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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Safe Purchasing
This site looks broken on my browser!
Payment Methods
Shipping & Order Deadline
Special Orders
Minimum Advertised Price
Return policy
External links

Safe Purchasing

If you've bought online from other stores, you probably think we're asking a lot on our online forms, and you're right. But the business we're in is particularly prone to fraud and theft, and we take as many steps as we can to prevent that. Rest assured that all of your purchases with Phototools are verified, secure and authentic.

This website uses SSL secure server technology to encrypt your critical information while in transit. That means prying eyes can't get at your credit card or personal information. Wherever you see that certificate or the secure icon at the bottom of your browser (typically either a lock or a key), you know that we are who we say we are.

But what about you? The only way we can safely verify that our customers are who they say they are is by using thorough checks and having all the relevant information. That's why we don't currently ship anywhere but the billing address, and that's why we require the amount of information that we do. We realize the inconvenience this might create, but we feel building a mutual network of trust is crucial to having faith in your purchases on the web - particularly if you're purchasing expensive equipment on time-sensitive deadlines!

We are of course looking for better, more convenient solutions to these problems all the time.

This site looks broken on my browser!

Every web browser displays pages slightly differently. While redesigning, we went to great lengths to ensure that the site would look consistent for most of our viewers. Some browsers display properties very differently from other, more common browsers. If there's something displaying wrong on the site, you've probably run across an issue we haven't seen before. Please send an email to the webmaster and let us know so we can address it.

Payment Methods

We accept Pay Pal, Visa, Master Card, American Express*, Discover and Paypal.

Orders are subject to verifications and sometimes require additional information from the cardholder. These precautions are made with the card holder's interests in mind. We will attempt to reach the cardholder for up to five (5) working days after the order has initialy gone through our verification department. After the allowed time, and if we are not able to verify the credit cardholders information, we will cancel the pending order.

*Orders paid by American Express may be subject to additional limitations. Please call for more information or to place your order by American Express.

Shipping & Order Deadline

Online orders are shipped via FedEx. We offer, Ground, 2-Day, Standard Overnight and Priority Overnight. Free shipping offers apply to the contiguous 48 states and excludes hazardous and oversized materials. Customers who are unable to receive shipments to their billing address via FedEx can call 855-397-4886 to arrange for other shipping options. All orders valued over $200 will require a signature upon delivery. If there is any problem regarding the shipping for your order, a Phototools customer service representative will contact you.

Order submitted online or over the phone before 1:00pm PST, Monday - Friday will be processed that same day. This does not guarantee that your order will ship that same day. Orders are subject to verification and sometimes require additional information from the cardholder. These precautions are made with the card holder's interests in mind. We will attempt to reach the cardholder for up to five (5) working days after the order has initially gone through our verification department. After the allowed time, and if we are not able to verify the credit cardholders information, we will cancel the pending order.


For orders containing items on back-order, Phototools will hold the order until all items are in stock. Once all items are in stock, Phototools will ship the complete order. Customers may request that in-stock items be shipped as soon as possible, with back-ordered items shipped when available. For orders split into separate shipments, the back-ordered items will ship by FedEx Ground once they are in stock.

Special Orders

Special order items are non-cancelable and non-refundable. All special orders are subject to availability from the manufacturer. Payment in full is required upon placing your order.

Minimum Advertised Price

You may have noticed that some items simply have a price listed, while others have a price that is linked or directs you to "Call for our price!" Why aren't all of our prices treated the same way?

This is because of something called Minimum Advertised Price, or MAP. MAP is an agreement between a reseller (such as Phototools) and an equipment vendor or manufacturer, wherein the reseller agrees to advertise products only at a certain price - even if you can actually buy the product for less! As a reseller, it's beneficial for us to adhere to MAP, because then we get a favored status with vendors that includes better and faster access to new products and information.

As a customer, we understand that MAP pricing can be confusing. But we've tried to simplify the process as much as possible. If you add any item to your shopping cart, the price you see in the shopping cart will always be the absolute best price we can give you on that item. You're under no obligation to buy any item in your shopping cart... just click the "remove" button at any time and it's gone. We'll continually try to find the best ways to get the best prices to you in the most straightforward way possible.

Return Policy

Holiday Return/Exchange Policy

We are extending our return policies for your holiday shopping needs. Items purchased between November 24, 2013 and December 24, 2013, will have an extended return period of January 17, 2014 or 30 days, whichever date is longer. All other return policies will still apply.

Exchange and Return General Guidelines

(1To qualify for an exchange or return the following apply:

  • Provide the original receipt.
  • All returned or exchanged items must be in new condition, in their original box, and must include all packaging materials, blank warranty card, manuals, and all accessories.
  • Video Cameras must show less than 120 minutes of use.
  • Digital Cameras with shutter counters must show less than 200 exposures.
  • Return or exchange is made within 30 calendar days of purchase.
  • The item for return or exchange is sent to the originating shipping address.
  • If you paid with a credit card, your refund will be credited to the same credit card. Please allow 7-10 days for the credit to appear on your credit card account.

(2No Exchange or returns are permitted on the following:

  • All consumables items such as film, photo paper, all moisture, heat, x-rays, magnetic and other light sensitive materials, tapes, paper, seamless paper, bulbs, batteries, chemistry, filters, video dv and mini dv tapes, digital software, and digital printers.
  • Canvas backgrounds
  • Open blister packaged items
  • Open Apple brand products
  • Any open CD, DVD, computer software, memory cards, and ink cartridges.
  • Any Special Order merchandise.
  • Any computers modified or built to customer specifications.
  • Labor, delivery and/or completed installation services.
  • Items that have been damaged through customer use or abuse.

(3) Defective merchandise exchange:

  • Defective merchandise can be exchanged within 30 days of purchase as long as you have the original packaging and warranty card and the warranty card has not been filled out. If you do not have the original packaging or have already filled out the warranty card, you will need to send the defective item to the manufacturer.

(4) Refund of promotional items and bundles are subject to the following:

  • Phototools sometimes offers promotional items and savings with a purchase or extra savings on a bundle of items when they are purchased together.
  • When a promotional item is returned, the value of the promotional item will be deducted from the refund amount. For example, if you purchase a camera and get a free camera case and memory valued at $40, the value of $40 will be subtracted from your return.
  • When an item included as part of a promotional bundle is returned, the bundled discount is void and the value of the bundled discount will be applied to the refund. This occasionally results in additional funds being owed to Phototools. For instance, if you receive $200 in savings when you purchase a laptop and a printer together and you return either item, the $200 amount will be subtracted from your refund.

If conditions are not met, reserves the right to refuse the return or charge a restocking fee up to 15%.

External Links

At any time, may contain links to other websites beyond the control of Phototools. Phototools takes no responsibility for the content or presentation of these websites. Links are added and edited as needed. If you have links you would like to submit or correct, please send an email to the webmaster.

Copyright © 2015 Photo Tools