Generalized Shipping Policy:
Shipping charges are applied to most orders. We are FAIR about it and charge what we are being charged. And we strive to pack and ship your order at the lowest cost available among the carriers that we use. (Mainly UPS and the Post Office.)
On very few products, such as Rock Solid orders over $300, we have noted shipping is waived for that product line. On very large Arthur Harris orders, some really big lighting orders, larger door orders, sometimes shipping can be waived or reduced. We are referring to large order values basically $1000 or $2000 in value or greater (depends upon the product line). So for normal size orders which are usually 1 to 20 items, or a bunch of cabinet handles, we do need to charge the appropriate shipping because we are being charged for it.
Most manufacturers charge for shipping too, no matter how big an order becomes. Only a few will waive it when our orders to them meet their minimum order to have freight waived. If we set up a large direct ship and shipping is waived to us, it will be waived to you. But expect in most cases that shipping charges will be applied on all small to normal size orders. Rates are set by UPS, FedEx, and the US Post Office. (For commercial customers, we can apply shipping charges to your UPS or FedEx account if you prefer.)
Items in our stock, we ship right away. Non-stock items have various lead times to arrive to us first, then we ship right away. Direct ships for in-stock items by our manufacturers usually ship within a day or two. Products that need to be produced have lead times and we try to note those per manufacturer section in our website (look toward the bottoms of pages for added notes). Most lead times range from 2 to 3 weeks with a few exceptions of some being a bit longer. Manufacturer lead times are not within our control, we can only quote averages that we experienced with each, or report what they tell us when we ask.
We select the most appropriate shipping method for the size or weight of your order, cost savings, and merchandise value. Your location and the merchandise type are also factors in our decision. Additionally, in our shopping cart, you can inform us of a carrier and speed that you would prefer. For express requests and foreign shipments, we will gladly quote shipping costs in advance as they do vary by country.
All orders are prepaid prior to shipping. We do accept: American Express, VISA, Mastercard, Discover, or check/money order.
The above is the SHORT note. Fair warning, the rest of this page is long winded. You can stop reading right here if you like.
(Yet we do have some cute Pug pictures at the end of this page.)
Shipping Rate examples generalized the best we can
(We are trying to be as brief as possible too. Which ain't easy....)
We will quote exact or near exact shipping charges in advance of any order upon request. We offer this option in the last step of our shopping cart and over the phone. Or via e-mail, however you chose to contact us.
EXAMPLES: (lightweight packages) current as October, 2021. Periodic updates will happen as we can get to them.
A one pound package shipping via Priority Mail anywhere in the US to include Alaska, Hawaii, APO's, FPO's, Puerto Rico, and USVI costs $8 to $10.65 (rounded off) depending on the zone (distance from Florida). Several ounce packages are considered one pound with all carriers. Packages to Guam cost a bit more via the post office.
Two pound packages shipping to most cities in GA, NC, SC, AL, MS, LA are $10.10 via Priority Mail (zone 4).
Two pound packages shipping to most cities in NY, MI, OH, IN, IL, MN, WI, KS, IA, NE, KY, VA, MD, DE, NJ, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, ME are $11.85 to $12.70 (zones 5 and 6).
Two pound packages shipping to AK, HI, CA, OR, WA, NV, MT, ID, UT, AZ, etc are $15.95 via Priority Mail (zone 8).
States not mentioned fall between those amounts.
Anything that can fit SAFELY in the Small Flat Rate Box, will ship at $9.20. Anything that fits in the Padded Flat Rate Envelope is $9.30.
We use Priority Mail for lightweight items. Or when it has to travel over water. The rates are great! And the USPS has done an exceptional job in handling our packages carefully and efficiently for 21 years!
Some low value extremely lightweight packages are normally mailed via first class mail with a minimum $8.50 shipping fee to cover our basic shipping & package processing expenses.
For three pound packages, juggling begins. Not the kind of juggling where we will drop it. Juggling for whom offers the better deal. Three pounds in the majority of the State of Florida is $9.30 to $11.35 with the post office, for boxes under 1 cubic foot. More on dimensional rates much lower in this conversation. But three pounds via UPS within FL will be $11.90 to most businesses, and around $16 to most residences. Then there is the unattractive UPS DAS surcharge for those of you who live out in the woods which is $5 to $6 more. So a three pound box via UPS to a house out in the swamps of FL could cost $23 to ship. Thus, Priority Mail WINS!
But here's the odd part about that juggle. A three pound box via Priority Mail to the West Coast: CA, OR, WA, AK, HI, NV, MT, ID, UT, etc. is $21.15 to ship (for anything that cannot squeeze into a flat rate box, and remains under a cubic foot). But with UPS to CA, OR, WA, NV, MT, (the mainland), etc. it will range from $16.03 for commercial addresses in big cities to $20.03 for residential addresses. But up to around $25 for houses in the woods.... If we are shipping 3 pounds to California to a urban residential city address, $20.03 via UPS beats $21.15 with the post office. UPS applies $100 insurance automatic to all packages shipped at no additional charge. Priority Mail applies $50 insurance included. That is a consideration too.
Complicated, we know. This is why we do it. And your best option is to allow us to determine the best rate to save you the best we can. That same 3 pound order going Priority Mail in the Medium Flat Rate Box to the US West Coast is $16.25. Post office wins again IF IT FITS. We can fit most soap dishes, smaller cabinet handles, small Hera Lighting products, etc. into the Medium Flat Rate Box. But we cannot shove a 24" towel bar into that box. And if you order a couple of ceramic corner shelves, we cannot trust them in such a little box. No room for the bubble wrap. All packages are packed with safety for a protected delivery in mind!
Four pound and heavier packages: Juggling becomes easier. Shipping packages from 4 to 11 pounds with the post office within FL usually is a great cost savings over UPS. Especially for residential DAS zip codes. (DAS means Delivery Area Surcharge. Something UPS is famous for, something the post office does not charge.) Shipping 4 to 8 pound packages to GA, NC, SC, LA, AL, MS via Priority Mail is generally more cost savings than UPS. Depends upon whether the address it is going to is commercial or residential. As the distance from FL increases (or where we may have a direct ship emanate from), UPS will start to become more affordable than the post office as the box weight gets heavier. Again, we will use the Small, Medium, or Large flat rate boxes with the post office when they make sense and can save big bucks, but not with sacrificing package protection.
Remember, we will quote exact or near exact shipping charges in advance of any order upon request.
We know, how does any of this make sense when you have no idea of how much anything weighs? There is just so much involved with "proper calculation" of shipping charges that it would make a robot's head pop off his shoulders. This is why you see a lot of companies offering flat priced shipping, or worse, overpriced shipping. One size does not fit all. Being that we are in FL, desitinations from Texas westward cost more than Louisiana. They are farther away from us. Addresses close to us can benefit from lower priced postal shipping.
Some weight examples:
An AC Products model 730 24" towel bar set (2 posts and a bar) is usually 3 pounds WHEN PACKED. Overall, it is about 2 pounds, but the weight of the box and packing material make it 3 pounds when packed. Most ceramic soap dishes are 3 pounds "when packed." Most Hera lights are very lightweight, some just being ounces. Loox lights are a spec heavier since some are metal construction. Cabinet handles will vary, as will the weight with quantity. (Whenever we can fit them in that Medium or Large Flat Rate Box, we're going to. We can ship a 30 to 40 pound cabinet handle order in those boxes to Alaska or Hawaii for $16.25 or $22.65. We will refrain from scaring you as to how much UPS would be for the same weight to those states.)
Glass shelves from Expo Design can weigh 5 to 15 pounds, depends on how big of a piece of glass you get. Stemware holders range from 4 to 8 pounds, appliance garages about 12 to 15 pounds. All products are really different across a wide spectrum of weights. If you order a host of items for your bathroom, a few corner shelves, towel bars, soap dishes, TP holder, etc., together the packed weight could become 10 to 30 pounds. It may even need more than one box for some orders. We are asking that you trust that we will do the right thing, because we will. It is not our intent to profit on freight. If we ship a 10 pound box and it's value is $15 or $1300.00, the shipping rate will be the same because of the weight. We would of course add insurance coverage on the more valuable box.
With 21 years experience in knowing who delivers what cheaper, faster, or safer, we will take the best approach for you. Safety is considered over cheaper cost for very fragile items. We do not stuff ceramic Jumbo Corner Shelves into flat rate boxes allowing for no padding. That is just not smart.
There are many manufacturers that allow us direct ships. All these companies will ship throughout the United States. Some will ship only via UPS and not via the Post Office. We have to abide by what they choose to do. Several have minimum order values, and when not met, will have minimum order fees. A few tack on a small processing charge of $7 to $8. A couple charge $25 for minimum order fees (we consider that steep too). So for most of those companies that do that, we usually have the merchandise come to us first. Most International bound orders will come to us first also, as many US manufacturers do not want to ship outside the US. But we will, and we know how.
Mandatory Direct Ships:
Orders for Woodmont Doors, Brushy Creek Custom Doors, and Walzcraft Doors are set up as direct ships. We will have quoted you the shipping when you requested the door quote. No sense in having those heavy boxes come to us. And Woodmont Doors gets a highly discounted shipping rate from UPS due to their volume. Almost all Arthur Harris and Rock Solid orders are direct ships. Arthur Harris charges what it is for the weight of the box, and they are based in Chicago. So shipping to all points of the 48 states is about equal. Rock Solid uses a tier amount shipping charge system. Other direct ship products are charged at what the manufacturers charge us. We round most off to the dollar. We are not going to try to figure out if it is $18.49 or $18.87, it will just be $19 for example.
That dreaded Dimensional Rate thing:
The post office uses DIM weight for boxes exceeding a cubic foot in volume. So if we ship an 8x8x24 box, that is shipped at ACTUAL weight because it is still just .89 cubic feet. Using LxWxH<1728 is the guide for knowing if the box went over a cubic foot. So we can ship a lot of long boxes via the post office, and not be penalized with higher DIM rates. An 10x10x14 box is .81 cubic feet. But a 10x11x21 box equates to 1.34 cubic feet and could ship as DIM weight. Get the idea? LxWxH/194 is their formula to determine dimensional pounds.
DIM weight with UPS is different. UPS uses LxWxH/139 to calculate. And for ALL boxes. With them, every box, and every service goes at DIM weight or actual, whichever is greater. So a 10x8x6 box with UPS is 4 pounds dimensional weight. A 12 cube box is 13 pounds. The UPS Store uses 166 as the divisor, but charges RETAIL rates. Overall, smaller or lighter boxes generally stand to receive a better rate with the post office. UPS will also have residential surcharges, delivery area surcharges (DAS), extended area surcharges, over length surcharges, fuel surcharges, and their new thing around Thanksgiving and Christmas: Peak Season surcharge. Which we found out is crazy expensive on large and huge boxes. (Now that we taught you all this, you can use this info when you are shipping your own packages around the holidays.)
Best practical advice, if you do not trust that you will be treated fairly, by any company, ask first. Some websites won't allow you to complete a shopping cart without entering your credit card info. We will. Some have carts that show you the shipping charges. Sadly, we do not because of the complexity of it. We will not overcharge, yet we also cannot undercharge. So what you include in your order and where it is going ends up determining how much it costs to ship. We are always fair.
UPS Time in Transit Map from Florida:
This map is current as of September, 2021. It will give you an idea of how long packages take to ship via UPS Ground from the Tampa, FL, area. For packages that we ship via Priority Mail, the post office claims 2 to 3 day travel time on all of them. Probably a little longer when they leave the continent, but still fast to Alaska and Hawaii. The colored portions and how they vary on the map are not a guarantee. Bad weather and other delays can occur. Under optimal conditions though, UPS is really good with this schedule.
In June, 2006, this little guy entered our operation. Three months later, he wanted to be paws on and involved in the packing. Our packing supervisor is demonstrating how we cushion the insides of our boxes.
In May, 2008, Kanji decided to become a fashion model, and only pack part time.
Our appointed marketing director brought it to our attention that his big brother should not be the only Pug featured on our website. T'ai Chi Wagonis, shown in July, 2014, at age 6. He is inspecting how we laid out the components of an appliance garage to add helpful pictures onto our website.
All right, two more guys muscled into the action. The Twins, Miyagi and Khenpo. Miyagi is displaying his I'm Batman chest hair. They joined our crew in 2013 (born in 2011), and are shown at 5 years old in this photo. We adopted them through Florida Pug Rescue. So now we have 4 boys on duty. The Twins are the secondary alarm system.
We're all getting a bit more grey. But we got style.
In Loving Memory of T'ai Chi. March 2008 to August 2020. He will always be in out hearts. (Third from the left.)