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Rhinestone Biz: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many pieces are in a gross?
A: There are 144 pieces in a gross, regardless of the product. Some of our items packed by counting machinery, others by weight. The machinery and scales are calibrated often, however, your package may still be over or under by two to three stones per gross.

Q: What is the difference between Crystal and Crystal AB ?
A: Crystal (often known as Crystal Clear) is completely colorless. A Crystal (clear) bead is completely transparent. On a Crystal (clear) rhinestone, you can clearly see the foil on the back. Crystal AB, on the other hand, uses the same base stone or bead, but has an added coating which reflects many different colors, primarily gold, blue and pink.

Q: What is the difference between Hot Fix and Flat Back crystals?
A: The back of a Hot Fix crystal has a layer of hot-melt adhesive which is activated by using heat. This adhesive bonds with the carrier material when it cools down. The back of a Flat Back crystal has no adhesive pre-applied - you must use a separate adhesive to attach the stone.

Q: What does 'full factory packs' mean?
A: Rhinestone Biz provides its best pricing on Preciosa components when you order them in their original factory packaging. This page describes the packaging quantities of some of the more popular Flat Back, Hot Fix and bead items.

Q: How much does shipping cost?
A: Rhinestone Biz ships via USPS (the US Postal Service). Most orders of less than 13 ounces can be shipped for around $6.00 with USPS Ground Advantage or around $10.50 using the Priority Mail option. Larger orders which include tools or adhesives may cost $10. Actual shipping charges are calculated as a function of distance and weight; this is performed during the checkout process. In order for us to know the distance, you must first register on our site.

Here is how you can obtain and exact shipping cost for all orders (domestic or international):
  1. Register on the site using the 'my account' link at the top of the page
  2. Add all of the items you need to your shopping cart
  3. Visit the shopping cart page using the 'shopping cart' link at the top of the page
  4. Click the [checkout now] button
Here is a detailed look at shipping and its limitations.
International customers should refer to our International Orders Page

Q: Can I pick up my order?
A: If you live in the following zip codes (900,910-918,930,935), the system will offer you the choice of (Local Pickup) on the shipping page. If you are local to us and we have not included your zip code, please let us know and we will make the change and arrange for a pick up.

Q: Do you offer free shipping?
A: Yes, for all orders over $350.00 we will ship USPS Priority Mail Small Flat-Rate Box at no charge. If your order is shipping Internationally, we will credit this amount (the value of a USPS Priority Mail Small Flat-Rate Box) back when the order is shipped/billed. Please note: If your order involves backordered items that are closed out causing your total to drop below this amount, we will charge for the appropriate method, i.e. First-Class, Priority Mail, etc.

Q: Which adhesives do you recommend?
A: The short answer is that in general we do not. Having said that, there are some applications where a one product will serve best. In applications of crystals on non-porous surfaces we recommend E6000. For the application of crystals on garments that will only be dry cleaned we recommend an epoxy product like 2 Ton. Please let us know what your application is and we can guide you from there. We carry four brands of adhesive to satisfy your demands.

Q: Do you have an Application Manual?
A: We do not have our own Application Manual, but Preciosa has a very comprehensive document which can be emailed upon request.

Q: What forms of payment to you accept?
A: We accept Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express and PayPal Express at this time.

Q: What information is required to purchase via a credit card?
A: Your credit will be authorized based on the name, billing address and billing telephone number you have on account with your credit card provider. In addition, we require the C-V-V-2 number (those little numbers on the back of the card) to be accurate as well. Please be very careful when entering this code - here is more on the topic.

Q: What factors may delay the processing of my order?
A: The primary factors in delayed processing are different billing and shipping addresses and the use of a Debit (ATM) card. If you plan on having your order shipped to a location that is different from your billing address, we encourage the use of Credit Card as opposed to a Debit Card. If you are a first-time customer using different addresses we will impose a verification on the billing address which will take an extra few days.

Q: How long will it take to receive my order?
A: Express orders (USPS Express Mail or FedEx next day options) will be processed the same day if received by 1:00 PM Pacific Time, Express orders received after 1:00 PM will be processed the following day. All other orders are usually processed within one to three business days. Depending on your preferred shipping method, it will take anywhere from one to seven days to receive. We ship from Valencia, California. International orders can take significantly more. Learn More About Shipping 

Q: I selected USPS Priority Mail 2-Day and my order is not here yet. Do I get a refund?
A: We have to apologize for the wording of this shipping method -- USPS Priority Mail 2-Day'. This is named by the USPS and we have zero say in the matter. The previous name for this product was 'USPS Priority Mail'. At that point there was no confusion since there was no implied commitment on anyone’s part. USPS Priority Mail 2-Day is nothing more than a shipment that takes precedence (priority) over Ground Advantage in the event that there is a conflict of resources (labor, trucks, planes, vans). The method is in no manner a guarantee of service/delivery. In addition, a quick perusal of the Terms and Conditions on our checkout page clearly states that we process within 72 hours. This could have all added up to the current status of your shipment.

Q: If Rhinestone Biz ships an item in error, shouldn't I be able to keep it?
A: Simply put, no - keeping something not paid for is stealing. Unfortunately, this point of view by some is precisely why our policy is ship you the correct item only after obtaining a credit card authorization (or PayPal Money Request) for the value of the incorrect item. We will ship you the correct item plus a return label and cancel the authorization once the incorrect item is received. Rhinestone Biz will pay the shipping costs in both directions.

Q: Is your site secure?
A: Rhinestone Biz is extremely concerned about data security. There are many ways to keep data secure, such as using a 128-bit encryption key pair to keep your transaction secure while it traverses the Internet or by encrypting sensitive data on our servers. But there is much more to data security that this.

Rhinestone Biz is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant and must re-certify the server environment on a daily basis. We use McAfee Secure to scan, evaluate and report on environment throughout each day. We do this to ensure high standards are being adhered to for data security.

Q: I'm getting an error on checkout that says, "MaxMind Fraud Check Failed". What does this mean?
A: In order to protect itself from Internet thievery, Rhinestone Biz subscribes to a service that uses heuristics to indicate whether a transaction is suspicious. Several factors are used to make this determination such the physical distance between the customer and their credit card's issuing bank. Please contact us if you receive this error, either by using the Live Chat box on our site, or by calling us. We can then help to determine what triggered the error.

Q: Will I be charged sales tax on my purchase?
A: Only customers with California shipping addresses will be charged sales tax.

Q: I have requested a password reset, but I do not receive any emails from Rhinestone Biz. How can I reset my password?
A: Our system in fact sends the new temporary password, but many (most) Internet Service Providers seem to filter the message. If this happens to you, simply email us and we will reset the password manually. You will log in with the temporary password, and the system will ask you to change it to a new one. In the process, the system will ask you to re-enter your old password. This 'old' password is the one we just provided (not the one you forgot).

Q: Can you tell me more about rhinestones?
A: Rather than attempt to insert a treatise on this topic here, we would like to summarize by saying that a rhinestone is a crystal simulant made from rock crystal, glass or acrylic. Originally, rhinestones were rock crystals gathered from the Rhine river in Austria. The availability was greatly increased when around 1775 the Alsatian jeweller Georg Friedrich Strass (de:Georg Friedrich Strass, from Straßburg) had the idea to imitate diamonds by coating the lower side of glass with metal powder. Hence, rhinestones are called Strass in many European languages. Rhinestones make excellent imitations of diamonds, and good manufacturers even capture the glistening effect that real diamonds have in the sun. For more information on the topic, please see this article on Wikipedia. There is also an interesting treatment on the topic of Daniel Swarovski and the history of Austrian Cut Crystal here.

Q: What can I do about these Internet Explorer warnings?
A: Our site uses several scripts to help us keep in touch with our customers such as our Live Help ChatButton. These are JavaScript based scripts which in turn request ActiveX controls on your computer. If you would like to minimize the number of (annoying) warning messages while using your IE browser, please see Using Our Site - Help on changing your Internet Options.

Q: Why does my cart empty when I add items?
A: Your browser is not able to smoothly handle the session with our servers. The item/s are actually in your cart, but you can't see them as you are being logged out inadvertently. Here is a full explanation.

Q: What is the difference between Crystal Clear and Crystal Moonlight ?
A: Crystal Clear is completely colorless. Crystal Moonlight, on the other hand, uses the same base stone or bead, but has an added coat which adds some extra brilliance and it also has a slight Silk (pale yellow/pink) tone. The difference is very subtle in a bead and even more so in a rhinestone.

Q: I forgot my password and the system's password reset feature is not working. What can I do ?
A: The password reset email is quite often filtered by ISP's as it looks like a security/phishing attempt. Just let us know that you did not receive the reset email and we will reset a temporary password to the word 'password'. Once you log in with this password, the system will ask for the current password (termed the 'old' password) and a new, unique password which is to be entered twice.

Q: My order is valued at over $250, can I have the signature requirement waived ?
A: We are happy to waive the signature as it does get annoying. Having said that, we require it for our protection in the event of damage and/or loss. Waiving the signature means that the customer accepts full responsibility for the shipment when it leaves here and will hold Rhinestone Biz harmless for any damage/loss.