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Shipping & Returns

Can I place an order by phone?

Like a growing number of modern businesses, we do not conduct any business by phone. It's expensive, inefficient, vulnerable to errors, and about the most unsafe thing you can do with your credit card info. We will never ask for, and will not accept, your credit card info over an unsecure phone line. It's important to understand why ordering online through the web site is preferable to ordering by phone or fax in every way.

  • Security: Phones and faxes do not employ encryption technology.
    Relaying your credit card number over a phone line or via fax is every bit as "electronic" as transmitting your credit card number on the web. All credit card transactions end up being transmitted from computer to computer "online" anyway. It's the only way to process a funds transfer. However, phone and fax lines are not encrypted through Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. Phone lines can be "tapped" with $30 of equipment from Radio Shack. If you are concerned about the security of your credit card information, the last thing you want to do is to relay that information over a phone or fax line.

    When you submit your credit card information through this or any other web site using an SSL-secured connection, the data can only be deciphered by the computer to which the data is sent, for a fraction of a second, and then the info vanishes completely. Phone and fax transmissions are far more vulnerable to interception, and the person you're giving your credit card info to is probably writing it down (security risk) only to end up processing the transaction "online" in some form or other anyway.

  • Documentation: Online orders receive confirmation emails, tracking emails, etc. Phone orders do not.
    When you place an order online, you receive documentation of what you ordered, when you ordered it, your order total and other pertinent information. Phone orders do not offer this audit trail.

  • Accuracy: The information comes to us exactly as you submitted it.
    The absence of human interaction greatly reduces the chance for error. When you place your order online, there is no possibility of the person on the other end of the phone hearing "quantity 30" when you said "quantity 13".

  • Speed: Online orders are processed far more quickly, with minimal cause for delay.
    Shipping facilities function in "assembly line fashion". When you submit your order online, it goes "onto the line" immediately, and is processed far more quickly than a phone order, which must be manually processed outside the normal workflow of the shipping staff.

When will my order ship?

Please allow one business day (weekday) for your order to ship. When possible, we do everything we can to ship orders the same day they are placed. But we ask that you not count on that. Our shipping carriers make their daily pickups from our location fairly early in the day, and the exact time tends to fluctuate. If you are on the west coast, chances are that we're getting our daily pickup as you're drinking your morning coffee. Please assume that your order will ship the next weekday after you place the order. If it is possible to ship your order the same day, we will, and we apologize in advance if you selected an expedited shipping method expecting us to ship it the next day, and we actually ship it earlier than expected. But earlier is always better, right?

Some of our items usually ship directly from manufacturers' facilities around the country. Those items are subject to the manufacturers' own shipping policies and procedures, and are not under our direct control. Unless a "lead time to ship" is stated on the item's page on our site, you can expect those items to ship the following day as well.

Orders that contain a mix of items shipping from different locations, of course, will arrive in multiple packages, and may not all arrive at exactly the same time.

Some items are built to order, and/or require customization (i.e. the installation of a specific type of power cord) before they ship. An estimated "lead time to ship" will appear on the item's page on our site.

When can I expect to receive my order?

It is very important to understand that "Next Day" or "Overnight" shipping DOES NOT mean that you will actually receive it the following day. We are not trying to be misleading about the shipping turnaround. In fact, we go to great effort to make this as clear as possible. "Next Day" (UPS) and "Overnight" (FedEx) are registered service marks of the shipping carriers, and we are contractually bound to call the shipping services by their official names. But those names refer only to the "time in transit" which is the time the shipping carrier takes to transport the shipment. It does not include processing time, and it does not include Saturdays, Sundays and observed holidays.

Example: Order placed Friday > Order processed and shipped the following weekday (Monday) > Delivery "Next Day" (Tuesday) -- TOTAL ACTUAL DELIVERY TIME 4 DAYS

This becomes especially important during the holiday season, when shipping carriers are closed Thursday through Sunday for Thanksgiving, and other "long weekend" holidays throughout the year.

Example: Order placed Monday, "3-Day" Shipping > Order processed, shipped the following weekday (Tuesday) > Wednesday is "Day 1" > Thursday is a legal holiday and "doesn't count" > Friday is "Day 2" > Saturday/Sunday are weekends and "don't count" > Delivery on "Day 3" (Monday) -- TOTAL ACTUAL DELIVERY TIME 7 DAYS
What about backorders?

While they're rare, backorders do occasionally happen, and they do occasionally take us by surprise. There are times when an order comes through for an unexpectedly large quantity of a particular item, and before we are able to update our site, another order comes through for the same item. We do our level best to keep that from happening, but it happens.

It is very important to be absolutely sure that you can receive emails from us. When a backorder happens, or if there are any other issues impacting your order, we will attempt to contact you via email to offer options and ask you how you would like us to proceed. We will make every effort to come up with a solution that does not delay your shipment. But if we cannot contact you, it ties our hands. We either have to make assumptions about what you would prefer, or even cancel your order.

With the widespread use of anti-spam email filtering, which quite often doesn't work very well, legitimate emails often end up in spam folders or deleted altogether. The order confirmation emails sent by our site are auto-generated. Tracking emails from shipping carriers are auto-generated as well. Spam filters don't like auto-generated emails and often assume that these emails are spam. If you do not receive an order confirmation email almost immediately after completing your order, then it is very likely that we will not be able to contact you via email if there is an issue impacting your order.

Please consider "whitelisting" emails from in your email client.
WE DO NOT, HAVE NOT AND WILL NOT SPAM YOU. EVER. We hate spam as much as you do, and we get tons of it.
How are shipping rates calculated?

Our site retrieves rates from each of our carriers' own rate servers as you add items to your cart and again at checkout. These charges are calculated by the carriers themselves based on their own current rates, the shipping origin (provided by us), the shipping destination ZIP code (provided by you), and the weights and/or dimensions of the items in your order. The rates provided when you preview estimated shipping charges may vary from the actual charges at checkout based on the specific street address (estimates use only ZIP code), whether or not you decide to change your selected service, and other factors.

We strive to be as accurate as possible, and we do not attempt to profit from shipping. However, sometimes shipping calculations may be made based on estimated product weights. Packing materials of course also impact the final shipping weight. Split shipments affect the total shipping cost. Many of our items are small, less than one pound. However, shipping carriers base their rates on a minimum shipment weight of one pound. For items like travel plug adapters, the shipping cost is going to be the same whether you order one unit or ten units.
I've made a mistake in my shipping address. What do I do?

Please reply to your order confirmation email and let us know as soon as possible. If we are made aware of the error before the item ships, we will correct it. Carriers charge $15.00 for modifying an incorrect address on a shipment already on its way to its destination. You assume responsibility for this $15.00 charge if you enter an incorrect or invalid destination address when checking out, and we are not notified of the error prior to shipping the order. This will also result in a significant delay in receiving your order.
Do you ship internationally?

We can, and we would be more than happy to do so. But international shipping rates at this time are absolutely insane. Honestly, it's just outrageous. At the time this page was written, we just shipped a 9 pound package to Europe a few days ago, and the UPS shipping fee was over $300.00! For most people, this is just prohibitively expensive, and we agree. But the freight carriers set their own rates, and there's nothing we can do about it.

If you are willing to pay the shipping carrier's charge, then we will certainly ship to your international address. However, please understand that before we do, we must screen your order extensively for potential fraud, and this may take several days. Please understand that when an order comes through where the shipping charge is so outrageous, the natural tendency is to assume that the reason for that is because the transaction is fraudulent. We will not ship your order until we are convinced that the transaction is legitimate. This may involve contacting you via phone or email, verifying your identity, contacting your bank, waiting for the funds to clear, etc.

Please also understand that international shipments may also carry additional fees after the fact. And those fees may have to be paid before the shipment can be delivered. We are not exporters by trade, and we have no idea what these fees may be in your country. Many countries charge tax, duty (import fee), customs processing fees, etc. on shipments originating from the United States. When you place an order at this site, you are explicitly accepting this, and releasing us from any and all responsibility for these charges. Those issues are between you and the authorities in your country. We will not accept return shipments refused due to an unwillingness to pay these governmental fees, and we will not issue any credit or refund for shipments refused at the international destination. Our responsibility ends when the shipping carrier takes possession of the shipment.

There is a workaround for the outrageous international shipping fees, if it is practical for you to go this route. Consider having your order shipped to a friend, family member, colleague or one of your company's facilities at a U.S. address. Then have the package forwarded to the international destination through internal corporate channels if it's a corporate order, or have your friend/relative forward the package via the U.S. Postal Service if it's a personal order. It seems needlessly complicated, we know. And it is. But you stand to save a ton of money doing it that way.

Why don't we just ship it directly via the U.S. Mail? Well, we used to do that. But we had to stop because too many of our packages were getting "stuck in customs" and never arriving. There is not adequate tracking (actually, there's no tracking whatsoever once it leaves the U.S.) and recipients were not being notified if there were taxes/import fees/customs processing fees/etc. payable before delivery could be completed. It was a nightmare.

Person-to-person shipments take us out of the equation. There is no money changing hands, no commercial transaction involved. We bear no liability and customs clearance generally goes a lot more smoothly. If at all possible, this is the way to go. In the meantime, as soon as we can figure out a better way, we will certainly offer it.

From the moment the package arrives at your destination, you have 14 calendar days to request a return. After 14 calendar days, your sale is final.

All returns must be pre-authorized. To request a return authorization, email us or reply to your order confirmation email. Please ensure that you can receive emails from us, and that your spam filter will not interfere with the delivery of our return email. The email will contain a return authorization number which must appear on the shipping label when you ship your return to us, and instructions on where and how to ship your return back to us.

Returns carry an industry-standard restocking fee of 20%. Your refund will be for 80% of the original price paid for the product, minus shipping charges.

Shipping charges are not refundable. Those monies are paid to the shipping carrier to perform a service, and as long as they provide that service without error, within their own policies and procedures, neither you nor we have any recourse for recovering those monies.

Of course, if it can be clearly established that the return is a direct result of our error, or an error by the shipping carrier, accommodations will be made.

All return shipments will be thoroughly inspected on arrival at our location. Product must be 100% complete, in its original packaging (if applicable) and in resalable condition. Product serial numbers, when applicable, are logged at the warehouse prior to shipment. If the serial number on the product you return does not match the serial number of the product we shipped, we will not issue a refund. All product is photographed at our warehouse before it ships. If the product is damaged, incomplete, or otherwise not exactly as it was when it shipped, we may increase the restocking fee accordingly, or refuse the refund altogether.

Of course, if it is pre-established that the product is defective, or if the shipping carrier acknowledges that the product was damaged in shipping, accommodations will be made. These circumstances must be established and the terms of the return agreed upon ahead of time. Email us for a return authorization and we will discuss the situation. Failure to establish the conditions of the return ahead of time will result in the refund being refused.

Items that ship from manufacturer facilities must not be shipped back to the manufacturer, or delivery refused. It is very likely that the people at the manufacturer's facility will not recognize where the product came from, and the product will be "lost." All returns, regardless of where they originally shipped from, must be returned to our location in order to assure that your return is processed. If we cannot physically verify that the product exists and is in our possession, we will not issue a refund.

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