FAQ

Shipping & Purchase Process

We got this. We understand. We’re musicians too. Buying a finely-made instrument sight-unseen and having it shipped a considerable distance can be a nerve-wracking experience. Not to worry! TME has been shipping guitars, banjos, mandolins and amplifiers around the world for more than fifty years; and we go to great lengths to make sure everyone on staff treats your instrument as if it were their own.

Fast, friendly & free. Most orders placed by 3:00PM EST will ship the same day--and every order ships within 24 hours of the time it’s placed. Thanks to our strong partnership with UPS, most shipments will arrive within 1-5 business days, depending on your relative distance from the Boston area. Before your instrument is expertly packed & insulated in one of our heavy-duty, custom-made cartons, it will be restrung, polished and inspected by our technicians, ensuring it arrives perfectly setup, ready to play, and in its advertised condition. Best of all? It’s free. As long as your order is over $100.00, it always qualifies for free shipping via UPS Ground (competitively priced options for expedited shipping are also available at online checkout).

Strange question, right? Not really. Since we're both not sure that what you've purchased is the right fit, we only pre-authorize your credit card for the purchase amount. Only after you've received your order and have let us know everything is exactly what you wanted, do we then charge your card. This helps avoid any nasty bank transaction fees and allows you peace of mind that you're not being charged for something you haven't yet received.

Yes. TME offers an unconditional 48-hour, at-home trial period for all instruments purchased online. During that time, please consider us your musical sounding board. If you think a setup tweak, a different set of strings, or an in-depth conversation would help better tailor your new gear to your needs, reach out and let us know. We'll do what we can to assist. But of course, you’re welcome to return your instrument--no matter what the reason. Just let us know within that 48 hour period.

Yes. We always check instruments before shipping; and if we determine they'd benefit from a setup, a minor adjustment, or a restringing, we happily perform this work before sending you the instrument. We know there's nothing worse than excitedly opening a new case to find an instrument that's not ready to go.

Your order is fully insured, and we’re here to help if an unforeseen delay arises. It very rarely does! If you're concerned or something arises that might disrupt your plans to accept delivery, please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime via email or phone ~ 781.860.0049.

Returns and exchanges

Communication is the lifeblood of our business. We love to hear from you when you're thrilled with your purchase but we absolutely need to hear from you when things aren't working out. Don't worry, we're all adults and can handle disappointments.

If you’d like to initiate a return, please contact us using our online form located here. Provide your order number, and we’ll issue a UPS return label which will allow you to drop your instrument off at any UPS Store or Customer Center. Please reuse the original packing material you received from us, and make sure all accompanying materials and/or accessories are returned along with your instrument when applicable. 

It's easy! Just contact us, provide your order number, and we’ll issue a UPS return label which will allow you to drop your instrument off at any UPS Store or Customer Center. Please reuse the original packing material you received from us, and make sure all accompanying materials and/or accessories are returned along with your instrument when applicable. 

We do not accept returns of the items listed below, unless damaged in shipping:
• Instruments which were played and evaluated in our showroom prior to being ordered online and shipped.
• Instruments modified at the buyer’s request (pickup installation, strap buttons, banjo spikes, etc.) 
• Amplifiers
• Effects Pedals
• Accessories & Apparel 

While we’re always here for customer support during the returns process, please be aware of the following stipulations:

• In the event of a return, the buyer is responsible for all shipping charges incurred during the transaction.
• If we haven't heard from you within that 48-hour window, we will assume that all is well and move ahead with charging your credit card. Any returns made after this point will be subject to a 5% restocking fee.
• If you elect to return an order on your shipping account, please make sure you've insured the product for its full retail value. Things can happen in transit and we want you to be covered in case of potential damage, rare as that may be.
• All items must be returned in the condition in which they were received, including all product documentation, accessories, and packaging.TME reserves the right to deny a return if we aren’t notified about product damage, defects, or customer dissatisfaction within 48 hours of receipt.  

Buying & Selling

We're always on the hunt for good used gear. We pay cash, consign and work trade-in deals. Let us know how we can help find a new home for your instruments. For more info see our Sell - Trade page.

Repairs & Service

Given the sheer number of instruments that pass through our door, it has become necessary to limit our repair services to only those instruments that we have sold (or instruments from builders we currently represent). If you’re a client with a vintage guitar you purchased from us 20 years ago, or a budding guitarist picking up your first instrument ~ we’re here to service it for you. Just reach out and let us know the nature of your problem; and if we can’t service it in house, we have some of the best luthiers in the business at our disposal. 

For those instruments that weren’t purchased at The Music Emporium, we invite you to reach out to the following local techs. We've vetted their services, and they have decades of experience executing quality repair work.

Steve Morrill @ Steve Morrill Guitar Repair in Boxboro, MA - Electrics and Acoustics

Dan Armstrong @ Armstrong Guitars in Natick, MA - Electrics and Acoustics

All the time, but there's a cost: you will be mildly scolded for not knowing how to do this already. And we will force you to watch us do it so that you feel even sillier when you realize how easy it is. And we might charge you $25.

WARNING: The chances of you falling in love with a guitar in our showroom increase the longer we take to perform this service!