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
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.
No-Fail Guarantee Much of the value of kits is learning-by-doing and learning from mistakes, so a certain amount of difficulty and frustration is part of the process. That doesn't mean you are completely on your own. Most of our kits are covered by our exclusive "No-Fail Guarantee" that makes sure you don't get stuck during assembly. If you see Helpful Harry in the product description we guarantee to help get you past beginner problems.
The "No-Fail Guarantee" is intended to solve reasonable problems which arise during assembly. Our goal is to be fair to you without getting abused ourselves. Here are some examples of what is covered and what is not:
| Covered|| Not Covered|
| Your seven-year-old rattled the table and lost a screw in the shag carpet.|| Your seven-year-old got frustrated and jumped on the parts until they turned into dust.|
| This is your first soldering experience. You heated the circuit board too long and a pad became unglued.|| You couldn't find your soldering pencil so you tried using a welding torch. Your circuit board is now a blob of pure carbon.|
| You installed a component in the wrong position and ruined it while taking it out.|| As an "experiment" you randomly inserted parts wherever they fit. Now you need new everything.|
We expect to you to exercise reasonable care during assembly and to attempt to solve any initial problems on your own. That is part of the challenge and fun of kit building. If you do that and your kit still doesn't work, send an email to
email@example.com. We will probably ask you to try certain tests and/or inspections on your own. If the problem is not resolved in a reasonable amount of time, we will ask you to send your kit to us for repair.
Here is the "fine print":
- This guarantee only covers standard assembly problems. Many builders use kits as a starting point for custom projects. We think that's wonderful, but we can't guarantee that your modifications will work.
- We only guarantee that we will make the kit work in the way the manufacturer intended. Please read the specifications and product descriptions carefully before ordering.
- We expect you to have standard hand tools for the type of kit you are building. That generally means small and medium sized screw drivers, pliers and an X-Acto knife or similar cutting tool. For electronic kits that also includes a 25w soldering pencil and a basic multimeter.
- You are responsible for shipping charges if you return a kit to us for repair. If you have followed our trouble shooting instructions and obtained an RMA number we pay for standard shipping when we return the kit.
- This is not a build-to-order service. We follow the original assembly instructions as closely as possible.
- We will repair or replace components as appropriate in our judgment. We do not guarantee cosmetic appearance so your project may have permanent "scars".
- While we handle repairs as quickly as possible we do not provide while-you-wait service. We have plenty of sympathy for "my term project is due next week" but we are not responsible for your deadlines (or lack of planning). We will not repair projects if we are aware that trouble-shooting the electronics is part of your school assignment. Expect to wait at least two to four weeks for repairs.
- This guarantee involves a great deal of judgment to determine what is covered and how to handle any needed repairs. Our management is the final authority for these judgments.
- Most products are also covered by a manufacturer's warranty.
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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