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Terms & Conditions

The main points:

Set-up standards

All new instruments are professionally set-up by us; either to a standard set of parameters or to your specific requirements. There is no extra charge for this service which is considerably more extensive than most people would imagine. There is a section on the “Information“ pages which gives further details. Please see http://www.andybanjo.com/repairs.htm If you don't know exactly what sort of set-up you want, instruments will be set-up initially to standard parameters and can then altered to suit you at a later stage. The only charge for this alteration service is for any consumables used and any carriage that may be necessary.

All used and vintage instruments, as well as being properly set-up, will have been professionally refurbished or restored as necessary. In some cases, this will mean that original components have been replaced with reproduction items to restore the proper function of the instrument. If you require an “all-original” instrument for a collection, please contact us before purchasing. Our used and vintage instruments are intended to be played - the same setting-up/alteration service is available as for new banjos.

Warranty

All instruments (including used and vintage banjos) carry a full year's warranty (subject to the exclusion of the cosmetic condition of used & vintage instruments). If you have any problems during your first year of ownership, please contact us for advice as to how those problems may be resolved. It must be borne in mind that, generally speaking, the cosmetic finish of new factory-produced instruments (particularly the lower-priced items) will not come up to the standards of luthier-built instruments; it would not be reasonable to expect this of instruments which are factory-finished. We aim to provide instruments which are in first class playing order and producing the best tone of which they are capable, within their own inherent limitations. Such instruments will have a reasonable standard of finish appropriate to their price but minor cosmetic flaws in a budget banjo do not constitute a faulty instrument. If you find the standard of finish of a banjo to be below your requirements, you can, of course, return it - but we can’t guarantee to provide lower-priced banjos with a flawless finish.

This warranty is provided as a “return to base” guarantee - if your banjo needs attention, you will need to send it back to the Banjo Works. If at all practical, you should retain the original packaging in which you got the banjo in order to be easily able to return it at need. If that’s not practical, banjos travel pretty well if mummified in bubble wrap and packed in a stout cardboard box. ParcelForce 48 from your local Post Office is a cheap and reliable service - though we don’t insist on it, there are plenty of other excellent services.

Once the 12-month warranty period has expired, we are happy to do any servicing or repair work that you may need - we keep extensive stocks of specialist parts all the time, so repairs cost less than you might think, even allowing for carriage costs. Please consult the page on Set-up, repair and restoration services.

Quality statement

We aim to offer the widest possible selection of banjos and to back this up with the most comprehensive service.

We aim to offer the best "value for money" prices, bearing mind the amount of pre-sale preparation work that we do and the after-sales service that we provide. In some cases, our prices may appear to be a bit higher than some other dealers. This is because we spend a considerable amount of time and effort to ensure that the playability, stability and tone of the instruments is as good as it possible can be. The “andybanjo set-up” goes considerably further in terms of the amount of work done than most others - few luthier-built banjos would come with a better standard of set-up than an ordinary run-of-the-mill banjo from us. We always level, dress & polish fingerboards, set top nuts to the correct clearance, tighten & align necks and generally ensure that any given banjo is as good as it can be, within its own inherent limitations. In many cases, this will involve substituting higher-quality components for original equipment. All instruments will have brand new sets of strings, decent quality bridges, spare string sets and fitted straps. Almost all 5-string banjos will have complimentary capos & capo spikes.

If you buy a banjo from a trader who simply takes a delivery from a wholesaler/manufacturer and then ships it on to you without touching it, you really don’t get anything like the same item. It may appear to be the same; but it won’t play, sound or stay in tune the same ……. It will most likely be a bit cheaper - but will it be cheap enough to allow for the all the work that hasn‘t been done to it?. By our standards, that kind of “straight-out-of-the-box” product does not constitute better “value-for-money”.

With used and vintage banjos, the philosophy is much the same. When you compare the condition of the used and vintage banjos that we supply with those in other outlets, you'll almost always find that our banjos are actually better. Our used and vintage banjos don't need ANY work done to them before they can be played as normal everyday instruments. All banjos inevitably need a certain amount of periodic servicing and adjustment - and this can be quite costly if it hasn't been done for a while (a good analogy is buying a car with 30,000 miles on the clock but which has never had a service). Enquire closely into costs before buying a used banjo that "just needs a bit of fixing up". Sadly, we see a great many banjos purchased as “bargains” from well-known auction sites - most of them are middling- to fairly-expensive restoration jobs though some are fit only for spare parts. It would be unfair to say that it’s impossible to find a genuine bargain at auction - but most of the really good buys we’ve seen in recent years have come from local auction houses rather than on-line sources.

Range

We aim to cover the market from entry-level (around £200 or so) up to the professional grade (around £1200 or so) - although we often have more expensive items. Because of agency and other arrangements in place in the UK, there are some areas where the consumer is actually better off buying directly from overseas suppliers.

Firstly, the big US mail order suppliers are extraordinarily good at their own specialised business - if you are certain that you want a particular model of a brand new American banjo, it is very often true that the cheapest way to buy it is by mail order (even allowing for the freight, import duty, VAT, clearance/delivery charges and the fact that you may have to pay to have it finally set-up when it gets here). Companies like Janet Davis, Elderly etc are really good at what they do. As secondhand examples of banjos like Gibsons are hard to find in the UK, you might even find that you could get a new one in America rather cheaper than a used one here. Whilst we might aspire to being able to stock instruments like this at competitive prices, it doesn’t look as though it’s likely to happen anytime soon.

There are some drawbacks to a direct import from the USA - if you're not 100% sure of what you want or you're buying a used or vintage banjo, you should consider the question of returning an unwanted or defective item to the USA. The return freight to the USA is often more expensive than the outward cost (strange but true!) and, whilst there is a system for reclaiming the import duty and VAT, it can take quite a lot of time and effort to recover the tax paid.

For more modest banjos (up to about $1500 retail in the USA), it’s usually more economical to buy them in the UK. Our prices (on “Gold Tone” products, for instance) are carefully monitored against the costs of a direct import from the USA and we are happy that we always offer good value for money when the state of set-up and extras are taken into account. In many cases, our prices will actually be a bit lower - it’s very much cheaper (per banjo) to import 24 instruments in one shipment than a single one!

Returns

All goods (banjos, parts and accessories - but see note * below) bought from the Banjo Works can be returned within 14 days for exchange or refund. We treat this as effectively an “on approval” period - if you don’t like the item, just repack it exactly as it was when it was despatched and bring or send it back to arrive with us within 14 days of the date that you received it. (This obviously doesn’t apply to any instrument which may been received “damaged in transit” - please see below for different arrangements). Once we get it back, we will exchange or refund the item less the carriage charge. This is in addition to your statutory rights. As you need to return the item exactly as it was when it was despatched to you, this allows you a pretty fair “try-out” in your own home - but almost certainly precludes trying-out a new instrument at a pub session or gig unless you really are super-careful. We’re sorry about this but you would almost certainly have difficulty arranging to borrow an instrument to try out at a gig from your local Music Shop either. When repacking an instrument for return, please take care to do it exactly as it was done by us prior to despatch - but there’s no need to put back the tapes marking the bridge position, just make sure the bridge is removed and packed separately.

You must check any instrument for damage in transit as soon as you receive it. Carriers are now very reluctant to accept liability for concealed (i.e. not immediately visible) damage but will entertain claims for a period of about 24 hours after delivery. This means you must report any damage or loss by 3pm on the day after delivery at the absolute latest. There is no leeway at all in this deadline - the carriers only allow that much time because the alternative of having the driver wait whilst you check the parcel is less economic for them. After the deadline has passed, there is virtually no possibility that a successful claim for damage in transit can be made. Damage or loss in transit is not covered by the 14-day exchange or refund warranty - any such claim must be made within the specified deadline. The normal procedure would then be that the carriers would bring you a replacement banjo and take away the damaged item at no cost to you. This is a good service and works well in cases where the carrier’s rules have been observed - but leaving the parcel sealed up so that you can “check it at the weekend” or “let the birthday-boy (girl) open it” is a really bad idea.

(Note: * This policy cannot be applied to new "built to order" banjos or custom work for obvious reasons. The detailed specification will have been agreed with you in advance. Any faults would, of course, be rectified free of all charges but further modifications other than setting-up have to be paid for.)

Purchases (personal shopping) at the Banjo Works

You can visit the Banjo Works by prior appointment to try out as many instruments as you like. The appointment hours are from 9am - 5pm Mondays to Fridays. In most cases, the last practical appointment time would be 4pm but we can accommodate 5pm appointments on some days if it’s for something fairly quick.

We extend the 14 day “exchange or refund without question” warranty to personal shoppers as well - normally, personal shoppers would return an instrument themselves but there is no reason why one could not be returned by carrier provided that it was adequately packed. This is in addition to your statutory rights.

Purchases by Internet / mail-order from the Banjo Works

If you can't get to the Banjo Works (and it is surprisingly accessible being only 1 mile from Junction 7 of the M2), you can buy by internet/mail order. The system is simple and very well tried & tested. Just select an instrument, outfit, parts or accessories from the website and pay in the normal way (i.e. on-line, credit/debit card over the phone, bank/building society cheque or postal orders). We’ll send you the instrument or outfit via Fedex which costs only £15 for UK mainland postcodes (see delivery charges for outlying areas). Once you get the instrument, you have a generous period in which to try it out. If you decide for any reason that you don't want to keep the instrument, return it in the condition in which it was despatched to you so as to arrive back at the Banjo Works within 14 days of receipt. We will then either exchange it for another instrument or refund your money (less the carriage cost) without question. It costs you only the carriage charges to change your mind. This is in addition to your statutory rights. Parts & Accessories are normally sent by Royal Mail (First Class) and should normally be returned the same way if unsatisfactory.

Cases and gig bags

Many people find it very confusing that some new banjos (but not many) come with a "free" case whilst most do not and that most old banjos have a case of some sort but often in woeful condition. With the new banjos with “free” cases, these items are often quite a lot dearer than similar banjos without a “free” case - and with old banjos, the cost and difficulty of obtaining a case to substitute for a worn-out item can be quite considerable.

To make matters and price comparisons easier, we decided that we would price all the instruments without cases of any kind. Then you know exactly where you stand and can buy whatever case suits your needs - many customers will already own cases that are perfectly suitable for the new instrument and can do without spending money on an unnecessary case. We have a great many hard or soft cases of various types which can be supplied with any instrument at modest extra cost. An exception is made with some very large oversize banjos where it is very unlikely that any customer would already possess a case that would do the job - but if you do, please ring us up and we’ll sell you one of those banjos without a case at a reduced price.

Condition of used and vintage banjos

This is what we mean when we use the following terms and is taken from the terminology of the auction houses:

  • Good condition - where all the components are sound but showing wear consistent with age and use
  • Very good condition - where all the components are sound and showing less wear than might be expected
  • Excellent condition - where all the components are sound and showing little wear at all
  • Mint condition - where all the components are very sound and showing almost no wear of any kind
  • Original - where banjos are concerned, this is the most vexed topic of all. In many cases, it is impossible to say whether or not particular components on a banjo are original especially where very detailed exact replica parts are available. We would say that it is usually possible to spot where a major component (i.e. the neck) has been replaced but that for smaller parts, one simply has to rely on intuition and "feel". If we are doubtful of the originality of a part, we will mention it but we don't pretend to be infallible!

We don’t sell banjos which fall into the “fair”, “poor” or “requires restoration” categories - though we do see quite a lot of them coming in for repair estimates.

Statutory information

andy perkins traditional instruments is the trading name of Andybanjo Ltd. which operates from:

The Banjo Works, Unit 18 Faversham Ind. Est., Graveney Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8UJ

And whose registered address is:

149 - 151 Mortimer Street, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 5HA
Companies House Registered no: 5045060
VAT Registration number - 661 9004 45

We can be contacted by telephone at 01795 590374 and aim to be able to answer calls between 9am - 5pm, 5 days a week, Mondays to Fridays inclusive; closed Weekends and Bank Holidays. This is not a premium rate number and all calls are charged at the standard rates provided by your service provider.

Complaints procedure

Complaints can be made by telephone to 01795 590374 during normal working hours, by e-mail to or by post to:

Andy Perkins Traditional Instruments, The Banjo Works, Unit 18 Faversham Industrial Estate, Graveney Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8UJ.

We will acknowledge all complaints within 5 days of receipt and aim to resolve them within 28 days. However, if you have made a complaint by leaving an answer-phone message or sending an e-mail and not received an acknowledgement of a complaint within 48 hours, please repeat the message as neither answer phones nor e-mail are 100% reliable.

Complaints should quote the relevant invoice number and the type of product.

In some cases involving third parties (for example, Insurers in the case of “damage in transit” claims), it may not be possible to resolve complaints within 28 days but we will endeavour to keep customers informed of progress. Please be aware that claims for damage during a return transit from a customer to the Banjo Works cannot be resolved by the Banjo Works - they are a matter between the client and whichever carrier was employed to transport the goods. Whilst the Banjo Works will do its best to assist with such claims, no responsibility can be taken for events which were outside its control. Many carriers will take a dim view of instruments which were damaged because they had not been adequately repacked for transit.

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