FAQ & Return Policy
Spring Break March 2024
We will be on Spring Break from March 1st to March 15th, 2024. During this time, you can still place orders on our website. However, no items will ship during this time. Rest assured, in stock items will ship after we return on March 18th.
Order Cancellations / Returns (New Items)
Pre-ordered items can be cancelled and/or returned for a full refund anytime before the physical product ships. Exceptions: some items cannot be cancelled. For these ineligible cancellations/returns, there will be text at the top of the product page. It may look something like: Preorders on this item cannot be canceled. All sales are final. Preorder window limited. However, we reserve the right to alter this text and it may not appear exactly as seen above.
If your item has shipped, the item can still be returned. Items need to be returned in new or factory sealed condition (i.e. unopened and damage-free). We cannot be responsible for items damaged during return transit. We recommend using a new LP mailer (with air cells or gutters) to return your item. We cannot accept returns that have been damaged in the mail or packaged improperly.
Shipping on returned items will be charged to the customer. The customer will be responsible for postage back to Cartridge Thunder. Once the item is received, a refund (less shipping) will be issued.
Exceptions to these policies may be made for defective items. These instances will be handled on a case-by case basis.
We cannot be responsible for replacing one-of-a-kind or items damaged in the mail. If you are concerned about the condition of your item, we strongly recommend using Priority Mail. If the item is an LP/vinyl record, you can request that the record is shipped outside of the jacket. These requests must be made during checkout or before the item ships via our support e-mail.
If you have any questions about your order, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Order Cancellations / Returns (Cartridges and Styli)
Unless there is a manufacturer defect, we cannot accept returns on cartridges and styli sold on our website, even if they are unused.
Please carefully check the model of your turntable for compatibility prior to purchase. We are happy to help you as well. Please e-mail email@example.com and we will be happy to discuss your options based on the model of your turntable.
Order Cancellations / Returns (Used Items)
Used items are handled different than new items. These are one of a kind SKUs and replacements are not available.
- Purchases are non-refundable and are not eligible for return.
- We cannot be responsible for the product during transit. It will be packed carefully and professionally. If you are concerned about item damage, please purchase Priority Mail or UPS.
- We have done our best to evaluate the item's physical appearance and grade it appropriately. Items shown in the photo are the items which you will receive.
- Please scroll to the bottom of this page for Grades and descriptions.
Our website supports orders to the US and Canada, but we are able to accommodate international (i.e. not the US or Canada) orders upon request. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orders to Canada (and other international countries) may be charged duties and taxes upon delivery. We do not collect these delivery fees, taxes, VAT or any other fees at checkout. You will be responsible for these additional fees upon delivery. Please be aware of these additional fees before purchasing from a country outside of the United States.
If your jacket or package is damaged in transit, we will do our best to find a mutually beneficial solution. In such an instance, e-mail email@example.com
You will receive tracking for your order as soon as the label has been printed. If your package is lost in transit, we will do our best to rectify the situation. You have 14 days after your missing package is marked as "delivered" to work with us in finding a solution to your lost package. In such an instance, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
We do not guarantee a refund or replacement for lost or damaged items. If you are concerned about your items being lost in transit, please use USPS Priority Mail.
I ordered an item by mistake. Can I cancel my order and get a refund?
No. We will consider your case but we encourage you to read the product listing, double-check your quantities, and make a sound decision when purchasing. This applies to all payment methods offered on our website, or purchases completed through another portal similar, but not limited to, PayPal and Shop.
I purchased an in-stock item—when will it ship?
Generally speaking, orders are shipped in 1-2 business days. If you place your order after 11am on Friday, it will most likely ship the following Monday. Orders are not shipped on the weekend. You will receive a shipping confirmation e-mail as soon as your order's label has been printed.
Holidays: We observe most if not all of the Holiday staples (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc.) and do not ship during this time.
When will my pre-order ship?
Your pre-order ship date should be on the product page. While this date is not likely to change, manufacturing hiccups can happen. All customers will be notified via e-mail in this unlikely event.
I purchased an in-stock item and a pre-order item—when will it ship?
Your order will ship when every item (in the order) is in stock. So, if you order an in-stock LP, and a pre-order released on June 1st, 199X, the order will ship on June 1st. You can, at any time, request to split the order and have items shipped separately. An additional shipping cost will apply.
Where will my item ship from?
If you ordered vinyl, your order will ship from Chicago, IL. T-shirt orders will ship from Printful (a t-shirt fulfillment company). These orders typically come from California or North Carolina.
Why is my pre-order being charged upfront?
Pre-orders are charged upfront in order to avoid billing issues at time of shipment (overdraft, card number changes, etc.)
Will I receive a shipping notification when my item has shipped?
Yes. You will receive a shipping notification at the e-mail address under which you placed your original order.
Can I change my shipping address?
Yes. Anytime before your order ships. Please notify us at email@example.com with any changes to your order. We ship to the address that you have provided at purchase.
Customers are responsible for updating their addresses. If your address changes, and we are not notified before your item ships out, it will most likely be returned to our office after an unsuccessful delivery. In such an event, we will need to invoice you for additional shipping charges before the item is re-shipped. If your item is not returned by the post office, a replacement will need to be purchased.
If I live in Chicago, can I pick up my order?
Yes. Please place an order online, and then contact firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know that you have opted to pick up your order. Your shipping will then be refunded. Our office and fulfillment center is located in Ravenswood at 4541 N Ravenswood Avenue.
My jacket was damaged in transit.
If you are in the United States, we will ship you a replacement jacket if they are available (jackets are not always available). We may ask you for a photo, though this is more for us to verify what exactly went wrong in transit. This applies only to Cartridge Thunder releases. Unfortunately, we do not have any replacement jackets for third-party releases (from other labels).
If you are concerned about the condition of an item, or how your mail carrier will handle the item, you can request the record be removed from the jacket. By default, records will ship inside the jacket (and wrapped in cellophane, as they arrive from the distributor or, in the case of our first-party records, our manufacturer).
We cannot guarantee a replacement jacket for third-party, distributed items (i.e. items that were not produced under our label) or even items offered from our label. These items are ineligible for a return or refund. We will consider return cases for other issues (manufacturing mishaps, for example).
If you are located abroad (i.e. not the US), we will work to find a solution wherein we can ship a replacement jacket out to you (if they are available). We unfortunately cannot assume the cost of international replacement shipping.
Do sales apply to preorder items?
No. If you purchase a preorder item by using a discount code, an additional invoice will be issued for the balance. Most of the time, discount codes will not work on preorder items, but in the event of a technological hiccup, please note that sales and discounts do not apply to preorder items.
I ordered a full price item that is now on sale. Can I retroactively apply the sale price for a refund, reimbursement, or discount?
Do Free Shipping sales apply to Priority Mail and other expedited services?
No. Free Shipping sales apply to media mail (vinyl) and other, ground services for non-vinyl categories.
Why am I being charged tax on my order?
We are based in Chicago, IL. Illinois is what is considered an “Origin based” sales tax state. This means that all customers based in Illinois are charged sales tax. If your item is purchased from out of state, shipped out of state, and shipped from our location in Chicago, IL, you will not be charged sales tax (i.e. recipients who are not located in Illinois will not be charged sales tax). You can read more about this here. We don’t make the rules, but we do have to follow them!
Do you guarantee and/or replace items purchased from other distributors or online stores?
Not always. A number of things can happen between our initial possession of the item, and its distribution in another store. We can evaluate any problem you may be having on a case-by-case basis.
Currently, our only "verified" list of distributors are Light in the Attic (US), Black Screen Records (EU), High Score Records (FR), Disk Union (JP), and Ship to Shore Records (US).
We do not currently sell any items on Amazon, eBay, Mercari, or even Merchbar. Items purchased from these websites will have been shipped by someone other than ourselves (inexplicably, we might add).
In the case of third-party items sold on our store: we cannot guarantee a replacement or refund for damaged items. Many of these items come from outside the country (US) and replacements are not readily available. To prevent such issues, please request that your LPs are shipped outside the jacket, or use a service like USPS Priority or UPS Ground (in opposition to Media Mail).
Used Item Grading
You can view these descriptions below:
- Mint: Absolutely perfect in every way. Certainly never been played, possibly even still sealed.
- NM or M-: A nearly perfect record. A NM or M- record has more than likely never been played, and the vinyl will play perfectly, with no imperfections during playback. An LP cover should have no creases, folds, seam splits, cut-out holes, or other noticeable similar defects. The same should be true of any other inserts, such as posters, lyric sleeves, etc.
- Very Good Plus (VG+): A Very Good Plus record will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it. Defects should be more of a cosmetic nature, not affecting the actual playback as a whole. Record surfaces may show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches that don't affect one's listening experiences. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are "OK". The label may have some ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. Spindle marks may be present. Picture sleeves and inner sleeves will have some slight wear, slightly turned-up corners, or a slight seam split. An LP cover may have slight signs of wear, and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation, or cut corner. Surface noise may be evident due to age.
- Very Good (VG): Many of the defects found in a VG+ record will be more pronounced in a VG disc. Surface noise will be evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during a song's intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as with light scratches (deep enough to feel with a fingernail) that will affect the sound. Labels may be marred by writing, or have tape or stickers (or their residue) attached. The same will be true of picture sleeves or LP covers.
- Good (G), Good Plus (G+): A record in Good or Good Plus condition can be played through without skipping. But it will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. A cover or sleeve will have seam splits, especially at the bottom or on the spine. Tape, writing, ring wear, or other defects will be present. While the record will be playable without skipping, noticeable surface noise and "ticks" will almost certainly accompany the playback.
- Poor (P), Fair (F): The record is cracked, badly warped, and won't play through without skipping or repeating. The picture sleeve is water damaged, split on all three seams and heavily marred by wear and writing. The LP cover barely keeps the LP inside it. Inner sleeves are fully split, crinkled, and written upon. Generally speaking, we will not carry these in the store.