TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Whose catalog is this, anyway?
Astral Castle is a family-owned business located in Midland, Texas (draw a line between Dallas and El Paso, put a dot in the middle, and there you'll find us). We have had our bricks & mortar store since 1995, and have been offering our favorites on the Internet since 1996. The two owners of this "mom & pop shop" are Dave Bridges and Linda Blanchard. The name ''Astral Castle'' is meant to represent our mixture of science fiction and fantasy wares: the ''astral'' means ''stars'' and represents the future; the ''castle'' represents the fantasy element.
2. How can I pay for my order?
Our site supports a secure server, so within the catalog, if you choose Visa, Mastercard or Discover, you can feel safe entering your number there. Or, you may call us at our store (Astral Castle) 432-520-6463 during store hours, where you can talk to Dave or Linda or Melissa.
3. How quickly and how do you ship? What do you charge for shipping and handling?
We try to get an order ready to be shipped by the next weekday, but our next UPS pickup or trip to the Post Office may not be until the following weekday. Also, the nature of running a small business being what it is, there may be occasions when we are backlogged, or busy with local customers in the store, and end up running a day or two behind on mail orders. If you choose an express option for shipping we will get your order out as quickly as possible, of course, but choosing ''Next Day Air'' does not mean your package will arrive the day after you order it; it means you would get your package the next business day after we ship it..
Within the USA we ship using UPS or the Post Office. All packages carried by UPS are insured. Packages carried by the Post Office will be insured only if you select this option at the checkout, and if the insured value is over $50.00 you would need to sign for the package on its arrival. An uninsured package will be sent at your own risk.
Outside the USA we normally ship using Parcel Post Air Insured or Parcel Post Surface Insured, with a Customs Declaration form and duplicate invoices on the outside (even if the package is being ordered as a gift to be sent to someone else). If your country's customs authority requires additional paperwork or other considerations please notify us. All packages will be labeled ''Merchandise'' and the value of the contents declared. The addressee is responsible for any duty fees or applicable taxes. Please note that in many countries, packages sent from the same addresser to the same addressee over a specified period will, for duty purposes, be considered part of the same shipment.
We actually try not to profit off of shipping and handling. Therefore, we charge the actual shipping charges (or as close as our catalog can get when it checks shipping through the UPS and Post Office websites) plus packaging charges of $1.00 via UPS, and $2.00 for Post Office shipments.
4. Is everything you advertise always in stock?
Not necessarily. It was in stock when we did a inventory and updated the catalog that shows it, though we may have only had one of the item left (especially true for single cards and retired Pocket Dragons); the date of the update should show on the opening page of the catalog. However, even if you contact us the same day we put up the page, someone may have beaten you to it. After that inventory update, we do the best we can to keep the catalog accurate by removing anything we know we are out of, but still we have to disclaim: All stock listed is available in limited quantities, while supplies last.
5. What is your returns policy?
(A) In case of damaged merchandise, please retain all damaged materials and original packaging for inspection by the shipper. Contact us by e-mail immediately and we will let you know how to proceed with a claim. Once a claim has been filed and we have had notification from the shipper, we will either send a replacement or issue a refund if a replacement is not available.
(B) If an item is defective, please contact us by e-mail. If we require the item to be returned to us, you will be reimbursed for the shipping fee.
(C) If you accidentally ordered something you didn't want, you can return it within 30 days for full credit (excluding shipping and handling) towards anything else we offer. If you wanted a refund there would be a 10% re-stocking fee. This offer applies only to items still in original condition and in their original packaging. Other items would be handled at our discretion.
All information you provide to us, whether through email, over the phone, through our online catalog, or in-person in the store is held in strict confidentiality by us. Credit card information is under lock and key, accessible only to the two owners of the store. We never give out any information, not addresses or phone numbers or anything else. Dave and I both dislike junk mail, and feel even more strongly about the horrors of telephone solicitation. Linda thinks spamming and junk emailing are crimes. You can trust that no information you give us gets given to anyone else. (We've had requests, locally, to sell our customer database to others but you can't offer us enough money to do this to people.) We believe in Privacy with a capital P.
Our online catalog does collect information and leave cookies on your computer, but it does this purely for the purposes of tracking what you order, and the information you enter, so that it can complete the order, and so that you can leave the catalog and then come back and pick up where you left off. We do not collect any other information about you using cookies, or any other method. The only information we end up with is that which you type in yourself when you place an order or email us.
We routinely delete old orders from the server, and we do NOT store your credit card information electronically, either on the server or on any computer in our store. You will, therefore, need to re-enter your card information each time you place an order.
7. How can I contact you?
8. For CCG-singles buyers: What is the condition of the cards you sell?
First I will say that as a business person I have found that it is wise to work towards making my customers so happy that they come back again to buy from me. It is much easier to keep an existing customer than to locate and bring in new ones all the time. (And we do get a lot of repeat business.) Second, I realize that I must act as your eyes in any transaction since you can't be here to look at the card yourself. For that reason I am as fussy about the cards I sell to you as I would be if they were for my own collection. (And as dealers, we have gotten increasingly fussy!)
I consider that a Mint card is a very rare commodity. Most cards that come straight out of a pack are not Mint. Minor flaws in the manufacture are the norm -- image slightly off center, odd coloration, a fleck of dust on the lens, a small machine-made scratch. Any of these things drop a card into Near Mint condition. Near Mint is where most of the cards we sell lie. Because these flaws do not detract from the value of the card or its playability (even in a tournament) I do not describe them to you.
A Fine card is one that has not been played but has a flaw that slightly detracts from the card's value. Often it is a small scratch that can only be seen by tilting the card against the light, usually as a result of being sorted, sleeveless (though I have known cards to come straight out of a pack in Fine condition -- or worse!). I will always describe the flaws that make a card Fine.
A Good card is one that probably has been lightly played. It will be noticeable in a deck of otherwise Mint, Near Mint or Fine cards but in your average playing deck it will blend in. It shows just the slightest wear around the edges and may have one or two tiny "wide spots" in the edges, but not enough to particularly mark the card. A card in merely Good condition will usually be offered at a discount, and I will always state the condition of the card (often describing its flaws).
A Played card is just that; showing considerable amount of white around the borders from wear, sometimes with a very slight bend and a few nicks in the edges showing the card stock through. We rarely sell played cards but do come by them (often by playing the games ourselves) and if you are particularly looking for a cheap, played copy, you should feel free to ask if we have your choice in stock. Cards I would call Seriously Played generally end up in the trash! :)
9. Copyright Notice
The entire contents of this website and its online catalog are copyrighted. When the copyright is held by someone other than Astral Castle, that copyright will be so stated. Otherwise all images and text should be considered Copyright © 2002 Astral Castle All Rights Reserved Worldwide. If you wish to use anything from this website on your website -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- please ask first.