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Shipping and Return Policies

Return Policy

Sound Approach will accept returns on most items within 30 days of the delivery date. Buyers are responsible for arrangement and cost of any return shipment. For the terms, conditions, and exceptions related to shipping and/or returns, please continue reading below. By placing an order, clients agree to the below Terms of Service (ToS) in their entirety.

Special Order or Custom Order items, as indicated on the webpage in the Special Notice section for those applicable products may have different return terms and conditions. See the Special Orders, and Custom Orders section below for more information.

If the product you have purchased is incorrect, defective, or not to your liking, please contact Sound Approach as soon as possible. In order to find a solution which best suits the customer’s needs, Sound Approach may issue a store credit, refund, or exchange on any qualifying purchase(s) which fall within the 30-day return period and meet eligibility requirements as listed below.

All returns are subject to a restocking fee of 20% at the discretion of Sound Approach. Please call and speak to a customer service representative prior to ordering if you have questions or concerns, about returns, or refunds on any merchandise. If your return is subject to a restocking fee, you will be notified of this fact by email with the return instructions upon request. Please be advised Sound Approach reserves the right to refuse returns in certain situations or if the item is listed as Special Order, Custom Order, or Non-Returnable/Refundable; as indicated in the Special Notice block on the product listing.

Buyers are responsible for arranging all return shipments, as well as the cost of the return shipment. Sound Approach will not be responsible for arranging return shipments and/or generating return shipping labels; except in cases where the client has received a damaged, defective, or incorrect item(s), or at the discretion of Sound Approach and its representatives.

Important Conditions for Returning Products:

1. In order to process a return, Sound Approach must receive the original box, manual(s), batteries, and all other materials which came with the shipment in order to become eligible to receive a store credit, refund, or exchange for the product. This includes any and all original packing items such as Styrofoam, plastic coverings and/or cardboard inserts. Each returned product (and included items) must be in like-new condition, fully functional and without any damage, as determined by inspection, and at the discretion of Sound Approach Service Department.

2. Sound Approach will not be held responsible for products damaged during the return shipping process. Products damaged during the return shipping process will not be considered in like-new condition. Damage is considered any loss in functionality of the product through use, wear, transport, or aesthetic issues including, but not limited to; permanent scuffs, dents or scratches, or any other issue discovered by the inspection staff which may impede the ability to re-sell the product at full-market value. Buyers are recommended to purchase insurance when shipping items back to Sound Approach in case of any shipping damage.

3. Returns are subject to a 20% restocking fee determined at the discretion of Sound Approach. If a shipment originally qualified for Free Shipping and the returned item is a non-defective product, the original shipping cost may be deducted from the total of the applicable refund.

4. Special Order and Custom Order items (as indicated on the product webpage in the Special Notice block) are non-returnable/refundable. Some products can only be returned for an exchange (e.g., Turntable Cartridges/Styli) if they are defective. (Please see the Non-Returnable/Refundable Items sub-section below for more information).

5. Shipping and handling charges on qualifying orders may not be reimbursed unless it is determined Sound Approach is responsible for the issue necessitating the return/replacement of the product(s).

6. In order to return merchandise, customers must first contact Sound Approach by email ([email protected]) to request a Return Manufacturer Authorization (RMA) Number. The customer may request this number via email or letter. The customer must state the reason for return when requesting an RMA. This initiates the process for submitting a return for review by the inspection staff for a store credit, refund, or exchange. Once a request for a RMA number has been submitted, Sound Approach will respond with an email stating the requirements for return within 1-3 business days of the request. Return shipments without an RMA will not be accepted and will be returned to the client. 

7. Once an RMA is issued by email, it is valid for 14 business days. The return shipment must be dropped off and processed by a shipping carrier before this timeframe expires. After 14 days following the issuance of the RMA (or end of 30-day return window), the RMA will be canceled and returns will no longer be accepted on that merchandise. Returns received outside of this window will be declined.

8. In rare occurrences Sound Approach may determine a higher restocking fee of 25%, or more, is applicable for a specific return. This is reserved for situations in which it can reasonably be considered and established, that aesthetic or other damage is present on the returned product and therefore it cannot be sold at full-market and/or open box value. This is reserved for situations to offset the cost of damage incurred prior to the receipt of a return and in lieu of rejecting or declining the return. Again, this will be at the determination and discretion of the Sound Approach Service Department.

9. When a returned product fails to meet the established standards or criteria determined by the inspection staff, the return is rejected. When this occurs, no store credit, refund, or exchange will be approved and the product in question will be returned to the client.

10. Please note freight, white-glove services, and any special delivery arrangements are non-refundable in the event of returns or cancellation of orders. These services are provided for an additional cost to the client when appropriate, or at the client's request. These delivery services are non-refundable.

11. Sound Approach reserves the right to refuse retail service to any client for excessive cancellations and/or returns (three or more during any three-month timeframe). Any client meeting these criteria may be subject to having their account locked, blocked, and/or deleted at the company's discretion and future orders may not be processed and/or fulfilled. Sound Approach reserves the right to cancel/refund any future orders placed by clients who have been determined to fall under this category for repeated requests for cancellations and/or returns.

12. Please be advised, Sound Approach will not accept returns on products it determines are being purchased for reviewing, one-time special use, or demoing purposes. This includes, but is not limited to, reviews and unboxing videos for YouTube, or other social media platforms.

Special Orders, Custom Orders, and Non-Returnable/Refundable Items

The following product types are non-returnable or refundable (including, but not limited to): phono cartridges, needles/styli, alignment protractors, stylus-force gauges, cleaning fluids, audio grade fuses, and other one-time-use products; or difficult to inspect/test products. Please contact Sound Approach with any questions about the return/refund policies associated with the product(s) prior to purchasing. Any product from a Sound Approach product webpage that states “This product is non-returnable or refundable,” falls into this category. The above list is not all-encompassing.

Any product which is listed as a “Special Order or Custom Order” item is also non-returnable or refundable. This includes any made-to-order item, or custom-built product. This classification is stated on the webpage for each qualifying product.

Custom Order items are any items built to order by the manufacturer and identified on the product page. Custom orders are non-returnable/refundable (under most circumstances and at the discretion of Sound Approach). If a return authorization is generated by Sound Approach for the return of a custom order, the return shipment arrangements and cost are the responsibility of the buyer. These include furniture items, mount-related products, as well as many products from the following brands: Touchstone, Future Automation, ESS Labs, SurgeX, and XPCC. Please be advised this list is not all-encompassing. Custom Order items can be identified on the product page within the Special Notice block. For more information regarding custom order items, please contact Sound Approach at 877-370-1972 or [email protected].

At the discretion of Sound Approach, some items which fall under the Special Order, Custom Order, or Non-Returnable/Refundable categories may be returned for an exchange following an inspection to ascertain the validity of a “defective” claim. If a customer receives a defective “Special Order” item, please contact Sound Approach within 48 hours for more information regarding the possibility of exchange and/or further resolution.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Purchases, Shipping & Handling:

How will my order ship?

Sound Approach will ship a customer’s order using the fastest, safest, and most reliable method possible. The most common carriers primarily used by Sound Approach are UPS, USPS and FEDEX. Sound Approach also has established relationships with various other delivery and freight companies nationwide. Every product on the website has been carefully selected to ship by a particular shipping method in order to provide the customer with an optimal delivery experience. When a customer places an order, UPS Ground or USPS is set as the default shipping method for the product and either may be used depending on the weight and dimensions of the shipping box. Sound Approach may from time to time ship via the carrier of their choice to provide the customer the best delivery and shipment experience and to process an order as quickly and efficiently as possible after a transaction has been completed.

Orders will typically be fulfilled and ship within 1-5 business days. However, some items are Special Order and/or Custom Order and may take longer to process. These products are typically designated with a Special Notice on their respective listings detailing the expected delay in fulfillment. If a processing order is expected to take longer than 4 business days, Sound Approach may contact the client to provide an updated estimate for processing and fulfillment. Intermitent notifications may also be necessary and will be provided by Sound Approach on a regular basis for certain items that may be delayed by the manufacturer or distributor due to manufacture, production, and/or shipping issues. 

Items shipping from an overseas location to the United States may also take longer than the typical 1-4 business days for local and locally-sourced products. If shipping from overseas, Sound Approach will do its best to contact clients to ensure they are aware of any delay that may impact their order. 

Will I receive a Tracking Number?

When an order ships, the customer will be notified via the email address provided in an account or during guest checkout. Included in this email will be a Tracking Number for each shipment, or for each individual parcel within an order shipping in more than one box. Sound Approach encourages customers to track their package online or over the phone with the shipment carrier. Most shipping companies will provide an estimated delivery date. Be sure to contact Sound Approach if anything seems unusual with the progress of the shipment. If an order has been shipped but the customer is unable to locate a tracking notification email, please check the “SPAM” folder or contact Sound Approach at 877-370-1972 for more information.

On rare occasions, a shipment will not have an associated tracking number. When this occurs, Sound Approach will do it’s best to ensure the customer is made aware of this fact after the transaction has taken place. In even rarer cases, providing the tracking number is not possible before delivery of a package. If a tracking number was not sent out before delivery, Sound Approach may add the tracking number to the account history later (if it is received following delivery) in order to demonstrate proof of delivery. If this happens, Sound Approach will not generate an email to the customer updating them with the tracking number, but will simply add it to the customer’s account.

Tracking Numbers are generally issued to the client within 1-3 business days following the shipment of the product. In addition to email, tracking numbers are updated within each order account from where the order was placed for both active and guest accounts. Tracking numbers can be viewed within these accounts following upload.

Why will an item be shipped via Freight?

Many items sold by Sound Approach are too large or too heavy to ship using a standard parcel carrier. Therefore, the best option is to ship it using a freight carrier. Truck freight is different than standard UPS or US Postal Mail in that the customer will be responsible for carrying the product from the back of the truck into their residential or commercial building. Truck Freight also differs from a regular parcel carrier in that, for residential deliveries, customers will be contacted by the shipping carrier to schedule a delivery appointment. Most companies offer appointment windows (usually 2-4 hours) between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday.

It is important to remember when a shipment is arriving by truck freight, the customer is responsible for inspecting the package at the time of delivery. If the shipment container (e.g. cardboard box) has any apparent damage, or if there is any reason to be at all concerned about damage, it is the customer’s responsibility to identify it at this stage by reporting it on the Bill of Lading before accepting a delivery. This simply ensures that if there is any damage prior to delivery it will be easier to make a claim and process a claim through the proper channels with the shipping/freight company.

Important Notes for Freight or large shipment deliveries

If a customer is ordering a very large item, please keep in mind that it may require more than one person to help unload it. Oftentimes the customer is responsible for offloading and/or moving the delivery from the freight truck to the residence or commercial building themselves. Alternatively, most truck freight companies offer additional services to help customers move items from the truck into a residence or commercial building. After a customer has received an email with the tracking information, they can contact the shipper directly to inquire about additional services. As the recipient, customers are held responsible for payment to the shipping/freight carrier for any additional services required for delivery of an order.

This includes but is not limited to, a lift gate and/or pallet moving services. In many instances, the delivery address must be capable of allowing for a large semi or delivery truck to offload a large or heavy shipment. Sound Approach is in no way responsible for the payment of additional services requested by the client directly from the freight/shipping company.

If a freight/shipping company attempts to make a delivery and the customer is not available to accept this delivery, in some cases a redelivery fee will be charged by the freight/shipping company. Sound Approach is in no way responsible for the payment of redelivery fees charged by a freight/shipping company in attempt to deliver products to the customer. This, and any other associated fees, is solely the responsibility of the customer.

Returns for large items are the responsibility of the buyer. Sound Approach is not responsible for arranging for freight shipments or providing labels on return requests for items that have to be shipped via freight due to their weight or size. Please see the requirements for return shipments in the Shipping and Returns portion of the terms and conditions or by visiting the Shipping and Returns link at the bottom of the website pages. 

When a freight shipment is being delivered, it is the responsibility of the client to notate any damage or potential damage at the time of delivery on the waybill. This information is required in order to verify if damage occured before delivery. Customers should notate the following (or in similar language): Item appears damaged, will inspect and notify Sound Approach within 24 hours of any damage. Customers should also take pictures at the time of delivery to provide additional evidence if they believe the shipment may have arrived damaged. 

In the unlikely event that an item arrives damaged, clients should reach out to Sound Approach as soon as possible, or within 48 hours in order to inform them of the issue and to receive instructions regarding returns, exchanges, and/or cancellations of the order.

Sound Approach, nor any of its affiliates will be held responsible or liable for items that are damaged during the unboxing process by the recipient. Clients are encouraged to take extreme care when unboxing and setting up their equipment. If the above instructions are not followed regarding a package arriving as damaged from the freight or delivery company, it may be assumed the product was damaged after receipt and is therefore not covered for returns or exchanges. 

What is the Truck Freight Threshold?

This method of shipping defines where a freight company will deliver a customer’s order. In this case it means: Up to the threshold of the residence or commercial building. For a residential delivery this means to a garage or front door. For a commercial building, the freight threshold is generally at the loading/unloading dock.

Will Truck Freight Drivers help me assemble my order?

Unfortunately, Freight drivers are not authorized to perform any assembly services of products purchased through Sound Approach, nor can they deliver it to the room of choice inside a residence or commercial building. After Sound Approach emails the tracking information, customers can contact the shipper directly to arrange for any additional services that they need or would like. Customers will be responsible for paying the truck freight carrier directly for any additional services.

Will I receive a tracking number if my order is shipped via Freight?

When an item ships via freight truck, customers will receive an email from Sound Approach with a PRO tracking number. Customers can also log into their account with Sound Approach to see the corresponding freight company’s website address and/or PRO tracking number. The freight company will call customers at the phone number listed on their order before delivery to arrange an agreeable delivery date and time. In the case of freight truck delivery, the “free shipping” includes delivery to a home or office, but does not include “inside” delivery or any additional services requested by the customer directly through the freight company. Customers may contact the freight company directly if they need any additional services. Sound Approach is not responsible for payment of any additional services required by the customer beyond shipment of the order. There is usually a charge for inside delivery, varying in price, depending on the freight carrier. If a customer lives on a second or upper level floor, the charge may be greater.

How long after placing my order will my package ship?

Most local warehouse in-stock items typically ship within 1-4 business days following order placement. Local warehouse orders placed before 12:00 noon EST Monday – Friday are processed the same day that the order is placed. Non-local warehouse orders are sent to a shipping or manufacturing warehouse the same or next business day (Monday through Friday) and most are shipped within 24-72 hours of processing through the warehouse. Orders received after 12:00 noon EST will generally be processed before 9:00am the following business day (excluding Saturdays and Sundays). Sound Approach will make every effort to meet shipping deadlines as specified here. Special and Custom order products have expected estimates for fulfillment listed in the Special Notice block on their respective page. Customers will receive notification from Sound Approach if their order is expected to take longer than 1 week to be fulfilled

Occasionally, orders may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances or difficulties. Due to the logistics of extensive inventories and availability at various warehouses and distributors, many items are drop-shipped to customers directly from affiliate warehouses, distributors or manufacturers. In some cases, shipment of these orders may be delayed for reasons beyond Sound Approach’s control. When this occurs, Sound Approach will make every effort to inform the client at the contact information (email and/or phone number) provided by the customer at the time of purchase. Sound Approach will make every attempt to keep the client informed of any delay or continued delay.

Rarely, an order may be cancelled at the discretion of Sound Approach due to unforseen complications arising from (but not limited to), website programming errors, erroneous price listings, discontinued products, identification of fraud, or other errors. While these situations occur rarely, Sound Approach reserves the right to cancel any order, with or without notification to the client prior to cancellation. In these circumstances, the client will be notified immediately following cancellation or after a refund has been initiated and the order will not be shipped. 

Will Sound Approach ship to an address that is not my home address?

Yes. However, if there is any indication that a credit card is being used without consent of the cardholder, Sound Approach will attempt to verify with the cardholder that the purchase is authorized before shipment can occur. This may result in a shipping delay. If a purchase cannot be verified or is suspected to be fraud, Sound Approach will cancel and refund the order as quickly as possible. The process of verification, cancellation and refunds can take up to several business days. If a client requests a change in the shipping address, it may be necessary to cancel and reprocess the order so the new address can be verified through Sound Approach's fraud verification systems. 

Does Sound Approach ship outside of the continental United States?

Yes. Sound Approach will ship outside the continental US and internationally for products that have been approved for international sale. Some product offerings on this website are reserved for sales in the US only. If an order cannot be fulfilled for any reason, the order will be cancelled and the client notified via the email provided at the time of purchase.

An International shipment will take longer to process and arrive at its destination than a shipment within the continental US. Sound Approach has no control over a package once it leaves the warehouse. Orders can be delayed at customs when leaving or entering different countries. It’s important for customers to be patient as it may take much longer for an international shipment to arrive at its destination. These shipments may be subject to additional local duties and fees which are the sole responsibility of the customer receiving the shipment. Sound Approach is not responsible for the payment of any local duties, taxes, or fees needed to receive a shipment.

Will the return shipping be free if I need to return an item?

If a customer decides they want to return a non-defective item, Sound Approach is not responsible for the shipping costs to ship the item back to the appropriate warehouse. If an item is defective or a client received the wrong product, Sound Approach (at its discretion) will either send a customer a return shipping label or will reimburse the cost of return shipping following inspection of the returned item. If it is found not to be defective, customers will not be reimbursed for the shipping costs to or from Sound Approach.

When is Free Shipping available?

Items marked Free Shipping on the product page will ship for free within the Continental United States only. Free Shipping is offered on shipments totaling $35.00 or more within the continental United States. International shipments (including US States and territories outside of the continental US) will be charged a shipping and handling fee based on the average USPS (or UPS) rates for shipping to the customers location. Shipping costs are calculated by multiplying the estimated weight of an item(s) by an average shipping and handling cost for that weight through an International Carrier.

Free Shipping does not apply to any order totaling less than $35.00.

Sound Approach reserves the right to charge a shipping fee at its discretion.

Please keep in mind that Alaska, Hawaii, and US Territories are considered International and therefore are not eligible for the Free Shipping offer.

Do I have to pay Sales Tax on my purchase?

If a customer’s package is being shipped to California or Virginia then a sales tax will be charged. Virginia state tax is 6% and California has a state tax of 7.25%, respectively. If customers are ordering from California or Virginia, but the shipment’s destination is in another state that is not California or Virginia, the customer will not be charged sales tax on that order.

 *Tax Rates listed are subject to change according to state law. 

Who do I contact for any additional questions or concerns regarding a product, order or shipment?

If a customer has questions or concerns regarding a product, order, or shipment and delivery information, please contact the Customer Service Department via email at [email protected] or call Sound Approach directly at 877-370-1972. Office hours of operation are Monday-Friday 8 am – 4 pm. An email request for information will typically be answered on the same or next business day. Customer Service Representatives are available anytime during the hours of operation to take your call.