Shipping & Returns

Shipping.

Delivery is by Japan Post only, unless by prior arrangement.

(We don't have ready access to most common international delivery companies due to our geographic location, so requests for a specific delivery company will be difficult and will be expensive.)

Our preferred shipping method uses Japan Post's 'Small Packet-SAL' method which is reserved for small packages not exceeding 2kg in weight and the sum of all dimensions smaller than 104cm. SAL stands for 'Surface-Air Lift' which in simple terms means that it is non-priority airmail. We find that most orders can fit into these constraints easily, and it allows us to offer a moderate to fast shipping service at a reasonable price. Japan Post states that this service will take 2-3 weeks from Japan to most locations.

We allow up to four boxes of 2kg each for this service and if your order exceeds 8kg total, please contact us for further instructions.

***Please note that when SAL/Small Packet is selected, the weight limit for each individual package is 2kg. Any order that exceeds 2kg total must be broken up into smaller parts, and this may affect the levy of taxes and duties where your order is being sent, especially where a 'processing fee' is charged by the Post Office/delivery service in your country.***

 

The caveats with the small packet service are that insurance is not available. A registration service is available that includes a small amount of compensation (Max. 6000 yen per package) in the case of non-delivery and also offers limited traceability.

 

In the rare cases where this method is not suitable i.e.; oversize, overweight or both, we can choose a more suitable shipping option.

For those items that are heavier than 2kg or oversized, we prefer to use EMS which is a priority service that includes insurance and real time tracking to anywhere in the world. Typically shipping time is approximately 5 days. This is an excellent shipping method, but it can get quite expensive.

There are other shipping methods/companies available, but we find Japan Post to offer the best combination of value, speed and service. If you do not agree, please do not hesitate to contact us for further details.

Undelivered items are a very rare occurrence, but they do happen. We ask that you contact your local Post Office about slow or late parcels as a first course of action, because most of the time the parcel is tied up there, close to your location. We can only start implementing action for a 'lost' parcel after the maximum allowable shipping time has passed, so please understand our reluctance to start action until the parcel is unquestionably lost. At the same time, if the parcel is definitely 'lost', please contact us in a reasonable time frame. 

Mandatory tracking locations.

You may not that some locations only have shipping options that include tracking (Registered and EMS) tracking without the more economical non-tracked options no longer available.

This includes (but is not limited to) Russia, Canada, The United States and much of South America.

This is not an error, but something that was necessary primarily due to delays in parcels arriving, often much later than is reasonable to expect.

While lost parcels are truly very rare, delayed parcels are disturbingly common and mandating tracking to those countries with the poorest track record in this regard is an attempt to show where the delay is occurring. However this tracking does rely on a parcel being logged into the tracking system when it arrives which does not always happen and shows the parcel still being 'in Japan' and any enquiries to the local postal authorities will also result in their claim that said parcel is still in Japan.

However, Japan Post does not hold parcels for any longer than is necessary, and if they cannot process a parcel it is returned to us within 24 hours for correction. If this does happen we will alert you to this slight delay. Once a parcel leaves Japan, we cannot do anything to track or find a parcel until it is entered into the tracking system at the destination country which may take far longer than anticipated.

In short, our attempt to show where the delay actually is does not work if the recipient country does not do their part/assigned task.

Our attempt to direct the frustration you may feel at a delayed parcel (and our frustration is multiplied, as you might be waiting on one parcel, we may have dozens out there) has not worked as well as it should have, and please do not expect that we can do anything other than wait patiently for the recipient countries postal and customs services to do their job.

(We don't like it, but there's really nothing we can do. We're at the mercy of the post office of your country as much as you are.)

Returns policy.

We want you to be happy with your purchases, however we know that this may not always be the case. However because we do not function in the usual way that a store operates, we do need to make sure that our returns are kept to a minimum.

We will inspect every item before it is shipped to ensure that we do not send faulty merchandise halfway around the world, and we will package each order to give it best chance to arrive to you unscathed. We have become very adept at making sure our products arrive intact and on time and it is extremely rare for an item to be damaged whilst in transit. If you find that damage to your order has occurred in transit, then please contact us for assistance.

We also ask that before you place an order do make sure that the product is suitable for your purposes. Wherever possible we will offer extensive descriptions along with detailed photographs to help you make your decisions. In the case of you simply changing your mind and wishing to return an item, we will accept it but we cannot refund shipping charges and reserve the right to charge a restocking fee 30% of the order total. If you wish to 'try before you buy' please contact us before placing an order and we will try to accommodate your request to the best of our ability.

If you find that any item you have ordered from us does not meet your anticipated standards, then do not hesitate to contact us. We will work with you to make sure that 'things are put right'.

Regardless of how you may be dissatisfied with your order, we ask that you please contact us immediately so that we can correct the problem as fast as possible if we possibly can.

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