Frequently asked questions about shopping online


How does the process work?

When you buy a ticket online, you are buying an e-ticket. 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 e-ticket order confirmation. This will be checked by a member of staff before you are allowed access to the exhibition. Please note, the British Museum does not send out additional printed tickets, the e-ticket order confirmation is your ticket.

Are there booking fees for buying online?

Yes. A reduced 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 per exhibition ticket. There is no booking fee for free events.

How far in advance of visiting do I need to buy an e-ticket?

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 e-ticket?

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. Please be aware, Members may be asked to collect a ticket for entry at a later time the same day to some special exhibitions during peak times (such as lunchtimes and weekends).

Placing an order, payment and delivery

Must I register my details with you?

You have the option to complete your order without registering. In order for your card issuer to perform verification checks, it is necessary in all cases for you to give as your billing address the place where the payment card is registered, including the house number and postcode/zip code. We do not share this information outside the British Museum.

When entering your telephone number please enter it as one long number without any non-numeric characters, e.g. 00442030734970

How do I know that you have received my order?

When you submit your order we will reply immediately to your email address, confirming all 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.

What forms of payment do you accept online?

We accept payment by Access, Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Amex, Diners Club and Maestro. We also offer PayPal but only for purchases of books and merchandise.

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 as part of the URL in the address bar 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. The total will be displayed on the final page before you have to submit payment. The charges are displayed in detail on the "Delivery Information Page" which is accessible from all the pages in the online shop.

If you have any questions regarding delivery charges for books and other products, please contact Customer Services directly:

If you select the £10.00 Premium Delivery option at the checkout your order will be prioritised and sent to you as quickly as possible (UK residents only). Please note we cannot perform weekend deliveries. If you order by 12.00 midday (British time) we will send out same day.

Do you ship outside of the UK?

Yes. We ship worldwide

Are import duties payable on international orders?

Some countries outside the EU may impose import duties on deliveries from the UK. This is beyond the control of the British Museum.

How can I receive my Member’s Discount?

If you have joined the Friends of the British Museum, you are entitled to 10% on all purchases on books and merchandise in the online shop. You will see the discount listed at the final checkout page. The discount entitlement can only be attached to a single email address per membership. If it is not present, please email friends@britishmuseum.orgso that they can upgrade your online status.

When will I receive my order?

Deliveries to the UK are usually delivered within five working days of the order being placed. We strongly recommend that you propose an address where there will always be someone present to receive the delivery. Premium orders are delivered using Parcelforce 24 or Royal Mail Special Delivery and require a signature.

Deliveries abroad are delivered by Royal Mail, Parcelforce International or their local contractor. Delivery times vary depending on the destination, but we try to deliver them within fourteen 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.

Art Prints: these are made to order by a partner firm, and have a longer delivery schedule. Please allow up to 10 working days for unframed, and 21 working days for framed prints. Deliveries are usually via DPD or DHL. When the print is on its way, you will receive an email direct from the manufacturer with a tracking number.


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

Yes. Please note for goods to be delivered outside the European Union, we must send an invoice with the packet for customs reasons. Within the EU, a delivery note is included that does not show prices. Unfortunately at this time we cannot offer a gift wrap service.

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 14 days starting the day after delivery on 0800 218 2222 (or if you are calling from outside the UK on +44 (0)20 3073 4970, or email us at 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 and cannot be returned.

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. If we ask you to return faulty goods, we will reimburse the cost of ordinary post. Any claim by you for any shortages and/or defects in the goods must be notified to us by you within 14 days of the delivery date (please use the contact details on your delivery note), stating the nature of the shortage/defect and quoting the order number. If you fail to so notify us you will be deemed to have accepted the goods. Please contact Customer Services directly on 0800 218 2222 (or if you are calling from abroad on 0044 20 3073 4970 for any further advice, or email us at

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 0044 20 3073 4970, or email us at

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.