Before You Order
Can you swing it financially? Do you have the okay from your significant other? You are commissioning a custom instrument from a builder and it takes time and a commitment of resources from both of us. Please be ready to commit to the process - there are no cancellations once the order is placed (more on this in a minute). While we're being real with each other, I stay very busy and am certainly no slacker - but any time estimates given are just that - flexible - and if you can't wait don't get in line. I'll make it SO worth it for you and give 110% to your build. Just be cool - this isn't fast food. It's not that kind of restaurant.
Ordering something like this online is done every day in today's internet-based marketplace, and we have an 11 year reputation for delivering the goods and treating you right. If you are still tentative about ordering, I'm happy to talk through your concerns with you... or please wait until the time is right. Ok - you've read the site and know what we do? Birdsong's the one? Great!
How We Start
You have a clear picture of what you like that we do (lead me around the site or send pics if need be), and I answer all of your questions and make sure I'm setting you up with the right bass for your wants & needs. We figure up a price and usually we get half to start, with the balance due once the bass is in final assembly (I'll contact you when it's time). We can accept payment in a number of ways, from worldwide... but no credit cards outside North America. Once your payment clears, you get a serial number and you're in. Welcome to the family.
During The Process
Most of your wait will be getting to your build. Things happen with a flow that only makes sense from in here. When it flows, it's fun and our best work is done. We group, sub-group, bring forward or hold back tasks that can be paired with others in the workshop; we don't build in linear serial number order and they don't leave that way - every one is different anyway. I update the builds page as I can during the week with pictures of your build as there is photographable progress to show. Sometimes progress means waiting on parts, working on other basses to get the bench cleared off for yours, or any number of things that can make it seem slow at times. Imagine Aunt Gertrude baking batches of different cookies for the Holidays; that's us. Your baggie will come and be worth the wait.
Now, if something comes up in your world I understand but here's the deal - I commit to building you the absolute finest instrument we can and providing you with the best service possible. Your commitment is to see the process through to the end. After your payment we're in this together and a bass or guitar will be built. If you change your mind or something financially comes up during the build, I cannot just immediately refund your payment. We're not a bank. Your money doesn't go into a trust, it goes to the bills, wood, parts, and my helpers' kids' mouths. I'm not taking it back from them because you became wishy-washy. If you want to bail, I can complete the build quickly, sell it through inventory, and reimburse you less 15% out of that. We're people first and a business second, so just call and talk to us. We'll figure something out, but that is how it's done under any circumstances.
Changes? Not a problem - but please understand that lots of changes mid-build can add confusion. By the same token, forgive me if I ask you the same question four times. I'm not disorganized, I'm detail-oriented and entropy-sensitive. And that's just how you want me to be, trust me! We're people first and a business second, so just call and talk to us. We'll figure something out.
Communication is best done through a phone call or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometimes it takes a few days to get back with you, if you don't hear from me please resend ` you might have ended up in my spam. When I say call anytime, I mean it. Evenings, weekends... this is my life. If I answer, I'm available. Please always leave your number in the message; it'll help me call you back as soon as I can. No texts please.
When It's Just About Done
Understand the time frame for your build includes parts of this process that are not in our hands; the rest, like in life, changes by the day and we roll with it. We appreciate you rolling with us as we do! We want it finished as quickly as possible but it will take as long as it takes to do it right. The call or email WILL come in a reasonable time from me to talk about the final payment, any last minute details, verify shipping address etc. and then your instrument is just about done and I can tell you when it's scheduled to ship.
When it is ready, we usually ship on the next Monday. Mondays mean the instruments can get anywhere they need to go by Friday - no weekends in warehouses or on trucks. See? We're pros. We've done this before. Don't worry. Shipping in the Continental USA is $50 - fully insured, adult signature required, in new boxes with premium packing materials. In reality, you're just covering the first $50 of all of this. Alaska, Hawaii, and International shipping, as well as overnight or 2-day guarantee service, is an additional charge. I charge you what they charge me at time of shipping, as it might be a different number than months earlier when we started. I don't control that cost, I just pass it on. When we ship, we ONLY use FedEx and insure for the full amount. Which means for international shipments you pay a little more for shipping and a bit more to Customs, but the instrument is fully protected and - should anything happen - FedEx is much more professional to deal with than the others. For our International clients I'm happy to provide all paperwork necessary to clear Customs. To find out what the duties and taxes will be, please contact your country's Customs agency; we have nothing to do with that. For Canada shipments I provide a Certificate Of Origin that should get you out of some duties.
Once you get your Birdsong, you have "officially" 7 days to put it through its paces and fall in love with it. In reality, it's flexible; again, talk to us. In 11 years and several hundred sold, we've had less than a handful come back. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions for additional warranty / return policy information. Most likely though, your Birdsong will knock your socks off, change your world hands-first, and serve you well... thanks for the opportunity!
I'm here for you - communicate with me.
Scott Beckwith, Owner
512-395-5126 Call anytime