Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions here.
For all other enquiries, please contact our service team on +49 341 2222 88 22
or email .

1. Payment

Which payment methods are available?

We offer the following payment options:

  • Advance payment with 3% discount
  • Via Sofort-Überweisung with 2% discount
  • Credit card
  • PayPal
  • Cash on Delivery (1.5% extra admin charge)
  • Hire purchase
  • Invoice

smow reserves the right to request an alternative payment method.

What is advance payment with 3% discount?

We can offer a 3% discount when you pay for the order in advance by bank transfer. Following the placing of your order you will receive an email with all the information necessary to allow you to process the bank transfer. The 3% discount will be automatically deducted from your invoice. As soon as we receive the payment the order will be dispatched, assuming that the goods are in stock. A bank transfer within Germany generally takes 1-2 days to be completed, an international transfer generally takes 3-6 days.

What is payment by Sofort-Überweisung with 2% discount?

When ordering within Germany or Austria you can choose to make use of the services of our partner Sofort to pay directly from your online bank account. The 2% Sofort-Überweisung discount is automatically deducted from the invoice. Assuming the ordered goods are in stock they will be dispatched as soon the order process has been completed.

How are Credit Card Payments Processed?

In the smow online shop you can pay with Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Having selected payment by Credit Card you will be asked for your name, credit card number, card expiry date and the so-called CVC security code, this is the three- or four-digit security code found on the reverse of the card next to the signature field. Depending on the credit card provider, an additional security code may be required. 3-D Secure is an international security standard which provides for additional security with online credit card transactions. With 3-D Secure the risk of fraud and loss of payments through card misuse is reduced. Visa's 3-D Secure service is known as "Verified by Visa", MasterCard's is called "MasterCard SecureCode". With both systems a connection is made to the card issuer where you are required to confirm your identity. The exact details of the authentication process are dependent on the card issuer, and can involve, for example, entering a password or answering a security question. Regardless of how the system proceeds the required information is not stored or printed on the card itself, and thus should not be confused with the three digit CVC number. Your card will have to be registered with the issuer in order to allow for the authentication; if your card is not yet registered for the process, you will be automatically redirected by your bank to the appropriate section of their website. As soon as the authentication has been completed, the credit card payment will be executed; this means that for technical reasons your card will be charged at the time of ordering in the smow online shop. The charging to your associated bank account then occurs in context of the normal billing period agreed with your bank - typically at the calendar month. In-stock items will be dispatched within 24 hours of receipt of the order.

What is 3-D Secure?

3-D Secure is an additional security system for online credit card transactions. With 3-D Secure the risk of fraud and loss of payments by card misuse is reduced. Visa's 3-D Secure service is known as "Verified by Visa", MasterCard's is called "MasterCard SecureCode". With both systems a connection is made to the card issuer where you are required to confirm your identity. The exact details of the authentication process are dependent on the card issuer, and can involve, for example, entering a password or answering a security question. Regardless of how the system proceeds the required information is not stored or printed on the card itself, and thus should not be confused with the three digit CVC number. Your card will have to be registered with the issuer in order to allow for the authentication; if your card is not yet registered for the process, you will be automatically redirected by your bank to the appropriate section of their website. As soon as the authentication has been completed, the credit card payment will be executed.

How can I pay via PayPal?

During the payment process you will be re-directed to PayPal and can process the payment. Your PayPal account will be charged at the end of the order process.

What is Cash on Delivery?

Customers in Germany and Austria can pay the delivery agents for their smow.com order. For orders delivered through DHL you pay the delivery agent the final invoice amount upon receipt of the order. For Cash on Delivery orders DHL levy a service charge of EUR 2,00 in Germany and EUR 9,70 in Austria, this is charged and invoiced separately and is not included in the smow.com invoice. For orders delivered by our freight partners the delivery agent is paid directly. All orders to be paid by Cash on Delivery will be dispatched as soon as the order process has been completed, assuming the required goods are in stock. Cash on Delivery is available for payments with a maximum amount of EUR 5000.

How are hire purchase orders organised?

Hire purchase is only available for online purchases and only for customers in Germany. Place the desired items in the basket and choose as payment method "Hire purchase". At the end of the order process select "Proceed to hire purchase contract" and complete the online application. Print the contract out, sign it and place the contract in an envelope together with the other required documents. Take all documents to your local post office where a member of staff will confirm your identity and dispatch the documents. As soon as the credit has been approved by our partner bank the goods will be dispatched. This process can take up to five days.

Which documents do the bank need to approve the hire purchase agreement?

Please supply:

  • Signed hire purchase application
  • Last payslip / qualified statement of earning for self-employed, for purchases over EUR 1,500.00
  • A copy of the German Aufenthaltserlaubnis for natives of countries outwith the EU
  • Students: A copy of a valid student ID card or registration certificate and a copy of your ec/Maestro or credit card
  • Apprentices: A copy of the most recent payslip and a copy of your ec/Maestro or credit card

What are the requirements for arranging a hire purchase contract?

  • Employment / Income:
    • Your are employed on a permanent contract and have been with the same employer for at least 3 months, or
    • You are a pensioner with a guaranteed pension
    • You have been self-employed for at least 12 months
    • You have a regular income of at least EUR 650 net
  • You have no negative Schufa entries

Can the hire purchase agreement be combined with a payment protection plan?

Yes. You can combine the hire purchase agreement with a payment protection plan (Sorglos-Paket). With the plan you protect family members from potential problems should you find yourself unable to meet your monthly payments. The payment protection plan pays the monthly instalments in cases of unemployment, sickness or death after agreed waiting times. Full details can be found in the insurance terms and conditions.

Who is the contract partner for the credit?

Our partner is Commerz Finanz GmbH, a joint partnership between BNP Paribas Personal Finance S.A. and the Commerzbank AG.

Can I order on invoice?

Respective of a positive credit rating, smow also offer payment by invoice. The full invoice sum is to be paid to our payment service provider Payolution within 10 days of receipt of the goods. Please note: Payment by invoice is only possible where the billing and delivery address are identical. Gift certificates cannot be purchased on invoice. As a new customer, only one invoice order is possible: only if the payment of that order has been completed can a further order be made with purchase on invoice. Items in stock will be shipped directly after the order processing has been completed.

Why am I not being offered payment by invoice?

The following prerequisites must be fulfilled for payment by invoice:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • The value of your shopping basket is between 1 EUR and 1000 EUR.
  • Your shopping basket contains no gift certificates.
  • The invoice address corresponds to the delivery address.
  • This address is in Germany, Austria, Switzerland or the Netherlands.

Why was payment by invoice denied?

Your data is sent to Payolution, our payment service provider, who check your credit ranking. The option of paying by invoice is subsequently either accepted or rejected. In cases where it is rejected we are not informed of the reason. Please select an alternative payment method for your order.

I have paid the invoice amount to smow and not to Payolution. What should I do?

Please contact either us or Payolution so that we can clarify the situation. A rebooking or new transfer is not necessary.

Is VAT charged for deliveries outwith Germany?

For deliveries to private individuals in EU countries, VAT will be charged. If you are ordering as a registered company with a valid VAT ID, the order can be dispatched net. Customers from Switzerland or from non-EU countries do not pay German VAT and receive a net invoice.

2. Delivery

What are the delivery costs?

For deliveries within Germany and to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands standard delivery is free of charge. Delivery prices to other European countries are calculated as follows:

  Order value up
to EUR 100
Order value
over EUR 100
Order value
over EUR 2000
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands Free of charge
Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein 1, Lithuania, Norway 1, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland 1 EUR 9 9% of basket value EUR 179
Cyprus, Ireland, Malta, United Kingdom 15% of basket value, max. EUR 299
All other nations On request

Which costs are payable for deliveries to Switzerland and other non-EU countries?

1) Customers from Switzerland or from non-EU countries do not pay the German VAT (19%). You will receive a net invoice. The transport costs cover the transport and the charges for the customs processing. Further costs, including any customs taxes or local VAT, are not included and are calculated by the local customs authorities based on the value and nature of the goods. These cost are to be paid directly to the local authorities. In general customs duty is not charged as the majority of our products are produced in the EU. We do however recommend that all customers in non-EU countries check with their respective authorities before ordering. The taxable value is defined by the value of the goods, the shipping costs and all payable taxes. The invoice amount including shipping charges is payable to smow.com Customs charges and local VAT are to be paid directly to the local authorities. Please check with your local customs office for exact information.

Which shipping options are available?

The shipping method depends on the size of the ordered goods. Deliveries by DHL/Post are made Monday - Saturday. Larger items are sent by freight carrier and deliveries take place Monday - Friday. With "standard" deliveries all packaging and shipping material remains with the customer.

Standard DHL Parcel Delivery

Standard DHL Parcel Delivery Logo
  • Delivery time within Germany and Austria ca. 1-2 working days. For the rest of Europe ca. 2-5 working days, Islands (e.g. Mallorca, Ibiza, Cyclades) ca. 1 week
  • Shipment tracking
  • Should no-one be home when DHL call the parcel will either be left with a neighbour or at your nearest post office for collection

Standard Freight Transport Delivery

Standard Freight Transport Delivery Logo
  • Delivery time within Germany ca. 2-3 working days. Rest of Europe ca. 3-6 working days
  • Advance telephone call to confirm delivery time/date
  • Delivery Monday to Friday, regular office hours (Saturday delivery available in some areas at additional cost)
  • Delivery to the front of the building. Ordered goods will not be carried into buildings nor will packaging material be removed
  • Shipment tracking

Comfort Freight Transport Delivery

Comfort Freight Transport Delivery Logo
  • Highly recommended for USM Haller orders
  • Only available for deliveries to Germany or Austria
  • Delivery time within Germany ca. 6-9 working days. For deliveries to Austria ca. 7-10 working days
  • Advance telephone call to confirm delivery time/date
  • Delivery Monday to Friday, regular office hours (Saturday delivery available in some areas at additional cost)
  • Goods carried to final place of use
  • Removal and disposal of all packaging materials
  • Additional cost in Germany: EUR 49,00
  • Additional cost in Austria: EUR 89,00
  • Shipment tracking

Delivery incl. Assembly

Delivery incl. Assembly Logo
  • Especially large and/or heavy USM Haller units are delivered partly assembled and are completed at the place of use
  • Only available for deliveries to Germany
  • Delivery time ca. 8-10 working days
  • Advance telephone call to confirm delivery time/date
  • Goods carried to and assembled in final place of use
  • Removal and disposal of all packaging materials
  • Additional cost dependent on the article value: EUR 149 basic cost + 2% of article value

Express Delivery 12 o'clock

Express Delivery 12 o'clock
  • Available for in stock products ordered before 12.00 noon
  • Delivery by 12.00 noon following day (Monday to Friday)
  • Depending on size/weight of ordered goods delivery either with DHL or with our freight transport partner (Delivery to front of building, no advance telephone notice)
  • Only available for deliveries to Germany
  • Extra cost: EUR 39,00
  • Shipment tracking

What are the expected delivery times?

During the order process the availability of all objects is shown. Goods which are in stock are generally dispatched with 24 hours of completion of the order and payment process. Many of our products are available in the most popular versions for immediate dispatch, all other objects have to be ordered from the manufacturer. In general the manufacturer deliver to smow in 3-6 weeks, depending on manufacturer and the nature of the product. An estimate of the expected delivery time can be found on the product page in the smow shop. As soon as we have a confirmed delivery date we will inform you. In stock USM Haller units are either assembled by us and dispatched within 1-5 days or prepared for dispatch and final, local, assembly. Please contact our USM service team for more detailed information.

Please find standard delivery times for DHL parcels and freight deliveries in the table below:


Will I be informed prior to delivery?

The shipping method depends on the size of the ordered goods. Deliveries with DHL take place Monday - Saturday and are not announced in advance. Larger articles are shipped with our freight partner and in such cases you will be contacted in advance to confirm a delivery time/date.

What is meant by delivery "delivery to kerb"?

Delivery "delivery to kerb" means that the ordered goods will NOT be carried into a building or to their final place of use. In addition the carrier will NOT dispose of any packaging or shipping materials.

Can I track my delivery?

Your shipping confirmation email contains a link via which you can track the progress of your delivery. If your order is dispatched with a freight carrier they will contact you in advance to arrange a delivery appointment.

Of what should I pay attention upon receipt of goods?

Upon receipt of the goods please check the packaging for any obvious signs of damage and report this on the delivery note. In addition please contact our customers service team. Should upon unpacking the goods any previously undetected damage be found please contact our customer service team. All damage must be reported within 7 days.

3. Returns, exchanges, cancellations

Have I a right to return goods?

Private customers in sense of Article 13 of the the German Code of Civil Law (§ 13 BGB) have a right to return all goods with 30 days of purchase. Should you wish to return your ordered goods please contact our customer service team. All goods to be returned must be unused, undamaged and, whenever possible in the original packaging. Should any objects show any signs of damage smow reserves the right to deduct part of the price paid. This right to return does not apply to objects specially produced to meet the customer's requirements or for price reduced items.

Have I right to exchange?

Should an ordered items not meet your needs and/or expectations you have right to exchange it. Please contact our service team with details of the exchange required. Following the return of the original item the new item will be dispatched. This right of exchange does not apply to objects specially produced to meet the customers' requirements or for price reduced items.

How can I cancel my order?

To cancel an order please contact our customer service team who will advise. Alternatively, you can use our withdrawal form. Please note objects specially produced to meet the customer's requirements cannot be cancelled.

Why have I received a payment reminder?

If you have received a payment reminder, even though you have either returned the items or paid the invoice amount correctly, please contact our payment service provider Payolution. In most cases, the reminder is simply the result is an unfortunate overlapping of situations. The contact for the Payolution customer service portal is listed on your payment reminder. Alternatively Payolution can also be reached under the following, telephone numbers or by email at info@payolution.com.

Tel. Austria +43 72 088 379 2
Tel. Germany +49 30 567 966 27
Tel. Switzerland +41 43 508 333 5
Tel. Netherlands +49 31 800 020 154 9

How are returns regulated?

Before returning any items please contact our customer service team who will organise the procedure. If the delivery occurred through DHL you (private customers in sense of Article 13 of the German Code of Civil Law § 13 BGB) will be sent a return label which allows you to return the package to us at no cost to yourself. Simply attach the label to the package and hand it in at any post office. Goods delivered by our freight carriers will be collected by the freight carrier. Our customer service team will organise the collection. With all returns please note the following:

  • Do not return any goods carriage forward. Please always use the return label as supplied by smow.
  • Ensure that the goods do not show any signs of use or other damage and are returned in the original packaging.
  • Please include the invoice or a copy of the invoice with your return.

Should the above points not be observed, we reserve the right to invoice you for any additional costs occurred. Following receipt of the goods the purchase price will be refunded. With credit cards please do not cancel the payment as this incurs additional costs.

Must I pay the shipping costs when returning goods?

Returns from Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, France and Denmark:

smow bear the direct costs for the return of goods from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, France and Denmark, as long as it involves orders from private customers, that is consumers in the sense of § 13 BGB, (§ 13 German Civil Code). In the case of goods which cannot be returned via the normal postal service, we will arrange, in consultation with yourself, a suitable collection time by a freight company. Returns form business customers will be charged EUR 19 per DHL package or EUR 79 per freight forwarder (incl. VAT).

Returns from other countries:

Returns from EU countries other than those listed above, as well as from non-EU countries (Norway, Switzerland) are handled separately and depending on the specifics of object/location. For more information please contact the smow Customer Service team via +49 341 2222 88 22 or .

What is the process for reporting damage to goods or missing items?

Please contact our customer service team as soon as possible. In cases of quality defects we will organise the return and/or exchange of the goods. In cases of transport damage please note any damage to the packaging directly on the delivery note. In cases where the goods are clearly damaged you can also refuse to accept the delivery. In such cases please advise our customer service team.

4. USM Haller

What does the USM in USM Haller mean?

USM stands for Ulrich Schärer Münsingen.

Is there a price list for System USM?

USM doesn't sell "standard" models; rather every piece is individually planed and constructed according to the customer's wishes. The catalogues "living essentials" and "working essentials" present some examples and representative prices.

Is there a catalogue showing all USM Products?

The "Detail" catalogue for USM Haller, USM Kitos and USM Display can be ordered from smow. Please contact our customer service team.

Will my USM Haller unit be delivered fully assembled?

Small and medium sized units are delivered fully assembled. Should however the unit's dimensions make transport in the fully assembled state impossible the unit will be delivered partially assembled and completed locally. Please also be aware that obstacles and narrow doors in your building can also lead to a partially assembled delivery. The costs for a local assembly depend on the nature of the unit and your country: for deliveries within Germany the costs are EUR 149 plus 2% of the product value. Prices for other countries vary. Our USM service team will be happy to advise.

Can I extend my USM unit myself?

The USM furniture system is a modular system which provides for customized solutions and which can be extended, adapted and reconfigured at any time and as and when situations change or new needs arise. Such a high degree of flexibility and variability requires a large number of individual components, and in the case of the USM Haller system that means over 2,000 items. Owing to this complexity, it is imperative that all assembly, de-assembly and reassembly work is carried out by trained technicians; not least to ensure the value and longevity of USM products can be ensured. Incorrect installation can result in damage to the units which must then be repaired, with associated costs and inconvenience and may also result in a negation of any future warranty claims.

Can I configure my own, individual, USM Haller unit?

With the USM Haller Modular Furniture System, and its wide range of elements, materials and colours almost anything is possible - the only limit is your imagination. With the aid of the smow USM Configurator you can create your own, individual, USM unit or edit existing USM units from the smow online shop - simply select the "More options in the USM Configurator" option on the relevant product page. Should you require further help or assistance in the planning of your USM unit our experienced USM Haller service team will be happy to assist - also in terms of larger USM projects. They can be contacted via +49 341 2222 88 11 or .

Are there assembly instructions should I want to build the unit myself?

To guarantee the quality and stability of the USM Haller units they should only be assembled by suitably trained individuals. The addition of individual components such as divider shelves can however be undertaken alone, and assembly instructions are included in the delivery.

Who can organise the rebuilding of my existing USM Haller unit?

We can prepare a quote for the rebuilding, extension or conversion of existing USM units. Please contact our USM service team for full details.

Are there examples of System USM Haller in use?

The annual magazine "spaces" presents System USM Haller in numerous case studies. A free copy can be ordered from our USM service team.

Why do USM products only come in 14 colours?

As a flexible, modular system USM units can be rebuilt and reconfigured as required and over decades. To support this flexibility USM only offer the units in a small election of "neutral" colours. Should you have specific colour wishes this may be possible at an extra cost. Please contact our USM service team for details.

What material is USM Haller?

The frames of the tables and units and the unit panels are formed from steel, either chrome-plated or powder coated. The table tops are available as granite, resin strengthened glass, linoleum or natural wood veneered plywood. The veneered table tops are finished with a multi-layer varnish coating, the glue used in the construction meets the standards of the emissions class "E1". Components such as hinges, door knobs and handles are produced by casting, metal or plastic depending on the component.

What material is the USM Ball?

The USM Ball is chrome-plated brass with 6 M8x1 threaded holes.

Are wood or plastic panels available?

In order to ensure that USM units maintain their quality and functionality over long periods and in different environments the main elements are only available in metal. For the top panels of USM units, for use, for example, as reception desks or as low room dividers, wood and plastic panels are available. Please contact our USM service team for full details.

What is the difference between ball-to-ball dimensions and complete dimensions?

The ball-to-ball dimension measures the distance from the centre of one USM ball to the centre of the next. The USM ball has a diameter of 25 mm, the adjustable foot 30 mm. Consequently the complete width is the ball-to-ball dimensions plus 30mm. The complete height is the ball-to-ball dimensions plus 40mm, for units with castors ball-to-ball height plus 80 mm.

Why is the 100 mm tube the shortest?

The given dimensions are standardised grid dimensions for System USM Haller and are based on the distance from ball centre to ball centre. The connection between the USM ball and the tube is via a 40 mm long connector. Each tube has two connectors plus two ball "half diameters" of 9 mm each: in total 98 mm. And so 100 mm is the smallest possible.

And why is the 750 mm tube the longest?

The longer the tube the more unstable the structure. Tubes longer than 750 mm would bend under normal use.

How thick are the table tops?

The USM Haller and USM Kitos table tops are 19 mm thick.

Is it possible to allow cables to pass through the back and/or side walls?

System USM Haller offers the option of a cable hole. These are rectangular openings (63 x 48 mm) with a rubber lining. These can be placed in one of nine positions in any panel.

How much weight can a USM Haller panel carry?

The maximal allowed burden (surface load) for all metal elements up to dimension of 750 x 500 mm is 50 kg. Heavy objects with a focussed weight, (e.g. heavy metal sculptures on a small base) can cause bending. In such cases, or with objects heavier than 50kg surface load a support should be used. Please contact our USM service team in advance of any order to confirm all details.

I have received my USM Haller sideboard, but the key is missing?

If you have ordered a USM unit without locks, the doors are secured for transport. To open the door insert a coin in the central slot in the handle and turn it 90 degrees to the right. The door will now open.

5. Order process

I have a coupon. How can I use it?

After you have placed your order in the basket proceed to the checkout. There you have the option to enter your coupon number. By clicking the "Redeem Coupon" button the coupon will be activated.

My coupon code was not accepted. Why not?

smow coupons are generally bound by specific conditions. Some coupon codes must be used in a specific time period, others, for example, involve a minimum order value. Please check that your order agrees with any conditions. Only one coupon can be used per order (apart from smow Gift Certificates) and a cash alternative is not possible. Please also note coupons cannot be applied to orders already placed.

My password does not work. Why not?

Are you a new customer or already registered? If you are a new customer please register by filling in all the required fields. You can then set a password. If you are already registered, have requested a password reminder, and still cannot log in, please contact our customer service team.

6. About smow

Do smow also have showrooms where I can view products?

smow currently have shops in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Chemnitz and Kempten. Please be aware that not all articles in the online shop can be viewed in the local shops. If you have specific wishes please contact the shop in advance to confirm.

We are looking to refurnish our home / office. Who can help us with planning?

smow can help with the planning of furnishings. Either contact our planning team on +49 341 2222 88 11 or be email via . For email requests please include full address and telephone information and, where possible, a floor plan and/or photos of the space.

Do you have a catalogue?

Yes! If you would like free copy please contact our service team.

Are the products you offer originals?

All products offered on smow.com are new, original products of the respective producer and licensed from the respective designer. The majority of the products offered by smow are produced in small and medium sized factories in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Denmark.

Why are Le Corbusier articles cheaper through other internet portals?

The Le Corbusier articles offered by smow.com are exclusively from the Italian manufacturer Cassina. In 1965 Le Corbusier personally granted Cassina the exclusive global rights to produce his works and those realised in collaboration with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand. Unfortunately other companies produce cheaper, non-authorised copies of the same objects. As a general rule these copies are not only of lower quality but more prone to damage and cannot be repaired. Products from the "Cassina I Maestri" series are marked with the designer's signature, the "Cassina I Maestri" logo and a production serial number.

Why are Charles and Ray Eames articles cheaper through other internet portals?

All Charles & Ray Eames products offered by smow are produced by Vitra, who posses the exclusive European rights for all Charles and Ray Eames furniture. Vitra have produced Charles and Ray Eames furniture since 1957, the Eames Lounge chair since early 1959 and today the Eames Estate is administered by Vitra together with the Eames family through the Eames Office, Los Angeles. The close cooperation between Charles & Ray Eames and Vitra has helped define Vitra's understanding of design. Vitra guarantee the use of high-quality, durable materials and production processes. Unfortunately the market is awash with copies who cannot guarantee the same. To ensure that your money is properly invested and that the product you buy is safe and durable always buy originals.

Can I source spare parts from smow?

Many producers provide spare parts and/or can arrange a repair service. Please contact our customer service team for full details. Please be aware, to ensure the correct spare part we require accurate information as to the product and its production year. In such cases photo often helps.

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