Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "How long after I submit my order do I have to cancel it?"
A. Our products ship from many different warehouses, and so the window of time in which an order can be canceled varies. One of the services we pride ourselves in is our speed of order fulfillment and shipment when items ship from our warehouse, and so generally we are unable to cancel orders that are shipping from our warehouse once tracking has been generated and emailed to you; however, when products ship from one of our access warehouses, we must contact the specific supply warehouse for cancellation, which means our ability to cancel really depends upon each individual shipping department. NOTE: Once you submit your order, you are provided with our customer service telephone number, and so your first step would be to call us right away if you do need to cancel an order.
Q. "Why does an inexpensive item cost $8.95 to ship Regular Ground (Standard)?"
A. Our simple, flat rate shipping/handling charges are based on the order subtotal (in stock and out the door the same day over 98% of the time), making it a low-cost, no-hassle, and fair way to show ahead of time how much it will cost to ship your order. As all orders have other costs involved besides the product itself, we have made our shipping charges as easy to understand as possible, while still monitoring your order from the moment it is received until it is handed to the shipping company (UPS, USPS, etc.). Ensuring your order is quickly filled, double-checked for accuracy, processed, and shipped correctly is of the utmost importance to us, and our many customers appreciate the care and attention that goes into getting an order out the door. It is for these reasons that we must start at a low, flat rate that covers all of our processing and shipping costs.
Simple analogy: If you were to take a cab ride, would you expect to only pay for the fuel used to get you to your destination? Probably not - there would be other variables to take into account, such as use, time, or mileage. The same is true for shipping your order to your door - the shipping amount includes costs associated with shipping your order, such as filling, processing, and making sure the order is complete and gets to the carrier in a timely manner. With our method for charging shipping, we include such costs to provide a simple, flat shipping rate so you know exactly how much it will cost based off of your order total.
Q. "Do you always ship via UPS/FedEX Ground (Standard) delivery when I choose that as my shipping preference?"
A. No. If your product is lightweight and low-priced, we and our access warehouses may ship the product via the United States Postal Service (USPS). In cases where the order is shipped via USPS, you will receive a USPS Delivery Confirmation number, in others, you will not; it depends on which warehouse it ships from. There is no additional charge for this expedited, upgraded delivery service. If you chose "Standard" as your delivery preference, you will never be charged more than the standard rates.
Q. "Do you ship outside of the United States?"
A. Unfortunately, we ship only to destinations within The United States of America and US Territories, such as APO's, FPO's, Guam, Palau, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Marianna Islands, etc.
Q. "The product I'm ordering is very heavy and does not ship by a standard carrier (UPS or US Mail). How much does it cost to have item(s) shipped by truck/freight?"
A. Heavy items, such as tubs, large drain cleaners, commercial sinks, and some drinking fountains include an additional shipping charge (in addition to the standard shipping rates). This additional shipping fee is posted clearly on the page the product is listed on and is added to the order total for you to see prior to submitting your order. Please note that shipments going to Alaska and Hawaii will require you to arrange a freight forwarder for delivery. The cost to ship an item freighted to Alaska and Hawaii is very expensive and our shipping charges are only intended to cover delivery via UPS Ground service (Standard), or 2nd Day.
Q. "I'd like to ship my order at the lowest possible rate. How should I have you ship it?"
A. Our way of charging for standard shipping is based on your order's subtotal. If you want the lowest rate (and are in the Contiguous U.S.) then simply choose "standard" shipping. For orders less than 2 pounds, we may choose to ship your package US Mail, but you won't pay any additional costs. If you select US Mail for your shipping method, you will be charged by the rates listed on our US Mail rate's page or our standard shipping rates (whichever is higher).
Q. "I want to order a 300 pound cast iron tub. Does the delivery charge include taking the tub up to the second floor?"
A. The delivery charge is to get the tub/product to your house; it does not include getting it into your house. Your tub/product gets delivered by a LTL trucking company (such as Viking, Bestway, etc.), and they only deliver to your house. Due to insurance and liability reasons this does not include taking it off of the truck and up those stairs (as in the example).
Q. "What should I do when my package first arrives?"
A. Please open all boxes immediately and check contents for damage. We must be notified of any damage or other problems within 2 days of you receiving your products. In order to serve you better, we request that you also inspect all of your products for obvious defects/blemishes within 2 days of receiving them.
Q. "I live in a rural area, and most delivery companies require both my PO Box AND my street address for delivery. Can you accommodate this requirement?"
A. Usually, when our customers provide both a PO Box and a street address for delivery, they do so to allow us to select the appropriate address for the method of shipment we're using; we will then remove the second address from the label so as not to confuse the delivery driver. (Some delivery companies will even charge us a fee if we have two delivery addresses on the label.) However, if your delivery specifically requires both addresses to be on the label, PLEASE make sure to provide an explanation in the Comments of your order (final step of the checkout process), and we will follow those instructions.
Q. "My order arrived today and I noticed the package was damaged. What should I do?"
A. If the packaging appears to be damaged on the outside, please ask the driver/delivery person to inspect the contents with you immediately to avoid sending undamaged products back and delay the completing of your project. If the delivery person won't inspect the contents of the package, then refuse it and make a note on the proof of delivery (driver refused to inspect)..
Q. "I prefer to use my own shipper number (I have an account with Fed Ex), can you have my shipper pick up the product and then you not charge me for shipping?"
A. Sorry, but we simply do too much business daily to allow exceptions to our way of shipping. We do understand that you want to use your own shipper, but in order for us to keep our order turn-around as quick as possible and our shipping processes streamlined, we must be consistent in our shipping procedures, and this includes shipping using our shipper number every time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
Q. "How long after I place my order will it be before you actually ship my products?"
A. If your products are in stock here at our PlumbingSupply.com® warehouse (in Chico, CA) and you place your order by 7pm EST (M-F, excluding Holidays), more than likely we will ship your order the same day. If your product is to ship direct from the manufacturer or one of their access warehouses, then the lead-time to ship will be approximately 2-3 business days unless a longer lead-time to ship has been mentioned either on the page where the product is priced OR in the Shopping Cart description of the product. If we determine your expected ship date will exceed the time-frames we've outlined above, we will let you know the lead time(s) within 24-hours of placing your order (during our normal business hours).
Please note that delays can and do occur sometimes when shipping products from the manufacturer and their access warehouses. There can be delays related to processing and/or assembly, and if time is crucial, please do contact us via e-mail before ordering so that we can tell you whether or not the product you are ordering is coming from our own warehouse or the manufacturer's. We can then offer you a firmer lead-time to ship.
Generally, ground UPS/FedEx delivery can take up to 7 business days (usually a lot faster than that but we prefer to "under-promise and over-perform" and so want to warn you that sometimes UPS/FedEx, etc have glitches) to deliver depending on your location relative to the warehouse where the product is shipping.
Please do allow a few more days during December's holiday shipping season (Christmas and Thanksgiving seasons) before expecting your order.
Q. "I need the order tomorrow. Why don't you offer next day air?"
A. We offered next day air during our first two years of being in business. We found that when we offered next day air, along with more orders, we also received more dissatisfaction. Some of it was due to the courier failing to deliver on time, some of it was due to customers placing orders after our cut-off time (and still expected to have it next day), and some of it was due to stressful customers who needed the product "yesterday" and ordered from us because we showed the product. We found that the customer satisfaction rate with next day air was not as good as we would like, therefore, decided to no longer offer it. We do offer second day shipping, but please understand that we must receive your order by 7pm Eastern and that UPS/FedEx many times delivers 2nd Day Shipping in three working days. Saturdays and Sundays and holidays do not count in the two days as well. If your order is an emergency, it is probably better for you (and us) to purchase the item(s) you need locally.
Q. "What are your policies on returns?"
A. In most cases we do charge a restock and in some cases we will not take a product back. We list all on our return policy page. We believe that our return policy is fair and reasonable and is very easy to read and understand.
Q. "If I select 2nd Day shipping, and part of my order is not in stock, how will the order be shipped?"
A. If part of your order is in stock, and one or more items are out of stock we give you the option to either have the in stock item shipped now, and the remainder will ship once we receive it; or, we can hold the in stock item until the backorder arrives, and ship the order complete. Either way, you are not charged any extra for shipping.
If "2nd Day" shipping is selected and you choose to have the in stock item shipped now, we will ship the in stock portion 2nd Day. The remainder of the order will be shipped via a "Standard" method once it arrives. Likewise, if you've chosen "2nd Day" shipping and choose to have the in stock items held, your order will ship "2nd Day" once the backordered item is back in stock.
We pride ourselves on our inventory levels, and strive to keep at least 98% of our products in stock. If something is not in stock, we apologize for any inconvenience, and we will do our best to bring it in as quickly as possible.
Q. "I have ordered numerous items and you have all but one item in stock. If you ship everything now, and the backordered item when it comes in, will I have to pay the shipping fees twice?"
A. Standard shipping charges are a flat rates based on the price of the product (not based on the actual cost of the shipping). We have done this to make life easier for our customers. This makes it easy to know the exact shipping charge each and every time on each and every product. Charging based on the product subtotal means that in this case, it won't cost you any extra if we ship one, two or even ten packages to you.
Q. "Why do you charge my credit card even if it takes a week to ship?"
A. We must charge your credit card on special orders and back orders immediately because we want to make sure that there are funds available, and to ensure the requested items will be allocated to you. You need not worry about us never shipping your products and you still having to pay (getting "ripped off" by us) because should your products never arrive you can deduct the amount from your credit card company even months later as they protect you from fraud. That is the case not only if purchasing from us but with all merchants who sell on the net. Rest assured, we are totally honest and you need not worry. However, we know this is a concern, so if you do not believe what you've just read, feel free to ask your credit card company. To ensure availability, the order is processed when we have the items in stock, or after we have gotten your approval of any lead times; say, for example, that you want a flush valve that we are currently out of stock on. If we order 8 flush valves, and while it is being shipped to us 8 people agree to pre-pay for the backordered item, you - as the 9th person waiting for this flush valve - would not receive one as paid orders take priority.
Q. "I'd like to give special instructions for the UPS/FedEx driver, such as to leave it on the porch without a signature. Can I do that?"
A. Unfortunately that is not possible. For our protection against fraud we cannot insist to UPS/FedEx that they leave your product without your signature. They might do so but we cannot specify specific instructions to UPS/FedEx. However, please be aware that some shipments may require a signature for delivery based on where it is coming from or how it was shipped.
Q. "If you ship the correct products (as stated on our catalog) and I simply change my mind and wish to return the products, will you pay for me to ship the products back to you?"
A. If we make a mistake we certainly will, but if you simply change your mind, we cannot afford to do so. Please read our return policy page for a more detailed explanation if this is a concern to you.
Q. "Can you guarantee that I'll get my shipment on time?"
A. In a "perfect" world, a "perfect" (we think we're close) supplier would deliver 100% of its shipments on time, to the correct customer, 100% of the time. The shipments would include the correct content 100% of the time and the customers would be 100% satisfied every time. That's in theory. We have read figures/statistics that in the supply business, with other suppliers, at any given time, as many as 1/3rd of shipments do not get to the customer on time (in other words only about 67% of their customers are "totally" satisfied), with the correct merchandise or to the customer satisfaction. We believe that our satisfaction rate is over 99% but we aren't perfect. Just a comment, from our experience, incorrect address information received from our customers is one of our primary reasons for lost or delayed shipments.
Q. "I received my tracking number, and I can see when my package is scheduled to be delivered. Is it safe for me to schedule my plumber now for that day?"
A. As above, there is no way for us to guarantee exactly when your order will arrive. We very strongly recommend you wait to schedule your installation appointment until after you have actually received your order as there are a number of different situations that could prove problematic. For instance, the shipping company may encounter issues that cause a delay in your delivery, products may have been damaged in transit, your order might be shipping from multiple warehouses and may not all be scheduled to arrive at the same time, etc. Scheduling a plumber before you have all of the items you need them to install can result in added costs for you since most plumbers charge for their visit whether they can complete the job or not. Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse you for any such expenses. However, if you wait until after you've received your products, you will be able to first inspect them to make sure they're complete, correct, and unbroken before you make a commitment to a plumber.