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Customer Service

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Contact Information

Where are your stores located, and how do I get there?

Is my order taxable?

How long does shipping take, and how much does it cost?

What do I do if an item arrives broken, or is defective?

What if I'm not happy with an item? Can I return it?

How do I go about renting an instrument?

I have other questions about your rental program, where can I look?

I just got a Rental Renewal Notice in the mail. What do I do?

How do I return my rental?

What if I'm looking to purchase an instrument?

Will you be coming to my child's school to pick up or drop off instruments?

I own a bow, violin, viola, cello, or bass that needs repair. What do I do?

I'd like to have my bow, violin, viola, cello, or bass appraised. Where should I start?

Do you buy used instruments, or accept them as a trade-in?


Johnson String Instrument
1029 Chestnut Street
Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464

Local: 617-964-0954
Toll-free: 800-359-9351
Fax: 617-527-2684
email: info@johnsonstring.com
Directions Are Here

Carriage House Violins
1039 Chestnut Street
Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464

Local: 617-262-0051
email: info@carriagehouseviolins.com
Directions Are Here


Where are your stores located, and how do I get there?
Our stores, including the bass and guitar shops, are in Newton Upper Falls, MA, just west of Boston. Driving directions are here.


Is my order taxable?
In accordance with state laws, items including rent are taxable for residents of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, as well as all in-store transactions. All other states are not charged tax.
Non USA orders are exempt from state tax. However, the customer is responsible for all customs, duty, import, and brokerage taxes imposed by the destination country.


How long does shipping take, and how much does it cost?
Our Shipping Department is open Monday through Friday. We offer UPS Next Day, UPS 2nd Day, and Standard shipping rates. Standard orders normally ship via USPS Priority Mail (2-3 business days), USPS First Class Mail (2-8 business days), or UPS Ground (1-6 business days). Larger items such as instruments will ship via UPS and cannot be delivered to a PO Box. If ordered before 12PM EST on a weekday, most Standard orders for in-stock items (excepting instruments) will normally be shipped out that same day, or the next business day at the latest. Sales and rental instruments may require 3-5 business days to prepare before shipping, though we do our best to ship them out sooner. Note Saturday and Sunday delivery is not available for Next Day and 2nd Day shipping; for example, a Next Day Air order placed Friday will not arrive until the following Monday. Here is a complete list of domestic shipping rates. Some orders to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, APO addresses, and US Protectorates may require a shipping quote. All orders outside the United States require a shipping quote. Shipping quotes are calculated based on the size, weight, and destination of the package. Customers are welcome to call 800-359-9351 for a shipping quote, or simply place an order via www.johnsonstring.com. You will receive a shipping quote via email within 1 business day, at which time you can decide to accept the quote and supply payment for the order.


What do I do if an item arrives broken, or is defective?
We will replace defective items or items damaged in shipping; simply give us a call within 30 days of your original order, and we'll send a replacement at no charge. We will usually ask that you return the defective item to us; we can either send a prepaid postage label, or simply reimburse you for your shipping costs when we receive the defective item.

Unfortunately we cannot provide a refund or exchange for any string that has been installed on an instrument.

Return your defective item(s) with a copy of the original invoice to the following address:

JSI Returns
26 Fox Road
Waltham, MA 02451


How Refunds Are Processed:
In-Store Purchases: A cash refund is given for cash purchases under $10.
In-Store Purchases: A refund check is mailed for cash purchases over $10.
Online & In-Store Purchases: A refund check is mailed for all personal check purchases.
Online & In-Store Purchases: A credit refund is issued to the same credit card used for a purchase.
Online & In-Store Purchases: A refund via PayPal for PayPal purchases.

While we try to process refunds as quickly as possible, sometimes it may be a few weeks before your refund appears on your credit card statement. If you have any questions about returns or our return policy, feel free to call (800) 359-9351.


What if I'm not happy with an item? Can I return it?
Items purchased in one of our stores may be returned to the store within 30 days for a refund or exchange, no questions asked. If you purchased an item from us online or over the phone, you can ship it back within 30 days of purchase for a refund or exchange.
Return your item(s) in original condition with the original packaging and including a copy of the original invoice to the following address:

JSI Returns
26 Fox Road
Waltham, MA 02451

How Refunds Are Processed:
In-Store Purchases: A cash refund is given for cash purchases under $10.
In-Store Purchases: A refund check is mailed for cash purchases over $10.
Online & In-Store Purchases: A refund check is mailed for all personal check purchases.
Online & In-Store Purchases: A credit refund is issued to the same credit card used for a purchase.
Online & In-Store Purchases: A refund via PayPal for PayPal purchases.

While we try to process refunds as quickly as possible, sometimes it may be a few weeks before your refund appears on your credit card statement. If you have any questions about returns or our return policy, feel free to call (800) 359-9351.

  • All returned items must be in original condition, with the original packaging, and including a copy of the original invoice.
  • Unfortunately we can not provide a refund or exchange for any string that has been installed on an instrument.
  • Returned books and sheet music may be subject to a $1 per item restocking fee, due to the high volume of music sales lost from photocopying.
  • When returning items with combination locks, like many Bam France cases, please include the new combination code or reset the lock to "0".

How do I go about renting an instrument?
If at all possible, we encourage you to come to our store and have one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members help you to start out on the right foot. Getting a new rental violin, viola, cello, or bass involves sizing, play-testing (if you've played before and want to try out different instruments), and filling out a contract - you 'll need a valid credit card, and the whole thing usually takes about 15 or 20 minutes. Teachers are always welcome to help with the rental process! If you live too far away to come into the store, you can still easily rent from us (we have renters all over the country!). Give us a call at (800) 359-9351 to set up a rental contract and make arrangements to have an instrument shipped to you (we regret that we cannot ship basses at this time). All of our shipped rental instruments conform to the same high standards as the instruments in our store, and are personally set up and selected by our Rental Maintenance department. Shipping charges are $15 for violins and violas, and $30-$45 for cellos, depending on the size of the cello. In many cases, we can ship your rental within 48 hours (some instruments may take longer, depending on availability). Here is information on rental rates, instruments, and how to register or look at our rental FAQ page.


I have other questions about your rental program, where can I look?
You can start by looking in our rental section or our rental FAQ page. Of course you can always give a call at (800) 359-9351.


I just got a Rental Renewal Notice in the mail. What do I do?
As a courtesy to our customers, we send out Rental Renewal Notices at least two weeks, and usually 3-4 weeks, before your rental is due. There are three easy ways to renew your rental: you can send a check before the due date, renew with credit card through your online account, or call us at (800) 359-9351 and renew your rental over the phone using a credit card.


How do I return my rental?
If you wish to return your rental instead of renewing, just get it back to us by the due date, and we will close your account. You can return a rental instrument at our store anytime during business hours. For instruments returned by mail, the return date is the date that we receive the instrument, not the date that we process it (don't worry, you won't be charged extra if it sits in our Receiving Department for a few days). Any rentals being returned by mail should be shipped to:

JSI Rental Returns
26 Fox Road
Waltham, MA 02451

If you have any questions about how to ship an instrument, or about our rental return/overdue policies, please give us a call at (800) 359-9351.


What if I'm looking to purchase an instrument?
Our helpful sales staff is available during regular business hours, Monday through Saturday, and can take you through the entire purchasing process step-by-step, including setting up in-home trials through the mail. For customers coming in to the store, please call ahead for an appointment, as our sales staff can be quite busy on Saturdays and during peak times of the year. Here is information about the instruments and outfits we have for sale, or call one of our sales associates: Matthew Fritz, Sales Manager (800) 359-9351, ext. 108; Leah Thomas, ext. 123; or Allan Espinosa, ext 146.


Will you be coming to my child's school to pick up or drop off instruments?
If you live in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or New York, your child's school may be part of our rental service program. We visit a large number of schools at least twice a year (at the beginning and end of the school year), and some schools receive more frequent service trips (every 4-6 weeks). Here is a complete listing of upcoming service trips. For other questions, please call the main store phone number at (800) 359-9351.


I own a bow, violin, viola, cello, or bass that needs repair. What do I do?
Need a bow repaired? No problem! Simply bring the bow into the store or ship it to us, and we can perform most repair or rehairing jobs. Violin/viola/cello bow rehairs are $75, and bass bow rehairs are $85. Shipping a bow to most US locations costs $10.
With our newly expanded repair shop we are accepting a much wider range of instrument repair and restoration projects. Here is more information, and please contact us with any questions you might have.


I'd like to have my bow, violin, viola, cello, or bass appraised. Where should I start?
We do not offer appraisal services for instruments not purchased at Johnson String Instrument. If you have purchased your instrument at JSI and need an updated or insurance appraisal, please call our sales manager, Matthew Fritz at (800) 359-9351, ext. 108 Tuesdays through Saturdays.


Do you buy used instruments, or accept them as a trade-in?
We do occasionally buy used instruments outright from private sellers, but this is rare. It's more likely that we would be able to sell your instrument on consignment (non-commercial instruments with a retail value of $5,000 or more). To inquire about arranging a consignment evaluation for your instrument, call our Sales Manager, Matthew Fritz, at (800) 359-9351, ext. 108 Tuesdays through Saturdays. If you are trading in an instrument purchased at JSI, the instrument trades back for 100% of your purchase price, minus a small reconditioning fee. Trade-in value for instruments not purchased at JSI is at the discretion of the Sales Department - feel free to call the Sales Manager for a quote. Our sales page has more information about purchasing instruments and bows from JSI.