Philtone Guitar Company
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Shipping Information

I consider it an honor to accept work from out of my local area, so I want to make it easy for out of town folks. As with any repair, please contact me first. Upon shipping an instrument, I request notification of the tracking #, all your contact info, return insurance amount and any specifics about the piece and work requested you can give me. Please use my Shipping Information/Work Request form to supply this pertinent info and email the tracking # upon shipping. Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, and/or Discover are all fine for payment; the final total bill is generated upon obtaining the exact shipping and insurance amount and is due prior to releasing the package to the shipper.

I have had an excellent track record with shipping instruments. While it’s true that anything can happen out in this great world, all of the (and it isn’t much) damage of shipped instruments I have experienced have been due to improper and inadequate packing. Please pack carefully, insure and track your instruments. An instrument that is appreciated enough to service well deserves the same attention in shipping.

I prefer not to ship tilt back headstock instruments over a weekend or holiday so that they are in the shipper’s care for as short a time as reasonable. To that end, if your instrument will not be ready in time in the work week for a continuous trip home, it will ship the following Monday or Tuesday. Depending on distance and time of year for a straightforward Plek level and set up, there could be an 8 to 10 day total, most of which is due to shipping logistics.

Please do not use FedEx for shipping to me

I’ve had multiple issues with FedEx and also they apparently only cover out of production instruments in the event of damage during transit for which they are responsible to the limit of $500 regardless of how much “insurance” they let you buy.

Please use UPS

I greatly prefer UPS as I have found them to be convenient and consistent, I know my local drivers and the hub is close to me.

I charge only actual shipping and insurance charges plus $5 for UPS (effective March 1, 2007) - provided your packing material is reusable, you do not use shipping peanuts (crumpled paper, brown or newsprint, and/or bubble wrap are good).

The $5 additional for shipping is due to:

  1. post shipping adjustments (mostly to the increasing fuel surcharge cost) and are billed to my UPS account by UPS after the shipment is delivered and thus cannot be included in the original shipping cost quote from UPS and also
  2. the time and material used repacking (~20 minutes, tape and extra packing material if needed). I didn’t want to institute this charge, but feel it is necessary to reflect the true cost of shipping (I profit from the work, not shipping).

You may also ship via USPS. I rarely ship USPS upon return as UPS picks up from the shop regularly (so I can stay at the bench, working) and UPS has superior tracking; as such the handling charge for USPS shipping is $10 (unfortunately time is money).

If an instrument is inadequately packed by the client and/or the box is damaged or worn out, too soft, etc, the shipping cost will reflect the replacement/additional materials. I generally use new end-load Uline boxes for $10.

Please contact me before requesting/shipping internationally

International shipping is generally via USPS and must have some form of tracking and insurance. Please note that I will not falsify customs declarations.

Please pack carefully

Please ship your instrument in a hard case inside of an adequate shipping box padded/cushioned with either crumpled paper or bubble wrap.

Pad the headstock of the instrument so it cannot move freely in the case. Do not pad it so tight that possible shock from impact is transmitted completely, but that it is absorbed and disbursed.

Tilt back headstock instruments such as Gibsons and Martins should be slightly detuned (1/2 step or so). If the instrument is finished in nitrocellulose lacquer, it’s best not to let bubble wrap or foam wrap touch the finish; paper is a good padding for nitro.

If the instrument is in a form fit case such as a Les Paul in a typical Gibson case, it is a good idea to remove the switch tip and place it in the case pocket.

Any extraneous items in the case pocket should be removed. If parts are sent with the instrument in the case pocket, they should be packed and padded so that they cannot escape the pocket and travel around in the case against the instrument; I have unpacked guitars where tremolo bars etc have come out of the case pocket during shipping and scratched the instrument. Usually a ziplock bag with some crumpled paper inside is enough to keep parts safely in the case pocket during shipping.


Please review my policies before engaging my services and sending me your instrument. If you have concerns about my polices, please contact me for clarification before sending your instrument. Submission of an instrument for service is acceptance of Philtone Guitar Co. policies, no exceptions.