Potter Violins strives to make your interaction with the string world a positive and inspiring one. We hope that the lives we touch will retain a lasting memory of the nobler aspects of human experience. To that end, we have developed company policies which both protect your investment and also maintain a commercial framework that serves our mutual interests. As our customer, you have a right to expect the best. Our goal is to offer you the finest instruments at the most reasonable prices. We are dedicated to providing the most courteous and informative service, and prompt and hassle-free resolutions to any situations which may occur as a result of your use of your instruments and bows.
Electronic Instrument Sales Policy
Potter Violins’ return policy for electronic instruments and accessories allows customers a three-week period from the date of purchase to initiate a return. To be eligible for a return, the items must be in resaleable condition and in their original packaging. Please be aware that a restocking fee of 15% may be applied to cover the costs associated with processing returns and preparing the items for resale. While we do not offer a warranty for electronic instruments and accessories, many of these products come with manufacturer’s warranties to address any defects or issues. Lastly, we would like to inform you that we do not accept electronic instruments in trade.
All financing is subject to credit approval. Minimum monthly payments are required for all financed purchases. Please note that we reserve the right to discontinue or modify the financing terms at any time.
It’s important to be aware that certain restrictions apply to our financing options. Credit promotions and related offers cannot be combined with other discount offers or rental credits. Additionally, financing cannot be combined with promotions or sales.
Free Shipping Exceptions
Please note that our free shipping policies, where applicable, do not extend beyond the contiguous 48 states. The customer is responsible for all shipping charges to Alaska (AK) and Hawaii (HI), as well as to/from APO or FPO addresses. For international orders, please be aware that additional fees, customs duties, and taxes may apply. Expedited shipping options are available, but they may involve additional charges. Oversized or heavy items may also incur additional shipping costs. If desired, customers can opt for shipping insurance at an additional cost. In the event of a return or exchange for items that were shipped for free, please review our specific policies, including any applicable return shipping fees or restocking fees.
Potter Violins gift cards are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for cash at any point after purchase. They hold no cash value and are intended for use solely for merchandise or services at Potter Violins. Please keep in mind that gift cards will not be replaced if lost or stolen. We recommend keeping your gift certificate in a secure place to prevent any unauthorized use. If you have any questions or concerns about your gift certificate, please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.
In-Store and Online Sales
Our sales apply to in-stock and non-consignment inventory only. These sales are time-limited offers with specific start and end dates, providing customers with opportunities to enjoy discounted prices on select items. We kindly request that customers refrain from requesting retroactive application of sales to past purchases, as our sales are not applicable retrospectively. To ensure fair pricing and transparency, discounts may not be combined with other discounts, sales, or promotions. Please note that there may be exclusions or exceptions to the sales, such as certain brands, consignment items, or items already marked as clearance or final sale. We advise customers to wait for official announcements to stay informed about upcoming sales and promotions. Our primary goal is to offer exceptional value and a rewarding shopping experience to all our valued customers.
It is easy to try instruments by calling us and arranging a shipment. Instruments under $3,000 must be paid for in full when they are shipped. These instruments may be returned within 21 days. After this period, our normal trade-in policy would apply. Instruments that cost more than $3,000 may be sent on a one-week trial contract. You will have one week to decide to purchase the instrument or return it to us. A 10% restocking fee will be charged to the client for purchased instrument returns.
Multiple trials for instruments under $3000 generally require that one of the instruments be paid for in advance while awaiting final approval. The second instrument should be returned after the first week. The approval period for the preferred instrument can then be extended for a total of up to three weeks.
It is important to remember that you assume full responsibility for the condition of instruments until they are returned to Potter Violins. If instruments are damaged in return shipping, you agree to pay for the costs of repairs, including depreciation in the value of the damaged instrument. It is very important you purchase insurance coverage and use only our recommended shippers (FedEx or UPS). Please examine any goods shipped by us to be sure you have received them in good condition. Please notify us immediately if you suspect that they have suffered any damage en route to you.
Shipping for all trials is the responsibility of the customer. If an instrument or bow is purchased during the trial period, the shipping to the customer will be refunded or added into the invoice as a discount. Return shipping to Potter Violins will remain the responsibility of the customer.
Instrument trials taken in person and brought to a different state are subject to Maryland tax.
Late Payment Fees
At Potter Violins, we understand that occasionally there may be instances where customers face financial challenges and have difficulty making timely payments. However, it is crucial for us to maintain a balanced financial structure to meet our commitments to employees and suppliers. When invoices go unpaid, we may incur additional costs, such as borrowing fees, which could ultimately raise the overall cost of instruments and limit our ability to contribute to donation programs. In light of this, we believe it is fair for delinquent accounts to bear the responsibility of covering the expenses associated with delayed payments. The specific late payment fees will be clearly communicated to customers, outlining any flat rates or percentages applied based on the outstanding balance. We also encourage customers to promptly communicate with us if they anticipate payment difficulties, as we may be able to work out alternative arrangements. It is our goal to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship while ensuring the sustainability of our operations and the continuation of our donation programs.
Outside Rental Credit
Potter Violins offers the option to apply documented rental credit from another store towards the purchase of an in-stock, non-consignment instrument, subject to the terms and conditions of our rental program. To qualify, customers must provide valid documentation, such as rental receipts or agreements, from the previous rental store. It’s important to note that the amount of outside rental credit applied cannot exceed the credit accrued by renting an equivalent instrument from Potter Violins. Furthermore, outside rental credit cannot be combined with any discounts, offers, or promotions available at Potter Violins. Our aim is to provide a fair and transparent process for customers to utilize their rental credit while ensuring the integrity of our pricing and promotional strategies.
We prioritize customer satisfaction and aim to provide accurate and reliable information on our website. However, please note that due to the dynamic nature of inventory, availability of instruments, bows, and cases may change unexpectedly. We recommend reaching out to us via phone or email before placing an order to confirm the availability of the specific item you are interested in. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you and ensure that we have the exact product you are looking for.
Additionally, unless otherwise specified, instrument prices listed on our website are for the instrument alone. Bows and cases must be purchased separately. This allows us to offer more flexibility to our customers and provide options tailored to their specific needs.
In exceptional circumstances, we reserve the right to deny any order for any reason. While we make every effort to fulfill all customer orders, there may be situations where we are unable to proceed with an order, and we must exercise this right. If such a situation arises, we will communicate with you promptly and work towards finding a satisfactory resolution.
For security purposes, online orders are shipped exclusively to the billing address of the cardholder. This policy ensures the protection of our customers’ sensitive information and minimizes the risk of unauthorized use of payment methods.
Potter Violins considers your satisfaction to be our top priority. We stand by our products, and will exchange or return any item within our 21 days, subject to the following terms and conditions:
Instrument Return Policy
Instruments may be returned within 21 days. These items must be returned in “as-new” condition. Repair costs or depreciation due to damage may be charged and will be deducted from the amount refunded. Instruments taken on a one-week trial then purchased are subject to our trade-in policy only. A 10% restocking fee will be charged to the client for purchased instrument returns.
New Bow Case & Instrument Case Return Policy
All new bow cases and new instrument cases may be returned for a refund during the 21-day return period provided they remain in new condition. All new bows and new instrument cases come with a 6 (six) month warranty against defects in quality and construction. This policy does not apply to used bows and used instrument cases. A 10% restocking fee may be charged to the client for purchased bow returns.
Antique Bow Return Policy
All antique bows may be returned for a full refund within 21 days. Bows taken on a one week trial and then purchased are subject to our trade-in policy only. Antique or previously used bows are sold in “as-is” condition. A 10% restocking fee will be charged to the client for purchased bow returns.
Electronic Instruments & Accessories Return Policy
Please see Electronic Instrument Sales Policy.
Unopened strings may be returned within 21 days for a refund, ensuring freshness for all customers. Installed strings are not returnable unless deemed defective by Potter Violins within 7 days of purchase. Please note that we cannot accept string returns based on subjective opinions of tone, as each instrument’s tonal qualities are unique.
Playonair Shoulder Rests
After a Playonair shoulder rest has been used, it is no longer returnable due to health reasons. If the rest is defective, please contact Playonair directly for their warranty information. The contact information will be on your original packaging.
Sheet music is non-refundable. Defective sheet music may be returned for an exchange, for the same title only, within twenty-one (21) days of purchase.
Media (DVDs, CDs, VHS, Software)
Unopened media may be returned for a refund. Media found to be defective must be returned within 21 days of purchase for the same title replacement only.
All non-installed instrument parts may be returned within 21 days of purchase. Installed instrument parts are not returnable unless defective; however, the defective parts may be returned within 21 days of installation, for replacement only.
Special orders are non-refundable.
At Potter Violins, we prioritize transparency and integrity in all aspects of our business, including instrument purchases. We firmly believe that our customers deserve unbiased information and recommendations when making important decisions. Therefore, we want to assure you that under no circumstances do we pay undisclosed teacher’s commissions or referral fees. We are committed to providing a trustworthy and reliable experience, where you can have complete confidence in the information and guidance you receive from your child’s teacher regarding instrument purchases. Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and resources you need to make informed decisions without any concerns about potential biases or hidden agendas. We understand the importance of trust in the teacher-student relationship, and we stand firm in our commitment to ensuring that your child’s educational journey is supported with the utmost integrity.
We stand by our products, and will exchange or return any item within 21 days, subject to the following terms and conditions:
Full-sized (Student level up to $4000):
We will accept any one full-sized instrument in trade* at the original sales price**, minus a reconditioning fee, if the instrument was originally purchased from Potter Violins provided that:
- The trade is for another instrument of greater value.
- The trade instrument has been reasonably well-maintained and has not suffered any significant damage.
- Receipts from the original sale are provided by the customer and that the customer trading the instrument is the original purchaser.***
*Please note that the trade-in value of your instrument is based on the purchase price of the instrument alone (excluding cases and bows).
Instruments will incur reconditioning fees in order to bring them up to our standards for resale and warranty. If your trade is in excellent condition, you can expect the following reconditioning fees: Violin $250, Viola $300, Cello $350, Bass $400
For instruments valued above $4000, we will take back in trade at the original sales price less a reconditioning fee to be determined at the time of trade-in. Please call the store for more information. Policy effective July 1, 2013.
For all instruments purchased prior to July 1, 2013, the previous trade-in policy will remain in effect.
*While we will always try to accommodate every need, we cannot guarantee the acceptance of a trade towards the purchase of a consignment instrument/bow.
**Please note that the trade-in value of your instrument is based on the purchase price of the instrument only and excludes cases and/or bows.
***Trade-in values as outlined above are only valid if you are the original purchaser of the instrument from Potter Violins. Instruments purchased second hand but originally purchased from Potter Violins are still eligible for trade with slightly modified terms. Instruments purchased second hand will be traded at 1/2 the original trade-in value.
Instruments will incur reconditioning fees in order to bring them up to our standards for resale and warranty. If your trade is in excellent condition, you may expect the following reconditioning fees: Violin $250.00, Viola $300.00, Cello $350.00, Bass $400.00. Any exceptions to these policies are at the sole discretion of Potter Violins.
Please note: The Trade-in instrument is due back to the store at the time you purchase your new instrument. If you are a mail-order client, you will have two weeks to return the trade-in instrument to our store. If we do not receive the trade-in instrument within the two-week time frame, we will charge your credit card for the value of the trade-in instrument and will assume that you are keeping it. If at the time we receive your trade-in instrument, any additional damage or depreciation is assessed, we will charge your credit card or account accordingly. Please contact the store if you have any questions.
Trade-in policy for Fractional-Size Violins & Violas:
A child usually changes instrument size approximately every two years. When you trade your fractional (1/8 through 3/4) violin or viola toward the next size, there will be a reconditioning fee of $250. This amount includes costs associated with restoring trade-in instruments to saleable condition. For example, if you paid $850 for your fractional Doetsch violin and you took good care of it (no cracks or scratches, etc.) you could expect to receive $600 as your trade-in allowance toward your next instrument. Instruments in need of further repair will incur repair charges. Cases and bows are purchased separately and do not retain any trade-in value.
Trade-in Policy for Bows:
All fractional Pernambuco violin bows (nickel level) will be given a $75 trade-in credit. All fractional Brazilwood cello bows will be credited $50, and fractional Pernambuco cello bows $100.
This policy is for bows traded in with the instrument and in immediately re-saleable condition. The credited bow must not be warped, nor have a broken tip or worn grip. The customer will need to have those conditions corrected before the bow is eligible for the credit. The credit will be applied after the bow has been received and evaluated by Potter Violins.*
All full-size nickel-mounted Pernambuco bows will be given $100 for violin, $125 for viola, and $150 for cello. This policy is for bows traded in with the instrument and in immediately re-salable condition.
The credited bow must not be warped, nor have a broken tip or worn grip. The customer will need to have those conditions corrected first before it is eligible for the credit. The credit will be applied after the bow has been received and evaluated by Potter Violins.*
All silver-mounted bows up to $3000 in value can be taken in trade at 70% of the purchase price toward a bow of higher value. Antique bows with a value higher than $3000 can be taken in trade at 100% of the purchase price, less a reconditioning fee. (Flat rate of $75 for rehair and clean up; all other reconditioning would be assessed at the time of trade-in). Any certificate (other than the Potter Violins appraisal) sold with a bow must also be returned to receive full trade-in value; otherwise, the cost of replacing the certificate will be deducted.
*The policy does not include rental bows.
Viola Resizing: Trade-in Exception:
If you are trading your viola (15″ to 16 1/2″) toward a more expensive viola, see the full-sized instrument policy above. If you trade your viola (15″ to 16 1/2″) toward another adult-size viola of the same brand, there is a $400 flat fee. (This charge is for the instrument only. You keep your original case and bow.)
Trading Fractional Cello Outfits
When you trade your fractional (1/8 through 3/4) cello outfit toward the next size, there will be a $300 depreciation from your original instrument purchase price.
For example: If you paid $2,000 for your fractional cello, you could expect to receive $1,700 as your trade-value allowance. Cases, bags and bows are purchased separately and do not retain trade-in value. Instruments that have been damaged or that require maintenance or repairs would naturally incur a higher depreciation amount. A “soundpost crack,” for instance, can cost up to $800.00 to repair, and those costs do not cover depreciation of the instrument.
Please refer to our maintenance guide to learn how to take care of your instrument to reduce the likelihood of unexpected repair charges.
7/8 to 4/4 Cello Exchanges:
When trading back and forth between 7/8 and 4/4 size cellos of the same brand or price range, there is a $500 flat fee. This fee applies whether you are trading up or down in size and applies only to the instrument. In most instances, you would keep the same case and bow, thereby avoiding any additional costs associated with exchanging those items.
All new bows and new instrument cases come with a 6-month (six-month) warranty against defects in quality and construction. This policy does not apply to used bows and used instrument cases. All antique bows may be returned for a refund within twenty-one (21) days with a restocking fee. Bows taken on a one-week trial and then purchased are subject to our trade-in policy only. Antique or previously used bows are sold in “as-is” condition.
Potter Violins guarantees any instrument sold by us will be free from defects in materials & craftsmanship.
Potter Violins maintains a 100% guarantee of authenticity on all of our instruments.