Build / Business Policy
First off, a personal note to you about “how I roll"... I am deeply honored to build you this special instrument. It is my life’s work and all I do (okay, for soul fulfillment, personal morale, and keeping all creative cylinders firing, I “moonlight “a bit as a composer/ recording artist. This is how I began this journey…the GuitarViol was originally developed for my own musical expression without any initial intentions of re-producing it. Things just happened that way!) The fact that there has been so much interest in the instrument itself has been an extra blessing as I have met (and now count as dear friends) many fellow composers, artists, players, and music lovers around the world. All kindred spirits. I do not take lightly this life I have been blessed with today. Living this dream is damn hard work. It has been a long hard road getting here and I would not trade any of it for the world. Building instruments does not make me wealthy by any means, just rich in things of real meaning!
Workflow / Timetable
As you may gather, I am a micro-builder. What that means in simple terms is that I do not build in mass numbers like a “factory” does. I wear a lot of hats: CEO, Chief craftsman, Chief engineer, office, communications, blogs, ordering of supplies, managing three fleet queues of orders, leading trainees, (itself a full time job!). Each instrument can take up to 100-150 man hours depending upon model. Over the last 10 years I have been consistently backlogged 6-12 months. On any given day, I have maybe 30 jobs that may take a year to cycle through. Over the last few years, I have trained up some shop help (Training itself is time consuming!). Luthiery (meaning non factory stringed instrument building) does not conform neatly to schedules as there are many “schedule and deadline killers” on any given day/week/month: Woods misbehave, vendors back up, engineering time-outs occur, Jigs have to be made, shop help takes time off (imagine that!), interruptions, disruptions, and other sundry “daily fires” to put out. With that in mind, Please understand that this business is chock full of estimated delivery date killers. Please bear that in mind if I seem hesitant to quote an exact delivery date. 6 to 12 months is usual reality but could vary.
A note to my beloved Film composers and industry VIPs: I could not be more honored that my instrument has been embraced so favorably in the film scoring trade! That has created a unique problem for me as a builder and you as an industry professional. (And by the way, your peers and colleagues make up about 90% of my busy business! Thank you!). As I outlined above, the nature of custom limited stringed instrument (particularly GuitarViol) production is that it is chaotic and full of “Schedule killers”. aka “Deadline killers”. On the other hand I respect and sympathize that your business is full of production deadlines and hoped for windows in which to use my instruments for. Unfortunately, this is at odds with my difficult to predict backlog, shortage of instruments, and consequently, is a lot of intense pressure on my end. On any given week, I can have 30 or so anxious VIP composers/recording artists (at a time!) all hoping to get their instrument in time for an production deadline. There is pressure to expedite (pull favors) at the expense of other worthy clients waiting in the balance for their project deadline to be squashed. That can get awkward and even unfair. So, to be fair, I will fast track (rush/expedite) a job with an additional rush fee of (25% of the overall cost of the instrument). Hopefully this levels the fairness field as I pick your job out of the waiting herd and personally run it to the end zone as the others are waiting in the balance. Thank you for your understanding!
- Jonathan Wilson
"FAST TRACK" RUSH FEE: 25% of the overall price of instrument
Click here for more details.
Okay, now that you have a clear picture of “how I roll”, we’ll move on to the business stuff:
Business Stuff / Policy
All commissions, builds, orders (whatever we choose to call it) are done in three 1/3 installments. I do not accept whole payment unless it is the very rare “unspoken for” (off queue) instrument I may have for sale. The three installment plan allows for a couple of things: it spreads out cash planning/spending on your end. On my end, it more evenly spreads out cash flow as needed. A “paid for” instrument in progress is more likely to sit in progress longer if another pile of wood has greater potential of paying the rent, insurance and vendors on time during a particularly challenging month. (I do not like that idea any better than you do and really want to eliminate that potential scenario from the equation!) The three installment system works better for you and for me.
On very rare occasions, I have had to “ice” (make dormant for an indefinite time) an order/commission/build for a client who’s cash flow is not in harmony with a given time season/life event/income situation. Knowing that life’s set-backs are most often not permanent, (at my discretion) I’ll hang in there for up to 18 months (from “ice” date) and re activate your build when you are again ready to move forward. (If it is a limited run instrument, I’ll offer that spot to someone else). That said, deposits are not refundable. (Read that again). I am 100% committed and will work with you if and when situations arise. (Just keep me in the loop. I keep a “no BS” communications policy on the wall of my studio next to the queue board. I highly value my relations with clients. This is far more than mere business to me. I actually enjoy the camaraderie, emails, phone calls and your visits. I genuinely share your excitement!! That said, just remember, my day can (and does) get away from me very quickly and there are always many builds waiting to be built while that damn clock ticks away on the wall….. ;-)
I accept several forms of payment: Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Cash, Bank wire, Domestic Checks (USA), and International money orders.
I take great care in boxing your GuitarViol for a safe journey to your door to your hands!
Domestic US Shipments:
$100.00 flat FedEX ground to anywhere in the Continental US. (Includes insurance and boxing) Alaska and Hawaii shipments, will be calculated at the time of shipping.
INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS (Outside of the USA):
We are very excited to announce a partnership with Bonvu.com !! Bonvu.com is an international package forwarding service that enables you as an individual or small business to buy in the United States and receive your items safely and quickly in your country - anywhere in the world. Because of the bulk nature of their service, they offer a significant savings with FedEx, DHL, UPS. How this works. For the same domestic flat fee we charge for lower 48 continental US states deliveries ($100.00 US) gets it to Bonvu in Austin TX. From there you deal directly with Bonvu.com for the second leg of the trip to you. Check this out: Even with the math added to the first leg of the journey from our shop, you will save a significant amount!! (Approximately DHL 60% discount, FEDEX 55% discount, UPS 10% discount). And, they smooth out the customs clearance! If you are having a GuitarViol shipped internationally from the US, go to www.bonvu.com and create your account! For a quote on their site, figure on a package 46” x 20” x 12” weighing 27 lbs and put in the value (overall cost of instrument before shipping. This is now how we do it! (By the way, this is great for other items you might buy in the US from sellers who otherwise don’t ship outside of the United States. This is Win - Win - Win!!!)
Step 1: Create your own account at www.bonvu.com
Step 2: When your GuitarViol balance is paid ($100.00 US added to final balance for the trip to Bonvu.com) (*If purchased without case, “SuperBox” add another $100.00 )
Step 3: GuitarViols Inc. packs and ships it to Bonvu.com (We got that step!)
Step 4: Bonvu receives package, inspects it, bills you directly and then ships it to you!
Step 5: You begin a rewarding life of playing your GuitarViol!
Feel free to contact Jonathan with any questions!
From time to time, I am asked if I can offer discounts, endorsements etc. Although I am sympathetic to those things, in reality, I am not in the position to offer cut rates the way that more well heeled factory based “brand conscious” manufacturers can. Quite simply, my operating expenses (vendors, overhead etc.) do not discount (in fact go up at alarming rates). That damn sundial has a bit to say about it too… (If you are a college professor putting together a GuitarViol trio, quartet, quintet, do contact me and we'll put our heads together.) Crummy prototypes for sale? For the most part, No. If it is not a worthy instrument, nobody sees it! Builders are judged by their worst work (especially if it is the only example someone, somewhere ever sees!). A chain is as strong as it’s weakest link. I am proud of the instruments I have built many years ago. They are indeed the best I could build at that particular time. That said, the best ones I am building are sitting on my bench right now! I build each one as if it were the only instrument I myself would play the rest of my life. It does take some time to work through the queue, perhaps with some planning, you can get in there? I am honored to build your GuitarViol! (If you speak French, we’ll say “Guitar Viole” Oui?) When you send me the first 1/3 deposit, you agree (with full understanding) to this policy written herein. With that out of the way, I look forward to building this special instrument for you!
In heartfelt service,
All content written herein is subject to change without notice.