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My order didn't go through but my credit card was charged anyway!
Last Updated: 01/24/2020

Short answer:
Your card was NOT charged. It was only authorized and it will disappear eventually. This all happens between the banks and we have no control over it at all. Also worth noting is that we never see your full credit card number, only the last 4 digits.

Long answer:
If a credit card gets declined on the website then your online bank account may show an authorization but this is NOT an actual charge. These are usually listed as “pending”, shown in italic font, or shown in a different section of the account page but will look different than a real charge. Here is how the online credit card world works.

The (seller's) payment processor asks the (buyer's) bank “is this card good for X dollars” and gets a yes or no. This is an “authorization” and only means that an amount was approved to be charged. If yes, then it starts the fraud verification on the merchant side (the “processor”) where it checks various things like does the billing address match the credit card. If any of that comes back with a problem it then gets declined by the processor.

Note that it can be declined on either end, by the card bank or the processor charging the card. When it happens on the seller side by the processor, that should be communicated to the bank and the “pending” charge will disappear. Sometimes this is instantaneous, sometimes it might take a few days. We don't know why it varies and we have zero control over it. Regardless, the card is never actually charged anything.

A “capture” is when the actual charge happens. This step doesn’t take place until we manually tell the processor to do so. Typically this is when the item ships. If it’s a special order or drop shipped item it will be charged when it gets processed. Until then, it will only be an authorization.

INTERNATIONAL ORDERS
If you tried to place an order with a foreign (not a US bank) card and the credit card was denied, then you must follow the "international shipping" instructions on the checkout page. Choose check by mail and in store pickup when you place the order. Then we will manually calculate shipping and email you a separate invoice that you can pay online. This will happen through a different processing system that is more friendly to foreign cards.

International credit cards sometimes get denied due to the fraud prevention software the card processors use in the US being unable to verify the address of a foreign card. When it is declined in this way it will sometimes still show as an "authorization" on the foreign side for several days. If this happens, your card has not actually been charged anything. It will show up as "pending" but not an actual charge. It will eventually disappear on its own. Usually this is within a few days, but it depends on the bank.



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