Yes. This is a great way to save time and, often, postage costs. We will need to know both mailing addresses, so we do not send the invoice to the recipient. You will be prompted for this information at the checkout.

Refunds and incorrect or damaged goods

What is your refund policy?

If for any reason you are not entirely happy with anything you have purchased from the online shop, we will refund the value of the goods supplied. Please contact Customer Services within 7 days starting the day after delivery on 0800 218 2222 (or if you are calling from outside the UK on +44 (0)20 7079 0970). Our staff will then give you individual advice on claiming a refund and returning item(s). Please note: this does not extend to our Art Prints which are made to order.

What is your policy regarding damaged goods or incorrect deliveries?

We do all we can to ensure that orders of books and other products arrive with you correctly and in good condition. However if you are not sent the goods you ordered, or if the goods arrive damaged, we will refund your money or (depending on stock availability) replace the damaged goods. If necessary we will make up a shortage. We will also reimburse your delivery costs. Any claim by you for any shortages and/or defects in the goods must be notified to us by you within seven days of the delivery date (please use the contact details on your invoice), stating the nature of the shortage/defect and quoting the invoice number. If you fail to so notify us you will be deemed to have accepted the goods. In certain cases we may ask you to help us by returning the damaged goods at our expense. Please contact Customer Services directly on 0800 218 2222 (or if you are calling from abroad on +44 (0)20 7079 0970) for any further advice.

Cannot find what you are looking for?

I know you sell this item, but could not find it on your site. Can I still order it?

It may be that we are temporarily out of stock of a product or that it has been discontinued. A small number of items that you can buy in our shops are not available to order online. However, if there is something specific you have seen in our shops and wish to order but cannot find online, please contact Customer Services on 0800 218 2222. 

If it is a book that you are having difficulty finding, there are several reasons why this might be the case. If the book was published some years ago then it might be out of print, in which case, we do not have any stock left for sale. Alternatively, it could be that we are having the book reprinted and are awaiting stock or that the book has yet to be published. In these cases, we can take your details and put you on a waiting list. We will not charge your credit card until we are able to dispatch your order.

I have seen some reproduction artefacts available cheaper elsewhere, why do yours cost more?

We produce replicas, rather than reproductions, which means that a mould is cast from the original artefact, housed in the British Museum, and a replica created directly from this mould. The replica is then finished by hand to resemble, as closely as possible, the original antiquity. Due to the delicacy of this procedure the costs involved are higher than simply 'copying' an artefact.