Updated November 24, 2007
This page should answer some of your questions (I hope). Keep in mind that some answers link off this page. Just use your "back" button to return.
If you have any other questions for us, simply e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What are Very Cool Things?
- Who is behind this?
- So, like, are you a store or what?
- Do you ship outside the US?
- What do the different shipping indicators mean? (ships in 3 days, 12 days, 30 days, etc.)
- What are the shipping costs?
- Do you charge tax?
- Why does VCT use PayPal for payments?
- What other forms of payment does VeryCoolThings accept (besides PayPal)?
- When can I expect my stuff?
- What is your return policy?
- What about damaged packaging?
- What is your refund policy?
- What are regions, when talking about DVDs? What region am I?
- What the heck is NTSC, and how does it relate to PAL and SECAM?!?!
- How do I unsubscribe from your e-mail list?
3. So, like, are you a store or what?
- Well, we are kind of schizophrenic on that point. We started out as a sort of guide to finding cool things on the web. Then we realized we could sell a lot of our favorite things for less than most of the websites we were planning on linking to. So now we offer many items, much of which you cannot get cheaper elsewhere. In particular, our Japanese import toys and Hong Kong import DVDs. Then, of course, the time involved with running a store started impinging on our reviews and log. However, we're trying to swing the pendulum back that way and get back to our roots, so to speak.
4. Do you ship outside the US?
- As long as you live in a country that allows PayPal transactions, OR
- You are able to send International Money Orders in US currency
For shipping cost information, please see #5 below and our Shipping Information page.
For instructions on ordering with an International Money Order, see #9 below.
5. What do the different shipping indicators mean?
- The safest bet to ensure availability of an item is to send us an e-mail before ordering!
The time listed in the shipping indicator is our best estimate of how many business days it will be before this item is on its way to you. In some cases actual times are dependant on our international partners, so we do not guarantee this time, but rest assured that in most cases we ship the item faster than indicated. Note that if your order contains multiple items, then by default it will ship in the longest shipping time listed for the items in your order.
- 1. AS STATED, these shipping times are ESTIMATES which often will vary based on the speed with which we can get the items from our distributors.
- 2. The estimates are how long until the item leaves our warehouse and do not take into consideration time in transit to you.
Special order items might take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, if they are available at all. We will try to keep you updated every 30 days on the status of these items.
- Out of stock
The only time you should see an Out of Stock icon is when you go straight to an item when searching from Google. Otherwise, out of stock items do not show up on our website. If you see an item that is Out of Stock, it means we don't think we can get it any longer. If you are interested, you can e-mail us and we will check our distributors to see if it's available.
6. What are the shipping costs?
- $6.99 flat fee for shipping within the continental U.S. All orders within the continental United States cost $6 to ship, no matter how large - so the more you buy, the better the deal :)
- $11.99 flat fee for air (Priority) shipping to Hawaii, Alaska, U.S. Territories, and APO/FPO addresses.
- If you live outside the United States, you can either check out normally and we will send a PayPal link with actual shipping charges, or you can send us an e-mail and we will calculate the shipping costs on an individual basis.
For further information, please see our Shipping Information page.
7. Do you charge tax?
- We have to charge 8.8% sales tax for residents of Washington State. Sorry, but our profit margin is already so low (no, really) that we cannot afford that 8.8% hit.
8. Why does VCT use PayPal for payments?
- We use PayPal for three main reasons, all of which positively affect you, our customer:
- Keep costs down. It is very inexpensive for us to use PayPal, so we are able to reflect that savings in our prices.
- Security of your information. If only PayPal knows your credit card or bank account information, it leaves only one opening for that data. Which means it is much harder to compromise. It also means that you don't have to trust us to make a purchase here. :)
- Pay through your checking account. You don't need a credit card to pay through PayPal.
9. What other forms of payment does VeryCoolThings accept (besides PayPal)?
- WE PREFER PAYPAL! (even though they suck in many ways)
- If you think you cannot use PayPal, make sure to check their FAQ
- If you live in a country where PayPal is not available, then we will accept International Money Orders in US currency
- Send us an e-mail with the items you wish to purchase
- We will confirm the availability and total cost
- Send the money order
- We will hold your goods for 10 business days (two weeks)
For further information, please see our Shipping Information page.
10. When can I expect my stuff?
- Once we receive payment, your order usually ships within the number of business days listed in the shipping indicator. Business days mean MONDAY through FRIDAY, with the exception of holidays. If for some reason we miss the estimated date, we will upgrade your shipping to Priority (in North America) or air (outside the US) at no additional charge.
11. What is your return policy?
- We only accept returns if the item is substantially different from what we described (for example, Region 3 when we stated it was Region 2). Most of what we sell is imported from Japan or Europe, so we are unable to return most goods to the distributor (even if damaged). Our official policy is that all goods are sold 'as is,' but will normally accept returns of damaged goods for store credit.
12. What about damaged packaging?
- Packaging is what surrounds the toy (or item), such as j-card, plastic, cardboard box, etc. Here are our rules on packaging:
- We do NOT open packages, even if they are not sealed. What you receive is exactly as we received it (inside, at least).
- We do NOT knowingly sell damaged goods
- Packaging is NOT guaranteed to be in mint condition, and we CANNOT accept any returns due to damaged packaging. If the actual item is damaged, please see our 'return policy' above.
- If there is notable damage to packaging (creasing, punctures, etc.), our packers have been directed to pull them so we can notify you before we ship. You will then have the opportunity to cancel that item if it is the last one in stock.
- We ship via the US Post Office, which is not known for their care. If you wish, you can request insurance for an additional fee.
13. What is your refund policy?
- Sometimes an item you order turns out to not be available, or takes longer than we estimate. In such cases, we give you the option of store credit plus free shipping, or a refund of the amount paid. In cases where refunds are requested, please understand that it can take up to 10 business days (2 weeks) to process the refund.
Please also see our policies on returns and damage, above.
14. What are regions, when talking about DVDs? What region am I?
- The quick answer: To enable copyright protection, each major part of the world is assigned a region for DVDs. If you live in the US, which is Region 1, you can't play Region 2 DVDs from Japan. However, you can always buy a Region 2 DVD player or, better yet, a multi-region or region-free DVD player that allows you to play any DVD. But hold on! If you want to view UK DVDs (which are also Region 2) on a US TV, you also need a PAL converter.
For more (much more) information on DVD regions, try the DVD Demystified FAQ, section 1.10. For info on PAL, NTSC, and SECAM standards, read the next FAQ.
15. What the heck is NTSC, and how does it relate to PAL and SECAM?!?!
- The quick answer: When developing standards of transmission, the US and most of Asia went one way: NTSC. Most of Europe when another way: PAL. Then a tiny minority (mainly France, those individualists) created SECAM. These standards regulate the lines of video and throughput (and that sort of thing), and make it so an NTSC videotape, which looks and feels just like a PAL videotape, won't be viewable on a PAL VCR and TV. So if you're a fan of UK DVDs (and who isn't?), then you want a PAL converting VCR or separate converter. Just make sure that you buy one that not only plays but converts the PAL signals!!! More information is at the DVD Demystified FAQ, section 1.19..
16. What is your mailing list, and how do I unsubscribe?
- Approximately every other week, we send out an update of new items available on the site and at auction. Also included are periodic coupons, deals, and advance notice of clearance sales. If you do not want to be on this list, simply send an e-mail to email@example.com with 'UNSUBSCRIBE' in the subject line. Note: We've received a few comments along the lines of "why am I not receiving your e-mail" and here's the short answer: SPAM CONTROL. We found that most of our newsletter e-mail were being automatically shunted into people's Junk Mail folders.