Prices, Policies, Estimates, Shipping and Guarantees


We will estimate any set for free. (See shipping requirements below.) Please fully insure your package. If, after being notified of your estimate, you decide not to have the work done, your radio will be returned promptly to you after funds for the trip back are received by us. All estimates will be put in writing, and include detailed breakouts for parts, labor, and sublets, if any. After the project approval, and getting into your set, we run into unforseen problems that are going to raise your estimate more than 10%, no additional cost over 10% will be incurred without your approval. If you decide the additional work is not worth it, the project will be stopped, and you will only be charged the cost of any non-returnable parts already purchased, shipping back to you, plus a basic teardown charge of $54.00.


Our flat hourly rate is $54.00/hr. This is considerably less than what an electronic technician would charge to repair a vintage stereo, a considerably less tasking job than restoring a complex and often fussy radio antique. Most sets' chassis can be overhauled in a few hours or less. Multi-band, more complicated sets will take longer. In any case, no firm quotes will be given until we can actually inspect the set here. We can give you some idea via e-mail or over the phone, but it's not realistic to expect accuracy until we can actually inspect the radio here.

Refinishing of wooden cabinets, a fine art in itself, is a different matter, and must be quoted individually. All our refinishing is done by hand, and consists of many different steps, materials, coats and layers. Our top coats (the final finish) can go to 14 coats, are hand rubbed many times at many stages, and should outlast the wood underneath it. (Please note: Most commercial refinishers have NO idea what a vintage radio should look like, nor do they have the knowledge of the tones, hues, shades and colors that are appropriate to your unique set. These guys do tables and chairs, not fine vintage radios. We, on the other hand, DO know!)

Deposits & Payment:

Once an estimate has been approved, we require a 50% deposit to begin work. For fastest service, this should be in the form of PayPal, US Postal Money Order or other Money Order from the bank of your choice. (Most banks will give free MO's to customers who have checking accounts with them.) Personal checks are OK too, but we have to wait for them to clear the bank, usually 5-7 business days.

If you accept the estimate, the deposit should be mailed within 7 days of receiving the estimate. The balance is due and payable when we notify you that your set is done, and the set should be picked up and/or paid for, or final payment should be mailed within 7 days of being notified of it's completion.

Your set will be shipped within 48 business hours of receiving the final payment if a M.O. is used. Again with personal checks, we have to wait for them to clear the bank, usually 5-7 business days. (If PayPal is used, funds must reach _our_ bank before shipping, usually 2-3 business days.)

NOTE: If the job is especially large, like the full electrical and cabinet restoration of a console, the deposit may be broken up into thirds; one third to start, one third when we're done with the electronics, and the last third on completion.


We warranty all parts installed and all labor performed for 90 days. If other parts of your radio fail, they will not be covered. You must pay shipping to us. In the case of small, tabletop sets, we will pay the return trip via ground. For consoles, you must pay shipping both ways. (Please note that, since we started doing this professionally in 1994, we have only had three sets come back with warranty problems, and all were taken care of immediately, and to the client's satisfaction.)


I. General Issues

A) A competent job of packing must be done! Used boxes are not acceptable for sending us a radio, period. Use new, sturdy cartons. It's suicide to send a nice old radio in a used "Baby Hugga-Bunch" box! Also, do not use printed newspaper as packing material; we're fond of the printed medium, but not when we're black with it from head to toe from unpacking your set. If you do use paper wrapping and padding, use unprinted newspaper (standard wrapping and packing paper) instead. Finally, if in doubt about your abilities as a packer, get a pro to do it.

B) Do not send us anything (including e-mail attachments!) without contacting us and getting authorization first!

C) Carrier Preferences:

We used to have a favorite, but recent developments have made us realize that no shipper wants to be responsible for collectibles over $500:

1. FedEx has a "exceptional value" exclusion category that vintage radios fit into amounting to only $500,
2. DHL has stopped picking up small packages, period. They're out of this business.
3. ...and UPS can break just about anything, and their legal "exclusionary categories" language in their liability statements is VERY wide.

At this writing, FedEx is probably the better choice. But whoever you do choose, if your shipment is worth over $500, it is highly recommended that you purchase auxilliary insurance from a cargo broker. Costs are approximately $1.50 per $100 of declared value, and are usually issued through Lloyd's of London.


II. Specifics

A. Tabletops:

The "box-in-a-box" method (double boxing) must be used! Try and allow three inches of packing around the radio on all sides of the inner box, and three inches of good, cushy, packing material between the outer and inner boxes. This is sometimes tricky to achieve with the odd sizes of boxes and radios, but do the best you can. The better you pack, the better condition it arrives in. THE OUTER BOX MUST BE MARKED WITH "FRAGILE-ELECTRONICS" ON ALL SIDES.

B. Consoles:

Drop-off is usually the best way to deal with consoles, but some shippers can do the job right; but since most do not have insurance policies that cover "internal breakage", additional coverage is required from a broker. The best bet is to make sure the console is professionally crated up first.

A national firm, "Craters and Freighters"
( has franchises all over the US; they seem to do a fairly decent job. All franchises are locally owned and operated, so check yours out first. They will then use the carrier their local office contracts out to. "Craters and Freighters" is a "one-stop-shop" solution, and it may work well for you. We have no financial relationship with them. They DO NOT, however, insure against internal damage caused by mishandling, so it's best, again, to get some additional insurance. This can be had from a freight broker, or see if your homeowner's or renter's insurance policies apply while the radio is in transit.

If all this seems excessive, know that the value of a fully functioning, completely restored vintage console classic can run well into four figures, depending on make, model, and scarcity. (Click here.)

Please note that we include a written opinion/estimate of the set's restored worth with any project done that runs over $300.

Updated 2016


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