Shipping rates are calculated automatically by order weight. Depending on the weight and your location, the cart will automatically present you with shipping options ranging from USPS first class to UPS. USPS flat rate shipping options may be selected on your behalf when we finally pack your items but only if you selected USPS. If we are able to put your items into a flat rate box for much cheaper than what you were charged, we will refund some. If you select a UPS option, we will ship UPS no matter what even if USPS flat rate may have been cheaper. Rest assured that we have no intention to profit by overcharging you shipping and there are no handling fees. If you would like us to analyze your cart and quote exact shipping, please be sure you have created an account on the site and are logged in when filling your shopping cart. We will then be able to find your active cart when you call for the quote.
While USPS first class shipping is the cheapest option for orders that weigh under 16 ounces, it carries no loss or damage insurance. If you select this method of shipping, we cannot cover losses as we have no recourse through USPS to recover those funds. This is also the slowest shipping method and although the USPS tracking page will often make optimistic delivery date estimates, we find that they are a day or so later than estimated pretty regularly.
We print shipping labels (which generates the shipping notification email) between 0 and 3 days after you place an order depending on backlog and/or weekends. Labels are printed in advance of packing boxes and carrier pickup. Please don't call to ask why the tracking has not yet moved a couple hours after label printing.
We physically pack boxes and allow carrier pickups Monday through Friday. While order volume varies and affects turnaround times, generally orders placed by Noon will go out the following business day except when affected by weekend backlogs. Here is an approximate shipping turnaround expectation by day of the week. When order volumes are impacting this general guideline, we post a notice on the front page of this website so that we can set expectations appropriately.
If you have a situation where delays will absolutely ruin your planned brew day, first smack yourself for procrastinating and then email us and let us know what's going on. If possible, we'll try to get your stuff out ASAP.
Expedited Shipping Options: We offer UPS Overnight and 2-day expedited service but you will notice the message "call us first" on this option. It's important to verify that we can process the order in the time period you expect so there are no misunderstandings. USPS Express Mail Flat Rate envelope may be the best choice as it is usually next day service for a very reasonable $22. We are also experimenting with FEDEX 2-day flat rate shipping which costs about $10. This is not something you can select yourself because we have to verify it will fit. Please call us if you suspect your order will fit into approximately 2" x 8" x 11" and wish to use this service. VERY IMPORTANT!!! Although you're paying more money for expedited shipping services, this does not imply that your order is going to get priority treatment internally here at the shop. We are not making any additional money on priority shipping. That's money that we are spending with the shipping carrier on your behalf. If there is a day's worth of orders ahead of yours, they will be handled on a first in, first out basis. We MAY be able to push your order up a bit to be sure it makes pickups but that's dealt with on an individual basis and that's why you need to call to set expectations. If you do not call, we probably won't even see the order by the time you wonder why it hasn't shipped yet.
FREE SHIPPING? Yes! As a courtesy to those who place larger orders with us, we will cover the shipping cost of MOST orders over $299. This offer is limited to customers in the Continental U.S.A only. We tried including Hawaii and Alaska but we were going to lose our shirts as shipping is just too expensive. Simply look for the "free shipping" graphic on each item page to enjoy free shipping on selected items throughout the store. If the items in your order which qualify for 'Free Shipping' total more than $299, your order ships FREE! In other words, there are a few items that are excluded from the free shipping program so you will still be charged shipping if you add any of those items to the cart. They include, but are not limited to, cases of bottles, glass carboys, etc.
Free shipping only applies to orders for in-stock items at the time of order. If you spend $200 on one order and a week later another $100 items comes back into stock, we will not refund shipping on either order. We understand it can be frustrating, sorry.
IMPORTANT NOTE (GRAIN): One item that is not automatically excluded from free shipping is grain. When an order is mixed between hardware items and grain such that it qualifies an order for free shipping, the total grain quantity MUST be 20 pounds or less. If it exceeds 20 pounds we will contact the customer for shipping costs for the quantity over that limit. In case you were curious as to why we have this policy, grain shipping costs exceed the profit. We cannot sustain the business absorbing those losses.
DISCOUNTED SHIPPING? Yes! In some cases you will be offered courtesy discounted shipping in the drop down. The only stipulation is that you don't get to select the exact shipping carrier. We will choose between USPS and UPS for the lower cost option. If you don't like such uncertainty, select the exact carrier you want (it may be more expensive).
Typical UPS Ground transit times by destination location (based on when package is physically picked up).
We currently ship to the U.S., Canada, and a few other select countries that may change over time. We offered shipping anywhere in the world in the past but it represented 60% of all shipping problems for only 3% of our order volume. All we heard was complaints that the shipping was too slow and too expensive. Sorry for the inconvenience. For Canadian customers, keep in mind that we offer USPS shipping via first class under 4 pounds and USPS Priority Mail for all weights. The latter is more expensive but it does offer better speed, tracking and tracing. To be very clear, whatever shipping cost the site quotes is what it is. We know it's expensive but that's what we pay. Any international shipping costs charged do NOT include any kind of import duties and taxes. If your country assesses taxes on import, they are your responsibility. Please do not ask us to undervalue the items on your order because it is illegal and also does not allow us to recover the full losses if the package is lost.
U.S. Forwarding to International Locations
Many international customers have us ship orders to U.S. addresses for forwarding out of the country. Canadians tend to use lockers or package hold services on the border. There are also other freight forwarding services and of course there's the "my friend is coming to visit me next week". We love to accommodate as many unique arrangements as necessary to have our customers get product but there are some very specific policies you need to be aware of. First, if you are under time constraints, give us a courtesy call or email to ask what our current shipping lead time is and if we have everything in stock. We'll be able to advise the best shipping method to be relatively sure the box arrives on time. That also brings us to the second point. There are only a few guaranteed transit time services available. If you use Expressmail or UPS Next Day and they miss the arrival date (and the subsequent ride to your country), the only thing we can do is accept the order back as a return and refund the order in full (since we can also recover the shipping cost from the carrier). This policy also applies to when the carriers just take longer than expected with other non-guaranteed shipping methods. To be clear, we will not cover the costs of reshipping these kinds of returns directly to International locations. Lastly, we make every good faith effort to ship every item on the orders with no mistakes. When mistakes are made, we are willing to ship missing or incorrect parts to the SAME address as the original order. Other arrangements can be made, such as splitting shipping costs etc, but they are not guaranteed. Granted, these policies are challenging but the higher cost nature of doing business requires it to stay sustainable.
SIGNATURE REQUIRED POLICY:
Orders with a pre-shipping value of $150 or more will ship with signature required, regardless of shipping method. When shipping to addresses with apartment numbers, the threshold is lowered to $100 due to higher likelihood of package thefts. We understand that this often causes inconvenience when you cannot be home to accept packages. Please consider shipping to your place of business or a neighbor's house if that works out better. Also be aware that if you have a residential address and select UPS, we will set the signature requirement to "INDIRECT" which means you can preemptively write a note to UPS with a signature approving them to drop the package. At the very least, they will leave a door tag you can sign to receive the box the next day. Why would we make your life harder? When a box is dropped on a porch and later stolen, the customer expects the shipper (us) to take accountability and reship the order. That's a direct loss for us and it's not something we can absorb and still keep prices as low as possible. One scenario that is increasing is UPS attempting to make a delivery and obtain a signature while you're not home. They will NOT attempt a redelivery automatically. They will bring the package to a local UPS affilliate such as a UPS store or similar and they will wait for you to pick it up. They will typically hold it for 2 weeks even though the official policy is 7 days. If you do not pick that box up, it will automatically be returned to us at an additional cost. Our responsibility is to ship out your merchandise in a timely manner. Your responsibility is to keep an eye on the tracking number and be aware if it's being held for pickup. If you know you will not be home for signature, you can direct UPS to hold the box ahead of time. Here's the important bit. If a box is sent back to us because you didn't pick it up from UPS, we consider it Refused/Unaccepted as outlined below. You WILL lose money.
It is very important that you do not refuse a package from any shipping carrier unless we specifically advise you to do so. If you do not accept a package from us (or you do not retrieve a package being held at a post office or other carrier location), the package will be shipped back to us at an additional cost. In order to maintain the lowest possible prices, we cannot incur this additional cost. When we receive a box back in this situation, we will refund the cost of the ordered items minus the actual shipping costs we incur. This includes the outgoing shipping cost (if you got discounted or free shipping) as well as the cost we incur to get the box back. We will waive the standard restocking fee in this case but only if the items were standard stock with no custom parts. You'll also have the option for us to reship it, but only after you cover those incurred shipping costs.
LOST or DELAYED Shipments:
Unfortunately no shipping service is infallible and shipments may be delayed or stall during transit. USPS is misleading by publishing the estimated Priority transit times such as 1-day, 2-day, 3-day because it is an average transit time and is not guaranteed at all. These estimates are often off by at least one or two days during high volume periods, when they are catching up from postal holidays and weekends, or when there is a major storm along the route. If a box appears to be stalled for a couple days at any given location as shown in tracking, we cannot consider it lost immediately because we know from experience that 99% of these boxes do get delivered even if a few days late. We understand the inconvenience, but please be aware that we make no guarantees on behalf of shipping companies that packages won't be occasionally delayed. We will consider USPS Priority Mail and UPS Ground shipments "LOST" when packages have not been delivered after 10 business days of being picked up AND having shown no tracking movement for the past 4 days. We will reship the order at that time with the understanding that the customer will write REFUSED on the second box's arrival and give it back to the carrier if they do eventually arrive. This "lost" policy applies only to Domestic shipments.
Shipments damaged in Transit:
If the package arrives in a noticeably damaged state, with tears, water damage, open holes, etc, please do NOT refuse the package. If you are accepting the package in person, please ask the carrier to note the damage. Immediately take a picture of the damaged packaging and/or damaged items within to send us later. Take an inventory and note any lost pieces. Contact us ASAP. If you refuse the package, we may assess additional shipping charges to resend the merchandise.
Please understand that while some of our policies seem overly restrictive or inconvenient to you, they are the only reason we are able to operate a viable long term business at the extremely fair pricing across the board. If we loosen up on policy, we would have to raise the prices for everyone. Also, you wouldn't believe how short this page used to be. It got filled up as we learned how customer expectations work ;-)
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