Established in 1999, The Chess Store is one of the largest chess retailers in the world, specializing in Staunton wood chess sets as well as thousands of other chess products.
The Chess Store has established itself as a renowned and reputable name in the world of chess, and has been a destination for chess enthusiasts for many years.
In this review, we provide an in-depth evaluation of The Chess Store, giving you all you need to make a well-informed decision. We will cover various aspects including quality, pricing, shipment, customer service, and overall shopping experience.
A Plethora of Chess Products
The Chess Store offers a diverse selection of chess products catering to a broad spectrum of players, from beginners to grandmasters.
Their range includes:
– Chess pieces, sets, and boards: While their specialty is wooden sets, The Chess Store also has a broad selection of different styles and materials like plastic, metal, silicone, and resin. Themed chess sets and magnetic travel sets are also available.
– Chess clocks: The Chess Store offers analog as well as digital chess clocks in many colors and styles.
– Club supplies: The Chess Store has many supplies for chess clubs and schools. These include chess bags, teaching tools, score books, medals, and demo boards.
If you’re a collector or someone seeking premium chess items, The Chess Store also offers a variety of luxury and collectible chess sets. These sets are often handcrafted using high-quality materials such as wood, marble, and metal. While these items can be on the higher end of the price spectrum, they are exquisite pieces of art and craftsmanship.
One notable aspect of The Chess Store is their customization and engraving services. They offer the option to personalize chess boards and pieces with engravings or custom logos. This adds a personal touch to the chess equipment, making it an attractive feature for gift shoppers.
Their number one selling sets are the German Knight Staunton chess sets, with their very elegant design and lovely tactile experience.
Quality (Rating: ★★★★☆)
The Chess Store offers a wide range of chess products, from beginner sets to high-end tournament equipment. The quality of the products is generally excellent, with very few exceptions.
The wooden chess sets are especially well-made, with high-quality craftsmanship and a focus on durability and aesthetic appeal. The pieces are weighted and balanced perfectly, and the boards are smooth and durable.
The plastic chess sets are also of good quality, but they are not as durable as the wooden sets. The pieces are lightweight and easy to move, but they can be chipped or damaged if dropped.
The chess clocks and other accessories are also of good quality. The clocks are accurate and easy to use, and the other accessories are well-made and functional.
Pricing (Rating: ★★★★☆)
The Chess Store offers a wide range of products at various price points, ensuring that customers with different budgets can find something suitable for them.
High-end luxury wooden sets are naturally on the upper end of the spectrum, while value plastic sets serve as a cheap alternative for those who aren’t particularly interested in quality and craftsmanship, but may just be looking for an average board for the occasional game of chess at home.
The chess clocks and other accessories are reasonably priced.
Keep in mind that there are frequent discounts and special offers, making their chess products much more accessible and affordable.
I’ve got you covered here with a few tips:
- For starters, you can save 10% on your order by joining their newsletter, where you will receive the latest news and exclusive offers every week on your email.
- As I’m writing this article, there is a Fall sale going on, with great deals on some of the most popular chess sets. You can save an additional 15% on everything by using the coupon code: FALLSALE23
- From November 22 to November 27, there is a Black Friday sale. You can save 15% on everything with the coupon code: TCSBFRIDAY23
- You can save 10% sitewide with the coupon code: TCSCHESS
The Chess Store also has a Lowest Price Guarantee; if you find the same product for a cheaper price on another website, you can email them at email@example.com and they’ll do everything they can to beat it.
However, the way they go about this is a little inconvenient; they refund you the difference after you place your order, and there are some conditions for this to happen:
- The product must be exactly the same.
- The product must currently be in stock.
- The email must be within 3 days after your order is shipped.
The Lowest Price Guarantee can be seen as a plus, but I like to think of it only as evidence of the competitive pricing of their products.
Shipment and Customer Service (Rating: ★★★★☆)
The Chess Store has a reliable shipping process, and they strive to ensure timely delivery.
They provide tracking information for orders, allowing customers to monitor the progress of their shipments. Of course, the delivery times vary depending on the destination, but they generally meet or exceed industry standards.
For domestic and international shipping, The Chess Store uses both the United States Postal Service and FedEx.
They offer free shipping for all orders over $100 shipped within the continental US. Orders that do not qualify for free shipping get a discounted FedEx shipping rate quoted at checkout.
Depending on weight and location, shipping rates are calculated on an individual basis for international orders, but customers on average save around 30% on shipping compared to the FedEx published rates.
The Chess Store’s customer support is decent, although it may not always reach the highest levels of responsiveness. They offer assistance via email and phone, but response times may vary. While they do address customer queries and concerns, some customers might desire more proactive and immediate support.
The Chess Store offers a 30-day return policy; if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it within 30 days for a full refund. You should see the refund on your credit card within 5 to 10 days from the time The Chess Store receives the return.
However, shipping costs will not be refunded unless something was wrong with the product or the wrong item was shipped.
If you receive your package and the box looks damaged, take a photo just in case you find the product damaged inside. This will help with processing the damage claim.
If you find a damaged product, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and provide them with the photo. The Chess Store will file a claim with the shipper carrier and work with you to replace it or give you a refund.
Keep in mind that The Chess Store does thoroughly inspect every item before shipping and rarely gets complaints, but it’s always helpful and comforting to know that returns are allowed, just in case.
Overall Shopping Experience
The Chess Store’s website is user-friendly, making it easy to navigate, browse products, and make purchases. They provide clear product descriptions and images, helping customers make informed decisions.
The Chess Store is a reputable destination for chess enthusiasts, offering a wide range of quality chess products at competitive prices. Their product selection, including luxury and collectible items, appeals to a broad audience.
While shipping is generally reliable, customer support may benefit from more prompt responses. The website’s user-friendliness and customization options are additional strengths.
Whether you’re a beginner looking for your first set or a collector seeking a unique chess piece, The Chess Store is likely to have something that suits your preferences and budget.
Let me know if you have any questions or insights you’d like to share about The Chess Store or chess sets in general. I’d love to have a chat with you in the comments below.