Frequently Asked Questions


I placed an order online using a credit card and now I have 2 (or more) charges on my card, why is that?

Adafruit's policy with credit cards is to charge only when the items are shipped. That means that we only "Pre-authorize" the card when the order is placed. For some cards, especially bank cards and debit cards, the authorization appears as a 'charge' on the statement and disappears a few days after it is finally collected & shipped. Then the final charge is shown on the statement. That means that if we ship your order quickly you may end up with what appears like 2 charges. If you made a mistake and your card was declined, it may also appear on your statement. Note that this is not a real charge, and that we do not collect the funds, they are held by your card's bank.

Pre-authorizations on credit cards are based on the confirmation of your order. Credit card charges are based on the shipment of your order. Cash Debit card charges are based on the confirmation of your order. A pre-authorization is a temporary hold to verify that funds are available when you place an order. Pre-authorizations are typically removed from your credit card transaction history when the full charge processes and funds are withdrawn. However, in some cases, this process can take up to 4 business days.

Can I back order an item that is out-of-stock?

No. Because we cannot always predict when and how much inventory will become available, we cannot accept backorders. To receive an e-mail notification as soon as the out-of-stock product becomes available for purchase, simply fill in your email address on the product page and click the NOTIFY ME WHEN IN STOCK button. Some high demand items may sell out between the time you were notified and the time you attempt to add the item to your cart. If you want to stay informed, please sign-up on the product page to be notified via email when the product is available again. We appreciate your support and patience.

My organization is a US school, university, etc. and we would like to place a purchase order. Do you accept purchase orders?

Purchase orders are accepted from US schools, universities and government agencies placing orders of $200 or more. We do not accept purchase orders less than $50 and for purchase orders less than $200 there is a $20 processing fee. To place a purchase order, please create a quote using the wishlist tool. This quote can be saved as a PDF and used by your institution to create an official purchase order. Once you have an official purchase order, please move the items in your wishlist to your cart and proceed to checkout, selecting “Purchase Order” paid via “Check” as the payment option. After you place your order online, please send your official purchase order along with your order number to [email protected] If you need a W9 please email [email protected]. This is the fastest way to get your PO processed and will reduce errors and delays! For more details on making a purchase order, checkout our customer support video and guide. Please note we only accept Purchase Orders from Adafruit Account holders. 

All customers paying via Purchase Order in New York state are also required to set up tax exempt accounts. Please create an account on and send a copy of your Tax Exempt Certificate to [email protected] with our information included in the Seller Fields. We will not process your purchase order if your account is not setup as tax exempt.

My organization is Sales Tax Exempt (either as a reseller or non-profit)

To get sales tax exemption, first make an account on, then email [email protected] with the email address you used along with a copy of your tax exempt certificate dated within 90 days. Once we enter in the data, your orders will be tax exempt.

Sales tax rates vary depending on location. Orders shipping to the following states will be charged sales tax: Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

I placed an order, and just found another super-awesome Adafruit product I want. Can I add this product to my order?

Here at Adafruit we ship out products crazy fast and can't modify, cancel, or combine orders once they are placed.

Someone told me that if I order more than $200 in products at, I get free shipping (Continental USA only, UPS Ground). Is this true?

Yes! As of February 23rd, 2016 3:00 PM ET we are currently offering FREE UPS ground (Continental USA) for orders $200 or more. Stay updated on our current deals at


Can I return an item that I have purchased using Bitcoins?

All Bitcoin purchases are final. Any items damaged or defective upon arrival can be replaced with 30 days, or returned for store credit only. No refunds.

How long does it take for my order to ship after I place a Bitcoin order?

Bitcoin orders may take up to 1-2 days to process. Once the order has processed we will ship it out.

What if I place an expedited order and pay with Bitcoin? When will that ship?

Orders are not finalized until Bitcoin payment has cleared through Bitpay. Because this payment process can take longer than more traditional payment methods, we encourage you to use other options if you want your package to ship arrive quickly.

Can I check out as a "guest" using Bitcoin payment?

No, an Adafruit account is required to place Bitcoin orders.

Is there a minimum payment for Bitpay orders?

Yes, Bitpay orders require a $100 minimum to use the Bitcoin payment method.


What is included in a kit?

Kits come with all parts required, including a custom printed circuit board and any preprogrammed chips. Batteries are not included unless indicated otherwise. Tools necessary for assembly, such as soldering irons, solder, pliers, etc. are not included.

I don't think I have the skill/tools to build this kit, can you sell me a prebuilt kit? How much will it cost for me to buy a fully built device?

We are only able to offer the kits and items as they are shown on the site. We are not able to offer any custom or pre-assembled products.

Do the kits come with instructions? 
Why are there no printed out instructions?

All kits are documented online by our team of engineers. The link for the instructions is on the product page (tutorial tab). Having the documentation online allows us to update the instructions easily and provide large full color images.

How much skill do I need to have to build a kit?

Make sure to look at the instructions to get an idea. Most of the kits are pretty easy to solder, but require care (to not get the parts confused) and proper tools.


Do you ship internationally? How much does it cost to ship to my country?

Yes! We ship most places that the postal service ships, including FPO/APOs. Submit your order to checkout to see what shipping options are available to you. If we do not currently ship to your location, please check out our distributors page to find an Adafruit reseller near you.

My order shipped internationally, and it's been more than 4-6 days, where is it? Is there a tracking number?

When shipping internationally, the post office quotes a certain number of days (say, 3-5) for delivery but that is only the number of days it takes for the package to reach your customs office. Packages can sit in customs for up to 4-6 weeks, although this is rare it does happen, especially with larger orders. If you shipped via USPS First Class International, there is no tracking number, nor is there any way to track it. After 45 days from shipping, we can submit a refund claim but otherwise there is nothing that can be done. Only USPS Priority Mail Express International, UPS, and DHL Express provide a tracking number, which you can use at the USPS, UPS, or DHL website.

My order shipped domestically (within the US) and its been more than a week, where is it? Is there a tracking number?

If you requested shipment with UPS or USPS Priority Mail a tracking number will be emailed to you soon after your order is processed (directly from, If it's been a few days and you have not received a tracking number, contact us! Please note that USPS priority and first class mail are shipped with a Delivery Confirmation number. This is not the same as tracking, and often times the barcode is only scanned when it is delivered. Delivery confirmation is intended to show when and where it was delivered, not where it is currently or when delivery is expected!

I live on a military base overseas. Will you ship products to me?

Of course we will, and for free! We ship free to U.S. Military APO/FPO addresses via USPS Priority mail. No tracking, but free. Make sure to enter city as APO or FPO and for state choose AA, AE or AP from the dropdown menu. And to make things really precise enter your full name, grade, and PSC or unit number.

How do I return a product?

We can only accept returns of unopened kits and products, within 30 days of receipt (for international orders, 30 days from shipment). Any returns after 30 days are in store credit only. All returns are credited as store credit upon receipt for international orders or for Paypal / Credit card orders after 30 days of payment. We do not accept any returns after 3 months from the order’s ship date. Product returns from Purchase orders are store-credit only. Customers are responsible for return shipping costs unless the product arrives damaged or defective. For returns of items valued at $500 or more we charge a 5% re-stocking fee. Please contact us before returning any package! We're reasonable people and we hope you are too! Contact us if you have any issues and we'll do our best to help you out! Check out this customer support video for more details.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

I see the words 'Open Source Hardware' everywhere on your site. What the heck are you talking about?

Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make and sell the design or hardware based on that design. The hardware's source, the design from which it is made, is available in the preferred format for making modifications to it. Ideally, open source hardware uses readily available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. Open source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs. If any of our products include software or firmware to operate, we also provide all of the source code for your hacking pleasure.

You also mention the word Arduino a lot. What is an Arduino?

Learn all about the amazing Arduino here!

What is a good way to find out about top-secret new Adafruit projects?

Watch our live Ask an Engineer show every Wednesday night at 8pm ET. Join live or watch previously recorded shows in our YouTube playlist.

I have this amazing project that I want to show you guys. Do you want to see it?

Absolutely. Join us at 7:30pm ET for our weekly show and tell (right before Ask an Engineer) on Google+. You can also submit a link to your project on our "Contact Us" page.

If you are on Google+ and want to join the show and tell, post a message/comment on Adafruit's post on Google+ and say you want to show off a project and we will add you the "Show and Tell" circle. Then, just look for the hangout announcement on the very same page later for your invite. There's an 8 to 10 (at the same time) people limit per hangout, so if it's full try later or just pop by next week same time. Some weeks are packed! At 7:30pm ET you will see a link to the hang out. Have your project ready to show and keep your microphone muted until we call on you.

For those who just want to watch, you'll be able to watch it live on Google+'s broadcast feature on Adafruit's page AND it is recorded and uploaded to YouTube automatically.

I have this awesome Open Source Hardware kit. How do I get it in the Adafruit store?

Send a note to [email protected]. Make sure to include as much information about your kit as possible (links to the product website, documentation, pictures, design files, etc).

How can I get an internship at Adafruit? I will work for free!

We don't do unpaid internships. Read this.

What is your favorite dinosaur?

The Quetzalcoatlus.

If I wanted to broadcast a binary message into space with the hope that it will someday be interpreted by an alien life form, what message should I send?

00000010101010000000000 00101000001010000000100 10001000100010010110010 10101010101010100100100 00000000000000000000000 00000000000011000000000 00000000001101000000000 00000000001101000000000 00000000010101000000000 00000000011111000000000 00000000000000000000000 11000011100011000011000 10000000000000110010000 11010001100011000011010 11111011111011111011111