First thing I want to talk about are promotions. They can save you a considerable amount of money. It's always important to read the fine print on every coupon code or sales event you come across.
All promotions will have EXCLUSIONS. Free shipping generally will not apply to a P.O. Box, neighboring countries, or Alaska and Hawaii. The 20% at the major department store site is going to exclude the Big Name Brands...ALWAYS.
It's an image thing. Big name brands will only allow their own sales to be applied to their product. That 15% off on Nike at Yonkers was determined by Nike. Timberland will not be part of ShoeCarnival's BOGO sale.
Gift Cards are never discounted. They're tender. Does your bank give you 15% off on your withdrawal?
Beware of final sale. Final sale means no refunds, no exchanges, no promotions, no adjustments. Also keep your eyes peeled for bulk order policies...especially if you're planning on buying it all on one single order. Bulk policy tends to be located in the Customer Service section under purchasing.
Guaranteed To Get There
The closer we get to the conclusion of the holiday season, the more likely you are to see countdown timers on websites. These are generally intended as suggestions, and a prompt to get you to place your order. When it comes down to it, we don't make any money on the S&H. That all goes to the carrier, but we're hoping you will place a nice, big order with us, and the timer will light that fire under your ass.
Some sites will have GTGT, or Guaranteed To Get There. There are exclusions to this. If you purchase an item that takes a week to process, there's no way in hell you're getting it in 2-3 businesse days. If your purchase qualifies, you will need to contact customer service to file your claim. Yes, it will take a while to process. No, there's not a guarantee your claim will be approved. Like any promotion or warranty, read the fine print on any GTGT advertisement.
Just a side note, there is never a guarantee on shipping time frames, or package delivery period. When your order ships, it's like taking your purchase from the mall, and putting it in your car while you watch a movie. If someone breaks in and takes it, do you think Macy's will give you a replacement or a refund? Also, delays happen. Trucks break down, blizzards hit, hurricanes happen, and the Pope tours the eastern seaboard. We have ZERO control over this.
If your package is delayed, and won't be in time for your gift giving ceremony, don't panic. For adults and older children, print off the product page and wrap it in a box. This way they know they're getting something awesome, they know it's on it's way, and they still have something to open.
For younger kids, if you celebrate Christmas, write a letter from Santa. Kids are SUPER stoked they got a letter from Santa, and they get to have a second wrapping paper apocalypse day. I did this two years ago, when I was a little too late. I blamed Twinkle Sugarbottom for causing an accident at the work shop. Kids were ecstatic about that letter....more than the actual gifts they finally did get.
If it is something REALLY important or time sensitive, don't leave it until the last minute. Get that order in ASAP, so if something does go wrong, you're not totally S.O.L.
Exchange rates apply
If you're placing an order with a U.K. company, Tokyo Laundry for example, the exchange rate will apply. The £15.00 does not equal $15.00. What you see reflected and what hits your bank will be two different sets of numbers.
The same is true for Canadian orders on U.S. sites. $USD DOES NOT EQUAL $CAD. Some browsers have a setting that will show prices listed in the currency of your country based on the IP address. This is often inaccurate, as all American sites are listed in USD, and the setting will show the USD price point with the country standard the setting has selected. Your bank may also charge a fee for conversion. Check their policy before placing an international order.
Also be prepared for Taxes and Duties. This will often be displayed as International Handling Fees. This total will be based on your shipping address. It's also the reason some companies will ship to Austria, but not Canada.
These things are non-refundable. We can't give you a discount on the money you owe your government. We can't control the exchange rate.
Keep in mind, packages that need to cross the border will go through Customs. This can take anywhere from 24 hours, to 30 Calendar Days.
Check Your E-Mail
Anything you need to know will be communicated to you via e-mail. No one is going to call you to tell you your order canceled. E-Mail is also how we will respond in the event a ticket needed to be submitted when you first contacted us.
For contacting Customer Service, e-mail is a great choice for general questions, like product information. If your query is time sensitive, please just call or chat in. E-Mail response time is generally 24 hours minimum.
That completes round two. Any questions, just ask.
1. Read the fine print
2. Be aware of the Exchange Rate
3. Check your e-mail for order status updates
4. Call or Chat for immediate assistance