We've reached an absurd point in society where you can hardly buy a donut without having to sign a legal document.
Rational, ethical people don't need and usually don't want to be bothered with a written agreement or policy statement for basic transactions; the mere existence of one implies a kind of overzealous legalism that no one wants to deal with. On the other hand, irrational, unethical people -- about one in 30 human beings -- will break any agreement if given an opportunity; they don't really care about justice or ethics, but either ignore agreements or try to twist them to their advantage (sometimes these are the same people who required the written agreement in the first place, and then disregard or twist it as it suits them). If you've been around long enough, you've encountered these people many, many times and know how miserable they can make the rest of us. So having a sales agreement for simple transactions is really ridiculous.
However, when unethical people do break an agreement, they usually do so by lying to legal authorities or financial institutions who then want to see what the agreement or policies actually are... in writing. This puts honest businesses like ours in a weird, no-win position where we'd like to just "keep it simple" and believe that this is all overkill, but we need to have written policies because they are our only defense from the institutions that the lunatics of the world use to harass the innocent. I just say this so that the rational people looking at this page understand that we aren't trying to make things complicated. I don't like having a long policies page. We have created this web page not because we wanted to or because any sensible person asked us to, but because, at one time or another, someone challenged, abused or questioned us on an issue in such a way that required writing out what is, to the rest of humanity, self evident, reasonable or otherwise just "common sense."
When you use our web site, or place an order and we accept it for fulfillment, we are entering into a common-sense, good-faith agreement with one another as described on this web page. The vast majority of orders are simple and go very smoothly. A small minority experience unexpected delays or difficulties due to inventory shortages, fulfillment or addressing errors, uncommunicated (or unreasonable) expectations, shipping problems, or other innocent human realities. In general, we utilize basic, ethical principles in our policy and decision-making processes:
- Implement the virtue of justice in all interactions -- that is, give to people what is due them, and vice versa
- Clearly communicate what we will attempt -- how much it will cost, how long it will probably take, and what the final result will be -- then make every effort to achieve or surpass it
- When in error, apologize and make it right
- When in doubt, lean in favor of the customer
Placing Your Order: We welcome your order by phone, fax, mail or over the web site. Using the web site is usually best (and is preferred). Our server creates an estimated order schedule for each order, but it is only an estimate, and actual delivery times may vary. We have no minimum order, but we do sometimes add a small administrative fee for small orders not placed over the web site to cover order entry costs. In general, only orders placed over the web site are eligible for discounts. All orders are subject to handling and shipping costs.
Paying for Your Order: When you prepare and place your order the server estimates the total cost. In almost every case we are able to proceed at that price. However, market changes, your changes, special requests and other actions may also affect the total amount due. We can accept payment by:
- Check or Money Order in US dollars
- Credit or debit cards: VISA, Mastercard, or Discover
- Google Checkout
- PayPal (click here to make a payment to us via PayPal)
- Electronic transfer (wire): Please contact us for details. If you wire funds, please also send us a separate e-mail indicating that you have done so -- our bank does not automatically notify us of wire receipts.
We will not purposefully charge for an order unless we have begun work on it or anticipate completion within a few days (our server automatically collects funds for an order if it has calculated that it can be started or fulfilled shortly).
We sometimes collect partial payment on very large orders in advance, and the balance upon completion.
If you make a partial payment -- not enough to cover the complete cost of all requested goods and services -- then we either hold the order until complete payment is provided, or send only a partial shipment.
We can only accept payment in US Dollars. All of our internal accounting is based on the US Dollar and prices are subject to change. Any prices quoted in foreign currencies are approximations only. The actual price will depend on the exchange rate implemented by your credit card company, bank, PayPal or other institution used to arrange payment.
Completing Your Order: We generally fill sales in the order in which they are received and paid for; most leave here one to three days after we start on them. Orders that require special, skilled labor or out of stock components can take considerably longer. You are welcome to request that we send partial shipments, backorder or cancel out of stock items. In such cases, we generally charge only for those items that are shipping. If you need faster service, there is a rush-handling option which moves your order ahead of all other normal orders. Rush orders, as long as there are no other stock or labor delays, usually leave in one day. Rush order fees are generally not refundable. We will do our best to contact you if we encounter a problem while fulfilling your order.
Shipping Your Order: Once the order is complete, we ship it by your selected method to the address you provide. In most cases we send an e-mail notification when the order ships. If you have special shipping needs (such as delivery by a specific date), these must be communicated to us in advance. Please be aware that order tracking does not get the order to you any faster or with any more certainty, and that order tracking is not available for the most popular forms of shipment. The customer is solely responsible for selecting the method of shipment, providing a correct address and arranging for receipt of the order; a signature may be required for large, valuable or international orders. If you cannot be present to receive an order that requires a signature, you may have to drive to the local post office or distribution center to collect it, or arrange with the carrier for delivery to another location. Otherwise the carrier may return it to us, in which case you will need to arrange (and pay for) shipping it again. Handling and shipping charges are generally not refundable.
Adjustment and Cancel Order Requests: You may request changes to or cancel orders that have not already shipped. Canceled orders may still have a net charge, depending on how much work has been committed to them (often just enough to cover merchant transaction fees, administration or restocking). Canceled custom, handmade orders may still have significant cost, depending on the degree of completion at the time of cancelation. We will charge or credit you for the balance. Orders that have already shipped cannot be canceled or changed (but they can often be returned).
Special Orders: Orders of 14k, gold filled or sterling items not normally stocked constitute "special orders." We are happy to provide the service of acquiring these unique items. However, such orders are subject to additional fees if canceled due to the work and expense we go through to acquire the items.
Price Matching: Our prices are generally equal to or lower than our competitors'. But let us know if you see an equivalent item for a better price elsewhere. If we can match them, we will do so either by reducing your price or providing a credit towards a future order. This applies only to commodity items like medals, crosses and crucifixes -- not to custom made items. Please be aware that we take into account the costs of shipping, other discounts, etc., when making this evaluation.
Damaged Shipments: It is rare, but some items are damaged in transit. We can arrange for repair or replacement of items that arrive damaged. We determine the best course of action on a case by case basis. In most cases there will be no cost to you as long as we are notified of the situation within three days of delivery. For small, inexpensive items, we usually ship out replacements without requiring any proof of damage. For larger items, save the packaging and, if possible, e-mail us images of the damage. Some situations may require repackaging and return of the damaged item. We will do whatever we can to make this as easy as possible.
Mistakes and Defects: If we make a mistake on your order, or if any products prove to be defective in materials or workmanship, please notify us and we will correct it at no additional cost to you. We recommend that you order a few extra findings and beads. We do not and cannot individually check each bead and finding and, being manufactured items, there are sometimes small defects that pass unnoticed. Some beads, especially wood, pearl and malachite, and otherwise inexpensive beads, are known to have bore problems requiring use of a reamer to clear out the bore.
Small Item Counts: We count most items like beads and findings by weight (using a very precise scale). However, as with any natural or manufactured item, small variations in size, shape and weight are normal, and affect the counts. Small discrepancies (over or under) are not "errors." If the quantity you receive is short by more than 5% or two pieces (whichever is greater), we will replace any short items at no cost to you. Smaller supplemental shipments may encounter an additional handling and shipping fee. If we send you more than you ordered due to weight variations, please feel free to keep the difference at no charge.
Late or Missing Orders: All delivery dates are estimates only; we do our best to ship orders as quickly as possible and by the method you tell us to use, but we do not and cannot promise dates of delivery. Late deliveries are rare, and lost deliveries almost never happen. In almost every claim of late or non-delivery it was later discovered that someone else at the same address had received the package, we were given the wrong address in the first place, it was mis-delivered, or the order was being held by the shipper or customs office. This is especially true of overseas shipments and shipments to business addresses or any address where someone else picks up the mail.
If you've received a notice from us that your order shipped and you believe it should have already arrived, please do the following:
- Confirm that you gave us the correct mailing address. Check your order confirmation e-mail.
- Check with all other parties who might have received the package (they won't remember doing so, of course). It is routine for packages to be lost when shipped to businesses or homes with multiple residents.
- Do a thorough search. Many people have received our shipments, set them aside, and forgot they ever received them, only to find them (much) later after a great deal of distress. Most of our packages ship in small padded manilla envelopes.
- If you requested shipping by Fedex or UPS, you can ask us for a tracking number. Do not ask us for a tracking number if you asked for shipment by any other method. There isn't one.
- Check (in person) with the personnel at your post office. They sometimes hold packages for strange reasons and notice slips never get delivered or just disappear.
- Please wait two weeks from the date of shipment (four weeks for international shipments). If there has been a mail delay, it sometimes takes the post office this long to sort it out and get the package delivered.
Once you have done all of the above, and only after doing so, please contact us to tell us the package is missing. Once we are certain that an order is permanently lost, we can arrange to re-ship, cancel or refund it. Usually, if the order is not delivered within two weeks of when we ship it (four weeks for international orders), or if there is sufficient reason to believe that the shipment has been lost or destroyed in transit, we will ship the order again; if the provided delivery address was correct, there will be no additional cost for the (first) replacement shipment. If the address was incorrect, we may require that you cover some or all of the cost of the lost shipment.
Some people get really, really upset about late or missing shipments and want to blame us for them (sometimes even when they have a history of lost packages due to theft or vandalism). Please understand that once we ship the package out, it is literally "out of our hands." We are simply following your directions regarding where to send it and the method to use.
Returns: Most items may be returned at any time and for any reason. Returns may be submitted for credit, exchange or refund. The amount that will be credited for your return depends on the condition and kind of item. For example, stock items are usually eligible for the maximum credit, while custom made items may be eligible for a partial refund (usually the value of re-usable parts, less labor necessary to reverse assembly, etc.). Personalized items like engraved crosses generally receive no credit. We also cannot provide credit for returns of cut cord.
We determine the credit amount upon receipt and on a case by case basis. A restocking/administrative fee may be applied, usually $5 or 10% of the order, whichever is greater (this applies to canceled orders, as well, if we have already started work on them). The purpose of this fee is to cover the administrative, labor and transaction fees we encounter when dealing with returned orders. We may increase, decrease or even waive this fee, depending on the totality of the circumstances and actual expenses surrounding a return. For example, we rarely charge any restocking fee for a return necessary due to our error. Labor, administration, transaction fees, handling, shipping and similar non-material costs on the original shipment are generally not refundable. Any discounts received on the original order are deducted from the return credit. Returns should be sent to:
The Rosary Shop
ATTN: Returns Dept.
805 NW Alder
McMinnville, OR 97128
Use this page to create a convenient return label.
There is no need to get advance authorization before sending a return, but we recommend contacting us before returning custom made and personalized items.
Credits and Refunds: We process returns, credits and order adjustments once or twice per month. We provide store credits unless you specify otherwise. In the event that we end up owing you a refund of $25 or more, we agree to provide it in the form of a check or as a credit back to your credit card within one month of your completed return and refund request. Credits less than $25 are generally provided as store credits only. We will attempt to contact you about credits over $25 that are more than one year old. If we cannot reach you, or if the credit is under $25, credits over one year old are transferred to our charitable action account and used for social/charitable purposes.
General Problems: If there is a problem with an order, communication or site content, we genuinely want to work with you in a spirit of good faith and mutual respect to come to an ethical resolution. We will attempt to reach you if we have a concern about an order. If you have a concern about your order, a communication or site content, you agree to contact us and give us an opportunity to remedy the issue. We sometimes cancel orders if we cannot reach you, you have not included all required contact information, payment is declined, the order appears to be fraudulent, or the customer is being hostile, threatening, unethical or otherwise irrational. You agree that our determination will be final and you will not appeal to or file a complaint with any other body in relation to any order, communication or site content. You also agree that you will pay for any expense we encounter, including administrative time, legal fees, travel, lost income, that result from your actions, requests, e-mails, calls, complaints, etc.
Arbitration: In the event of a serious disagreement, we may, at our sole discretion, involve a third party of our choosing for arbitration. You agree to participate and abide by the determination of the arbitrator. You agree that our liability is limited to the dollar value of the order in question. Upon the conclusion of arbitration, in addition to any determination by the arbitrator, the non-prevailing party will compensate the prevailing party for all expenses necessary to participate in the arbitration, including travel, administration, legal, and other reasonable costs (unless these costs are already included in the determination), plus $100. The total of these additional costs may not exceed $5000. No other penalty may be assessed by the arbitrator.
Failure to Pay -- Charge backs, Bad Checks and Fraud: Charge backs, stopped payments or bad checks are not legitimate means of acquiring a refund for a return or avoiding payment for requested goods and services. Such actions constitute a kind of theft, usually involve fraud, and are a serious problem for honest small businesses. Thankfully, with our customers these events are rare (one or two out of 1000). In such events we may add legitimate charges to the amount due and request payment again. If payment is not provided, we turn the matter over for collection, which adds even more costs (depending on the totality of the situation, we may also report the matter to law enforcement and other relevant agencies). These charges can be considerable and include administrative time, travel, collection agency fees, interest, transaction fees, charge back and bank fees, etc. Interest applies to overdue balances at a rate of 1 1/2 percent per month. The customer agrees to pay these and all related costs that stem from his non-payment or other violations of this agreement.
Release of Liability: Any material object, if misused, could cause injury, and all products we provide should be used only in the way they are intended and made. Nothing we make is intended for unsupervised use by children. Beads in particular should not be handled by young children, as they pose a potential choking hazard. It is possible for kneelers and other furniture to tip over, or for people to be injured by falling onto or against them. By purchasing from us, you agree to assume all risk of injury, and agree that we are to be held harmless in the event of any injury or expense arising from the use or misuse of our products. By using our site, resources, or placing an order you agree to this statement: "I hereby release, discharge and covenant not to sue The Rosary Shop, its owners, partners or employees, and the owners and/or lessors of premises on which the activities take place, all of which are referred to as the 'releasees,' from all liability, claims, demands, losses or damages on my account caused or alleged to be caused in whole or in part by any negligence of the releasees or otherwise. I further agree that if, despite this release and waiver of liability and assumption of risk, I, or anyone on my behalf, makes a claim against any of the releasees, I will indemnify, save, and hold harmless each of the releasees from any litigation expenses, attorney fees, loss, liability, damage, or cost as which any releasee may incur as the result of such claim."
Interpretation and Changes: As the sole author of these policy statements, we and we alone have the competency to interpret and apply them to individual events. We may adapt and clarify them at any time.
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Your privacy is important to us. The Rosary Shop will not knowingly, willingly share any of your particular information with any other party under any circumstances unless required to do so by law. The one exception to this is when a customer engages in unethical or criminal behavior against us; in these cases we will turn over all relevant information to credit beureaus, collection and law enforcement agencies in an effort to collect any amounts due and encourage the person to avoid such behavior in the future.
A recent "Privacy Development" called the "Platform for Privacy Preferences" has come upon the world. It presently affects Internet Explorer 6 users, and is among the more arduous (and we think inane) developments on the web. We are doing our best to comply with its ridiculous regulations. Please note that these regulations, like most things prompted by knee-jerk reactions, don't actually help you, and they cost you money.
Please note: We do actively collect e-mail addresses from correspondence and orders we receive. These addresses are automatically added to our newsletter database. We send out an e-mail newsletter once every couple months. We do not share this newsletter list with anyone else. You can request to be removed from the newsletter list at any time, but if you then order or correspond with us again (via the web site form), you will be automatically added back to it.
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All original text and graphics on this site are copyrighted by The Rosary Shop. They may be printed for personal use or free distribution so long as credit is given to The Rosary Shop. (Web sites are welcome and invited to link to our site; in many cases we will reciprocate.) Other graphics and text are the property of their respective owners/authors and are used with permission.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)
Excerpts from the English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for use in the United States of America Copyright 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc. -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with Permission.
The Bible: Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1965, 1966 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Shipping, Handling and Delivery Schedules
Orders to be delivered in the U.S.A., its territories or military bases ship by First Class or Priority Mail by default. These methods result in delivery usually within one week of shipment (often within two days). In rare circumstances, the shipment may be delayed due to an error in routing, bad address, or other unforseen problem.
You also have the option to choose to expedite your order and have it shipped by faster, trackable methods for an additional charge.
International orders ship by Global Priority Mail or Global Airmail. These result in delivery usually within one week from the ship-date. Your country may inspect the package at its customs office, and may charge an import duty. The Rosary Shop has no control over such delays or charges. U.S. Postal rates and regulations result in significantly greater shipping expenses (in terms of both time and money) for international orders. We are seeking ways to reduce these costs, but the result is that we charge a flat rate of $15 for most international shipments. If the cost of shipping is significantly greater, we may increase the shipping charge.
Other Shipping Options
The Rosary Shop holds shipping accounts with UPS, FedEx and Airborne Express. A cost/quality/speed analysis of the various options has demonstrated that you get the best quality and speed of service for the cost by sticking with the United States Postal Service. Plus they deliver on Saturdays at no extra charge and to more addresses than other services. In emergency situations -- yes, a "Rosary Emergency" -- we can ship by another method. However, the cost ranges from $25 to $45. The only significant difference between the shipping methods is that the more expensive methods are trackable. Order tracking, though it may be a marketing "warm fuzzy," doesn't get your package to you any more quickly. In our experience, UPS and similar companies lose and delay just as many packages as USPS.
The United States Postal Service does not provide order tracking -- only delivery confirmation -- for domestic mail. Under some circumstances The Rosary Shop will opt to add insurance or delivery confirmation for your order. We will do this at no extra cost to you.
Why a flat shipping fee?
We sometimes receive requests to waive or reduce our handling and shipping fee when the customer has placed a very small order. The request is usually worded like "please just place it in an envelope and charge for the stamp" or similar.
We would love to do this. In fact, we would love to provide everything we carry for free, but the reality is that everything has a cost -- time, material products, work, etc. -- and whether you order a single bead valued at five cents, or a solid gold rosary valued at $1000, it actually takes about the same amount of work for us to:
- Order and inventory the item
- Receive your order via the server
- Personally review and print the order for fulfillment
- Process the financial transaction
- Fill the order
- Check the order for accuracy
- Weigh and apply postage
- Deliver to the post office
- Send out e-mail shipment notices
- File the order record
Different companies handle these costs in different ways. We have decided that, as a matter of justice, each customer should be individually-responsible for covering the costs of his or her order. Consequently, we arrived at a low, flat fee that usually covers the average expense we encounter when filling an order. In other words, our costs are set as they are because they reflect the actual expenses related to doing business.
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Credit Card Fraud and Bounced Checks
The Rosary Shop has thankfully received very few fraudulent orders (though we do receive thousands of dollars in orders each year for which we simply never receive payment). However, because most fraudulent orders request international and expedited delivery, The Rosary Shop may elect to hold international orders until authenticity can be proven. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope that our international customers will understand that this is for their protection, as well as ours.
The Rosary Shop will cooperate with local and international authorities to pursue and prosecute anyone engaging in credit card fraud. The same holds true for bad checks.
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In 2001 - 2002 we experimented with offering free accounts to businesses and individuals. In the matter of six months, The Rosary Shop lost over $1000 to people who agreed to the account terms, placed orders, and then never paid for their orders. Consequently, so that we can provide good service and good prices to people who actually intend to pay for their purchases, we do not offer purchasing accounts.
You are still welcome to pay by check, money order, PayPal or credit/debit card.
If we have had sufficient history with you, we are willing to consider accounts on a case-by-case basis.
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We try to set our prices as low as we can and yet remain in business. However, different orders "cost" different amounts to fill. The cost to fill an order depends not only upon the cost of the materials that go into it, but also the number of different items, the complexity of the order, the number of messages we receive and changes that are made, the way in which the order is placed, etc. For example, it costs us more to hand enter an order placed by phone than it does if the same order is placed over the web site. We encounter more expenses if we have to make changes to an order after it is placed, or even if we just have to answer a lot of questions about the order. We've joked about adding a "per-conversation" fee! But seriously, we attempt to address these real costs by offering discounts on orders that cost us less to fulfill. Consequently, most online orders are eligible for a discount of one kind or another:
- If you have a discount coupon from a previous order, it is usually automatically applied to the current one (as long as you clicked the coupon link in your e-mail, which is the only way to receive this automated discount).
- And if your immediate order is over $50, it may qualify for a discount of up to 20%.
How/why do we calculate this? Our desire is to have the pricing accurately reflect our costs of doing business. The discount coupon is proportional to the dollar value of your order, but inversely proportional to the number of items in your basket. What this means is that larger value orders with fewer items get a larger discount. Higher dollar orders with fewer items -- for example, an order with a few sterling or gold filled items -- take us much less time to fulfill than an order made up of hundreds of different inexpensive items. But don't fret about the math. The formula is a little complex, but only because we want to reward you as much as we can yet still remain in business.
Important Note: We offer discounts for online orders because it costs us less to fill these orders... unless you return or make changes to them. Returns and administrative changes may result in forfeiture of any discounts that were applied to the original order.
We often give discounts on very large phone and mail orders ($1000+).
The bottom line: If you'd like to receive a discount or a discount coupon please place your order on the web site and please make sure it is correct when you place it.
The only items for which we can currently offer quantity discounts are wood and plastic beads listed in our bulk bead area. These are already significantly discounted. As we are able to discount other items based on quantity, we will restructure the ordering system to make this clear.
A portion of The Rosary Shop's profits already go towards various Catholic charities around the world. We do not have a discount pricing structure specifically for non-profits. If you are placing an order for a church program, contact us afterwards; we can sometimes issue a credit towards future orders.
The bead market does not support the conventional wholesale/retail price structure. Consequently, we are unable to offer wholesale pricing at the expected 50% margin. However, we are developing ways, through tactical business alliances and quantity purchasing, to offer a wider of variety of quantity discounts. We do have a couple items that are available to retail stores only at wholesale.
We DO have some rosary kits packaged for retail sale in our "popular rosary kits" section. If you represent a business and order these in quantites of 12, contact us after your purchase and we will give you a 50% discount (assuming you aren't already receiving a discount on the order).
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