How to Help Yourself


General questions about SparkFun? Check our FAQ for answers!

Want to return something you purchased? The Returns Policy is for you!

There is community support on the SFE Forums! Post your question and you will have access to the experience of our community at your finger tips.


How to Get Help From a Human


Order and shipping questions? Email customerservice@sparkfun.com

Have a technical question for Tech Support? Check out our Technical Assistance page!

Accounting/W9 Requests/POs: ar@sparkfun.com

We tend to prefer email, but you may also call us:

Front Desk: 303-284-0979 - Available Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, Mountain Time.

Customer Service Direct: 303-945-2984 - Available Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm, Mountain Time.

Technical Support: 303-945-2985 - Available Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, Mountain Time.

  • Tech Support has a daily team meeting 9:30-10:15ish and may be unavailable to take your call during that time.

Please select from the topics below:


Placing an Order

Getting your order placed is fast and easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Log into your account. No account? Click here.
  2. Add the items you want to your cart. Make sure quantities are correct.
  3. Click Checkout from the cart page.
  4. Select a shipping method.
  5. Select a payment method.
  6. If applicable, enter a promotional code or purchase order number in the appropriate field.
  7. Make sure you’ve reviewed the Terms of Service and Shipping Policy.
  8. Click Continue.
  9. On the next page, verify that all information is correct. If no, click Edit Order. If yes, click Place Order.
  10. Your order has been placed when you see your 6-digit order number.

That’s it! We’ll take it from there.

Placing your order through our website is the most efficient way to get your stuff. If you are unable to use the website, we can also take your order over the phone.


Changing or Canceling An Order

Need change something about your order or just want it canceled? Pause your order until we can fix it for you.

To pause your order in process:

  1. Log into your account.
  2. Click ‘Your Account’ in the upper right.
  3. Click ‘Order History’.
  4. Click the red ‘Need to change something?’ button on the line of the order you’re looking for (it’s next to the Order ID).
  5. Enter a brief note letting us know what you’d like to do.
  6. Click ‘Pause Order’.

We’ll take it from there. You can ask us to change the items on your order, update an address or payment method, or just cancel it. Customer Service will get back to you by email within one business day regarding your request.

  • If you ask us to add items but don’t mention payment, we will just submit the charge to the original card/account.

  • Only orders that are still in process can be paused. If your order has already moved to a Shipped status, we won’t be able to make any changes to it. If you pause your order, it will no longer necessarily qualify for our Same-Day Shipping guarantee.


Purchase Orders

We offer Net30 credit terms to approved customers. We do not offer any other terms. To apply, download and complete the Net30 application and email it to ar@sparkfun.com.

For approved Net30 customers: SparkFun offers two Purchase Order processing options, and customers are able to switch between the two. Our Same-Day Shipping guarantee does not apply to Purchase Orders.

Fast Track Processing:

  • Place an order via our website that corresponds to your PO, and email or fax us a copy of that PO referencing the SparkFun Order Number.
  • Please be sure to enter your Purchase Order Number in the appropriate field during checkout.
  • POs received via this method will be processed within 1 business day from the time of receipt.

Traditional Track Processing:

  • Email or fax us a copy of the PO, and a SparkFun representative will enter the order.
  • If any items are out of stock, we will provide this information and the approximate lead time.
  • POs received via this method will be processed within 3 business days from the time of receipt.

Submit your Purchase Order document (and your SparkFun Order Number if applicable):

Please make sure that a contact name and email or phone number is listed on the Purchase Order.


Warranty Information

We strive to provide accurate descriptions and high quality merchandise. If you have any problems with your order, please let us know as soon as possible! We will do everything in our power to make it right. Please see our Return Policy for more information.


Local Pickup

If your shipping address is in Colorado you can opt to pick up your order in person at the SparkFun Electronics office in Boulder, Colorado. This service is free.

All Local Pickup orders must be prepaid. For accounting reasons, we do not accept cash, check, or money orders as payment for them.

We print Local Pickup orders 3 times a day. If your order is placed by 10am, it will be ready by noon. If your order is placed by noon, it will be ready by 2pm. If your order is placed after noon, it will be available for pickup at 10am the following business day. One exception to this rule: if your order goes directly into the Exception status, it may not be ready at the time stated.

You may pick up your order between 10am and 4pm, Monday though Friday, but please make sure it is ready. When your order progresses to the Packing status, you will receive an email letting you know it is ready for pickup. If your order is in another status, give us a call to find out why.

A handy-dandy table for reference:

Your order time: Ready for pickup:
Before 10:00am noon
Before noon 2:00pm
After noon 10:00am of the next business day

Backorder Policy

There are two types of backorders: Intentional and Accidental.

Intentional Backorders:

This is when you, the customer, add an out-of-stock item to your cart by clicking the “Backorder” button. We do not charge for intentionally backordered items until they are ready for shipment.

If your cart contains only backordered items, there will be no charge submitted at checkout. When the order is ready to be shipped, a charge will be submitted via the payment method you selected at checkout.

If you have some in-stock and some backordered items, you will see a checkbox on the shopping cart page that says “Ship Complete Order”. If you check this box, no charge will be submitted at checkout. Once all your items are in stock, the full charge will be submitted and the order shipped.

If you do not check this box, we will charge for all in-stock items and the initial shipping/handling upon submission of the order. Once your backordered items are available, we will charge for the products, and a second shipping/handling fee if applicable. You will receive notification of 2 separate orders: one for the in-stock items and one for the backordered items.

Please Note: If you choose to have in-stock items ship now and backordered items later, a shipping/handling charge may apply to each shipment.

Accidental Backorders:

This is when our website indicated that there was stock available for your order, but we were actually out. D'oh!

We work very hard to keep our stock numbers accurate. This type of backorder is rare, but there are a variety of issues that can lead to inaccuracies. We apologize for any inconvenience. We will ship all in-stock items right away, with the backordered items shipping as soon as they are available. They will ship via the same shipping method you selected during checkout. You will not be charged additional shipping. A second order number will be generated to accommodate the accidentally backordered items.


Order Status Information

When you place your order, it will enter through a series of steps during fulfillment.

  1. New Order - This indicates we’ve received your order.
  2. Picking - Your order has been printed, and we’re in the process of pulling your parts from the shelves.
  3. Packing - All stock has been pulled for your order. It is now waiting to be packed up.
  4. Shipped - Your order has been completely packaged and moved to our shipping dock. It’s ready to go! No changes to your order are possible once it has reached this status.
  5. Exception - This indicates your order needs human interaction before it can be released for shipment. Orders in this status usually get cleared quickly. We will contact you if we need additional information.
  6. Other - There are a few other order status flags but do not apply to the vast majority of orders. If you have any questions, please email us and we’ll explain the state of your order.

Shipping Policy

General

We currently ship via the United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, and UPS.

FedEx and UPS do not deliver to PO Boxes. If your shipping address is a PO Box, please select a USPS or Economy option or your package will be returned to us at your expense.

All Domestic orders are shipped “Signature Not Required” by default, however, the shipping company may decide to require a signature depending on the value or destination. If you want your order to be sent with a signature required, please contact Customer Service. If a “Signature Not Required” package is left at the door, but isn’t there when you get home, neither SparkFun nor the shipping company can be held responsible.

International shipments signature requirements vary by carrier and destination. If you have questions regarding your particular shipment, contact Customer Service.

We fill all in-stock orders as soon as possible. Please see our Same-Day Shipping section for specifics. Once your order is ready to ship, a Shipping Confirmation email, with tracking information if applicable, will be sent.

We cannot be held responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen packages. We will file claims for those that are insured. Please contact us directly to initiate a claim.

Shipping Costs

Orders for $60+ worth of goods will have the option of free shipping by the least expensive method available. If the shipping charge comes to more than $500, you won’t see the free shipping. Contact Customer Service to make arrangements.

For orders under $60 or faster shipping options, we charge a $2 handling fee plus the estimate from the carrier.

For an estimate before checkout, please add the items you intend to order to your cart, then click “calculate shipping” from the Shopping Cart page. This will provide a list of estimates for the shipping methods available to your selected destination.

If you have a FedEx or UPS account, you may choose to use it to cover the shipping charges for your order. To do so, enter your account number in the appropriate field during checkout. We will then charge only our standard $2 per-order handling fee, and will submit the shipping charges to your account. Please note: Your contracted rates may vary greatly from ours. The shipping estimate you see at checkout has no relation to what you will eventually be billed. Please do not enter your FedEx or UPS account number unless you are absolutely certain you want to ship on your own account instead of ours.

Special Handling

The following services are available for an additional charge:

Saturday Delivery

FedEx and UPS do not normally deliver on Saturday, but can for an additional charge of $15. If you would like your package to ship on a Friday for delivery Saturday, please follow these steps:

  1. Make sure it is before 2pm Mountain Time on a Friday. We can’t guarantee shipment that day if it is later.
  2. Place your order through our website, selecting either FedEx Priority Overnight or UPS Next Day Air for the shipping method and Offline Payment as the payment method.
  3. Click the “Need to change something?” button next to your order number, then pause your order with a note explaining what you’d like to do. Call Customer Service right away with your order number.
  4. We’ll add the $15 to the original shipping cost calculated, take payment, and release your order for shipment.

You’ll receive an email with your tracking information as usual. Delivery is usually made by noon on Saturdays.

Package Rerouting

If your package is en route to an incorrect address, we can contact FedEx or UPS to update the delivery address (USPS does not offer this service). The base fee is $10 for FedEx and $11 for UPS. There may be additional charges depending on how far away the new delivery address is from the old one. Please call Customer Service as soon as you are aware the package needs rerouting.

This service also applies to packages needing to be stopped and returned to us.

Please Note: Package Rerouting and returning is done at the discretion of the shipper. If the package is too close to the delivery address, it may be delivered before the reroute/return instructions are received. We will make the request, but cannot guarantee that it will be honored.

Shipping Options

Local Pickup

See our Local Pickup section for details.

Domestic

This is for shipping addresses within the United States. We offer 14 options:

FedEx - (All FedEx shipping methods are tracked and fully insured)
  • FedEx Priority Overnight - next business day by 10:30AM, later for rural
  • FedEx Standard Overnight - next business day by 3PM, later for rural
  • FedEx 2-day Air - Delivery by the end of the second business day
  • FedEx Express Saver - Delivery by the end of the third business day
  • FedEx Ground/Home - Averages 3-5 business days, depending on destination

FedEx does not normally deliver on Saturday, but may for an additional charge. See our Saturday Delivery information for details.

UPS - (All UPS shipping methods except Economy are tracked and fully insured)
  • UPS Next Day Air - Next business day delivery by 10:30 a.m., 12:00 noon, or end of day, depending on destination
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver - Commercial destinations: Next business day delivery by 3:00 or 4:30 p.m. Residential destinations: Next business day delivery by end of day
  • UPS 2nd Day Air - Delivery by the end of the second business day
  • UPS 3 Day Air - Delivery by the end of the third business day
  • UPS Ground - Averages 3-5 business days, depending on destination

UPS does not normally deliver on Saturday, but may for an additional charge. See our Saturday Delivery information for details.

United States Postal Service
  • USPS EXPRESS - Overnight not guaranteed, includes Saturday. Only allowed for orders up to $300 in value.
  • USPS Priority - 2-3 business days not guaranteed, includes Saturday, not tracked, not insured. Only allowed for orders up to $100 in value.
  • USPS First Class Mail - not day guaranteed, but averages 1-2 weeks, not tracked, not insured. Only allowed for orders up to $100 in value.

Please Note - Priority and First Class Mail packages are NOT insured. In the case a package is lost or damaged in transit, SparkFun is not responsible for replacing the order.

Economy

SparkFun’s Economy Shipping option, also known as UPS SurePost, is carried by UPS to your city, then usually handed off to the United States Postal Service for delivery with standard mail. UPS may also choose to make delivery on their own. This shipping option will deliver to PO Boxes.

It may show up as “Economy” or “Economy Light”. This is an internal distinction based on the estimated weight of your package, and will not affect delivery time.

Only allowed for orders up to $300 in value. Economy is not an insured shipping method. As such, SparkFun is not responsible for replacing the package should it be lost in transit. It will show tracking online only up to the point the package is handed off to the USPS.

International

This is for any shipping address outside the United States. We offer 7 options:

FedEx - (All FedEx shipping methods are tracked and fully insured)
  • FedEx International Priority - 1-3 business days, longer for rural
  • FedEx International Economy - 3-5 business days, longer for rural
UPS - (All UPS shipping methods are tracked and fully insured)
  • UPS Worldwide Saver - 1-3 business days, longer for rural
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited - 3-5 business days, longer for rural
United States Postal Service
  • USPS Express Mail International - usually 5-10 business days. Trackable. Only allowed for orders up to $300 in value. Delivery is made by the destination country’s postal service.
  • USPS First Class Mail International - usually 2-4 weeks, but can take 6 weeks or more. NOT trackable. Only allowed for orders up to $100 in value. Delivery is made by the destination country’s postal service.

Please Note - First Class Mail International packages are NOT insured. In the case a package is lost or damaged in transit, SparkFun is not responsible for replacing the order.

International Economy

SparkFun’s International Economy Shipping option, also known as FedEx International Mail Service (FIMS), is carried by FedEx to your country, then handed off to the local postal service for delivery with standard mail. This shipping option will deliver to PO Boxes.

Shipping time varies greatly depending on destination. Delivery is usually made in 2-4 weeks, but can take as long as 6 in some cases.

Only allowed for orders up to $300 in value. Economy is not an insured shipping method. As such, SparkFun is not responsible for replacing the package should it be lost in transit. There is no tracking available for this shipping method.


For All International Shipments:

All duties and taxes for international shipments are the responsibility of the customer. SparkFun Electronics is not responsible for any extra charges once the original package has been shipped. If the customer refuses to pay these extra charges, the return shipping and any additional fees will be taken out of the cost of the order, with any remaining funds being refunded to the customer.


Same-Day Shipping

SparkFun guarantees to ship your order the same day you place it IF and ONLY IF your order meets ALL the following criteria:

  1. Your order is placed before 2:00PM, Mountain Time.
  2. You select a shipping method other than Economy, International Economy, USPS First Class Mail, or First Class Mail International.
  3. The day you place your order is a Business Day.
  4. All items are in-stock.
  5. Your order is paid in full at the time you place it.
  6. Your order is not considered an Exception.
  7. Your order value is less than $1200 before shipping costs.
  8. You are not a SparkFun Distributor.
  9. Your order does not require any modification before it is able to ship.

If your order does meet all the listed requirements, we guarantee shipment of your package that day. If it doesn’t meet them all, we may still get it out the same day, but no promises.

Definitions:

  1. Time - The timestamp on your order must be before 2PM Mountain Time to qualify. An order placed at 1:59:59PM counts, 2:00:00PM does not. Orders placed at 2PM and later will be considered to qualify for the next business day. The time used is the timestamp on your order, which will be displayed once your order is placed.

  2. Shipping Method - We guarantee most, but not all, of our available shipping methods. All options from FedEx and UPS qualify, as do USPS Express Mail, USPS Express Mail International, and USPS Priority. We do NOT guarantee Economy, International Economy, USPS First Class Mail, or USPS First Class Mail International. These will be processed within 2 business days of placement.

  3. Business Days - Business Days are traditionally defined as the weekdays of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Excluded are the weekend days of Saturday and Sunday, as well as any Holidays. You can see a list of the weekdays SparkFun will be closed for Holidays here. Additionally, SparkFun may be unexpectedly closed for inclement weather, off-site company events, zombie apocalypse, etc. In the event of such closure, SparkFun will post notice of closure on the front page of our website as soon as possible. If SparkFun does need to close unexpectedly, that day will not be considered a Business Day, even if the zombies have gotten into our server room and we are unable to update the site to tell you about it.

  4. In-Stock - Your order must contain only in-stock items to qualify for same-day shipping. If we don’t have it, we can’t ship it to you. There is the potential that your order will contain an Accidentally Backordered Item. In this case, we can only guarantee the ship date on all remaining items in your order, and ship the Accidentally Backordered Item(s) as soon as possible. Please see our Backorder Policy for more details.

  5. Paid in full - Only orders paid in full at the time of placement qualify. This limits payment methods to Credit Card and most PayPal transactions. Orders paid with a PayPal “echeck” do not qualify. Orders paid entirely with a Gift Certificate do qualify. All other payment methods do not qualify for same-day shipping. At this time, we do not guarantee same-day shipping for Net30 orders.

  6. Exception - While rare, there is the chance that your order will go to an Exception status, instead of the normal New Order status. You will be notified upon placing your order if your order is an Exception. Most orders that do go to Exception, and otherwise qualify, will be cleared quickly and shipped within the same-day time frame. Because some will require additional information from the customer, though, we cannot guarantee it. You can see our Order Status Information section for more details.

  7. Order Value - In order to ensure the quality of very large orders, we need to exclude orders valued at $1200 and up from this guarantee.

  8. Distributors - Distributor orders don’t qualify. Sorry folks.

  9. Does not require modification - Your order must be valid to ship as you placed it. If any changes are required to your order before it is able to be shipped, it is disqualified from the same-day shipping guarantee. These changes may be intentional, such as you needing to add an item or correct a shipping address, or unintentional, such as providing an invalid FedEx account number or an address deemed undeliverable by your selected shipper.

If your order qualified but didin’t ship same day: We will be working hard to meet our guarantee, but sometimes, reality won’t allow it. In the case that we do not meet our guarantee, we will automatically upgrade your shipping method by one step, and ship it the following business day. For example, if you place an order on Monday with UPS 3-day and we fail to get it out that day, we will ship it Tuesday with UPS 2-day shipping, no additional charge. If you’ve already selected the fastest shipping method available with a particular shipping company, we will ship it with the same shipping method on the following day and refund your shipping/handling charges in full.


Currency Conversion

The currency converter is a utility that will display SparkFun prices in most common currencies.

The default currencies are:

  • US Dollar
  • Canadian Dollar
  • Australian Dollar
  • British Pound
  • Euro

Converting Currencies

To display prices in your currency of choice, click on the currency dropdown menu at the top of the page, next to your username. By default, it will say “$ USD”. If you don’t see your desired currency in the list, click “More Currencies” and you’ll be taken to the currency preferences tab on your account settings, where you can select from a much longer list.

Please Note: The function to display prices in currencies other than US Dollars is for convenience only. All charges will be submitted in US Dollars when you make payment and converted by your financial institution at that time. This may result in the actual charge showing up as slightly different than the total due shown in your preferred currency.


Payments

You may pay by any of the following methods. United States funds only. We do not accept C.O.D. orders.

Credit Card

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

  • We can only refund for up to 90 days from the date of the charge. After that time, we will need to refund with store credit or another method.
  • In order to help prevent payment fraud, we may need to hold your order for further verification. We will be in contact if this is applies to you.

PayPal

If you select PayPal during checkout, you will be redirected to that website, then back to ours to complete your order.

  • If your order has backorders, you may not be redirected to the PayPal site. This is because we do not take payment until your order is ready to ship. Once everything is in stock, we’ll send you a money request.
  • Make sure your addresses are correct on our site. We do not verify any address information with PayPal.

Check or Money Order

Send your check or money order to:

SparkFun Electronics
6175 Longbow Drive
Boulder, CO 80301
  • Reference your order number on the document.
  • Not available for orders that are split into two shipments.
  • For accounting reasons, this option is not available for Local Pickup orders.

Wire Transfer

This is a direct transfer from your bank to ours. Necessary information will be included with your Order Confirmation email.

  • Not available for orders that are split into two shipments.
  • Not available for orders under $100.
  • Please be sure to include your Order Number, Customer Number, and Company Name in the transfer information.
  • Usually take 3-5 business days to clear. Your order will ship once your payment is verified by our bank. A record of the transaction from your bank is not sufficient to release an order.

Minimum Order Quantity

There are no minimum orders! If you are willing to fork over shipping costs, we will gladly send you a $0.15 diode.


Sales Tax

All orders with a Colorado shipping address will include Colorado sales tax on the merchandise portion of your order, unless you provide us with an exemption permit or Colorado resale tax form. Tax is calculated based on the shipping zip code.

We do not charge sales tax for orders with a shipping address outside Colorado.


Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates are sent from Gifter to Giftee by email. We do not send out a physical certificate. In order to send a Gift Certificate that you have purchased, please follow the “Send Gift Certificate” link from the My Account screen.

Read more about gift certificates as well as purchase them here.


Holidays

SparkFun will be closed the following days in 2014. No orders will ship these days, but you can still place an order through the website as usual.

  • May 26th, 2014 - Memorial Day
  • July 4th, 2014 - Independence Day
  • September 1st, 2014 - Labor Day
  • November 27th, 2014 - Thanksgiving
  • November 28th, 2014 - Day after Thanksgiving
  • December 24th, 2014 - Christmas Eve
  • December 25th, 2014 - Christmas Day