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FAQs (the fine print) about ordering
Death Valley Guitar Cables

Basically, IMPORTANT stuff that wouldn't fit anywhere else

Using our shopping cart, you can buy a Death Valley Cable Company TS guitar cable handmade for you in any length from six inches to hundreds of feet. Just choose your cable length; then choose your plug configuration ... A
Ordering and pricing FAQs
This page contains important info on length accuracy, incremental sizes, pricing structure, ebay presence, discounts, shipping and manufacturing times and more.
couple clicks later, and you're done. But our job is just beginning.

Every cable is handmade
Unlike other guitar cable companies, an order does not signal a stock person to pull an already assembled guitar cable from a shelf. It means that we are about to handmake a custom guitar cable to your exact specifications.

There's no way we could keep all these guitar cord lengths and plug configurations in stock. So when your order comes in, we grab the parts we need; cut a cable to the appropriate length, and sit down and make you the best guitar cable on the planet — entirely by hand.

Pay with Paypal.
Our ordering system is operated by Paypal, not programmed by some teenager who ends up with access to your credit card info. Paypal is the premier online payment system and the most secure state-of-the-art payment system available today.

(Yes, if you prefer, you still pay by check or money order or order a cable the old way by sending us an e-mail.)

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you don't find the answer you need, please e-mail us.

1. PLEASE! No plug or length changes after you order and pay!!!!
2. Guitar cables shorter than six inches.
3. Guitar cables longer than 30 feet.
4. Incremental lengths, i.e., 12.5 feet.
5. Length variances: Why does my 10 foot cable measure 10.5 feet?
6. How do you measure cable length?
7. Pay by check or money order.
8. Orders lost or damaged in transit.
9. Custom ordering by e-mail.
10. Orders to countries other than the U.S.
11. Will you please lie to customs for me, and risk being thrown in federal prison for smuggling?
12. Will you ship by UPS and Federal Express?
13. Discounts.
14. Death Valley Cables on eBay.
15. Why doesn't a six-inch patch cable cost 87 cents?

16. Returning a cable.

17. Shipping and manufacturing times.
18. Why do you pack with newspaper and not those annoying foam peanuts?
19. Why is my little tiny little cable packed in this big honking box?

1. PLEASE!!! No plug or length changes after you order and pay!!!
Please carefully measure your guitar cables and choose the correct the plugs when you order. Usually we cannot change your cable order after you order simply because the order may have already shipped or it has been already manufactured.

We say that guitar cable manufacture may take five-to-seven days because we're covering our you-know-whats. In reality, your guitar cable order may well go out the same day or hours after you order. Or it may be already manufactured, packaged and ready to be mailed within hours of receipt of your order.

We try very hard to make your guitar cable, and get it out of here in record time. You want it yesterday, and we want you to have it yesterday.

But we can't offer fast turnaround and be flexible about order changes. The two are incompatible. How can we change your order if it's already done or already on its way to France?

If Junior the Mail Guy is heading for the PO, we may even do your guitar cord in 30 minutes to save Junior from another dreaded trip to the PO. We don't like going to the PO any more than you, so we use Junior the Mail Guy. We have to pay him a very decent wage to wait in line at the PO, where we suspect he wastes time using worn-out lines trying to pick up Huntington Beach chicks. Plus, gas ain't exactly cheap for the mail run either.

Even if your order hasn't left with Junior for the PO, remanufacturing it could cost us hundreds of dollars in material and labor. If you order 20 7.5-inch patch cables, manufacture will take one person almost a whole day. We mark all guitar cables with your name or order number. They cannot be used in another order. Even if we could use them in another order, 7.5-inch patch cables are an odd size. It could be years before someone orders that size again. To keep our prices as low as possible, we cannot remanufacture an order.

Okay, mistakes happen. So you ordered a 15-foot guitar cable and now want a 20-foot one. E-mail us as soon as possible, preferably no more than a few hours after your order. We will try our hardest to make the order change, but if it's already in the mail, you're out of luck. And if you're in the UK, sending that guitar cable back to us is going to put a sizable dent in your wallet.

2. Guitar cables shorter than six inches
Yes, you can order guitar cables shorter than six inches. One inch is the shortest we can go. Short guitar cables are the same price as a six-inch guitar cable. Patch cables shorter than six inches should be used straight without bending. We can make a guitar cable shorter than six inches, and you can try to bend it for your application, but it's not recommended and we cannot guarantee that such a short length will bend. In fact, you may damage the plug(s) and the guitar cable trying to bend a length shorter than six inches. For short guitar cables, you should request a written quote, and then pay with Paypal or by check.
3. Cables longer than 30 feet
We can make guitar cords without splices up to 499 feet, give or take a few inches. Be aware: A signal from a guitar pickup may degrade substantially over such a long run of high-impedance cable. We cannot guarantee that the resultant signal will be acceptable to you, only that the guitar cable will be free of defects for the entire run. For long guitar cables, you should request a written quote, and then pay with Paypal or by check.
4. Order in incremental lengths, i.e., 12.5 feet ?
No problem. Order the next longest length, i.e., if you want a 12.5-foot guitar cable, order the 13-foot cable. Then you MUST e-mail us when you pay telling us what incremental size you want. DO NOT assume that we have received your incremental size order just because you sent us an e-mail. You MUST hear back from us .... And PLEASE don't wait three days to make an incremental-size order after making your initial order. Your instrument cable will have been long finished and shipped by then. You must make the incremental order at the same time you buy the instrument cable.

5. Length variances: Why does my 10 foot cable measure 10.25 feet?
Your Death Valley Guitar Cable will NEVER be shorter than ordered, but it may be an inch or two longer. If an exact length is needed, please let us know, and we will make the cable length as exact as possible.

A DVCC instrument cable may have an extra inch or so in case a strip fails during manufacture. If a strip fails, we can cut it off and start again — because we have a little extra length this way. If the strip failed without the few extra inches, we would have to throw away the cable and start again.

Shorter guitar cords — like six-inch and one-foot or three-foot patch cables — are usually pretty right on, within a quarter inch or so, but those too can vary. Cables can stretch over time and with use. But once again, if you need an exact length, please let us know.

6. How do you measure cable length?
With a tape measure!

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

A Death Valley Cable Company guitar cable is measured by the actual length of the cable itself, not including the plugs. Simple as that.

Other ways of measuring the length get too complex, which can lead to inaccuracies, like measuring from plug to plug: Where we would we stop and start such a measurement? From the tips? Well, if it's an angle plug, is the length tip-to-tip a linear measurement, or is it done with a piece of string around the "corner" of the angle plug? And if the customer doesn't have one of our cables, how can he possibly make such measurements?

Sometimes, length of Death valley guitar cables will vary slightly from advertised length and from cable to cable. Details about that are here.

7 and 9. Can I do a custom order by e-mail instead of using ebay or your shopping cart system?
Absolutely. Request a written quote, to pay with Paypal or request a written quote to be paid by check or money order.

8. Orders lost, delayed or damaged in transit
The Death Valley Cable Company prides itself on bulletproof packaging and fast shipping. We ship ALL packages priority mail, which USUALLY takes two to three days, but obviously we cannot be responsible for USPS shipping times. We have no control over what they do. The USPS itself does not guarantee priority mail shipping times.

If you need your cables positively delivered by a certain date, please tell us that when ordering. We will gladly have your order rush fulfilled and delivered overnight to many places in the U.S. and some international adresses. Extra rush manufacturing and shipping charges depend on your location and your desired delivery time.

We ship in sturdy cardboard boxes or reinforced padded envelopes. However, no matter how strong the shipping container, the guitar cable will be damaged if it is run over by an armored troop transport. Shipping damage or package loss is EXTREMELY rare, but it does happen.

We are not responsible if a USPS delivery truck careens off a bridge into San Francisco Bay. Or your thieving next-door neighbor decides he needs your guitar cables more than you and steals them. If your package is lost or damaged, insurance with the USPS is your only recourse for reimbursement.

Domestic orders: If you want insurance, please ask. We will add it to your order for a slight extra charge (see below). If you want insurance, you must ask; it is not added automatically. Insurance is required on ALL domestic orders above $200. No exceptions. We will e-mail you about extra charges — if any — once you have ordered.

Insurance rates for priority mail in the U.S. are:

Insurance Prices for DOMESTIC Death Valley Cable orders — U.S. ORDERS ONLY
Insurance Coverage Price
$0.01 to $50 $2.25
$50.01 to $100 $2.75
$100.01 to $200 $3.25
$200.01 to $300 $6.50
$300.01 to $400 $7.50
$400.01 to $500 $8.00
$500.01 to $600 $9.00
$600.01 to $5000
(maximum liability is $5,000)
$9.00 plus $1.50 per $100 or fraction thereof over $600 in declared value
Prices subject to change without notice; please ask us if you want insurance. You cannot add insurance through the shopping cart application.

International orders : Unless you ask, we ship ALL international orders via USPS first-class international mail. This method is 99.99% safe, but several packages are lost every year. If your package is lost, we are not responsible. Sorry. There is NO insurance or tracking available on first-class international mail. If you want insurance, please ask us. We take great care in addressing and packing your cables, but we cannot be held responsible for what the USPS decides to do with the package.

Charges for tracking and insurance varies by country. However, tracking and insurance averages about $45 per package for three cables via USPS International Priortity Mail. We only add about $5 handling to international orders with tracking and insurance. We're not making any money off this. The prices are high because that's what the USPS charges us. If you want inusrance, you must ask; it is not added automatically.

Insurance is required on ALL international orders above $200. No exceptions. We will e-mail you about extra charges once you have ordered.

10. Orders to countries outside the U.S.
If our shopping cart estimates a $200 shipping charge for one cable for your country, please contact us for a shipping quote before buying a cable.

The $200 shipping quote is not correct. You must contact us because we may need to use an alternate shipping method to your country. We aplogize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

No insurance coverage on international shipping
Also: We ship most of our guitar cables outside the U.S. by First Class International Mail. This method of delivery has no tracking and no insurance. We are not responsible for damage or loss incurred during international transit. If your cables are lost or damaged without insurance, you are essentially out of luck. Sorry.

Fortunately, loss or damage rarely occurs even when we ship internationally. If you want tracking numbers and/or insurance, order by written quote, so we can use an alternate shipping method like Priority International Mail or Express Mail, which have tracking and insurance.

Be aware, though, that the cost is substantially more than First Class International, but you can get your money back from the USPS if a large cable order is lost. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST OR DAMAGED INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS.

11. Will you please lie to customs for me and risk being thrown in federal prison for smuggling?
Attention international customers: We will not LIE on a customs form, saying that your guitar cable order is a gift or that it is worth 25 cents when you paid $125. We don't know what it's called in your country, but in the U.S., this is called "smuggling," and it is a crime, punishable by hefty fines and even time in jail.

We can hear the next question: Don't do it for everyone. Just this one time for me.

NO! We mail hundreds of boxes overseas every week. The post office knows we do this. They will not believe that we have a family member overseas. We might as well hang a sign around Junior the Mail Guy's neck that says "Smuggler. Arrest me!"

12. Will you ship by UPS and Federal Express?
The short answer is: No. We have shipped thousands and thousands of items all over the world, and we think the USPS is the fastest and most dependable shipping method. If USPS for some reason absolutely cannot deliver to you, e-mail us, and we'll work something out.

13. Discounts and specials
If we have a special going on, it will be added automatically if you use the shopping cart on the Death Valley Cable Company web site. If we have a very rare special on eBay, it will also show up in your final price. (We don't offer many eBay specials because eBay (unlike the good old days) now charges a fortune to sell on their site. We basically ONLY sell on ebay as a convenience for customers.

Having said that, please ask if we have any specials! If you're buying a bunch of guitar cables in the states, we might have an international special we could tweak to fit your needs. A special may have just expired, but if you ask, we'll probably give it to you. We're easy and try to be fair.

Usually we also have one of these discounts in effect:

Take $2 off every guitar cable if you order six cables or more. (Cables must all be ordered at the same time and must go to the same address.)

OR

Order six guitar cables and get one guitar cable free. Cable must be 20 feet or less and equal in length or shorter in length than the majority of the six cables ordered. You must order six cables and get the seventh guitar cord free. You cannot take the free cord as a discount off a six-cable order. (Cables must all be ordered at the same time and must go to the same address.)

14. Yes, we sell our guitar cables on ebay. But you're better off using our shopping cart because it offers many more choices of guitar cable lengths and configurations. But, then again, sometimes ebay offers special discounts, so by all means go for it.

The prices on ebay and this web site are not always exactly the same, but the delivery time is exactly the same. Links to our ebay ads are here.

Why do prices sometime differ between the web site and ebay? Because ebay does things without telling us, especially with postage. If postage goes up, it stays the same on the web site. However ebay sometimes tries to "fix" the new prices by raising postage charges WITHOUT notifying us and WITHOUT permission.

So if you must buy through ebay, you just have to accept that we offer items on ebay as a courtesy to our customers. Ebay's selling charges cut so deeply into our tiny profit margin, that our ebay sales sometimes dip dangerously close to losing money. If the cables are slightly more on ebay, that's the way it is. We have tried and tried to align ebay prices with the web site, but ebay is constantly changing its pricing structures, so we would need a full-time person trying to keep up.

15. Why doesn't your six-inch patch cable cost 87 cents?
Someone shot a nail from a nail gun into your head when you were a child, right? We cannot believe that people actually ask: Why doesn't your six-inch patch cable cost 1/40th the cost of your 20-foot cable? It uses 1/40th the amount of cable.

First off, we are not a charity. Surely, even with that nail stuck in your skull, you must be able to fathom we would lose money on an 87-cent patch cable.

Cable isn't the only factor. There are plugs and labor involved. Making a six-inch cable takes just as much time as making a 20-foot cable — and the plugs cost exactly the same. In fact, making a patch cable takes longer than making a 20-foot guitar cable. The measurements are much more exact and the angle plugs have to align. This takes longer to do.

Seventy-five percent of the cost of each guitar cord is the labor involved in manufacture and the cost of the plugs. We cannot streamline the process any more without compromising quality, and we absolutely refuse to compromise quality.

We triple insulate the wire inside the straight plugs and double insulate inside the right-angle plugs — all by hand, a painstaking labor-intensive process. A shorter guitar cable does not speed up this step.

16. Returning a cable
Money-back guarantee: If you completely take leave of your senses and don't like our guitar cables for some reason, just e-mail us. We'll send you our mail address, and you can mail it on back to us. We'll refund your money, minus the shipping. No questions asked ... Well, if you have a second we'd like to hear why you didn't like the guitar cables.

Warranty replacement: If you have a performance issue with one of our guitar cables, we will give you a new one, same size and plug config, ASAP, free, gratis, like for nothing. Just e-mail us. We DEFINITELY do want to see the troublesome guitar cable, however, because we want to see what went wrong. Usually what we'll do is mail you a new guitar cord ASAP, and you can return the problematic one to us in the next week or so. Just don't forget or we'll nag you relentlessly.

17. How quickly can I get my guitar cable?
We will manufacture your cable, and ship it out to you in seven working days. If it will be longer than a week, we will e-mail you and beg your eternal forgiveness on bended knees. That hasn't happened yet, and we don't expect that it will. But only two of us assemble guitar cables, so if we both get a flu, orders could fall behind. Usually our shipping time is a lot sooner. Twenty-four-hour to 48-hour service is the norm around here. And sometimes a guitar cable will go out in 30 minutes. As previously mentioned, it costs us money to send Junior the Mail Guy to the post office, so we try and minimize his trips there, although he tries to make up excuses to go, so he can ogle chicks and try to impress them by "burning rubber" in the official DVCC delivery vehicle when he leaves the PO parking lot.
18. Why do you pack with newspaper instead of those delightful foam peanuts that blow all over the room when I open a package?
We use newspapers because they are recyclable. If you have recycling in your community, please deposit the newspaper packing from this box — and the box itself — in your appropriate recycling bin.

Plastic bubble wrap or foam peanuts are not usually recyclable and can last thousands of years in landfills. Packing peanuts are particularly nasty because they blow everywhere. Trillions and trillions now pollute our oceans and lakes.

You are not paying any extra for the very slight weight added by using crushed newspapers over plastic packing materials. We weight-tested newspapers to assure that they will not cost you any more than bubble wrap or packing peanuts.

In shipping a flat rate box, weight is not a concern. When we ship one cable, using newspaper WILL NOT push the postage into the next bracket.

19. Why is my little tiny little cable
packed in this big honking box?

If you are a U.S. customer, the box size is dictated by the USPS. They make the priority mail boxes. We use the smallest box available for the size of your order (which may not seem like a very small box at all). The USPS charges in tiers, and this size box will NOT bump you into a higher mailing-cost bracket. Although you can fit probably 10 cables in a priority flat-rate box, for example, the flat-rate box is cheaper in the US for anything above two pounds.

If you are an international customer, The USPS says we must use a box a box at least 12 x 3 x 7 inches for First Class International Mail, so that their custom forms fit on the package. Again, because of the tier structure, the box size does not affect your shipping charges. Also, and perhaps more importantly, we have experienced loss and damage when shipping internationally in smaller boxes. We don’t have a clue why this happens, but it definitely does. So we use boxes somewhat larger than would be ordinarily necessary.

20. Why no phone number?
No, we're not hiding from our customers. We're not afraid to publish our phone number. We'd love to talk to our customers on the phone all day. But, we just don't have the time to talk on the phone; fulfill orders; and make cables. There are only two of us. If you absolutely positively have to talk to us, e-mail us your phone number, and we'll call you.

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