Customer Service Polices
Payment Methods We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards using our own secure server check out system. We also accept PayPal.
Our Internet shopping cart calculates shipping charges, sales tax and totals without requiring you to enter any personal information.
All orders are subject to review and credit verification before acceptance. We will notify you as soon as possible if there are any problems with your order.
Sorry, we do not accept mail orders or telephone orders at this time. FAX orders are accepted only for school and government agency purchase orders.
Purchase Orders We accept purchase orders from qualified schools and government agencies only. Purchase orders must be submitted in printed form by mail, FAX or PDF. You do not have to submit an account application. There is no minimum order amount. Orders are usually processed within 2 business days. We also accept most major credit cards, including corporate credit cards and government purchase cards. We don't mind making the authorization calls that are sometimes required for government purchasing cards.
Western Union Money Transfer We accept Western Union money transfers for all purchases. Western Union payment allows us to accept orders that we would otherwise have to decline due to credit risk. This includes
With Western Union money transfer payment we will ship almost any size order to almost any country by almost any carrier. We do comply with US Export restrictions but they apply to only a handful of countries.
- high value orders
- orders to countries where we cannot verify credit card billing information
- orders to countries with unreliable mail delivery service.
Please be aware that you are assuming all trade risk when you pay by Western Union money transfer. You are responsible for all additional fees if you must send additional money or if we need to make a refund. While we will assist with package tracking and the claims process, all shipments are FOB our warehouse.
We do not have a commercial Western Union account, so all Western Union wire transfers must be sent to our founder and sole stockholder:
- Albert Margolis
- c/o Hobby Engineering
- 282 Harbor Way
- South San Francisco, CA 94080 USA
Free Shipping Offer Through Monday, December 2, 2013, I am offering free shipping on most orders over $100 shipped within the 48 contiguous United States when you select the free shipping option during checkout. Orders selecting free shipping will be shipped with a delivery commitment of Friday, December 20, 2013. If you need it a few days earlier, let me know in the checkout comment box and I will either accommodate you or let you know by email within a day or two after you place your order. Please note, some bulky items do not qualify for free shipping. These items are identified on the individual product page and are automatically handled by my shopping cart so, as always, you know your actual costs before checking out.
Holiday Shipping Schedule I will be accepting orders for Christmas delivery through Monday December 23, 2013, but order as early as possible for the lowest cost and least chance for disappointment. Please check the following table to find my recommended shipping method as we approach Christmas Eve. All orders are shipped from Northern California, so my recommendations vary by region. My daily shipping cut-off is 2pm West Coast time. Orders submitted after 2pm should be considered submitted the next day when looking at this schedule. This schedule is intentionally conservative to allow for a certain level of of processing problems or weather delays. In most case you can stretch these recommendations out by a day or two or even three, but don't yell at me if it doesn't work out. Please!
Priority Mail, First Class Mail and economy shipping: I hate to have people tell me that I ruined their Christmas. In order to minimize the chance of problems, the following table does not list either post office deliver or economy shipping (which is often sent through the post office) Despite all the jokes, the mail system works great and provides fast delivery of small orders across the country at a very low price. The problem is that there is nothing I can do in those few cases where things go wrong. Postal delivery works great. Postal customer service is awful. If you choose USPS delivery or economy shipping during the holiday season, I will process your order as fast as I can and most likely it will work out great. Please do remember that while I will resolve any problems that arise from USPS shipping, the odds are that the resolution won't happen until after Christmas.
| Date|| Delivery to Addresses in|
Pacific and Mountain Time Zones
| Delivery to Addresses in|
Central and Eastern Time Zones
|All shipping methods accepted for Christmas delivery.||All shipping methods accepted for Christmas delivery.|
December 14 and
| All shipping methods accepted for Christmas delivery. Customers in California and the western sides of Oregon and Washington will have plenty of time to wrap their presents. Customers in the desert and mountain regions who stress out over last minute deliveries may want to consider upgrading to 3 Day shipping but that is probably not necessary.|| UPS Next Day Air, 2 Day Air or 3 Day recommended. UPS Ground should reach you in time but is not guaranteed.|
December 16 and Tuesday
| All shipping methods accepted for Christmas delivery. Customers in California and the western sides of Oregon and Washington will have plenty of time to wrap their presents. Customers in the desert and mountain regions who stress out over last minute deliveries may want to consider upgrading to 3 Day shipping but that is probably not necessary.|| UPS Next Day Air 2 Day Air or 3 Day Select shipping recommended. UPS Ground may arrive on time but is not guaranteed.|
| All shipping methods accepted for Christmas delivery. Customers in California and the western sides of Oregon and Washington will have a day or two to wrap their presents. Customers in the desert and mountain regions should receive their packages on time but UPS 2 Day Air should be used for assured delivery.|| UPS Next Day Air or 2 Day Air shipping recommended. UPS UPS 3 Day should reach you in time but is not guaranteed. UPS Ground may arrive on time but is not guaranteed.|
| UPS Next Day Air shipping highly recommended. UPS UPS 2 Day should reach you in time but is not guaranteed. UPS Ground orders to California and the western sides of Oregon and Washington should reach you in time but is not guaranteed,|
My first priority will be clearing any backlog. For your best opportunity at prompt shipment, enter your order online early in the day, specify Next Day Air and triple check your typing. My priority will be to process orders not to answer the phone so please enter orders online and use email for any questions.
| National Procrastinator's Day: UPS Ground orders to California and the western sides of Oregon and Washington and UPS Next Day or Two Day orders to the rest of the country should arrive in time for Christmas but is not guaranteed. I do my best and that is usually pretty good, but there is only so much I can do because there is no slack left in the schedule.|
My first priority will be clearing any backlog. For your best opportunity at prompt shipment, enter your order online early in the day, specify an appropriate shipping method and triple check your typing. My priority will be to process orders not to answer the phone so please enter orders online and use email for any questions.
December 21 through
| National Insane Procrastinator's Weekend: The calendar is cruel this year. The reasonable ship dates end early but you have a full weekend to procrastinate over placing those orders with zero tolerance for processing and delivery problems to achieve delivery on Christmas Eve. UPS Ground orders to Northern California and UPS Next Day orders to the rest of the country should arrive in time for Christmas but is not guaranteed.|
December 24 through
| Too late for Christmas delivery.|
I will be working in the store, checking email and answering the phone at least part of every day but the 25th (actually, I'll probably be checking email even on Christmas day) but you will have to catch me in person at the store if you are want anything on time for Christmas day giving.
Orders submitted during this period will ship starting Thursday, December 26. I expect to be pretty busy in the store so use email for help with package tracking or any other kind of help you may need. I will be working a pretty normal schedule between Christmas and New Years, but order processing will be a bit slow because many of my suppliers will be closed and UPS takes a long New Years holiday.
- I want you to be happy with my service during this important gift-giving season. Please help by ordering as early as possible and following my shipping recommendations. I will do my best to accommodate any instructions you provide in the check-out comments field. If you clearly identify the package as a gift, I will use a packing slip that does not include prices.
- I need accurate information in order to process your order promptly. Double check your addresses and credit card numbers. Make sure that the bill-to address matches you current credit card statement address.
- Please provide telephone numbers and email addresses where you can be reached in case of a problem.
- I ship from South San Francisco, CA, 94080. You can use the 'Calculate Delivery Time' function at www.ups.com to check delivery intervals. Please note that my deadlines include padding to give me some ability to deal with problems. I give priority to orders which use my recommended shipping methods for the date submitted.
- All orders are accepted subject to credit card authorization and stock availability. I will notify you as quickly as possible if there is a problem with your order.
- I will be shipping all orders as quickly as possible for delivery as early as possible, but some orders will be delivered at the last minute. Please let me know in the check-out comments if you need the package before Christmas Eve (if you are leaving early to get to Grandma's house, for example). Consider having me ship directly to your Christmas Eve destination address for best service.
- I may not be making daily trips to the post office during this period so mail packages that don't fit in the mailbox may be delayed a day or two. I do my best to rush APO/FPO packages but cannot guarantee timely delivery.
- UPS service guarantees are suspended if delays are caused by bad weather or other disasters. You will not get a refund if your Christmas package arrives late due to snow or other excluded events anywhere along your package's route.
- My processing day ends at 2pm. Orders entered after 2pm are considered the next day's business. My shipping recommendations take into consideration both UPS's delivery schedule and my ability to process and pack the order.
Shipping Methods We ship world-wide. For most orders we provide final shipping charges before check-out so you know your total cost before entering your credit card information. Shipping charges for telephone orders, purchase orders and unusually bulky orders are determined during order processing. We will obtain your approval before charging more than the quoted shipping charges.
US Shipping Options and Policies
International Shipping Options and Policies
We do our best to provide fast shipping of your orders.
We process and ship orders Monday through Friday except for holidays.
Orders submitted before 2pm West Coast time (5pm East Coast time) on our work days are processed that day. Orders specifying UPS shipping are generally shipped on the day processed and orders specifying USPS shipping are mailed early the next day. Orders submitted after our cut-off time or on weekends and holidays are processed on the next business day. We sometimes offer free shipping for certain orders. If your order qualifies for free shipping it will be offered as a shipping option and you must choose it during the checkout process. Be sure to select your shipping region and click "UPDATE" in our shopping cart to make sure that you are offered valid options for your delivery address. The order processing interval for economy shipping and free shipping is usually 2 to 3 days but may be extended depending on our workload.
Almost all communications regarding your order is handled via email. Please make sure that you submit a valid email address that you check regularly. Please check you spam folder if you do not receive prompt communication regarding your order. The "In-Stock" indicator is not maintained in real time, so it is not an absolute guarantee that we can ship your order immediately. If you have an urgent requirement, please type a note in the comments section of our check-out screen.
Order Processing An e-mail acknowledgment is sent when you place your order. We send another e-mail when your order ships detailing all charges and providing your shipment tracking number (if any). We will contact you by phone or e-mail as quickly as possible if we have any problem filling your order.
When you use our shopping cart for checkout we display the order number on the final confirmation screen and immediately send an acknowledgment email. If you do not see the acknowledgement email within a few moments please check your spam folder. If your email system blocks the order acknowledgement email it will most likely also block the ship notice and any communications regarding problems with your order.
When paying with PayPal please be careful to select your current, confirmed shipping address within the PayPal system. Please also select the PayPal option to return to our web site after making your payment. You will not receive an order acknowledgement from our system if you do not return to our order confirmation page after making your PayPal payment.
Insurance All orders are insured for full value using either the carrier's insurance or our own private insurance. Shipping insurance liability ends when the shipment is delivered to the address you specify for the order. Claims cannot be filed until the waiting period for the delivery service used for your order has expired. UPS claims can generally be handled over the phone. USPS claims must be submitted in writing using the form we provide.
Back-orders Back-orders are filled as soon as possible. Generally within 2 to 5 business days. You will be notified as soon as possible if an item is back ordered. You can cancel back-orders prior to shipment by sending an e-mail to our customer service address listed below.
Returns & Warranties
Click here for our complete returns and warranty policy ...
This is a quick summary of our return and warranty policy:
- Unopened items can be returned for a full refund of the product price within 30 days of the delivery date.
- Opened electronic components and electronics kits are not returnable.
- Other opened products can be returned for a partial refund within 30 days of the item's delivery date.
- Most products are covered by own 60 day limited warranty protecting you from manufacturing defects including missing parts. This warranty is extremely limited for electronic components including electronic kits. This warranty does not apply to assembly errors. Many products are also covered by a manufacturer's warranty.
- We do not refund shipping charges. We do not pay for return shipping unless we sent you a different item than what was on your order.
Sales Tax Sales tax will be added to all orders shipped to addresses in California unless a verified tax exemption certificate is on file. Please e-mail our customer service department for details.
Use of Products Our products are sold for educational and personal entertainment use only. Any use of our products in an application which effects the health and safety of the user or third parties is prohibited. This specifically prohibits use in the control of vehicles used for transportation of humans or in medical devices.
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