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-authorization" 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are typically removed from your credit card transaction history when the full charge processes and funds are withdrawn.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. 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. To place a purchase order, please first make your order on the Adafruit webcart, selecting the proper shipping address, ship method and items you would like to have included. Upon checkout, select Purchase Order as the payment method. Purchase orders should be at least $250 before shipping costs. Your order is now complete and you will receive an email invoice with our fax number. Submit this document to your purchaser and they can duplicate the items, prices and shipping costs so that the PO matches. Then fax to the number on the invoice. 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!

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

To get sales tax exemption, first make an account on adafruit.com, then email [email protected] with your exemption number or certificate. Once we enter in the data, your orders will be tax exempt. Please do not place your order first because we will just have to delete the order and start over!

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 $250 in products at Adafruit.com, I get free shipping (Continental USA only, UPS Ground). Is this true?



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 14 days (30 days for international orders), 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.


What is included in a kit?

Kits come with all parts required, including a custom printed circuit board 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?

Right now, we only sell kits and PCBs. For some projects, people offer builder services through the forums or our jobs board and you can post a message in the appropriate group either offering or seeking such services.

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 send internationally? How much does it cost to ship a kit to my country?

Yes! We ship anywhere the postal service ships, including FPO/APOs and just about every country and continent (including McMurdo!) To get the shipping cost, make an account with your shipping address and log in. Then when you have your cart ready, click on estimate shipping to get your estimate. Remember that international shipping takes a while, and tracking numbers are only available if you ship Global EMS or UPS.

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

When shipping international, 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 Air Letter Post, 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 or UPS provides a tracking number, which you can use at the USPS or UPS 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 or Priority Mail Express International a tracking number will be emailed to you soon after your order is processed (directly from usps.com, ups.com or fedex.com). If its 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. DC is not the same as tracking, and often times the barcode is only scanned when it is delivered. DC 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 14 days of receipt (28 days from shipment for international orders). Return shipment is the responsibility of the customer. All returns are credited as store credit upon receipt. 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!

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 in the chatroom 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).

I am looking for a job. Any ideas where I can find a really good one?

Check out the Adafruit Jobs board!

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