The reason for all of this information is to provide our customers with clear and accurate understandings of our Return/Refund policies, not to make returns difficult.
Simply put, we do NOT require Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) numbers as many online businesses require. All we basically ask is that we can identify your return (via email, transaction number, name and address, etc.), your reason for return and any directions for return or refund.
We also seek to handle most warranty returns for our customers rather than send customers to cumbersome, slow, and often costly manufacturer returns
Also, even if a product needs to be returned after 30 days, we can sell a label to prevent a customer from standing in lines at post offices, etc. and the often higher fees UPS, USPS, etc. might charge.
Cancel/ Change Order
Please note if you need to cancel or change your order, there will be a $2 Fee to change an order (this is to cover the time spent and fees charged us which usually exceed $2). In most cases orders canceled prior to shipping/processing can be refunded in full with no fees charged.
If an order has been shipped there is no practical way to get a package back from USPS or FedEx so normal return policies apply.
If we have shipped the incorrect item or you as the customer have inadvertently purchased the incorrect item, we want to get you the correct product as quickly as possible, however we do need a written record, so this must be handled by email as well.
See Steps to Take further on this page.
30 Day Return PolicyAll non warranty return requests must be initiated within 30 days from when the products are delivered to you.
(This excludes returns initiated by email, requesting us to take care of warranty issues on a product purchased from us or to repair a product out of warranty).
It is impossible to refund any return (in part or in full) that we receive after 60 days (by terms of Merchant Credit Card Agreements)
Any Return after 30 days falls under the terms of a Warranty Return
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Broken, Damaged Shipments need to be handled within 7 days (so as to file a claim with our shipper as per their rules).
Please note as per FedEx rules for claims; that if only parts are broken that can be replaced (such as a Quartz Sleeve on a UV Sterilizer), this is all we can send/replace, not an entire unit.
Our shipping agent requires pictures of the broken part, outer packing and inner packing to file a claim, so we must ask for these three pictures to provide replacement parts.
The simplest way to handle all return or breakage requests/complaints is to respond directly to the email we send with ALL sales at the time we finish processing your purchase as pictures that are required by FedEx can be attached. Another way is via our Contact Page, and then attach pictures after we respond to your breakage claim.
We send ALL customers this email, if you cannot find it in your email please check your SPAM.
See Return Requirements for further shipping damage information
We have also found that many customers use "old" email addresses in PayPal or similar credit card accounts that are no longer checked, Please note that these Shipping information emails from us are sent to the email provided by your PayPal or Credit Card account (unless you type the current email at the time of purchase), so please check these email accounts if our email cannot be found.
See Information Section for "Incorrect Address" info.
Non Delivery; Once delivered and FedEx or USPS shows a confirmed delivery, our legal obligation has ended. We recommend contacting FedEx or USPS first with your tracking number, then contacting us to see where we might be able to help from our side, especially with FedEx as they are very good about investigating any issues of non delivery.
For USPS, once delivered usually means DELIVERED and we can do little, especially since we pay extra out of our pocket for proof of delivery with every shipment. Problems of non delivery are VERY RARE with either service, but if you have had issues in your area, I would suggest requesting FedEx 3 or 2 day air.
As with broken/damaged items, all non delivery claims MUST be filed within 7 days (as per shipper rules).
Even with FedEx, unlike a broken item where we can send parts or whatever is need to fix the item, we have to wait for their resolution for non-delivery due to high incidence of fraud. We cannot send any replacements until FedEx finalizes their investigation.
International & Non Lower 48 USA Damage/Missing; As clearly stated on our Shipping Page, We do NOT guarantee any shipment sent internationally where the buyer elects to use the less expensive Postal Shipping instead of FedEx Guaranteed Shipping. If you have a problem with a broken or damaged shipment, we can certainly try to help.
If a shipping forwarder is used, once a package is delivered to them, it is their responsibility to check for damage prior to forwarding the package, especially since most forwarders re-pack items to save shipping costs.
We are NOT responsible for packages after they leave these forwarders, and ALL CLAIMS must be filed with the forwarder.
I would especially be wary of freight forwarders that use Postal forwarding, especially to Canada for fragile items.
There are no exceptions other than helping in any way we can!
Returns for Defects with Missing Parts or Test Non-Defective; If parts are missing, we can only return these products as is after replacing any defective part (we cannot refund).
If no defect is found, it is the purchasers responsibility to pay FULL shipping back (not simply the cost paid, as often we subsidize shipping costs on the front end of purchases). If a customer elects to not keep an non defective return, we can provide a 95% refund as per our policy in the next section, less the cost of shipping (including shipping paid for a return label as well). If parts are missing with a non defective return, we cannot provide any refund.
*For non Defective NON-USED Returns WITHIN 30 days WITH original packaging (EXCEPT for Lighting Products, UV Sterilizers, Canister Filters, & Specials); UP TO 100% of your order will be refunded, this does NOT include shipping since we cannot recover this cost. With larger/heavy purchases OUR total shipping cost often well exceeds the cost customers pay and this TOTAL amount cannot be refunded.
Please note; The CUSTOMER bears the cost of shipping to return a product that they decide not to keep.
*Products that are returned dirty, with missing parts or not connected, misuse, or without 100% original packaging will be refunded UP TO 85% depending upon condition of the return.
Simply put; if we cannot re-sale a return as new, we cannot refund full purchase price.
*If extensive testing is required for a return, the refund will be 85% or less depending upon time required.
For Lighting, UV Sterilizers, ALL TMC Products, and Canister Filters, we stand behind our EXTENSIVE information provided that well explains all positives and negatives, as well as the quality of our products (it is noteworthy that we sell the Filstar Filters at a loss as a customer courtesy).
This also includes proper use of UV Sterilizers, etc.
Because of this and the low margin, time spent in testing and prepping of these products; we can only Refund UP TO 95% of these returns UNLESS returned for an exchange of equal or higher value.
For UV Sterilizers that have not been used correctly,, the maximum refund is 85% IF returned clean.
*Closeouts/Specials can only be refunded UP TO 85%
*Tubing, since it is cut, we cannot offer ANY refund for return
*Unfortunately all sales are final for driftwood since these are all unique specimens that take considerably time to photograph and get up on the website.
*As well, all sales are final for filters once they have been used in an aquarium or pond.
*Finally, while we test EVERY UV, Light Fixture, etc., sometimes a part such as a circuit, connection, etc may come loose during shipping; we are more than happy to replace these broken or otherwise defective parts at our cost for shipping, however this cannot be used as a reason to expect a shipping label to simply return an entire otherwise functioning product as a few have attempted to use this scam for free labels.
- Returns, such as light bulbs, that are returned without reasonable care to prevent breakage and thus arrive broken ARE the customers responsibility just as we are responsible for reasonable shipping damage to customers.
- For application of credit toward an exchange or new purchase, this can be handled either by the customer making the new purchase and once the return is received back, we would apply 100% credit (less shipping) toward the original purchase OR once the return is received we can send an electronic invoice for the difference in price plus shipping (if any).
We provide a customer courtesy (one time per purchase) UV Bulb replacement up to 6 months after purchase
We cannot respond to requests for returns or replacement via phone messages.
Warranty Returns Warranty Returns can be taken at any time, we attempt to handle as many warranty concerns "in house" to avoid as many hassles as possible for our customers including our often much quicker turn around time of a day or two (versus manufacturer return turn-around's that are often a couple weeks).
For any warranty return where a new product is given, we will generally not return the product in the new packaging as most manufacturers require us to return any products with warranty issues in the box that the new replacement came from.
With replacement products, warranties will continue from the time of original purchase
For warranty returns, make sure to provide evidence of your purchase from us, such as transaction ID, original packing slip, or simply the email address you used for your purchase. This is a service provided for our customers only!
With the exception of TMC Products; ALL Return Shipping Fees will apply after 60 Days, as it would with most manufacturer returns, except we are much quicker and we absorb most of these costs, unlike manufacturer returns (we would send an electronic invoice for this fee unless already paid).
Please understand we are acting as an agent for your returns at no charge between the buyer and the manufacturer and there are costs involved for us that we do NOT pass on (including costs to return to the manufacturer and rejected returns by the manufacturer that we have already given to the buyer).
With TMC Products, we are now reimbursed by TMC for our cost for return shipping & and we will pay this cost TO customers with warranty returns (the customer is still responsible for shipping to us for warranty returns, although we can send a prepaid label for convenience if requested for Domestic shipments).
*If the warranty return is needed quickly; the product and can be re-purchased and once the defective product is returned, the price of the product (only) can be refunded upon testing/verification.
This assumes the entire product is defective, not just a part, otherwise a full refund cannot be issued. Unfortunately we have had working LED fixtures returned after purchase of a replacement and we CANNOT refund for a working LED Fixture returned for warranty
Please note that if the returned product has damage such as water damage to a power supply/ballast, we cannot refund. So if you are unsure, a return for repair is the better option.
*If only a certain part need replacing, such as a UV Ballast or LED Power Supply, this part only can be returned.
We cannot exchange warranty returns for a different product unless the product under warranty has been upgraded to a newer product (Example; the TMC AquaBeam 500 is now a AquaBeam 600).
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- For TMC AquaRay LED Lights and GroBeams, we attempt to handle any problem "in house", this occasionally results in us taking any loss due to moisture damage from improper placement or ventilation.
One symptom of humidity/moisture damage is the first emitter (next to the power supply connection) going out. This is the most susceptible due to too much moisture and is the one that has failed in every case of emitter failure of AquaBeam 600's, and 500's.
The older 500/600 models (pre November 2011) are however, a bit more susceptible to high humidity/moisture. However this was addressed with a failure rate of ONLY 0.1011%.
Please see this note from TMC in the side bar:
Link to Note from TMC
The newer 400, 500, 600, 1000, 1500, & 2000 model LED's are not as susceptible to humidity due to improvements that include a couple of extra electrical components to protect against any current spikes entering the unit as a result to damage to the sophisticated circuitry from humidity higher than the established 65% for any electronic component. The result is less than 3% overall failure rate and this includes those damaged by high humidity/moisture.
If you are having trouble with one of these units you should reevaluate your placement and ventilation.
Only one of the dozens of AquaRay LEDs (even 500 models) going back a few years in our sister maintenance companies have ever failed, as adequate flow through ventilation (not just a back cut out when used in canopies) and regular cleaning of all lights (not just LED) is provided.
It is also noteworthy based on our findings it is the sophisticated circuitry to reduce the voltage that gets damaged by humidity in these few returns (not actually the emitters), often when left to dry these fixtures will work again unless there is too much corrosion (similar to a cell phone damaged by water then dried out to work again).
Please note that TMC has been very liberal in honoring warranties even in clear cases of poor installations, connections damaged by arcing from poor connections, etc. (but we may have to wait for direction from TMC in such cases before replacing)
We can also help with some AquaRay returns if purchased from local retailers that for whatever reason cannot help with your problem (as a courtesy at our loss). Please provide some sort of receipt via a scan, etc. of your purchase
However since we have invested a lot of time and ongoing research with the most extensive web site selling these LED Lights (as well as other products), only to see many use our information to purchase elsewhere on the Internet with websites that provide little up to date accurate information (just maybe a lower price), we CANNOT help with these returns of purchase elsewhere online. Remember, while we get reimbursed for parts and one way shipping, we do not get remembered for shipping back to TMCs distributor, the time to help with these returns via email, nor the labor time to test and process returns (which can take some time).
- For UV Replacement Bulb Returns, please read this page first for further information and tips:
UV Bulb Troubleshooting & Returns
For UV Bulbs (as noted earlier on this web page); we provide a customer courtesy (one time per purchase) UV Bulb replacement up to 6 months after purchase (this also applies to any aquarium lamp other than the AquaRay which have a longer warranty period as per the manufacturer).
For new Bulbs/Lamps returned within 30 days of purchase we can provide a refund of 85% OR for UVC Bulbs/Lamps that test fine/OK (which over 95% of new returned UV bulbs test fire OK upon our tests), we can return these bulbs at OUR shipping cost as a customer courtesy (shipping back to AAP is customer responsibility).
If a new UV Sterilizer is needed and is the reason for the return, we can provide 100% toward one of our excellent professionally used and tested UV Sterilizers. We are sorry that we are firm with an 85% refund if you choose to purchase a UV Sterilizer elsewhere, since we spend much time in testing before & after with UV Bulb/lamp returns, especially since the UV Sterilizers we sell are among the best anywhere and at very competitive prices!!
This offer of return shipping is for USA only customers and only applies to bulbs returned to us as we shipped the bulbs/lamps!
- For UV Quartz Sleeve Warranty:
Due to the very fragile nature, Quartz Sleeves are only warranted to arrive without any cracks, whether it be a replacement or part of a whole UV Sterilizer.
This is due to the fact that the only defect would ever be mishandling or poor care. Professionally speaking, Carl (the founder of American Aquarium) has kept literally 1000s of UV Sterilizers over the years and has NEVER had one crack or break that was not caused by his accidental poor handling or care.
Poor care can include dropping of the entire UV, heavy objects placed there on, or even sudden or large changes of temperature such as leaving your UV Sterilizer lamp "on" while no flow is sent to the unit (the quartz sleeve will get quite hot and then when a water flow is returned, this will crack the quartz sleeve).
UV Sterilizer Maintenance
We would be happy to replace out a UV Quartz Sleeve that has cracked during the customers use (no labor charge), but the expense of the the quartz sleeve and returning the UV and/or quartz sleeve is solely that of the customer
Most other items have an implied warranty of one year but for parts that are normal wear & tear or are easily damaged from poor maintenance such as UV lamps, pump/filter impellers, etc.
Steps to Take
We try to make this process as simple as we can. Here are the steps that need to be taken (we recommend emailing us, to help us identify a return when it arrives).
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Email Us: Phone calls are not acceptable as we need a written record as per our Merchant Credit Card agreement.
You can email us using our Contact Form (preferred as Contact Forms never get spammed), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org please include:
- Name and Email used for order (a printed email "thread" is often helpful if this is available)
- Date received
- What product the problem is with (assuming there is a problem)
- If shipping breakage please provide images of the outside box and damaged item
- Reason for return
- How you used this product if it did not work correctly
We will contact for further information if needed
American Aquarium Products
710 Foundry Street, Unit C
Grants Pass, OR 97526
- Make sure to package the return similar to how we originally sent your purchase to reduce the risk of breakage, as breakage due to shipping us lights, etc., without a box and any bubble wrap or similar protection cannot be replaced or refunded Mailing envelopes are not acceptable for fragile items.
In the end, breakage is the responsibility of the sender.
- Please enclose a letter with your return. Please include name & your order number, copy of email correspondence (or email used).
- We ALWAYS return ship to the last address shipped to legally provided by PayPal.
If a different address needs to be used for our return back, this MUST be provided and CLEARLY stated in an email for legal documentation for protection against fraud
Requirements for Return
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Customers are responsible for all return shipping costs & shipping breakage risks except defective merchandise, and then we must be notified within 48 hours. In many instances we can send a return label electronically to USA ONLY shipments for defective merchandise, however we would need to know exact weights (assuming a partial order return). If the customer chooses to return the defective merchandise via their own shipping method after notifying us within 48 hours, we will refund the label at the wholesale cost of GROUND shipping.
ANY merchandise returned "As Defective" that we determine via tests as non defective will be re-charged for this label upon return of the item or in a refund (this is due to the high rate of fraud).
Packages that arrive with "COD" or "Postage Due" will be refused.
As well any International Return sent via UPS or similar methods without brokerage/customs fees paid will be refused. Any attempt to hide these fees will result in any future sales refused to this customer.
The product has not been used. Although if returned in sell able condition we can refund up to 85% of the purchase price this amount can vary depending upon time to recondition, clean and what we can sell the product for based on condition). (This does not apply to warranty returns)
For 100% refund; The product is in original packaging material which is also in new condition.
As well, ALL of the original parts, accessories, instruction manuals, paperwork, etc. is in the packaging.
If we cannot re-sale or return to the manufacturer an item returned within 30 days that was in good working order but missing the packaging, parts, etc.; we can only offer 50% of the product price since we too will be forced to donate it to a local aquarium club or similar.
- Shipping Damage/Delivery Issues (& some defective items) Pictures of outer packaging and broken items are necessary for products damaged in shipping within the USA. We must have BOTH pictures of outer packaging and the broken product.
Be assured that Purchases damaged in shipping (in the USA) go to the top of our priorities, so we usually will get a replacement on their way as soon as we have pictures.
We check/test most all fragile products prior to shipping (including liquids) to ensure that your item was shipped in good condition, however even with the best of care in checking and packaging damage can happen and we attempt to correct this ASAP and pictures often work best.
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Please do not return broken items and claim they were broken in shipping, asking for a refund without proof of this damage. We need proof, as there are many who have ordered an item, broken the item themselves and claimed shipping damage. This sadly is an occasional scam, and any returns attempting this will be refused.
Do not return defective products that were clearly purchased elsewhere.
Liquid products are packaged very carefully and we have found that even with severe damage 90% of the product is contained in our outer wrapping. For these reasons we do not return damaged liquids, rather we simply credit your account in full for the cost of the product, leaving the customer with generally 90% of the product at no cost.
International: As stated on our Shipping Policy Page we give no guarantees when shipping internationally. In an effort to provide our products to international locations we will do our best to aid a customer with losses internationally (so please do not take your frustration out on us). Please understand that lost international packages cannot be fully credited due to the lack of guarantees for us.
International returns MUST be emailed in advance of returns
In rare instances, there may be a problem with delivery. Most of the time, this is because the package was delivered to a side entrance instead of the main entrance and the customer is unable to locate the package. If you believe the package was not delivered to your address or have any other similar problems, please contact us within 5 days of when the package was supposed to arrive. Any longer delays may seriously hinder our investigation.
Incorrect Address Provided: We transfer all address directly from the shopping cart, however customers have occasionally typed in the incorrect address, which then causes the package to be shipped to the incorrect address.
Once an item is shipped, we can still change a FedEx shipment up to 1 day prior to delivery to a different address, however FedEx charges us $13 and we will send a bill for this prior to requesting a new label.
Unfortunately many of our "light" packages, rural, or international are shipped via USPS and there is no way to re-route a package. The best that can be done is for a customer to call their local PO and request that the package be held for pick up or returned.
Please note, we will still help a customer as a courtesy in any reasonable way we can if a package is not delivered or is return due to an incorrect address
Shipping charges are not refundable under ANY circumstances once an order has shipped.
Returns that provide pertinent information will be processed within 5 business days, usually within 2 business. Returns without any sales information, refused packages, and undeliverable packages can take up to 3 weeks to be processed and may be refused, returned to you at your expense, or restocked with a 20% restocking fee. If your return has not been processed within the specified time then please email email@example.com
All our electrical devices are 110-120V, so these pumps, filters, Sterilizers, Lights, etc. will not work in the UK, Australia, etc. unless you have step down transformer and all returns for this reason will not include shipping and be charged a 15% re-stocking fee
We reserve to ship ANY product replacement the most cost effective way possible, regardless of initial shipping method or package destinations
Finally, 99% of the products we sell, we have either a good relationship with the manufacturer or we will simply back the product ourselves; So please do not feel you should have to "eat" a product that you feel has not lived up to its warranty (or similar), please contact us by email and quite often we are able to replace your product or repair it for no cost or simply parts other than shipping to us.
Please note all warranty returns are for purchases made at American Aquarium Products only!
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Up to 85% of product price (if any) will be refunded for used products. Amount is decided at our discretion upon product inspection.
Packages refused by the customer will be restocked with a 20% fee deducted from the refund. In addition, any postage due or brokerage fees associated with recovering a refused package will be deducted from the refund.
Non deliverable packages due to incorrect addresses will be charged a re-label fee of what ever the charge to us is (generally $10-$15). All labels are "pasted" directly from your shopping cart, so whatever is provided (unless we are immediately notified) is what we use.
There will be a $1 Fee to change an order.
Return Shipping/Packing Instructions:
All returned items should be packed in the same manner as they were originally shipped to you. Products must be returned in separate shipping box to prevent damage, as well the original product box should be returned whenever possible, although MOST replacements can be handled without it, so please do not worry over this if you have thrown away a box for an item still under warranty (however for returns under 30 days requesting a refund, we cannot refund without the original product box).
You are free to use any carrier that you choose although we are not responsible for any packages lost or damaged during the return trip.
We do NOT recommend UPS for returns, as our local UPS often delivers after hours or to the wrong building.
American Aquarium Products
710 Foundry Street, Unit C
Grants Pass, OR 97526
Please click links below:
(FedEx Phone #800-GO-FEDEX)
(USPS Phone #800-275-8777)
Note from TMC about LED Reliability:
"From 2008 to end 2011 – we had a LED failure rate of 3.81%
At the end of 2011, we implemented significant changes to the pcb, including improvements to the wiring layout and the addition of components to protect the diodes from the current anomalies that were causing “1st diodes failures”. The first unit to carry this fix was serial number 55591.
Since this date, we’ve supplied 22,748 units (including units supplied as guarantee replacements). To date (November 2011 to the end of January 2013), I’ve logged 23 returns with failed diodes.
This represents a failure rate of 0.1011%, basically 1 in 1000.
On the back of this, we’ve also introduced major improvements to the casing design of the 600 range focussed mainly on improving moisture protection, providing more flexible mounting convenience and improved affordability. On all products, we continue to track improvements in the technology and integrate these as appropriate."