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Shopping at Curio City
As you browse our store, you'll notice that many products offer you choices about such things as color, style, add-ons, and similar options. When there is a choice to be made, the Add to Cart button on the category page will open the product's details page without putting one in your shopping cart. Use the pull-down menus to make your choices before you click the Add to Cart button. Clicking that button puts one of the item in your shopping cart. If you don't want to buy it now, you can add the product to your Wishlist. To buy more than one, enter the number you want in the quantity box and click the Update Cart button. To buy different variants (such as multiple colors), add the product to your cart once for each variation.
You can always see a summary of what's in your shopping cart at the top right side of the page under the shopping bag icon. To manage the contents of your cart, or to check out, click that icon or the View Cart menu item. There, you can empty your cart or change quantities. Click Continue to keep shopping, or Checkout to pay for your order.
We take Mastercard, Visa, American Express, PayPal, postal money orders or cashier's checks by prior arrangement, and purchase orders (see below). There are no special fees for using any payment method. If you want to mail us a money order, we'll hold your purchase for seven days while we wait for your check to arrive. If it doesn't come in that time, we return your items to our inventory and cancel your order. We send you e-mail when your payment is accepted, and again when your order ships.
Pending Points: The RPs that you earn on each new order are marked Pending until your payment clears. That usually happens immediately when you check out. If you checked out using a delayed payment, such as a purchase order, your Pending points will be approved when we receive your payment.
Customer Referral Bonus: You can earn RPs by referring five new customers to Curio City Online, and additional bonuses when your referrals place orders. For details about this program, log in to your account and click the Refer-a-Friend button. To discourage e-mail spamming, you can only earn this bonus once.
Technicalities: Curio City reserves the right to change or terminate the Customer Rewards Program at any time, without notification. You might be unable to redeem RP toward particular things (such as custom-made and marked down items). Returned merchandise will remove the RPs that you earned for that purchase. We might manually adjust your RP total at our discretion. The number of points earned per dollar spent, and the redemption value of these points, might sometimes change due to temporarly promotions. Although RPs do not expire, we periodically delete customer accounts that haven't seen any activity for three or more years. Any RP lost due to account abandonment are gone forever.
Every now and then, subscribers receive an email copy of The Curio City Chronicle. The Chronicle contains new product announcements, news about Curio City, discount codes, and special offers, complete with photos and written in an entertaining style. It's an "opt-in" newsletter, meaning that you only get it if you sign up, and every issue includes a one-click Unsubscribe link if you decide that you don't want it. We use an outside service called Constant Contact to create and distribute our emails. Naturally, subscribing is free. We only send you newsletters when we have something newsworthy to share. You might not hear from us for months during the summer, and then get a newsletter every few weeks during the Christmas season.
Because Comcast blocks messages from Constant Contact, the Chronicle is not available to Comcast customers. Please subscribe using an alternate email address.
We occasionally distribute coupons to our newsletter subscribers and Facebook followers. If you have one, enter the coupon code in the space provided in your shopping cart and click "Apply". A dollar-off or percentage-off coupon will immediately affect the merchandise total shown in your cart. A free-shipping coupon won't show up until checkout time, but you will see a green confirmation box at the top of the page.
Every credit card submission has to pass multiple security checks. To the extent that it prevents fraud, that's a good thing...but it's frustrating for everyone when honest customers get rejected. Every credit/debit card sale is subjected to an address verification (AVS) and a CVV2 check (that's the secret code on the back of your credit card). If either of those are wrong, our processor will reject your payment. Make sure all of the following are correct:
If you got all of that right, your card issuer might be rejecting the payment. That can happen if you're over your credit limit or a hold has been placed on your account for some other reason. In that case you will need to call your card issuer or resubmit your order with a different payment method (PayPal or a different card).
We won't accept any orders from, or ship any packages to, these high-risk countries: Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Ukraine, Venezuela, or Vietnam. Orders from these countries are automatically rejected.
By default, we display prices in US dollars. All transactions take place in dollars. For the convenience of our international customers, we have added the ability to see prices in several other popular currencies. Prices displayed in currencies other than US dollars are for reference only. They are not firm price quotes. We update our rate table once a month so that the prices you see stay reasonably accurate, but actual currency exchange rates fluctuate constantly. Your payment processor will handle the exchange rate at the time of sale. We have no influence over foreign currency exchanges.
Telephone and E-Mail Orders
The vast majority of our business comes from customers buying directly from our Web site. We do not have a staffed telephone line for orders. However, we do welcome telephone business from customers who, for whatever reason, prefer to place their orders that way. Call 781-635-8743 with the following information ready:
If we don't answer, leave a voice mail message and we will return your call as soon as possible. Although our voice mail box is private, we do not recommend that you record your payment information.
Alternately, you can e-mail all of the specified information to Orders @ CurioCityOnline.com. Although our e-mail box is private, we do not recommend that you e-mail your payment information. Send us your telephone number, and we will call you for your charge card details.
Paying by Cashier's Check or Money Order
This checkout option is not ordinarily visible due to the number of shoppers who never send in their payment. However, we will accept cashier's checks and money orders from those who use our Contact form to request the option. We need to receive your payment within seven calendar days (one week) or the order will be canceled.
We do not accept personal checks or cash at all.
Using a Purchase Order
Curio City Online accepts purchase orders from government, educational, and other nonprofit institutions (all others, see below) for orders totaling at least $150. Email us before placing your order if you want to pay with a purchase order. You may mail your original PO or email a photocopy in the PDF format. The purchase order must be made out to Curio City Online and be signed by an authorized purchasing agent. To be valid, your PO must include the following information:
When we receive the hard copy of your PO, a representative of Curio City will call to verify your affiliation. Your order will not be shipped until we have a hard copy of your PO and your identity and authority are verified. This step will become unnecessary after we receive payment for your first purchase order.
Private and for-profit organizations, such as corporations and clubs, must establish an account with Curio City Online before using purchase orders. The process is worthwhile if you are placing a very large order or if you intend to order from us regularly. Small single orders are not worth the effort of establishing your identity, verifying your credit history, and processing bills and checks. Please e-mail our Orders department for instructions if you wish to become an ongoing account or place a substantial order.
We do not accept purchase orders from unaffiliated individuals. Sorry, no exceptions.
Payment for purchase order sales is due within 30 days of shipment.
Your Order Status
If you created an account when you checked out, you can log in to check your order status. Your order is usually:
Less common statuses are:
The normal progression for at least 90% of all orders goes from Pending > Awaiting Shipment > Shipped/Complete.
You don't need to create an account to shop here, but doing so will make your next visit a little easier. Besides streamlined checkout, you can view your order status and history, create a wishlist to send to others, subscribe to the Curio City Chronicle (our newsletter), submit product reviews, and participate in the Customer Rewards Program described earlier on this page. Having an account doesn't give you any special status or rights. We can close your account at any time without reason or notice. We do periodically close accounts that haven't been accessed for three years or more.
Your account password is encrypted. Not even we can see it. If you forget your password, use the link provided to generate a new one.
To access your account information, click My Account in the gray box at the bottom of the page.
If you belong to an elite customer group (such as Friends & Family), you have to log in to your account before you can see special pricing. Sorry, but membership in elite customer groups is by invitation only.
We use the SSL encryption system to protect all transactions. We pay an annual fee for our own security certificate that guarantees that you are really doing business with us, and not somebody masquerading as us. We do not store your credit card number on our computer. In fact, we never even see it. Your private information is encrypted and sent directly to our bank. This process is actually a lot safer than writing a check or physically presenting your credit card to a cashier.
When you click the Checkout button in your shopping cart, your browser will display a picture of a lock and our address will change from "http" to "https". This shows you that you're in the secure zone. In Firefox, the lock icon is at the end of the address line. In Internet Explorer, it is on the status bar at the bottom of your screen.
If you move from the secure checkout area back to a non-secure product page, you will need to log in again when you return to the secure zone. It's inconvenient, but (for fiddly technical reasons) it's necessary for maximum security.
Pictures marked (c) Curio City are the property of Kraken Enterprises, Inc., and can't be used without our permission. Images without a copyright symbol were obtained from the manufacturer or distributor, and are believed to be free for public use. If we're using your image against your wishes, we will promptly remove it upon evidence of ownership.
We like to use our own pictures when they are helpful. We use manufacturer images when a product is especially hard to photograph, or when they are more representative than our own pictures could be.
Product descriptions are based to varying degrees on information provided by manufacturers and distributors. Even those descriptions that use the vendor's text almost verbatim are modified to include our own observations and clarifications. The resulting text is copyrighted by Kraken Enterprises, and can't be used without our permission.
Any customer who creates an account may review any product. We don't accept "drive-by" reviews from non-customers. We're under no obligation to publish submitted reviews; however, our policy is to publish any review that we feel is fair and honest, even if it is negative. We're betting that you will appreciate seeing such honest feedback and will use your own judgment about other people's opinions. We never fake reviews or plant them ourselves. We do edit submitted reviews for length and clarity, and we might alter your rating so that it conforms to our internal guidelines. The numerical scoring goes like this:
5 = Outstanding, highly recommended
4 = Good product, glad I bought it
3 = Satisfactory product, might buy it again
2 = Could be better, sorry I bought it
1 = Unsatisfactory. Not worthy of Curio City
A few of our products -- especially those relating to drinking and smoking -- are offered only to adults who can make informed choices about engaging in those behaviors. We don't encourage anyone to smoke or drink, least of all minors. We might require proof of age before we ship certain purchases. Do not order smoking or drinking accessories unless you are prepared to furnish proof of majority. All of our products are meant to be used responsibly, and in accordance with your local laws. Any implications to the contrary are meant humorously, for entertainment purposes.
Pricing and Delivery
Prices are subject to change without notice. We are seldom the lowest-priced store on the Internet, but we always strive to be competitive. You can buy from Curio City secure in the knowledge that comparison shopping would not save you substantial money. We don't lowball our prices and then sock it to you with freight charges. We don't display absurd retail prices and pretend to discount them. Although we do not offer a low-price guarantee or have a price matching policy, our combination of selection, price, service, and quality is always a good value.
Curio City is not liable for delays in shipping, or for inability to ship orders. We do not promise that your shipment will arrive within the expected time frame unless you bought a guaranteed service like UPS air or Priority Express. There are some rare exceptions even for those expensive services. Please read our Shipping Policy for more about that.
Legal Fine Print
It's up to you to keep your account log-in information secret, and to keep control over your credit cards and PayPal account. We aren't liable if somebody else logs on as you and buys something.
The e-mail receipt that we send you is not a legal promise to ship your order as received. We reserve the right to decline your order for any reason without explanation. We will cancel any order that appears fraudulent.
We aren't responsible for the content of any site that we might link to, or for their privacy practices, or anything else that they say or do.
We can change our terms and conditions at any time without notifying you.