Shipping & Returns

Shipping Policies

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, FPO, and DPO addresses. Free shipping applies only to ground or USPS First-Class Mail shipments only.

Military and Diplomatic Addresses (APO, FPO, & DPO)
Due to us being in the Washington, D.C. metro area, we rent to many clients abroad who use APO, FPO, and DPO mailing addresses. While we are glad to ship violins and violas to these addresses, unfortunately, the boxes we safely ship cellos in exceed the maximum size limit by USPS.

Shipping Policy – Instrument or Bow Trials
We are happy to ship instruments or bows for your review and approval. Please note that you are responsible for the care and condition of the instrument(s), in addition to shipping costs, both to and from the shop. A major credit card will be required to secure the instruments until they are returned in good condition and to reimburse the shop for shipping expenses.

If you decide to purchase an instrument that has been shipped to you on trial, Potter Violins will cover the shipping costs for that specific instrument; shipping costs for other instruments shipped on trial will still be the responsibility of the cardholder.

Please note: Upon request, we can issue a shipping label from our commercial shipping account. Please contact the sales department or email  [email protected] to request a label or for more information.

Shipping Policy – Rental Instruments
New rental contracts and instrument size changes on existing rental contracts are subject to shipping charges. Please note the rental Protection Plan does not cover shipping for damaged instruments, bows or cases. Regular shipping charges also apply to instruments and bows shipped for repairs or routine maintenance.

Shipping & Return Instructions
Please provide your invoice number and the credit card number used, if credit is due.

All repairs must be scheduled before you ship merchandise to our shop. You should discuss any time constraints for repairs with us at that time. Please use USPS, UPS or FedEx only to ship your package to our shop.

All incoming rental exchanges and trade-in instruments must be received no later than four (4) weeks from when we process the transaction. If not returned within the 4-week time period, additional rent, fees and/or late charges will apply. These additional charges may not apply toward rental credit accumulation or trade-in credit.

If damage does occur, please keep the original shipping box, as well as all packing materials received, and call us immediately.

Please do not ship the damaged package back to us

After we have notified USPS, UPS, or FedEx of the damaged package, an inspector will contact you to schedule an appointment to inspect the item.

How to Pack a Violin or Viola for Shipping

Place soft foam or tissue in front of and behind the bridge for support. (Please do not put foam on top of the bridge. The instrument may crack if there is too much downward pressure on the bridge.) You may also insert soft foam or tissue between the center strings on both sides of the bridge.

For Violas/Violins or Cellos shipped in hard cases, please use soft foam or a soft cloth to fill in any gaps between the instrument and the sides of the case to prevent any kind of movement.

Before packing a cello for shipment to us, we request that you loosen the strings on the instrument sufficiently to allow removal of the bridge. Please place a soft material, such as foam, underneath the tailpiece, in order to prevent it from scratching the top of the cello during shipment. The bridge can be wrapped separately and placed in a secure location inside the case. The instrument should then be put into the case, which must be shipped in a box filled with good quality packing material. If you have received a cello from us, please use the packing material, such as the grey bags, which you originally found in the box, for return shipments.

Box Dimensions
Violin (4/4, 3/4, 1/2)
34 x 14 x 8

Violin (1/4, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16, 1/32)
26 x 11 x 8

Violin Bows (All sizes)
37 x 9 x 9

Cello (4/4, 3/4, 1/2)
55 x 21½ x 15

Cello (1/4, 1/8, 1/10)
48 x 21½ x 15

Viola (All sizes)
34 x 14 x 8

Strings-Only Orders Above $40 Ship Free – Shipping is free for full string sets, or if your individual strings-only order totals more than $40.00.

Sheet Music and Accessories orders are subject to shipping charges.

Online Orders – Please note that online instrument orders will be shipped to the credit card billing address only.

Return Policies

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 & Instrument Case Return Policy
All new bows and new instrument cases may be returned for a full 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 will 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
All electric instruments and accessories may be returned or exchanged within 21 days from the date of purchase. The items must be in resalable condition and in the original packaging. A 15% restocking fee will be charged to the client for these returns. Although Potter Violins does not warranty electric instruments and accessories, many of the products will have manufacturer’s warranties. Potter Violins does not take electric products in trade.

Strings Returns
Please inspect your strings immediately upon receipt. Unopened strings may only be returned within 21 days, so that we may supply all our customers with the freshest possible strings. Installed strings are not returnable unless a string is deemed defective by Potter Violins and returned within 7 days from purchase. Please note: Because the tonal qualities of each instrument are unique, we cannot accept string returns based on opinions of tone.

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
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.

Instrument Parts
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
Special orders are non-refundable.