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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a Hot Stamper?
What are the different levels of Hot Stampers?
How are the records graded?
What is a 2-pack?
I think I have a Hot Stamper. Will you grade my copy?
Will you ever do a shootout for [album]?
How do I search the site?
How do I register on the site?
What is the return policy?
How should I go about returning a record?
Can I trade in a Hot Stamper towards a better one?
What should I do if my coupon code isn't working?
Why are items in my shopping cart disappearing?
How do I get on your mailing list?
What is the minimum order?
What payment methods can I use?
Questions about domestic shipping (Media Mail,etc.)
Questions about international shipping
What are the site coupon rules?
What are the twitter coupon rules?

What is a Hot Stamper?

Hot Stampers are records with sound that goes far beyond the average pressing of that album. We find them by cleaning and comparing multiple copies of the same record.All of our Hot Stamper records carry a 100% Money Back Guarantee, and we encourage all audiophiles to give one a try. You can read more about Hot Stampers here. Check out the Customer Testimonials to see what people think about them!


What are the different levels of Hot Stampers?

White Hot Stampers are the best of the best, records that earned our standard top grade of A+++ on at least one side in a shootout. Super Hot Stampers have at least one A++ side and Hot Stampers will have at least one A+ side.


How are the records graded?

We find, clean and play a large number of pressings for any given title and make notes based on the sonic merits of each copy. After going through all of our copies and comparing them to the Reference copies we keep on hand, we assign each side of each copy a grade. A+++ is the top grade. We do not typically assign grades to sides that don't rate above a solid A -- it becomes clear to us quickly that these are not Hot Stamper sides and we do not waste time on them. If a record rates as a Hot Stamper on one side but does not rate above solid A on the other side, we will often combine it with another pressing to create a 2-pack that will serve to provide you with Hot Stamper sound for both sides.


What is a 2-pack?

Since some records sound amazing on one side but are mediocre or noisy on the other, we will often combine two copies with one great side each to give you excellent sound for the entire album. These 2-packs are typically offered at a discount compared to what the price of a single copy with the same grades would be. They are an excellent way to learn about pressing variations since you can compare the sides with high ratings to the less impressive sides that back them.


I think I have a Hot Stamper. Will you grade my copy?

Unfortunately, our tight shootout schedule leaves us no time for evaluating records you may own already. You can always grab a Hot Stamper from our site and do the comparison on your own. If our copy doesn't beat yours feel free to return the Hot Stamper for a full refund within 30 days.

Will you ever do a shootout for [album]?

Maybe? We're willing to give almost anything a try, provided there are enough copies out there in used record land and enough customer demand to make it worth our trouble. If there's an old favorite of yours that you've never seen on the site but would like to hear with Hot Stamper sound, just let us know. We can't make any promises, but we'll certainly give it our best shot!

How do I search on the site?

Please visit the How To Search Our Site page for detailed instructions.


How do I register on the site?

New customers can register via the LOGIN link at the top left of every page. International Customers should visit this page before placing an order.


What is the return policy?

UPDATED APRIL 4, 2012. Hot Stampers may be returned for full credit for any reason within thirty days of purchase.

Please do not return any record until you have contacted us about the problem. When returning records, we ask that you follow the packing and shipping instructions listed below.

How should I go about returning a record?

No Return Authorization is necessary, but we ask that you please let us know by email what the problem with the record is. If it is a noise or distortion issue please be specific as to its location on the record so that we can check it for ourselves.

Please pack the record carefully to ensure that the vinyl and jacket arrive back in the same condition as we sent them.

If possible use the box we sent your original order in (assuming it has not been damaged. If it is not still strong, do not use it). You may prefer to use a priority mail box or an oversize mailer. Never use a standard record mailer; they're too flimsy to protect the cover properly. Many records packed in these mailers have arrived badly damaged, even destroyed.

Please take the LPs out of the jacket (but leave them in their inner sleeves) and sandwich them next to the jacket. Next, place the "sandwich" in a standard plastic outer sleeve. This method absolutely prevents split seams and is recommended highly. (We ship records out this way and virtually never have a problem.)

Oversized boxes, bubble wrap, cardboard stiffeners -- use whatever you like as long as it works. I recommend sandwiching the LP between two pieces of cardboard slightly larger than the jacket, held together by rubber bands to keep the vinyl from sliding around. This "sandwich" should then be placed in an oversize box with cushioning.

Thanks for all your efforts in this regard. Records that arrive damaged create serious problems for us, so please make every effort to pack your return well.

We recommend Media Mail with Delivery Confirmation. Under no circumstances should anything be returned to us that can't be tracked or its delivery confirmed, especially if it has much value.

If the mistake is ours and you would like us to credit you the shipping cost for Media Mail with Delivery Confirmation (usually about three or four dollars), we are happy to do so.

Our address is:

Better Records
1791 Bates Ct.
Thousand Oaks CA 91362-2302



Can I trade in a Hot Stamper towards a better one?

More and more folks have been trading up from their old Hot Stampers to better sounding versions, and we think that's great. As your listening skills grow and your stereo improves, it is only natural that you might want even better sounding copies of your favorites.

Under most circumstances, we offer full credit towards significant upgrades of the same album, which we define as at least double the price of the copy being traded in.

If you would like to move up to a copy that is less than twice the price of your previous copy, we will under most circumstances offer 75% credit for your old copy for up to one year after the purchase date.

EXAMPLE 1: You want to move up from a $150 copy to a $300 copy. We will give you the full $150 in credit towards the upgrade for the return of your previous purchase.

EXAMPLE 2: You want to move up from a $100 copy to a $150 copy. Since the new copy is less than twice the price of the old one, we will credit you $75 towards the new one for the return.

Your original copy must arrive back in the same condition as when you received it. We cannot offer any credit on Hot Stampers that were purchased more than one year earlier.
We do not allow trade-ins towards copies of equal or lesser value, or to copies of different albums. All upgrades are taken at our discretion, we reserve the right to decline any upgrade request.


If you have a Hot Stamper that you are hoping to upgrade but do not see (or miss out on) a copy that makes sense for you on the site, please send an email to upgrades@better-records.com and let us know what you are looking for. We'll get in touch with you as soon as we find a copy that seems to meet your needs. You may also write us there if you'd like us to make an exception to this policy, and we will we consider doing so on a case-by-case basis.

Please get in touch with us at upgrades@better-records.com if you have any questions regarding Hot Stamper upgrades.


What should I do if my coupon code isn't working?

If you cannot get a coupon code to work, just make a note in the order comments and we will make sure that it is applied correctly before charging your card. If you paid with Paypal, we will send you a corrected invoice along with any necessary refunds.



Why are items in my shopping cart disappearing?

If you have a problem registering on the site it is likely because your browser is not set up to accept our site's cookies. If you put items in your shopping cart and they disappear, this is a registration problem caused by your browser not accepting out cookies. It is an easy problem to fix and should take less than two minutes.

Go to your menu bar in Explorer and click on 'Tools'.
- In the dropdown menu that appears click 'Internet Options'. It's at the bottom of the dropdown.
- There are seven tabs across the top of the 'Internet Options' window. Click on the third tab from the left, labeled 'Privacy'.
- Click on 'Sites', which is halfway down the window on the left-hand side.
- Under 'Address of website:' type 'http://www.dccblowout.com', then click Allow.
- Repeat the above step but this time enter 'http://www.better-records.com', then click Allow.
- Click OK. That window should close.
- Click Apply on the 'Internet Options' window.
- Then click OK.
- Voila, you should be all setup to accept our cookies, able to register and fill your basket as full as you like!

Please note that sometimes the shopping cart may empty itself after a period of inactivity. This is beyond our control. If you don't plan on completing your purchase immediately, we advise that you add any desired titles to your wish list to make sure you don't lose tracks of the records you are interested in.


How do I get on your mailing list?

We have a weekly emailing which goes out to all customers, which is where we put virtually all the best sounding records that come our way. The best records usually sell within hours of the mailing going out, which results in few of them ever making it to the site. We will automatically add you to our mailing list when you place your first order, or you can sign up via this form.

If you don't want to receive these mailings you may opt out. Please note that once you opt out, our mail software blocks us from ever sending an email to that address again. You will need to give us a different email address if you want to start receiving our mailers at a later date.


What is the minimum order?

For record purchases, our minimum order amount is $25 excluding shipping. If you are purchasing anything that is not a record, such as cleaning accessories, sleeves, etc., our minimum order amount is $100, unless that item is purchased with at least one Hot Stamper LP.


What payment methods can I use?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover; Paypal (tom@better-records.com); checks, money orders and wire transfers. Larger checks may take up to 10-14 days to clear. If you would like to call and give us your credit card information over the phone, so as to avoid sending this information over the Internet, we are happy to accommodate you.

If you would like to pay by a method other than a credit card, login using "Bill Me" as the payment method where it asks for your credit card, which will allow you to register without entering any credit card information. Once your order is invoiced we will send you a total which must be paid before shipping.

Orders paid for by credit card must be shipped to the cardholder's billing address.
Orders paid through Paypal must be shipped to the address registered with them.
Special arrangements will of course be made for smaller orders or established customers.


Domestic Shipping Information

The site calculates the shipping charges at standard FedEx rates.

We offer Media Mail shipping as a much cheaper alternative to domestic FedEx for smaller orders. We charge half of the FedEx rate to ship your package by Media Mail or $5, whichever is more, for any order under $150. Be sure to put "Media Mail" in the order comments.

Media Mail shipping to Hawaii and Alaska tends to take a very long time, so if you are placing an order from one of these states we suggest Priority Mail shipping. Contact us if you have any questions and we will figure out the most cost-effective way to get your order to you.


Media Mail Option

See above. Also note that at checkout our site does not offer and cannot calculate Media Mail shipping. We instead charge the correct amount for media mail on our end based on the FedEx shipping amount, as described above.

Larger orders must still go FedEx, as it is insured, trackable and more reliable. Any questions, just email Tom.


International Shipping Information

We prefer to ship through the post office as it is substantially cheaper than FedEx. You can choose either Express Mail or Priority Mail. We send most expensive shipments by Express Mail as it is not much more expensive than Priority Mail and can easily be tracked.

Note that you cannot choose your international shipping method through the site. The site automatically selects FedEx but we do not ship international packages by FedEx as it is very expensive. International customers are contacted with the correct shipping charges for one or both of the above methods.

Please note that the shipping charges calculated by the site for international orders are usually incorrect. We will contact you with the correct shipping charges before we process your international order.

You may want to check out the USPS Postal Calculator to get a rough idea of international shipping charges through the post office. LPs average about 3/4 of a pound, with a minimum of 2 pounds per package.

If you have special custom needs please note that on your order in the order comments at checkout. If you are paying by credit card we may need to insure the package, sometimes for a substantial amount, but the amount is negotiable. Orders paid by check, money order, cash or wire transfer can be insured and declared for any amount you like.

Due to a rash of problems, we no longer ship international packages using 1st class mail. We are happy to ship your order via Express Mail or Priority Mail.



What are the site coupon rules?

We often offer coupon deals in our weekly mailer. Coupons may only be used on new purchases, never on upgrades or previous purchases. All coupons may be used once per customer unless otherwise noted.



What are the twitter coupon rules?

Occasionally we run special offers on our Twitter feed. Because of space limitations on twitter we are posting our coupon policies here. Twitter coupons are only good for new purchases and may not be used on previous or upgrade purchases. A twitter coupon code may only be used once per customer.



 

 

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