International Customer/Order FAQs
We have many International Customers and blah blah…
Your order request enters our warehouse for pick/pull of in-stock items usually within a couple of hours of submission (during business hours) and/or first thing the business day following order submission (if after hours). Our Care Team will contact you at various points in processing where necessary to advise of any questions or longer-term delays or issues that arise. But if the backorders are anticipated to arrive within a short or medium timeframe (a few days to a few weeks), we ask that you trust we are diligently working to get those items into stock for you.
Once we have acquired everything, we prep and configure your particular combination of items for safe packaging (to account for items of large size or odd shape, or fragile or machined components). These same size/shape/availability factors is also why it is impossible for our automated calculator to give you a perfect shipping cost estimate at the time of order submission. An automated shipping cost estimator is unable to take into account all of the factors that relate to combination of items, their fragility, weight and balance within a package, as well as the final package size restrictions imposed by the shipping carrier.
During checkout when you submit your order with us, you are required to indicate agreement to abide by ALL of our order policies and Terms of Service and Procedures. That means that you have agreed to be patient, and to cooperate with tracking and claim procedures in the event a package is delayed, damaged or lost.
The incidence of “delayed” packages to international destinations is somewhat common, and is mostly due to the receiving country’s Customs/Import Agency paperwork processing and placing holds for payment of duty/tax.
It is quite rare for a package to go missing or lost entirely. In over fifteen years of shipping internationally via the US Postal Service, we have been asked to initiate quite a few “lost” package claims by worried customers, but all except ONE of those customers ended up receiving their package before the package trace inquiry got a response. The Trace and Claim process itself is SLOW and can take anywhere from 4 – 6 MONTHS to complete.
And yes — you read that right — we literally have only ever had ONE International package truly get “lost in transit” out of the several thousand packages we have shipped out of the country over the years. We believe that is because we are very careful and thorough about filling out all the shipment paperwork needed for successful delivery.
In the event your local delivery or customs agency cannot locate your shipment after more time has passed than specified, at THAT point you should contact us VIA EMAIL to report your package as “delayed or lost” so that we can begin the process of filing a Lost Shipment Trace and Insurance Claim with the US Postal Service. The claim process is VERY SLOW, and REQUIRES your full cooperation. You may be required to provide an original SIGNED “Letter of Declaration of Non-Receipt of Shipment” via regular mail (an email declaration is NOT accepted for insurance claim payout). If the claim reaches that point, we will provide you with a template of the necessary letter. If you do not cooperate with us to complete the Lost Shipment Trace and Insurance Claim, you will forfeit any credit or refund for the lost shipment.
Please note that if you have submitted an undeliverable or incomplete address, and your package goes missing and cannot be recovered, you also will not receive any refund. This is because incorrectly addressed packages are NOT covered by carrier insurance policies.
The time until you RECEIVE an order is dependent on too many different factors to pinpoint exactly.
First, we get to work collating your requested items. The time for that may be affected by supplier-level backorders that don’t always have reliable ETAs for restock availability.
Once we have all of your items available to ship, our packaging prep and payment processing time is typically quick (1-3 business days).
But then once shipped, the timeframes are variable and unpredictable again. The following SHIPPING-TIME-IN-TRANSIT estimates below are based on our years of experience shipping internationally and are DIFFERENT than those posted on the carriers’ websites!! Time-In-Transit and accuracy/availability of tracking varies by country, but generally you have only two “speed” options:
US Postal Service GLOBAL EXPRESS MAIL: usually within 1-2 weeks
US Postal Service INTL PRIORITY MAIL: varies from 1-4 weeks
We provide proof of dispatch (shipment) to you so that you can follow your shipment’s progress while it is in transit. The package identification or “tracking” number can be used in some countries (not all) to locate or track a package AFTER it arrives in the destination country — but most often your will need to contact your country’s local delivery agency and/or your country’s import/customs agency to get the information. The US Postal Tracking website only posts tracking updates up until the package is handed off to the reciprocal carrier in your country. After that, tracking updates may or may not happen.
If your package does NOT arrive in the above approximate time frame after we have confirmed shipment and you have contacted your country’s local delivery carrier and import/customs agency, but they are not able to provide you with info on the whereabouts of your package, then click here for what to do next.
An order is classified as “International” when EITHER the shipping address is internationally located OR the payment origination location is outside of the USA.
Credit cards submitted as the method of order payment that are issued by banks outside of the US come through with a code that tells us they are “internationally issued credit cards”. International Order Requests are subject to our International Terms of Service of Payment which include payment method restrictions for high-value orders, and orders that contain custom-made or special order products, so you may be contacted for an alternate form of payment if your International classified order does not qualify to be paid by credit card.
We have many international customers and are happy to serve our international clientele the best way that we can (there are some restrictions). The reality is that shipping orders to international destinations is riddled with potential delays and complications. Many companies do not ship internationally due to shipping complexities and an ever increasing incidence of fraud and unwarranted order chargebacks. Rather than discontinue our International Order Services, we have opted to implement some restrictive payment policies on international orders.