Below are a list of our Frequently Asked Questions - please do not hesitate to contact us with additional questions.
What is your trial policy?
Flute Center is proud to have the most generous and comprehensive trial policy in the country! Unlike many of our competitors whose strict policies only allow a few days, we offer 7-days in your home to decide on your next flute. Many clients find 7 days to be a sufficient amount of time to decide on an instrument. Others will simply need more time, or want to try other flutes. We are always happy to accommodate as best we can by sending additional headjoints or flutes, by lengthening a trial, or by simply talking to you about your flute journey!
How do you ship and will I be required to sign for the package?
Flute Center ships packages using FedEx Express service except in areas where FedEx Ground / FedEx Home Delivery guarantees delivery in 3 days or less. For the area within an approximate 200 mile radius from Flute Center (Boston to the East, Syracuse to the North, DC/Northern Virginia to the South), many packages can be sent guaranteed next day via FedEx Ground at no additional cost. All instrument shipments will require a direct signature; any adult (18 years old) at your address can sign for the package. We cannot waive the signature requirement. As an alternative, we can ship your package to a FedEx Hold-At-Location where it will be available for pick up; please specify your preferred location when setting up your shipment.
When your trial is complete, please contact our Resident Flutists for a pre-paid return shipping label to return any flutes you do not wish to purchase. Return labels are included in the shipping fees listed on our trial page. We recommend holding onto the box and packing material to make the return process easier. Please note: When shipping your package back to Flute Center, ensure that your package is scanned and that you receive printed confirmation at a FedEx location. Do not use unattended FedEx Drop Boxes.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept cash, wire transfer, personal and cashier checks, e-checks, PayPal, and all major credit cards. Additionally, we can arrange for you to pay for your flute directly through our website - just ask a member of our staff for help setting up and emailing you a link.
As a small business, our preferred method of payment is always an e-check or physical check - these cost us nothing to process, so we can use the funds to continue providing you with the best possible Flute Center. Please make checks payable to "Flute Center" and include it with any additional returned flutes you may have on trial.
Do you offer financing?
If I don't live in New York State, will I be required to pay NY State sales taxes? What if I'm an international client - will the taxes I pay be refunded at the airport?
The States of New York and the State of Illinois require us to collect sales tax on their behalf for all transactions that occur within New York state or Illinois, respectively. All clients that come into our NY Store and make a purchase while in the store will be required to pay NY state sales tax, currently 8.875%. New York State requires that we charge state sales tax on all Services completed in New York, including Repairs. All clients that come into our Chicago Store and make a purchase while in the store will be required to pay Illinois state sales tax, currently 10.25%. The State of Illinois does not collect state sales tax on services or repairs completed in Illinois. To the best of our knowledge, taxes are not refundable at the airport. All clients who live in New York state and have items shipped to them will be required to pay New York state sales tax.. All clients who live in Illinois that have items shipped to them will be required to pay Illinois state sales tax. All prices listed on our site do not include sales tax.
Clients who initiate trials or purchases that are shipped outside NY state and outside of Illinois (but within the United States) will not be required to pay NY or IL state sales tax. Flute Center does not collect sales taxes on behalf of any states except New York and Illinois.
International clients who do not visit our shop and who order a flute to be delivered to a non-NY and non-IL address will not be required to pay NY State or Illinois state sales tax.. For example: if a client from South America visits family in Miami and orders a flute to be delivered to them in Florida, they will not be required to pay NY state sales tax.
What if I need to sell my flute in order to buy a new flute?
Flute Center generally expects payment in full when you decide on an instrument.
If you want to inquire about trade-in value for your flute, please do so early in the trial process. Trade-In amounts are based on wholesale value (50% - 60% off of known resale price). While not as advantageous to the seller as working on consignment, trade-ins do allow a client to sell their current instrument(s) to pay for a new one.
Flute Center also sells pre-owned instruments on consignment. However, we cannot take flutes on consignments as pre-payment for any sale. Our consignment percentages of 25-35% are only paid when the consigned flute ultimately sells, which can take any number of months to finalize. If you need to access the maximum value of your current flute in order to make a purchase, consider financing your current purchase and using the proceeds from consignment to pay off the financing balance.
I'm a flute teacher - do you carry flutes for my students/studio?
Flute Center is proud to have the largest inventory of new and pre-owned flutes in the world. We carry everything from student flutes to all-gold and platinum professional flutes.
Flute Center has a Teacher Incentive program called ClubFC
that grants you and your students free shipping in both directions, a longer trial period, an extended 18-month Standard Service Guaranty on all new flutes purchased, and a referral fee paid directly to you! It's free to join - click here for more details!
Do you offer instrument rentals?
Yes! The Flute Center rents student flutes, alto flutes, bass flutes, and piccolos. Please contact us
for rates and availability.
Do you price match?
We have built our business around openness and transparency in relation to price, so we know that our prices are the lowest you will find online or in print. To that extent, Flute Center will gladly price-match all new items being sold by authorized dealers in the United States.
Please note that this policy applies to new instruments only, so long as the advertised flute is an identical model (with identical specifications) to the one being purchased. We will only match listed prices of other "Authorized Dealers" on a legitimate business's primary website, ie. we will not price match flutes listed on eBay, Amazon, Facebook, or any other third party platform, as these platforms cannot properly regulate grey-market items listed by illegitimate sellers. Client must provide written quote and proof of immediate deliverability and/or in-stock status to qualify. Price match policy does not apply to Mancke headjoints.
What is your return / exchange policy?
Flute Center is proud to offer free, in-home instrument trials
for all domestic clients. Those buyers interested in setting up a free trial can contact one of our Resident Flutists. After a trial has occurred, there are no refunds or exchanges since the buyer has had the opportunity to raise any concerns. For instrument purchases made on our website, we offer a 7-day return window. All returns and exchanges must include a completed RMA Form.
For more information on returns, please see our Return and Exchange Policy
Do you ever run sales?
Our prices are generally governed a "Minimum Advertisement Policy" (MAP) enforced by the manufacturers / distributors of the flutes we sell. Because we automatically price our flutes at the lowest levels allowed by these agreements, we are generally prohibited from running sales on any new flutes.
Occasionally, manufacturers will offer seasonal rebates, which we do our best to advertise prominently on our homepage slider.
The prices of pre-owned flutes are largely determined by the individual owners of those instruments. As such, a large-scale sale of pre-owned instruments is unlikely. However, pre-owned prices can be negotiable (new flute prices are not negotiable). So if you're looking for a deal, put in an offer on a pre-owned flute! Please note that offers are generally considered binding, so if the seller agrees to accept your lower offer, we expect to move forward with payment (no refunds or exchanges).
What is your Standard Service Guarantee policy?
We offer a full and comprehensive 12-month standard service guarantee on all new and certified pre-owned flutes sold through the Flute Center. This includes your annual PC, any additional adjustments needed to the pads, keys, springs, felts, corks, etc. This guarantee generally does not cover scratches, dents, bent flutes, or any other damage caused by neglect.
If your flute teacher is a member of ClubFC, we grant a complimentary 6-month extension to your standard service guarantee. If you are the flute teacher, we also grant a complimentary 6-month extension to all instruments you purchase when you sign up for the club!
We service all standard service guarantee repairs in-house with our expert repair technicians. If you are not local to NYC or Chicago, you can ship the flute back to us. Contact us for directions on how to arrange this.
International clients may, at their cost, send flutes back to Flute Center for all standard service guarantee repair work. Clients are responsible for paying all shipping charges and customs fees that are incurred. We recommend sending any warranty work via FedEx as a "non-commercial / Return & Repair" shipment to avoid unneeded customs fees.
International clients who cannot easily ship flutes to us can contact a local flute retailer with an authorized repair department for a repair quote. We generally allow one payment up to $200US to address a standard service guarantee-related issue. After this payment is made, however, the standard service guarantee through Flute Center is deemed null and void, as we cannot guarantee the work of third parties. Contact us for more information if you are an international client.
Can I buy just part of a flute?
It depends! We have a large collection of new and pre-owned headjoints and flute footjoints which can be purchased alone. Many new handmade flutes can be sold without headjoints, depending on the model and brand. It is also sometimes possible to custom-order a headjoint or footjoint to be built for your flute.
Pre-owned flutes are only sold as complete instruments and Flute Center will not entertain offers on parts or components from complete flutes, such as headjoints, footjoints, cases, and covers. Note - Flute Center does sell standalone headjoints and footjoints, but will not separate parts from complete pre-owned flutes.