Policies

When you’ve been in business as long as we have, you realize that it is important to have policies in place so that everyone is on the same page! And, just when you’ve thought of everything, some “learning experience” comes along that makes you reconsider your approach.  Subsequently, our policies and practices are ever-evolving, much like the business itself.  We believe that honesty, directness, and fairness are paramount in the operation of a successful business (especially one like ours that is built upon establishing long term relationships!), so we’ve taken the time to detail our current policies and practices below. Yes, we know—this stuff is boring! But, we are always happy to discuss any questions you might have.    

Q. Purchasing

Though we don’t operate an e-commerce website, it’s easy to purchase from us! For those who can’t visit us in person, just contact us by phone or email and we’ll get in touch with you immediately!  

  • We accept the following forms of payment: all major credit cards, cash, wire transfers, certified checks (i.e., cashier’s checks), personal checks, and PayPal.  We also offer financing through Synchrony.
  • Any personal check, certified check, or wire transfer must clear before we can complete a transaction or ship merchandise.
  • We require photo ID for any major purchase made in-person with a credit card or check. We will not accept any credit card where the name on the card or the billing address does not match the name and/or address on the ID.
  • Any order placed for curbside pickup will only be released to the cardholder with valid photo ID as stipulated above.
  • We will not accept any credit card with a damaged chip or magnetic strip.
  • We do allow split payments or combinations of payment methods. For example, a purchase can be made with a combination of cash and credit card, or be partially financed with the balance paid in another form. In case of multiple credit cards, all conditions listed above pertaining to ID and proper billing address, etc. apply.
  • We are little bit old school in that do not operate an e-commerce site! Subsequently, for any long-distance transaction we take payment over the phone. We are always careful to safeguard your information, however! We do not keep any credit card information on file, nor do we ever share customer information with third parties.

Q. International Purchasing

We do ship instruments and merchandise internationally. However, we are unable to ship certain instruments that are constructed of or contain endangered materials (e.g., Brazilian Rosewood, genuine tortoiseshell, ivory, etc.).  It is also the case that some manufacturers do not permit their dealers in the U.S. to ship new products abroad. Some of these manufacturers include: Fender, C.F. Martin & Co., and Taylor Guitars.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about international purchasing that are not addressed below.

  • We only accept payment via wire transfer for major international transactions. Please be advised that international wire transfers typically involve additional processing fees assessed by each party’s bank and, in most cases, intermediary banks (in most cases these fees are nominal).  Also, the time required for international transfers to post in our account can vary, but most transfers post within 3-7 business days.  As stated in our general purchasing policies, we will not ship merchandise until payment has cleared.
  • We only offer UPS or FedEx shipping services when shipping large packages internationally.
  • As is true of any domestic shipment, we always ship merchandise fully-insured. The insurance value will therefore reflect the purchase price of the guitar, as shippers will not insure an item for more than its stated value. We are sympathetic to the fact that our international customers often face high VAT and duties whenever they make a purchase; however, we do not modify invoices or make false declarations of value on customs forms (so please don’t ask us to do so!).   
  • All international sales are considered final.

Q. Returns

Our primary concern is that our customers are happy with their purchases, so we take it as a given that our role is to guide our customers to the right item the first time.  With that aim in mind, we work hard to properly represent our inventory, ask the right questions, and offer the best advice in the hopes that a return is never a consideration.  Of course, sometimes a purchase just isn’t the right fit—we understand this, so we do our best to work with folks in a reasonable manner as detailed below.  

  • Any return must be in original condition. Any item that is not in original condition will be accepted at our sole discretion, and restocking fees, repair costs, or diminished value charges may apply.
  • No returns are accepted without a sales receipt.
  • The following items are not returnable: sheet music, merchandise with missing or damaged packaging, harmonicas/pitch pipes/kazoos, worn clothing, and clearance items.
  • We don’t consider it very fair to resell an item as “new” that has been used for an extended period and returned! And, in light of the time we dedicate to working with folks in the store and their ability to select an instrument in person, we consider any guitar or amplifier sale made in the store a final sale. Thus, any return of an item that was purchased in the store will be accepted at our sole discretion and restocking fees may apply.  
  • Otherwise, for guitars and amps purchased in the store within 48-hours, we will allow a one-time exchange for merchandise of similar value or store credit, provided the merchandise being exchanged is in original condition and can be resold as new.
  • We allow a 48-hour approval period on all major sales that are shipped out-of-state. All out-of-state returns are subject to the same general return terms as outlined above with respect to original condition, restocking fees, diminished value charges and/or repair costs, etc.
  • In the event that the merchandise arrived ahead of a weekend or holiday such that it cannot be return-shipped shipment exactly after 48-hours, we will extend the return window to the first available shipping day.
  • No out-of-state are accepted without prior authorization.
  • The customer is responsible for all shipping costs in the event of a return. The customer is welcome to arrange their own return shipping, but the return shipping must be fully insured. Otherwise, we will provide a return label and deduct the total shipping costs when the refund is issued.
  • Refunds for out-of-state returns will be issued upon receipt and inspection of the merchandise.
  • Gift purchases are returnable on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of management. Special terms outlined at the point of sale may apply.
  • Gift certificates are not returnable nor redeemable for cash, except when less than $10 is owed in change.

Q. Layaways

As a family run small business of fellow musicians, we can certainly appreciate that it is not always possible or practical to make a large financial commitment all at once. So, when it comes to purchasing your dream gear, we want to help!  We offer a generous 90-day layaway plan on any qualifying purchase as outlined below.

  • Any merchandise valued at $500 or more is eligible for layaway.
  • We require an initial deposit of at least 25% of the purchase price before any applicable tax and/or shipping.
  • Subsequent 25% installments are due each month, over the ensuing three months, until the balance is paid in full.
  • The customer is always welcome to pay off a layaway early!
  • All layaways are considered final sales; however, any payments made on a layaway can be applied to another instrument, should the customer select a different instrument during or after the term of the layaway.
  • When an item is placed on layaway, it is immediately removed from the sales floor, as well as any online marketplace, and is safely stored aside with the customer’s name and contact information. In honoring our part of the agreement, we are holding an item aside in good faith that we could have otherwise potentially sold outright—that is to say, we are forgoing the opportunity of an immediate return. Therefore, should a layaway be cancelled at any point, the following restocking fees will apply: 10% if cancelled within 30 days, or 25% (the full deposit) if cancelled after 30 days. Any additional deposit funds remaining after the restocking fee is deducted will be refunded to the customer in the form of a check.
  • We know how hard it can be to deal with the anticipation of the big day when your guitar is finally paid off, so we always allow customers with instruments on layaway visitation rights!

Q. Shipping

Shipping anything, especially something as delicate as a guitar, can be nerve wracking to be sure! We routinely ship guitars and other merchandise, both domestically and abroad.  We take great care in packaging any shipment, doing everything within our ability to ensure that it will arrive safely.

  • Unless otherwise specified by the customer, we typically ship all orders within 24 hours of receiving payment.  Orders spanning weekends or holidays will be shipped at the first opportunity.  An order received before 2PM weekdays is typically shipped on the same day; but, if this is not possible for some reason (e.g., the need to make adjustments or requested modifications to an instrument), the order will be shipped out the next business day.
  • We typically ship using Ground services, but we are always happy to expedite a shipment as needed.  
  • We recommend that the shipment of any delicate or highly valuable instrument be arranged such that the carrier’s expected/guaranteed delivery is the same week. By doing so, instrument is at less risk of spending time exposed to extremes (for instance, time spent in a warehouse that isn’t climate-controlled).   Please understand that taking this precaution can necessitate delays (waiting until the start of the week, for example) and/or expedited services (for which there is additional cost).  
  • Unfortunately, due to ever fluctuating costs, we do not offer free shipping, unless specifically stated otherwise.  That said, we do make every effort to mitigate the expense of shipping for our customers by shopping the rate, by using size-appropriate packaging, and by reporting actual weight.  However, under no circumstances will we underpackage an instrument and thus risk its safety for the sake of negligible savings!
  • Unless there is an error on our part in arranging the shipment, we are not responsible for any delays associated with a carrier’s service, either in pickup or transit, or delivery.
  • All shipments are sent fully-insured, without exception.
  • In the event that merchandise is damaged in shipping, please contact us immediately! We will require photo documentation of the damage and the packaging to submit a claim, so it is imperative that the recipient save all packaging material.
  • For liability reasons, we cannot ship items for customers.  We do, however, offer packaging services for guitars, which are $50, including the box and packaging material.

Q. Special Orders

Though it can be a little more involved than a typical sale, helping a customer procure a guitar that is uniquely significant to them is one of the most gratifying facets of our work. Therefore, we are always happy to discuss a special order with you and make that dream guitar a reality! Before taking the plunge, here are a few policies to keep in mind:

  • We require a 50% deposit on all special orders. This deposit, along with any other additional payments made by the customer, will be held in escrow until the order is satisfied.
  • The remaining balance is due within 10 days of our receipt and inspection of the special order.
  • Special orders are considered final sales, unless the order is: demonstrably inconsistent with agreed upon specifications, damaged in shipment, or otherwise deemed defective by Maple Street Guitars.  Should a specially ordered item be deemed defective, Maple Street Guitars will pursue a replacement before cancelling the order.
  • Any cancellation of a special order not resulting from the issues stated above will result in forfeiture of the initial deposit.
  • We will prepare a detailed quote based on the customer’s specifications.  While we will do everything possible on our end to ensure the accuracy of the quoted price, any quoted price is ultimately subject to change pending final confirmation from the manufacturer/builder.  Please be aware that some manufacturers ultimately establish a price based on whatever pricing is in place when an order is actually started! Subsequently, in the rare instance that a protracted lead time could translate to an increased price from the manufacturer, the selling price of a special order is subject to change.  Obviously, we do everything we can to anticipate such a scenario in advance and fully prepare the customer for potential pricing fluctuation, but we ultimately cannot confirm any pricing changes until the manufacturer has published them. 

Q. The Maple Street Guitars Action Warranty

We take the trust that our customers place in us very seriously!  Thus, we consider it an imperative that any instrument we offer for sale is musical tool that we can unreservedly recommend.  Along that line, it is essential to us that our instruments do not present any unnecessary impediment to the player from the standpoint of playability. Subsequently, we are strongly committed to invest the time and resources necessary to thoroughly vet and properly adjust every instrument we accept for sale, new or used, regardless of price.  In anticipation of the fact that a stringed instrument must contend with the stress of string tension and environmental factors (particularly in its first year or so!) we include our one-year Action Warranty with every instrument we sell.

  • Our Action Warranty covers our standard setup work, or any initial custom setup work specified by the customer at the time of purchase, for one year after the purchase date.  All subsequent adjustments will be made in accordance with these original action measurements.
  • The Action Warranty does not cover strings or restringing labor.  These charges will apply to any instrument brought in for adjustment under the Action Warranty, should the owner request new strings.
  • We do not limit the number of check-ups or adjustments made within the first year. However, we generally recommend that you plan on having your guitar/instrument evaluated at least once or twice during the first year, preferably around major seasonal changes.
  • Multiple custom setups are not covered by the Action Warranty.
  • Should a guitar change hands in with the first year, the Action Warranty is only transferrable to the extent that we will preserve the original adjustments.
  • We do not warranty the setup of any instrument that has met with an accident or otherwise been manifestly neglected by exposure to extreme temperatures, humidity, aridity, or unreasonable risk.  

Q. Sell-Trade-Consign

In addition to accepting trades and consignments, we also occasionally purchase gear outright.  Please visit our Sell-Trade-Consign page for more general information and to review our policies.