Help & Frequently Asked Questions

Help & Frequently Asked Questions

Located below are our FAQs. Here you can find information on ordering with a PO, shipping, and many other topics. Check out our “How To” articles to learn about multiple firings, commercial vs. home glazes, and what tools every beginner needs. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, use our convenient support form to contact our experienced customer service staff.

Looking for ceramics help? We have over 100 tips and tricks on our How-to page!

Click here to learn about the new features of the BigCeramicStore website!

Account
Order Status

Visit your Account Dashboard to view the status of your order and order history. Select “My Orders” from the side menu and you will find details on all your current and past orders.

How to Shop

Your shopping cart will be created when you add your first item. When you check out you will have the option to delete items, to save them for later, to change quantities, or to purchase them. You can stop the process at any time prior to submitting your final order. You can purchase on-line with a credit card, or mail us your check. To pay by check, select that option at checkout and print out the order form as instructed. Our address is printed on the order form.

If you make an error or change your mind after submitting the order, email us and we can correct it as long as the item has not shipped.

Please note that your shopping cart is not saved indefinitely. If you stop shopping and want to come back to it later, please print out your shopping cart just to be safe.

Payment
Purchase Orders

We accept purchase orders from schools and government agencies.

To place an order using a PO, add items to your shopping cart and select "pay by check." Include your Purchase Order number in the comments area of the checkout form, if you have it. Fax a copy of your purchase order to 888-475-7837 or mail it to: BigCeramicStore.com 543 Vista Blvd, Sparks, NV 89434. Please include an email address for us to provide status on the order. We also require a purchasing or accounts payable contact, including name and phone number.

Payment Methods

We accept PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express. You may also pay by check. To pay by check, add the items to your shopping cart and check out. Select the "pay by check" option. You will get an order form to print out, with our address on it. Send your check in with the order. We wait 10 business days for checks to clear before processing the order. (This extra time usually applies to cashiers checks and money orders as well.)

Sales Tax

We collect sales tax on orders shipped to Nevada. The cart adds the highest Nevada tax rate, but it gets adjusted to the correct rate for your city when we import it into our database. There are a few items which are drop shipped where we collect sales tax in other states. These are stated on the specific page.

There are a few products for which we collect sales tax in states besides Nevada. We will contact you for approval if that occurs with your order.

When We Charge Your Credit Card For smaller items:

If you are paying by credit card (not check or p.o.), we "pre-authorize" your charges during the checkout process. This verifies that the card information has been entered correctly, that the card is valid, and that you have not reached your card limit. If everything is ok, we "reserve" the amount shown in your shopping cart on that credit card. The card is not actually charged at this point.

We review every order before we actually charge your card. So if you have items which ship by truck and need a shipping quote, or if you have some notes to us in the comments, or if there are any pricing adjustments necessary, we take care of all this before actually charging your card.

If you are having any trouble getting the shopping cart to accept your credit card, first check the 3 or 4 digit security code. This changes when you get issued replacement cards, and is the most common problem. If you still cannot get it to work, back out and select "pay by check". This will get us your order and we can contact you to resolve the credit card issue.

Sometimes (usually with Visa check cards) people have daily limits that can be charged, and we have to spread large charges over several days. We are happy to do this for you.

For larger items including all equipment, see Special Orders - Credit Card Charges below.

Chargebacks and Stop Payments

Refusing to pay for product you have received or fees you have agreed to pay is a form of theft. We cannot afford to absorb such theft without raising our prices. Therefore each incident of a check being returned will result in a $50 bounced check fee. Each time you charge back a payment to your credit card, even if it is in error, per posted policy you agree to a $75 administrative and research service fee. These fees are in addition to any applicable fees and monies due on your order per our policies. Should stop payment fees, chargeback fees or any other order charges, cancellation fees or restocking fees not be paid, the debt will be sent to collections and if unpaid be reported to the credit bureaus. We will prosecute all incidents of fraud or theft. Note that if you chargeback an item to your credit card, you are still responsible for payment of that item. We will send you to collections which among other things may result in a court appearance and/or reporting the unpaid debt to the credit bureaus.

Back Orders

We stock a great many of the items we sell, so most orders will be filled and shipped quickly. However we cannot guarantee that any particular item will be in stock at any time. Below is our policy on filling orders.

  1. Orders where all items are temporarily out of stock will be held until ready for shipping, with a notification sent by email.
  2. If your order includes both in and out of stock items, but can likely be shipped in-full within a week, we may hold the entire order until all items are available.
  3. If we don't expect to have all items within a week, as a courtesy we'd be happy to split your order into multiple shipments free of charge.
  4. If you're working under a deadline or require items by a certain date, please let us know in the order comments and we'll do our best to accommodate you.

* We may occasionally deviate from these criteria/rules when it makes sense for the situation, but our goal is to operate as described.

Shipping
General Shipping Information

Shipping

Click to Shipping Options and Delivery Times!

For non-equipment orders, your shipping will be calculated at checkout after you enter your State/Province and Zip/Postal Code. Checkout uses the weight and size of the items and your destination to calculate these rates.

In the continental US, our primary shipping method is UPS. UPS is economical, and packages are insured and tracked. However, we may use the Postal Service at our discretion. This will not affect your shipping cost and you will still be charged the amount that was in your shopping cart at the time of order.

For equipment orders that do not include free shipping or orders weighing more than 199 pounds, you may place your order at checkout and we will contact you afterwards with shipping options and rates.

International shipping, including Canada, is currently not calculated at checkout. You may place your order at checkout and we will contact you afterwards with shipping options and rates. If you have any questions, please email or call our customer service at support@bigceramicstore.com or 888-513-5303. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Most orders are shipped and processed within the same day or 24 hours from the moment we receive them, but definitely not all. If you order pass 3pm PACIFIC, you order will be processed the next business day. Another reason for the delay is that sometimes items are out of stock, and if we expect them soon we will hold the order until they arrive. Otherwise, we will split your shipment free of cost. For orders to Alaska, Hawaii, US territories or outside of the US, we will notify you and hold your order until all items are in stock.

Other items such as kilns are typically custom-made and can take anywhere from one to six weeks for delivery. If you need something by a certain date, please make sure you let us know so we can inform you if this is possible. Type your requested or required delivery date in the comments and we will let you know as soon as possible.

Heavy or fragile items (such as most kilns, wheels, and pug mills, slab rollers, and large quantities of clay or chemicals) ship by truck. In many cases, free shipping is included. If shipping is not included, you can email us for a quote, or submit your order and we will email you a quote for your approval.

When free shipping is offered, it applies to most destinations in the continental US. It does not include HI, AK or US territories, or any International destinations. It also does not include some remote areas in the continental US. If you're curious about the location where you live, please email and ask us about it. (Note: It is very unusual for an address in the continental US to not be covered by the free shipping. Manhattan and islands that can only be reached by boat or airplane are the most common).

Undeliverable or Returned Packages:Please check your address carefully. If a package shipped to you is not deliverable at the address you provided, you will be charged a $9.95 re-addressing fee. That assumes they are able to correct the address and deliver the package. If the address cannot be corrected and the package is returned to us, you will be charged for both the original shipping cost, and the return shipping cost. PLEASE double-check the addresses you provide when ordering. For truck shipments, similar rules apply, but at possibly higher cost, as it varies from carrier to carrier.

Alaska and Hawaii Customers:We can ship your items by USPS Priority Mail. Please request it in the comments when you check out, and we will let you know the options and rates. We will use flat rate boxes whenever possible.

Refusing a kiln or equipment shipment will also incur a 20% restocking fee, plus all additional related fees resulting from the refusal to receive a confirmed equipment/kiln order.

Kiln Orders

All non-120 volt kiln orders will be confirmed prior to shipment. This is to assure you ordered the options and features you wanted, in particular the voltage and phase. Most kilns are built to order, non-cancelable, and non-returnable. If you need to cancel your kiln order after we submit it to the manufacturer, and before it ships, it may be possible to cancel for a cancellation/restocking fee. This is dependent on the policies of the manufacturer and the costs that we have incurred, and will be handled on a case by case basis. However, if you do not cancel your order before we submit the order to the manufacturer, you will incur a 20% restocking fee. In no case will the cancellation fee be less than 20%. Most kilns are custom made and take 2-6 weeks plus transit time. Smaller kilns usually take less than larger kilns. If you need a kiln faster, please ask us what we have in stock. Or sometimes we can have kilns rush built so you can get it by a certain date.

When you purchase a non 120v kiln, or most items that ship by truck, you will receive an email from us with questions about your delivery and any questions about product options. Here are our instruction on receiving kilns. Please read these when ordering and refer to these when your kiln is being delivered.

International Orders

Please Note: International shipping, including Canada, is currently not calculated at checkout. You may place your order at checkout and we will contact you afterwards with shipping options and rates. If you have any questions, please email or call our customer service at support@bigceramicstore.com or 888-513-5303. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Canada: We offer the UPS e-Tailer Brokerage Program (eBP) to Canadian customers. The eBP offers a flat brokerage rate of $10.00.  To qualify shipments must be less than $200 (Canadian value), and must be shipped via the Standard method (Ground to Canada) for non-commercial end (or residential) use.

The official description of the eBP from UPS:

“Canada Customs requires Canadian recipients to pay applicable duties and taxes on each shipment entering Canada. These charges may include PST, GST, HST, duties and other taxes of goods (e.g. excise tax). A brokerage fee is also charged to process shipments and present the requisite customs paperwork to Canada Customs on the importer’s behalf.

Your order will be shipped under UPS’s e-Tailer Brokerage Program (eBP), where eligible shipments imported into Canada for non-commercial purposes and valued under CAD$ 200 shipped via UPS Standard service are subject to a reduced brokerage fee of CAD$ 10, plus any applicable duties and taxes. Shipments valued at CAD$200 and above and/or being imported to Canada for commercial purposes and/or subject to specialized clearance may incur additional fees.

Please, be aware that UPS will request payment of these charges at the time of delivery. You have the ability to call UPS ahead of time (1-800-742-5877) to pay these charges, eliminating the need for payment on delivery.”

We also offer the Worldwide Expedited method to Canada. Customs brokerage fees are waived; however, your order will be subject to duties and other taxes of goods. The delivery commitment is two days.

We ship heavy items such as kilns, pug mills, and slab rollers to Canada. You may place your order at checkout and we will contact you afterwards with shipping options and rates. Customers with these orders that do not ship via UPS are required to have their own customs broker. We are not responsible for fees associated with international shipping. We recommend using Pacific Customs Brokers for one time freight shipments to Canada.

Free Shipping, where offered, is not applicable to Canada. We will apply a credit equal to free shipping in the US and send you the difference for your approval.

Rest of World: We ship internationally to more than 220 countries and territories via UPS Worldwide Expedited. Customs brokerage fees are waived; however, your order will be subject to duties and other taxes of goods. The delivery commitment is two to six days.

We ship heavy items such as kilns, pug mills and slab rollers internationally via UPS Freight or to a freight forwarder anywhere in the continental US. You may place your order at checkout and we will contact you afterwards with shipping options and rates.

If you choose to use a freight forwarder, you will be responsible for arranging shipping from the freight forwarder to your destination. We will not be responsible for any damages or losses occurred after we deliver the shipment to the freight forwarder.

Free shipping, where offered, is not applicable to international destinations. We will apply a credit equal to free shipping in the US and send you the difference for your approval. Refusing a kiln or equipment shipment will also incur a 20% restocking fee, plus all additional related fees resulting from the refusal to receive a confirmed equipment/kiln order.

Freezing

Unfortunately, during the winter season, shipments of glazes sometimes freeze. While we make an effort to protect the glazes, shipping carriers may process packages through cold, unheated facilities where they are susceptible to the elements.

The good news is, although your glaze arrived frozen, it is still usable! Simply let it thaw naturally at room temperature, and then mix or shake the glaze as you normally would prior to use. If freezing caused a minor leak at the jar lid, the glaze should be fine. If a measurable portion of the glaze is gone, it should not be used, since if the glaze components leaked in disproportionate amounts, then the composition may have changed and it may not fire correctly.

While we're confident that your glaze will work properly for all intended purposes, if you feel that the product is in some way inadequate, please let us know.

Where Do You Ship From?

We ship from various locations. Most shipments come from our warehouse in Nevada. Sometimes (especially on large, custom items) we will ship directly from the manufacturer. This mostly happens with kilns because it is hard to stock all the options.

Local Pick Up

Local customers are welcome to pick their orders up at our facilities in Sparks, NV. For instructions and conditions, please visit the local customers page.

Gift Cards
Giving a Gift Card

Visit our gift card page found on the homepage. You will be asked to enter the name and email address of the recipient and the amount you want to give. Add your personal message to the recipient and add the gift card to your card. Then simply go through the normal checkout process and the gift card will be automatically sent to the recipient at the email address you provided.

Click here to purchase a gift card now!

Redeeming a gift card

On the checkout page, under “Payment Method” there will be an option for “Gift Card Code.” Simply enter your unique gift card code into the box, and the gift amount will be credited towards your purchase.

Can I Check My Balance?

If you have a Big Ceramic Store account, you can check your balance at any time. Go to the side menu on your Account Dashboard. Select “Check your Gift Card Balance,” and enter your card number and pin to get the current balance on the card.

How Do I Use a Discount Code?

Use a discount code just as you would a gift card. Simply enter the discount code during the checkout process under the “Payment Methods” section. See “Redeeming a Gift Card” above for more details.

Returns
Returns and Cancellations

Cancellations: If you wish to cancel an item or order before it has shipped, we will try to accommodate you.  However, once an order has shipped, the Return Policy applies. To cancel an item or an order, please call (888) 513-5303 or email support@bigceramicstore.com with your order number and request a cancellation.

Kilns and Other Equipment Orders May Not Be Cancelled Once They Are Processed. For non-120v kilns, a detailed email is sent confirming your order. The processing of your order is not complete until you reply to that email.  Once you reply affirmatively to that email, your order can no longer be cancelled.  For 120v kilns and other equipment, your order is considered processed once we charge your credit card.  Big Ceramic Store may process your cancellation request after this time, at our discretion, for at least a 20% cancellation/restocking fee. Return shipping will also not be refunded. If you are purchasing a kiln, please make sure you read the section on kiln orders. Refusing a kiln or equipment shipment will also incur a 20% restocking fee, plus all additional related fees resulting from the refusal to receive a confirmed equipment/kiln order.

Returns: Many items purchased through BigCeramicStore.com may be returned; however, there are a few important things to keep in mind when returning a product:

  • You have 30 calendar days to return an item from the date you received it.
  • Return item(s) must be in “new” condition – original packaging & seals intact, no indication of use, etc.

There are Return Exceptions. Please see below.

Return Exceptions: Because of various laws, risk of contamination, manufacturer policy, and return shipping damage, we have the following exceptions to our return policy:

  • Kilns and kiln controllers
  • Kiln spare parts
  • Pottery Wheels
  • Chemicals and stains (for contamination reasons)
  • Pugged clay
  • Scales
  • Video tapes & DVD's

The following equipment may be returned for a restocking fee - 20% of sale price:

  • Pug mills
  • Cink's
  • Extruders
  • Slab Rollers
  • Ware Carts

Return Procedure

  • With your order number, email your return request to support@bigceramicstore.com. We will issue you an RMA number and work out any complications before you return the item. You must submit your request by email.
    You must submit requests by email. Phone requests are not accepted.
  • Return the product to its custom packaging and pack well. If the item is a boxed product, please ship the return inside of a separate outer box and pack the items well. Please ensure that your RMA number is clearly marked on the outside of the package you are sending your return in.
  • Your return must be received within 30 days of receiving your RMA number. Customers are responsible for the shipping costs of the return item(s). We are not responsible for lost or damaged returns. Please insure and/or track your return package accordingly.
  • If you're interested in exchanging any returnable items, this can be achieved as a combination of placing a new order, and requesting a return authorization for your original order.

Refunds: Once we receive your item(s), a refund is initiated immediately, less the original cost of shipping. If you canceled an item/order, and you were billed for it, we will initiate a refund, per cancellation guidelines, immediately after you submit your cancel request. The way your refund is processed depends on your original payment method. Store credit, in the form of a gift certificate, may be issued upon request, regardless of payment method.

Damages: All damages must be reported to Big Ceramic Store within 48 hours of receiving your order. In the instance a product is damaged, Big Ceramic Store will handle the claims process for you and re-ship the item as soon as possible. Damages must be reported within 48 hours of receiving your shipment, no exceptions. If damage to your order is discovered, please:

  • Document the damages in writing and submit it to support@bigceramicstore.com
  • Take pictures of the packaging and damaged product and submit to support@bigceramicstore.com

If your order is being delivered by truck (ie kilns, equipment, large clay or glaze orders), be sure to inspect the delivery thoroughly, documenting any concerns, before signing off on the delivery receipt. Undocumented damages reported after signing will be assumed to have occurred while the delivery was in your possession and will not be eligible for a claim.

Order Discrepancies: Unfortunately, order discrepancies do occur from time to time. Please e-mail support@bigceramicstore.com as soon as possible with any order discrepancies and we will correct them as quickly as possible at no charge to you. Order discrepancies must be reported within five (5) days of receiving your order.

Your Security
Your Security

When you buy from BigCeramicStore.com, we guarantee that all purchase transactions are completely secure transactions. Our shopping cart and checkout system uses encryption and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security features provided by the Web browser using McAffee. This ensures that your transactions are secure. (You will see these seals when you add something to your shopping cart.) To provide extra assurance, many credit card companies will also guarantee the use of your card for web transactions, and not charge you for any misuse.

Your personal information, including email address, will never be sold or otherwise given to a third party for marketing purposes. There are a few cases where we will share information:

  1. With our suppliers if necessary to fulfill your order or solve a problem. For example, if we drop ship a product or we must pass your address to our supplier, or if you need support we may share your contact info with our supplier.
  2. Information is available to companies involved in the checkout process such as shopping cart, credit card companies, and PayPal.

These partners have also pledged not to sell or give away your information.

If you place an order, we may send you a copy of our email newsletter. There is a unsubscribe link in the email, and if you unsubscribe you will not be added again.

Liability

Other than refunding the price of an item you purchased from us, BigCeramicStore is not responsible for loss or damages caused by use of any products we sell. Materials (especially clay, glazes and chemicals) may vary and may not always perform the same from batch to batch; users are encouraged to always test before using large quantities of any material, and never to assume a material or other product will perform as described until tested.

If errors in pricing are shown on the website, we reserve the right to not sell at the listed price.

Newsletter
How Can I Subscribe for The Newsletter?

You can sign up for our email newsletter by providing your name and email in the “Mailing List” box on the homepage. You will receive an email confirming that you signed up to receive our messages. You must confirm in this message to begin receiving our emails.

If you already have an account with us, you can manage your subscription to our emails on your Account Dashboard. Select "Mailing List Subscriptions” from the side menu.

How Can I Unsubscribe?

You can unsubscribe from our email messages by clicking the link at the bottom of our emails.

If you already have an account with us, you can manage your subscription to our emails on your Account Dashboard. Select “Mailing List Subscriptions” from the side menu to subscribe or unsubscribe to our messages.

Do You Have a Catalog?

Sorry, but we do not have a printed catalog. By only maintaining a web site we can add items and product information constantly, and keep prices and other information up to date. If you have a slow internet connection or little time for browsing, click the index/search button at the top of each page. From there you can find things quickly. Or email us if you need help.

Contact
Big Ceramic Store LLC543 Vista Blvd
Sparks, NV 89434
Support form

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