We prefer email,
because that allows us to research your question and get you
in touch with the best possible person to answer it.
Submitting your orders online also allows us to process your
order faster as well as keep costs low so we can offer great
However, we understand that
sometimes you just need to speak with someone in person, so
you are welcome to call us toll free at 888-513-5303.
When you call, you will hear a greeting and may wait up to
30 seconds as we ring several phones trying to find someone
available to take your call. Please be patient, and if
no one is able to pick up, please leave a message including
what you are calling about. We are often with other
customers, but we really do call people back. But we
can't call you back if you don't leave a message!!!
Our usual hours for
answering the phone are 8-5 PST, but sometimes we answer the
phone outside our normal business hours, such as on evenings
and weekends. We almost always check the messages on
weekends, and can email or call you with responses if
Remember, if you have
already placed your order, you can get order
Purchasing On-Line, Security
When you buy from BigCeramicStore.com, we guarantee
that all purchase transactions are completely secure
transactions. Our shopping cart and checkout
system uses encryption and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security features provided by the Web
browser using McAffee. This ensures that your transactions are secure.
(You will see these seals when you add something to your shopping
cart.) To provide
assurance, many credit card companies will also
guarantee the use of your card for web transactions, and not charge you for any
Your personal information,
including email address, will never be sold or otherwise given to a third party
for marketing purposes. There are a few cases where we will
share information: 1) With our suppliers if necessary to fulfill
your order or solve a problem. For example, if we drop ship
a product or we must pass your address to our supplier, or if you
need support we may share your contact info with our
supplier. 2) Information is available to companies involved
in the checkout process such as shopping cart, credit card
companies, and PayPal. These partners have also pledged
not to sell or give away your information.
If you place an order, we may
send you a copy of our email newsletter. There is a
unsubscribe link in the email, and if you unsubscribe you will not
be added again.
We accept purchase orders from schools and government agencies.
To place an order using a PO, add items to your shopping cart
and select "pay by check." Include your Purchase
Order number in the comments area of the checkout form, if you
have it. Fax a copy of your purchase
order to 888-475-7837 or mail it to: BigCeramicStore.com
543 Vista Blvd,
Sparks, NV 89434. Please include an
email address for us to provide status on the order. We
also require a purchasing or accounts payable contact, including
name and phone number.
For non-equipment orders, your shipping will be calculated
by the shopping cart. The shopping cart uses the weight and size of the
items and your destination to calculate these rates. We also add a
small packing fee to help pay for packing materials and insurance when
needed. We charge you the shipping amount that was shown in the
cart, regardless what the actual shipping cost turns out to be. An
exception is that occasionally items marked as
free shipping will show a small cost in the shopping cart.
Those will be removed before we process the final
transaction. Also the shopping cart is not guaranteed
to be accurate for shipping methods other than ground and lower 48
states. (For example, if you order a free shipping item by
air, the correct shipping cost for air does not show in the
shopping cart.) If shipping is more we will always contact
you with the correct total before shipping.
Please note that there is a base price to
get any package to you, usually $9-$13 depending on where you live.
After that you can add more items and the shipping goes up more slowly
with added weight. Therefore, if you order a single inexpensive item you
may pay more for shipping than the cost of the item. That is
simply the nature of shipping and we cannot change it.
All Free Shipping offers shown on the website apply
to shipping within the lower 48 states to a residence or a
business. Liftgates are $40 if needed on truck
shipments. We will contact you if you have purchased a truck
ship product to see if you need a liftgate.
In the the lower 48 US states, our primary shipping methods
are FedEx and UPS. They are economical, and packages are insured and tracked.
However we may use the post office at our discretion. This will not
affect your shipping cost and you will still be charged the amount that
was in your shopping cart at the time of order.
Most orders ship within 1-2 days, but definitely not
all. Sometimes items are out of stock, and if we expect them soon
we hold the order until they arrive. Other items such as kilns are
typically custom made and can take 1-6 weeks. If you need something by a certain date, make
sure you let us know so we can inform you if this is
possible. Type your requested or required delivery date in the
comments and we will let you know if this is not possible.
We ship most most items from Nevada, so
the closer you are to Nevada the shorter the transit time. From our
warehouse to the West Coast is 1-2 days by ground. The rest of the
US is 3-5 business days by ground.
Shipping times (1 day, 2 day, 3 day shipping methods) are from the
date we ship. Days are counted starting the day
after shipment. So if we ship Tuesday by 2 day shipping, you would
get it on Thursday. FedEx can deliver Saturdays to home addresses
but we have to ship it a certain way, so let us know when you need it.
If you note that you are in a
hurry, we can often get orders out the same day if you order by about
1pm PST. We can't guarantee that though, so if you need it that
quickly please ask first.
If you have any other shipping preferences
please state them in the comments on the order form. For example,
whether you would rather have an item sooner and pay higher shipping, or
you would like lowest cost shipping even if it takes a little longer.
Remember that equipment is often not in stock and takes longer, from 1-6
weeks. If you need something by a certain time, please ask if it is
Please read the backorder
section to determine how backorders will affect shipping costs.
Large items often have to ship by
some cases, a truck shipping quote must be generated. You can
email us for a quote, or submit your order and we will email you a
quote for your approval.
Heavy or fragile items (such as most kilns, wheels, and pug mills, some slab rollers, and large quantities of clay or chemicals)
ship by truck. In many cases, free shipping is included.
If shipping is not included, you will be contacted with a shipping
quote for your approval. Sometimes you may desire a liftgate
to get large items off the truck. The liftgate charge is
$40. Residential delivery fees are included with our free
We offer Free Shipping on
many medium and large kilns, as
well as other select items.
When Free Shipping is
offered, it applies to most destinations
in the lower 48 US states. It does not include HI, AK or US
territories, or any International destinations. It also does not include some remote
areas of the lower 48 US states. If you're wondering about the location
where you live, just email
and ask us about it. (Note: It is very unusual for an address
in the lower 48 US states to not be covered by the free shipping.
Manhattan and islands that can only be reached by boat/air are the most
common, and some really remote locations.)
Undeliverable or returned packages: Please check your
address carefully. If a package
shipped to you is not deliverable at the address you provided,
you will be charged a $11 re-addressing fee. That assumes
they are able to correct the address and deliver the package. If
the address can not be corrected and the package is returned to
us, you will be charged for both the original shipping cost, and
the return shipping cost. PLEASE double-check the addresses you
provide when ordering. For freight shipments, similar
rules apply, but at possibly higher cost, as it varies from
carrier to carrier.
Alaska and Hawaii customers - we can
ship your items by USPS Priority Mail. Please request it in
the comments when you check out, and we will let you know the
details and price. In cases where we can ship by post
office, we add $10 to the cost of the postage. We will use
flat rate boxes where we can.
showing transit times from our warehouse in Nevada
CANADA: We ship small packages to Canada by UPS
ground. You will be charged brokerage fees and any taxes, customs
and duties which are due. You will pay these to UPS upon
delivery. Please note that some customers do not think it is worth
the brokerage fees for small orders.
We are now offering the UPS Etailer Brokerage
Program (eBP) to Canadian customers. The eBP offers a flat brokerage rate of
$10.00. To qualify shipments must
be of less than $200 (Canadian value), and must be shipped
Standard method (Ground to Canada) for non-commercial end
The official description of the
eBP from UPS.
“Canada Customs requires Canadian recipients to pay applicable duties and taxes on each
shipment entering Canada. These charges may include PST, GST, HST, duties and other taxes of
goods (e.g. excise tax). A brokerage fee is also charged to process shipments and present the
requisite customs paperwork to Canada Customs on the importer’s behalf.
Your order will be shipped under UPS’s e-Tailer Brokerage Program (eBP), where eligible
shipments imported into Canada for non-commercial purposes and valued under CAD$ 200 shipped
via UPS Standard service are subject to a reduced brokerage fee of CAD$ 10, plus any applicable
duties and taxes. Shipments valued at CAD$200 and above and/or being imported to Canada for
commercial purposes and/or subject to specialized clearance may incur additional fees.
Please, be aware that UPS will request payment of these charges at the time of delivery.
have the ability to call UPS ahead of time (1-800-742-5877) to pay these charges, eliminating the
need for payment on delivery.”
We can also ship larger, truck
ship items to Canada. The shopping cart does not calculate these
shipping costs so we will contact you with a quote. FREE SHIPPING,
WHERE OFFERED, IS NOT APPLICABLE TO CANADA. We will apply a credit
equal to free shipping in the US and send you the difference for your
REST OF WORLD: We ship FedEx WorldWide for
small packages. You are responsible for payment of taxes, customs
and duties. We DO NOT ship internationally by the Postal
Service, so please do not ask us to. We do not have the staff to
deal with customs for all the different countries.
For larger items that cannot
ship by small parcel, (such as kilns), we will ship to a freight forwarder
anywhere in the lower 48 US states. You arrange shipping from the
freight forwarder to your destination. (Note: Sometimes we can
arrange freight all the way to Mexico.)
FREE SHIPPING, WHERE OFFERED, IS NOT APPLICABLE
TO INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS. We will apply a credit equal to free
shipping in the US and send you the difference for your approval.
We have a $20 minimum order. You
can still purchase less than $20 worth of product but you will be
charged a $3 small order fee. If you purchase only
printed material (books or color charts) this fee will be removed.
Cancellations: If you want to cancel
an order before it has shipped, we will try to accommodate you.
Once an order has shipped the Returns section applies.
There are Cancellation Exceptions:
Kilns and other equipment cannot be cancelled once they are
processed. For non-120v kilns, we send you a detailed email and do
not finish the processing of your order until you reply to that
email. Once you reply affirmatively to that email, no
cancellations are possible. For 120v kilns and other equipment,
your order is considered processed once we charge your credit
card. If you really need to cancel after this time, we may allow
it at our discretion, but in no case will the cancellation fee be less
than 15%. If you are purchasing a kiln, please make sure you read
the section on kiln orders.
Returns: For many items, you have 14 days from the receipt of an order to request a refund for
any reason. Upon return receipt of the merchandise you will receive a
full refund less shipping costs. There are Return
Exceptions. Please see below.
If items are in
"new" condition (sealed packages, no indication of use,
etc), they may be returned for a full 3 months after purchase. Upon return receipt of the merchandise you will receive a
full refund less shipping costs. If the items being
returned were purchased with "free shipping", you will
also be charged the original cost of shipping the item to you.
Return Exceptions: Because of various laws, risk of
contamination, manufacturer policy, and return shipping damage, we have the
following exceptions to our return policy:
- Kilns and kiln controllers (that is why we verify kiln orders,
see section on Kiln Orders)
- Pottery Wheels
- Chemicals and stains (for contamination reasons)
- Pugged clay
- Video tapes & DVD's
- Kiln spare parts
- All other equipment including: Pug mills, Cink's, Extruders, Slab
Rollers and Ware Carts. These may be returnable with a
- All large equipment purchases may have cancellation fees if we have
already begun processing the order
Please note that just because we don't take returns on wheels and
kilns, does not mean that you have to be concerned that you might be
stuck with a product that does not work. If there is any problem
when your product arrives, we will always work
with you and the manufacturer to get you a product that works.
You also are covered under the manufacturers warranty. Customers
cannot however return a wheel or kiln just because they have changed their mind.
One reason for this is the difficulty for the customer to pack the
product correctly to avoid shipping damage.
Return Procedure: To request a refund
1) Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will give you an RMA number and work out any complications before
you return the item. That helps everything go smoothly once the
items arrive and then you can be refunded promptly.
YOU MUST SUBMIT REQUESTS BY EMAIL. PHONE
REQUESTS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
2) Pack the items well, insure them, and ship to the address we
provide with the RMA number. We are not be responsible for
shipping damage, packages sent to other addresses or packages without
Other than refunding the price of an item you
purchased from us,
BigCeramicStore is not responsible for loss or damages caused by use of
any products we sell. Materials (especially clay, glazes and
chemicals) may vary and may not always perform the same from batch to
batch; users are encouraged to always TEST before using large
quantities of any material, and never to assume a material or other
product will perform as described until tested.
We stock a great many of the items we sell, so most orders will
be filled and shipped quickly. However we cannot guarantee that any
particular item will be in stock at any time. Below is our
policy on filling orders.
1) We attempt to fill all orders complete upon
receipt, and can do so most of the time. If we can't, we try to
use common sense and fairness in determining how to proceed with the
2) If we can fill an order complete within about
a week, we will hold your order until we have all the items.
3) If an item is small, and doesn't seem like a
large part of your order, we may cancel it. For example, if you
order 12 glazes and we don't have 1. Or you order 20 stilts at 50c
we only have 16, we'll ship what we have, cancel the remainder and close
4) We may decide to ship what we have, and ship
the remainder later. This would be most likely if we were out of
several items in your order, or something is going to take a while.
5) In many cases, if we are out of something we
will list it in the order comments and/or contact you to see if you want to cancel that item, or wait until
it arrives. (We probably won't contact
you if we can ship complete within a few business days, but if we expect it to be
1-2 weeks, we would contact you.)
6) In some cases, we will split your order
(with backorders) into 2 shipments for an additional $4-5 shipping cost, if you ask us
to. It costs about $8-$10 to make 2 shipments instead of 1, so we are essentially
splitting this cost with you so you can get some of the items faster.
7) PLEASE give us guidance. When ordering,
please enter what you
would like to do in the order comments. For example, if you really
need 1 item and the rest is filler, tell us that. Or if you are
not in a hurry and would rather get your order complete, tell us that. We try very hard to help you when we know what you
want. (Unfortunately we haven't learned how to read minds yet!)
* We may occasionally deviate from these criteria/rules when it
makes sense for the situation, but our goal is to operate as
We accept PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Discover,
American Express. You may also pay by check. To pay by
check, add the items to your
shopping cart and check out. Select the "pay by check"
option. You will get an order form to print out, with our address on
it. Send your check in with the order. We wait 10 business days for checks to
clear before processing the order. (This extra time usually applies to
cashiers checks and money orders as well.)
Other than refunding the price of an item you purchased from
us, BigCeramicStore is not responsible for loss or damages caused
by use of any products we sell. Materials (especially clay,
glazes and chemicals) may vary and may not always perform the same
from batch to batch; users are encouraged to always TEST before
using large quantities of any material, and never to assume a
material or other product will perform as described until
If errors in pricing are shown on the website, we reserve the right to not
sell at the listed price.
We collect sales tax on orders shipped to Nevada. The
cart adds the highest Nevada tax rate, but it gets adjusted to
the correct rate for your city when we import it into our
database. There are a few items which are drop shipped
where we collect sales tax in other states. These are stated
on the specific page.
There are a few products for which we collect
sales tax in states besides Nevada. We will contact you for
approval if that occurs with your order.
All non-120 volt kiln orders will
be confirmed prior to shipment. This is to assure you ordered the options and
features you wanted, in particular the voltage and phase. Most
kilns are built to order, non-cancelable, and non-returnable.
If you need to cancel your kiln order after we submit it to the manufacturer, and
before it ships, it may be possible to cancel for a
cancellation/restocking fee. This is dependent on the policies of the
manufacturer and the costs that we have incurred, and will be handled on a case by case basis.
In no case will the cancellation fee be less than 15%. Most
kilns are custom made and take 2-6 weeks plus transit time.
Smaller kilns usually take less than larger kilns. If you
need a kiln faster, please ask us
what we have in stock. Or sometimes we can have kilns rush built
so you can get it by a certain date.
When you purchase a non 120v kiln,
or most items that ship by truck, you will receive
an email from us with questions about your
delivery and any questions about product options. Here are our
instruction on receiving kilns.
Please read these when ordering and refer to these when your kiln is being
we Charge Your Credit Card
For smaller items:
If you are paying by credit card (not
check or p.o.), we "pre-authorize" your charges during the
checkout process. This verifies that the card information has
been entered correctly, that the card is valid, and that you have
not reached your card limit. If everything is ok, we
"reserve" the amount shown in your shopping cart on that
credit card. The card is not actually charged at this point.
We review every order before we actually
charge your card. So if you have items which ship by truck and
need a shipping quote, or if you have some notes to us in the
comments, or if there are any pricing adjustments necessary, we take
care of all this before actually charging your card.
If you are having any trouble getting the
shopping cart to accept your credit card, first check the 3 or 4
digit security code. This changes when you get issued
replacement cards, and is the most common problem. If you
still cannot get it to work, back out and select "pay by
check". This will get us your order and we can contact
you to resolve the credit card issue.
Sometimes (usually with visa check cards)
people have daily limits that can be charged, and we have to spread
large charges over several days. We are happy to do this for
For larger items
including all equipment, see Special Orders - Credit Card
Special Orders -
Credit Card Charges
Special-order items (such as kilns, pug mills, mixers, wheels and
slab rollers) may be charged to your credit card at the time of
ordering, not upon shipment of the order.
This is done because of the custom/special-order nature of the
item. If you've ordered one of these items and have a question
or concern about this, feel free to contact
How to Shop
Your shopping cart will be created when you add your first
item. When you check out you will have the option to delete
items, to save them for later, to change quantities, or to
purchase them. You can stop the process at any time prior to
submitting your final order. You can purchase on-line with a credit
card, or mail us your check. To pay by check, select that
option at checkout and print out the order form as
instructed. Our address is printed on the order form.
If you make an error or change your mind after submitting the
order, email us and
we can correct it as long as the item has not shipped.
Please note that your shopping cart is not saved
indefinitely. If you stop shopping and want to come back to it
later, please print out your shopping cart just to be safe.
Sorry, but we do not have a
printed catalog. By only maintaining a web site
we can add items and product information constantly, and keep prices and other
information up to date. If you have a slow internet connection or little
time for browsing, click the index/search button at the top of each page.
From there you can find things quickly. Or email us if you need help.
Glaze will Freeze:
During the Winter months, we may hold
packages a couple of days if you've ordered wet glaze or wax resist.
If the package will be traveling through severe,
prolonged cold weather, we will hold it until the weather eases. If glaze freezes,
it can expand and burst the jar. If that hasn't happened, then the
glaze will be fine with thawed and remixed. Wax resist is ruined
and needs to be replaced.
You may check
your order status here.
Back to Top
and Stop Payments
Refusing to pay for product you
have received or fees you have agreed to pay is a form of
theft. We cannot afford to absorb such theft without raising
our prices. Therefore each incident of a check being returned
will result in a $50 bounced check fee. Each time you charge
back a payment to your credit card, even if it is in error, per
posted policy you agree to a $75 administrative and research service
fee. These fees are in addition to any applicable fees and
monies due on your order per our policies. Should stop payment
fees, chargeback fees or any other order charges, cancellation fees
or restocking fees not be paid, the debt will be sent to collections
and if unpaid be reported to the credit bureaus. We
will prosecute all incidents of fraud or theft. Note that if
you chargeback an item to your credit card, you are still
responsible for payment of that item. We will send you to
collections which among other things may result in a court
appearance and/or reporting the unpaid debt to the credit
If you enjoy painting designs, painting or glazing bisque pieces made from
molds might be the answer. You can use paints if items are purely
decorative. Or for functional work you may be able to find a "paint
your own" place that will fire your pieces for a fee.
Another option, especially if you want to make small items such as jewelry or
ornaments, is polymer clay. It is colored clay which is baked to
harden. There are also standard clays that are baked in the
If you want to make your own items from clay, the least expensive way to get
started is hand building. The equipment needed is very minimal, and it is
easy to teach yourself with books. All you really need is clay, but other
useful tools are a rolling pin, items for making textures, items around the
house to use as molds, cloth or newspaper for keeping the clay from sticking to
surfaces. You can make some nice pieces right away, while you learn about
working with clay.
Of course you still need a kiln to fire your work. You can check our
Kiln Timesharing listings to see if there are studios near you that will fire
your work. Another good option is to take a local community college or
community center class. Many people find they like to get their own clay
and glazes to work at home at their own piece, but bring the pieces in to be
On the other hand, electric kilns start as low as a few hundred dollars, so
explore the small kilns pages.
Lastly is throwing on the wheel. It is best to take a class to get
started in this, but there are some good videotapes that may be able to get you
by. Throwing on the wheel takes practice. It will be a while before
you can make a simple nice bowl. But it is very addicting. A good
wheel that will last you many years can be had for about $500. It is
possible to find used wheels, but there are always more people looking than are
selling. Some used wheels are as much as you can get a new one for.
There are additional tools you need for wheel throwing. Most of the basic
ones can be purchased in an inexpensive kit found under Kemper
For more information, please read Articles
and Past Tips of the Week.
Where do you ship from?
We ship from various locations. Most shipments come from our
warehouse in Nevada. Sometimes (especially on large, custom
items) we will ship directly from the manufacturer. This mostly happens with kilns
it is hard to stock all the options.
Can you ship my order by USPS (United States Post
Sorry, we only ship by FedEx/UPS or LTL (truck lines). The main reason we do not ship by Post Office is that packages cannot be
tracked. It is also difficult to recover costs for lost or damaged
packages, even when insurance is purchased. Also we have found
that most people who want USPS shipping believe it is less expensive,
but in fact in the lower 48 US states it typically is not.
do you prefer emails for support questions?
There are several reasons why we have built our business model around
communication by email.
- Our mission is to ship internet orders correctly and fast.
We achieve that by minimizing interruptions. Not having
walk-ins and phone calls interrupt our employees while they are in
the middle of a task is why we can ship orders better than brick and
- We believe that when you have a question, you deserve a good
answer. Honestly we can answer most questions better by
email. We can look up information, send you links to
information, find the best person to answer your questions,
etc. Also, we find that most customers that want to call us
have product questions, and we need experienced people to answer
those questions. When I bought my equipment from a large
supplier (before the internet), I called with my questions and was
given a lot of "yes" answers. I realized later that
many of the answers I was given were plain wrong, and I doubt the
person I was talking to knew much about the equipment they were
selling. So we can't have just anyone answering
phones. So we request that you please email us your questions,
and we are confident you will find that it works better than you
think. If your question is one of the few that is best answered
over the phone, we will call you or give you a number to call us.
- We get thousands of visitors a day, and hundreds of emails.
Many of these emails are from people who are not customers but are
looking for information. That is the nature of the
internet. Anybody that is looking for information can find
us. So we get questions about why firings did not go well and
other technical troubleshooting. We get questions about laying
ceramic tiles and other things unrelated to our business. And
questions like "I don't know anything about ceramics but I want
to do it. What do I need to know?" In fact, we
often get asked to do ceramics students' homework assignments for
them! We answer as many of these questions as we can (except
the homework assignments), and email allows us to do that. But
frankly if we posted our phone number, and even if only a fraction
of these people called us, we could not deal with the number of
- However, if you need to talk about your order, ask
questions about inventory, or provide a credit card number, please
feel free to call our toll free number, 888-513-5303. If you
us, the more information you give us in the email, the
better we will be able to help. If you just want to provide a credit card
number, please purchase the items you wish and select "pay by
check", and in the comments write that you want to be called
for a credit card number.
about Buying Online?
Some people are still hesitant to purchase items online. We can
assure you that your transaction is completely secure. We use secure
servers for transmitting your credit card information. As added security, your
credit card company will not hold you responsible for fraudulent
charges, as long as you report them as soon as you find them.
There is a lot of press about security and people breaking into
computers. It is difficult to sort through it if you don't have a
background in computers and understand how the information is moved and
The vast majority of fraud on the
from people using stolen cards and card numbers (stolen from purses,
mail, charge slips, etc) to place orders over the web. Data
shows that it is considerably more risky to hand your credit card to a
waiter/waitress at a restaurant than make a secure purchase on line.
is why we ask for your billing address in addition to your shipping
address, and the billing address has to match what is on file at your
credit card company. It helps reduce the risk to us and makes
credit card transactions safer for everyone.
For those that are still concerned, or those who choose not to use
credit cards, we also offer the option to purchase your order by
check. Just select that choice at checkout. You will print a
copy of your order and mail it in with the check. This will
take longer as your check has to clear before the order is placed.
We hope this helps make your shopping experience easier.
We haven't heard this in a while, but sometimes customers want to know
how they are sure we are a legitimate company. Aside from the fact
that someone would have to be insane to put together a thousand page
website full of information to scam a few people!... The best way
we have found to allay fears of this nature is to notice that we are
listed as approved distributors on many supplier websites.
manufacturers do not list distributors on their websites, but you can
call the manufacturer of any item we sell, and they will confirm that we
are a real company and authorized to sell their products.
If your question is not answered here,
please email us at email@example.com or
Revised: December 25, 2012