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All this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings. ~You've Got Mail
Most of my tiles ship to the US, Canada, and the UK, but I do ship internationally. There are dragon tiles living on six of the seven continents.
Address and Phone Number: In nearly all cases, I need both a street address and a phone number to ship your tile. Unless you ask me not to, your signature is required on delivery. On some orders, the shipper demands this. If you're having new construction, you can ship to your contractor, but ask that it not be left at "the job site" so you don't lose your tile to theft or construction mishap.
Shipping Costs: First, if you're ordering a sample tile, do know that shipping costs do not scale. Fifty pounds of tile ships FedEx to the UK for about $350. A six-inch sample tile sent USPS to the UK ships for about $45.
For completed orders, when your tiles are made and packed, and I have a valid shipping address, I will let you know the balance with shipping and subtract any discounts and rebates from that. If we've had any back-and-forth, with multiple samples, I'll add in the shipping for those and the cost of any additional mockups that you asked for, but not those I originated.
For domestic orders, I like FedEx in most cases. FedEx has done a great job of delivering tile without any problems, although I am not a fan of their automated phone system. Shipping is actual cost plus what I pay to have them professionally packed up (usually $20-$25 per box).
I'll include detailed information on care and installation in your package. It's not difficult but do ask your installer to read these, especially if they've worked mostly with stone. It's a bit different for ceramic art tile.
Once I receive your final payment, I will ship your tiles. I won't wait for your checks to clear before starting or shipping your tiles.
International Shipping: Not surprisingly, most of my tiles ship to homes in the U.S., Canada, and U.K. However, I have tiles in Japan, Australia (Tasmania and Victoria), New Zealand, Norway, and several EU countries. Because these are works of art that I make for you, they fall under the HS Code for works of art and additional import duties should not apply. Small international orders ship most economically with USPS. Large orders work out better with the FedEx International 10K or 25K boxes. Only one tile arrived broken ever and that was sorted right out. Not to worry about breakage.
Taxes and Customs Fees: International customers might have to pay VAT, but Customs will usually respect art tiles as works of art and there are usually exemptions from import duties for that.
Coordinate Delivery Time: I will check with you for a convenient delivery day, but sometimes things come up. FedEx will try on three consecutive business days, after which they will send it back to me, unless you spend hours on the phone on hold with subsequent begging. You can avoid unpleasant drama by signing up for FedEx Delivery Manager, where you can reroute your package or delivery on a day of your choosing.
What's in the Box: I include a printout of care and installation instructions and any sample tiles, and a cover letter that acts as a more personal packing slip. If your installation isn't all one pattern, I'll mark the tiles on the back and in their internal packaging. You can also download the generic Care and Installation instructions at time (ceramic instructions pdf and tumbled marble instructions pdf).
Tracking: I try to ship early in the week so that your package is in transit the least possible time. I will send your tracking number to you in email when I ship your tiles. For FedEx, I will also sign you up for email notifications when I ship your tiles. On international USPS orders, the postal service tracks your package until the date the package leaves the U.S. but after that, tracking is at the discretion of your country's postal service and how well integrated they are with USPS tracking. You should receive your package in a reasonable amount of time either way. In any case, we will both receive a tracking number and email notifications so we can follow along.
Perhaps you are wondering what a reasonable amount of time is. I often revisit this question. Transit times, even within a country, can vary by days or even a week. I've had the most extreme delays in Italy, so I always ship Priority Mail to customers there.
Insurance: On both domestic and international orders, your tiles are insured for the full amount. I send an extra tile or two, in case I've missed a flaw or a chip occurs in shipping, which is unlikely.
Tiles Damaged in Shipping: This has only happened once ever, but I always send a few extra tiles just in case. Tiles are shipped insured, so if a package is lost or destroyed, we're covered. If a box should be damaged, have the carrier note it on the receipt, take photos of the damaged tiles, and let me know within five days. Save the packaging, too.