Frequently Asked Questions
We get a few questions that come up frequently enough that we thought they deserved their own page. If you have a question, send us a message using the button below. We’re always happy to answer them and if enough people ask… you’ll probably see the answer here in the future.
Do you sell direct to consumers?
Our custom shop is available to consumers, though waiting times can be long and build times are frequently many months.
Production instruments are available and any dealer who is located in your area will be credited with the sale of any instrument order that matches their inventory. We periodically sell blemished instruments or change-orders at a discount.
A change-order is a custom instrument that was mid-production when the client or dealer made a design change that was significant enough that we felt it would be better to start over. If we think that the partially produced instrument is worthy of completion, we will offer it for sale directly as a discount. Usually, we publish these types of discounted instruments on social media.
How long will my custom order take?
Generally speaking, when we give estimates we use information that is available to us at the time of order. That information may include inventory levels, parts, wood, staffing, current production volume, and other factors. We do our best to give accurate estimates but sometimes the length of time required to complete a custom instrument can be longer than we anticipate.
To ensure the fastest production, it is a good practice to provide any information or answers to questions from the workshop in a timely manner. Production on your custom order can be stalled when we are waiting for answers from you. When we do receive a late answer, it may not mean that your custom order resumes production immediately, as other instruments may have moved forward in the production schedule.
Changes to custom orders influence production time. When you make a change to your custom order mid-process there can be a certain amount of re-work necessary to accommodate the change. The person assisting you with changing your order may not have enough information at the time of your change to let you know whether or not your request will result in a longer production time. An estimate may be given but those estimates are still subject to factors that govern the speed of production for the workshop.
It is also important to note that past-due balances on orders and invoices will have an impact on your completion and delivery times. Custom orders which are behind on payments may temporarily be removed from the production line until balances are current. It may take a number of days from the time a past-due balance is brought current for your custom order to resume production.
Can I purchase an Elly outside of the United States?
We have been working to build an international dealer network, though we are still in the early stages. We do ship directly to most countries where standard shipping carriers deliver. For international, shipments, there will be additional shipping and export costs, depending on your location. All fees and paperwork required must be sorted out prior to shipment.
We do not ship any protected wood species out of the United States, so please be clear with us where an instrument is to be delivered so that we can advise you of whether we can ship there or not. International laws or import/export challenges ARE NOT grounds to cancel an order so please make sure we are all on the same page before we begin production.
My friend is a luthier, can he work on my Elly?
Unless he is working as a luthier at an authorized repair center, any work he does will void your warranty.
How can I become a dealer?
We require all dealers to have brick and mortar shops.
If you are interested in becoming a dealer, please fill out a dealer application or contact us directly to discuss. We require an initial order of 6 instruments, 4 Acoustic Guitars and 2 Electric Guitars.
Depending on our production timing at the time of the order, you may receive inventory in separate shipments. Electric Guitars typically arrive much sooner than their Acoustic Guitar counterparts.
Do you respond to comments on other websites, pages or forums?
If we think that our response will help consumers understand something better, answer a legitimate question, or if we just want to thank someone for a great review, we may. Overall though we try to stay out of people’s private affairs and let communities manage themselves.
If someone has made a complaint, we will occasionally post a public response that is generalized but we try our best to maintain the confidentiality of our clients and their circumstances. In some cases, we have to provide information to bring some context to the statement. We adhere to the “Don’t feed the trolls/Don’t water the gremlins” philosophy.
Serious issues are not frequently solved on a message board or web site but with communication. If there is ever a legitimate problem or concern we endeavor to work directly with that person to resolve the matter as best as we can. Sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do and someone is going to go nuts online.
We have heard of everything from fake reviews to people sending anonymous messages to fans. If it happens to you, or you notice something like that please email it to us. We take privacy and bullying very seriously and we have a team in place to handle it: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you do clinics at local shops?
We are happy to do clinics with dealers who carry our products when scheduling permits. If you are a dealer looking to have a clinic at your shop, please reach out and ask. There may be inventory requirements to ensure that the experience is profitable for everyone.
Will you continue to offer Rosewood after the 2017 changes to CITES?
We are looking at long-term planning now, but in the short and mid-term we believe that we have enough inventory available to continue to offer Rosewood at a reasonable price. Long-term, we will have to see what the industry as a whole does and how that impacts the environment and ease of transport for our clients.
Can I send you parts, materials, or a case for you to use on a current or future order?
No. Please do not send us wood, materials, or parts. We will not accept or be responsible for 3rd-party materials, nor will we be responsible for receiving those materials.
If you ship us something without our express written approval we will refuse delivery. If for some reason we are not able to refuse delivery and you ship us something, we will not pay to ship it back to you. If you ship us something, and you want it back, please provide us with a paid UPS label and we will send it your way if we still have it in the shop or if we can find it.
If you ship something to us without our explicit, written permission and a return shipping label is not provided within 10 days we will consider it abandoned. We are not a storage facility. We assume NO liability for anything shipped to us without our written and explicit permission outlining the contents of the shipment.
It is likely that if something arrives at our shipping/receiving and we don’t have an order out for it, it will end up in the dumpster.
My order is behind schedule, what happened?
Orders can fall behind schedule for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, significantly so.
Most commonly this occurs due to an order being upgraded or changed mid-stream. Upgrading or changing an order will typically add time to a build because it takes time to make the change. Other common delays have to do with back ordered parts or shipping delays on exotic materials.
There are manufacturing events that can impact an order might be that a specific set of wood is taking longer than usual to cure. Sometimes, for example, Cocobolo might need longer for glue to dry because the wood might have a higher concentration of oils.
We make our instruments by hand and sometimes a delay might be caused because we are moving a bit slower in the shop on a specific detail. Sometimes it could be that the hand-rubbed finish is requiring more coats than expected.
It’s important to remember that we are not an assembly-line and that we build our instruments by hand. That means that each custom instrument is approached as an individual order and that each will get the attention necessary to produce an instrument that meets our standards.
I want to use my own guitar case, will you ship my order without a case?
No. We required all deliveries to be sent in an approved Elly guitar case.
I want to be a luthier, do you take on apprentices?
We are always on the hunt for talent. Being a graduate from a known school of lutherie is helpful in securing an entry level role. We typically work with 2 student apprentices at a time, if you are interested in a potential future apprenticeship, please send us your resume and we will reach out if we think there’s a good fit.