HELP & Frequently Asked QuestionsWHY AM I HERE when I clicked the Contact Us link? We respectfully request that you check before emailing to see if your question is already answered - regretfully we cannot respond to queries where the answer has already been provided.If you cannot find the answer to your question, please then Contact Us and we will get back to you as quickly as possible (even during evenings and weekends if we're around).
How do I place an order?
Enter the quantity you require in the box next to any product, then click Add to Basket. A basket summary is shown at the top right of each page.
Review your shopping basket at any time and make changes by clicking "View Basket". You can even save your basket contents and come back later if you like. Click "Retrieve Cart" when you wish to continue ordering.
When you're done ordering, click on the 'Checkout' button (or "Pay Now" in the basket summary at the top of the page) and enter your details as requested.
Finally, choose how you would like to pay - we accept credit or debit cards securely online using our card payment processor (Actinic Payments/Credit Call) or through Paypal (you do not need a Paypal account). You can also pay by BACs (Bank Transfer) through online banking or at a bank counter - see your order confirmation email for details you will need.
We will send you an email to confirm your order details, and another one when your order is packed and ready for despatch.Back to top
How do I contact you?
If your question is not covered here, please Contact Us
. Emails are checked throughout the day (even evenings and weekends when we're around) so you will receive a prompt response. Contact by email also ensures that everyone has a written record of queries and responses to avoid any potential confusion.
Sorry, but we no longer publish our telephone number due to the overwhelming tsunami of spam calls, cold calls, auto diallers and silent calls. Our registration is renewed annually with the Corporate Telephone Preference Service but still we are bombarded daily.
As an internet only retailer, we do not take telephone orders so we don't employ sales staff. This means that we are constantly being interrupted while packing orders to weed out these unwelcome interruptions or answering the same questions repeatedly. Something had to give and we had a choice to make - and we choose to continue offering a fast and efficient ordering service to our internet customers. We thank you for your kind co-operation in this regard.Back to top
Why do you have a PO Box address?
We operate from a commercial warehouse and a home office so cannot accommodate personal shoppers. When we publish our addresses, customers arrive expecting to find a shop and are disappointed to have wasted a journey.
However, we fully comply with the law and publish our company's registered address, VAT registration number and company registration number wherever this information is required for your peace of mind.Back to top
Do you have a brochure or printed catalogue?
No, sorry - too expensive for something that will be out of date within a week.Back to top
Do you offer wholesale or trade prices?
No - we are a retailer, not a wholesaler or distributor. Where we buy in larger bulk or obtain a better price break, this is automatically passed on to you in our prices, or in price breaks for larger quantities shown against the products. Please do not ask for further discounts as refusal can often offend. It is not in our interests to divulge our trade sources so please do not ask us to do so.Back to top
Do you offer product samples?
Sorry, we cannot offer samples as we have found it to be a pointless exercise in futility. The vast majority of the products on our website are self explanatory and we try to give as much information as possible to ensure you know what you are buying. If you have any further questions about any product, please do not hesitate to Contact UsBack to top
Can you manufacture products in specific sizes?
Afraid not - we do not manufacture the products we stock so they are only available in the sizes and pack quantities stated. Back to top
How do I receive your email Newsletters?
You'll find a Newsletter subscription box on the left hand side of every shop page, and you can unsubscribe at any time.Back to top
Do you still have a retail shop?
Sorry, no - the shop closed in 2009 and we are now 100% internet retail only again (which has been our core business since 1999). Unfortunately this means that we can no longer accommodate personal visitors (even if you only live down the road).Back to top
I registered a stock reminder ages ago, why haven't I been notifed?
The length of time that a product can be out of stock for is dependant on several factors. If there is an unexpected high demand for a product and it goes out of stock at the beginning of our ordering cycle from that supplier, it can be several weeks before the product is re-ordered.
It's also a frequent problem that the product has been re-ordered, but the supplier is out of stock and we did not receive it; however, we will put a note against any product where there is a long term problem with restocks.
As a large part of our stock is imported, it is not possible to restock at very short notice. Please bear this in mind when planning ahead (i.e for weddings, parties etc). We will do our best to keep you informed of expected delivery dates.
On special offer products (where there will never
be restocks) there can be a short time delay between the last one selling out and that product being removed from the shop. Any stock reminders registered for those products cannot be replied to for obvious reasons.Back to top
We run a charity/school fete/craft fair/challenge blog - can you offer products at reduced rates or for free?
We are happy to support local charities and currently run a full calendar so we're sorry, but we are unable to offer support for other causes at this time. Back to top
What is your minimum order?
There is no minimum order value for products, no matter where you are ordering from.Back to top
How long does it take for you to despatch my order?
We kindly ask that you allow 3 working days for despatch from the date of order, although we will always despatch sooner whenever possible. This is to allow a little wriggle room should the sky fall on our heads, during peak periods or special offers. You will receive an order despatched email on the day your parcel leaves us so you know your goodies are on their way.
We do not pack orders on public holidays or weekends. We are closed for 2 weeks each year over Christmas and New Year - we update our Home page and Delivery Information page with these dates each year in the lead up so you have enough time to plan ahead.Back to top
How long will it take to get my order?
We use Royal Mail's business service and have found it to be surprisingly reliable - 1st class is usually delivered within 1-2 days, 2nd class may take up to 5 days (but please remember there is no order tracking for these services).
If you opt for the courier service, your order is fully trackable and will require a signature on delivery. You will receive emails from the courier updating you on progress and you can track your order online.
For international destinations, you need to allow up to 28 working days unless you wish to pay extra for a trackable service.
If you require your order by a certain deadline (such as for a birthday or special occasion), please allow enough time when ordering or Contact Us
for a guaranteed delivery price. Despite our best attempts, we are not psychic and cannot guess if you have a deadline and do not tell us. Back to top
What are your shipping (postal) charges?
UK Mainland: Flat Rate £2.99 inc VAT per order for Royal Mail 1st Class - Flat Rate £1.99 inc VAT per order for Royal Mail 2nd Class.
UK Heavy Items: Outsize or heavy products that cannot be shipped under our Flat Rate shipping will be noted against the product before you buy.
Courier (UK Mainland): Flat Rate £8.99 including VAT (excludes Highlands & Islands). This service is trackable and guarantees a delivery between 1 to 2 days following dispatch.
If you wish to upgrade your order to a guaranteed next day delivery for an additional charge, please Contact Us.
International Orders: Unfortunately international shipping is expensive over which we have no control. Charges are made on a sliding scale based on product value and destination. Charges should be used as a guide to the amount you will pay - we operate a fair postage policy for international orders so if actual shipping is less, you will be charged less but equally if additional freight charges are required we will contact you by email:
|Product Value up to:||Mainland Europe (inc. VAT)*:||Non Mainland Europe (inc. VAT)*:||AU/NZ (inc. VAT)**:|
|£200 or more||£59.99||£84.00||£92.99|
*Customers in tax free zones: Shipping charges to all international destinations will be displayed in your basket including VAT. When you go through checkout, VAT (currently at 20%) will be deducted from your whole order before you pay.
**Customers in Australia/New Zealand: Shipping charges will be displayed in your basket including VAT. When you go through checkout, VAT (currently at 20%) will be deducted from your whole order before you pay.Back to top
I need my order urgently, what should I do?
To be fair to all customers, orders are picked strictly in turn although if we are not overly swamped, we will try to make exceptions if you wish to pay extra to guarantee a next day delivery (this does not apply to orders for sale or special offer products). Please Contact Us
before ordering to arrange this. Also see answer below regarding charges and services offered.Back to top
Why do you not offer next day delivery in checkout?
To keep shipping charges as simple as possible we use flat rate shipping for UK orders, but for guaranteed next day delivery both Royal Mail and couriers charge according to order weight.
To be able to advise you of the correct charge, we need to pack and weigh the order so this makes it impossible to offer this as a standard service on checkout.
As a guide, Royal Mail Special Delivery which guarantees a next day delivery before 1 p.m will incur the following charges (charged at cost):
Orders weighing up to 100g will cost £7.70 including VAT
Orders weighing from 101g to 500g will cost £8.20 including VAT
Orders weighing from 501g to 1000g (1kg) will cost £9.55 including VAT
Orders weighing from 1001g to 2000g (2kg) will cost £11.80 including VAT
Orders weight from 2001g to 10000g (10kg) will cost £30 including VAT (yikes!).
If your order is heavy and urgent (but not that urgent!) we can offer a 2 day service for up to 29kg through Parcel Force - for instance, order on Monday receive on Wednesday for £8.99 including VAT. If you require a timed service (i.e before noon, before 10 a.m) we can advise you of the correct charge once your order is packed and weighed.
To use either service, orders must be placed by 12 noon.
Please Contact Us
before ordering and we can advise you on how to proceed.Back to top
What if I don't want to pay by card over the internet?
Unfortunately you will be unable to order from us.
When you order online, you are processing your own payment - we do not see your card details at all and this ensures complete security. For this reason, we do not take telephone orders or payments over the telephone.
We do not accept cheques, postal orders or orders via email, nor do we despatch goods on an invoice now, pay later basis.
We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to the few potential customers who cannot or do not wish to place orders online but keeping ordering simple and safe means we can continue to provide a fast service to the vast majority of customers who are happy to order online.Back to top
What international destinations do you ship to?
*Tax Free Zones: UK Sales Tax (VAT) will be deducted from your order automatically when you go through checkout. It is your responsibility to ensure the goods you wish to order are not restricted imports in your country and you are responsible for any import taxes or duties.
~ These destinations may require additional information and may incur extra charges for larger orders requiring a courier service due to remote locations. Please allow an additional 2 days for despatch should this be required. We will contact you by email if additional freight charges are required.
Please do not ask us to mark your parcel as a "gift" to avoid paying import tax - it is against the law for us to do so.
If your country is not listed, then sorry we do not ship there at this time.Back to top
I can't find a product - what should I do?
You can use the search box on the site if you have the product code or description (check a previous sales receipt or email), and if it's still available you can quickly find it that way. If no results are returned, the product may have been discontinued since your last order and sold out (so it will have been removed) or it may be a product that we do not stock. If you have any product queries, please do not hesitate to Contact Us
and we will do all we can to help.Back to top
I'm having a problem ordering - what should I do?
If you have a problem with on-line ordering it is usually something minor which can be rectified very quickly and sometimes it can quite simply be user error.
Our website is either working or it's not - it does not pick and chose who it will allow to complete orders on-line. If you have problems ordering, please Contact Us
so we can try to resolve the issue.Back to top
I placed an order so why didn't I get a confirmation?
Order confirmation emails are automatically generated by our server when an order is completed successfully. If you have not received an order confirmation it could be for the following reasons:
- You gave the wrong email or misspelled it.
- You have, but it's your junk/spam folder. This is very common for web based email accounts such as AOL, Hotmail, Google etc. Ensure you have us set up on your trusted senders list and this will not happen again.
- You have used Paypal to pay for your order and have not clicked the done/finish button on the payment page to return to our website and trigger the email. You should still receive your payment confirmation email from Paypal, and this will contain your order number.
If you are sure you have fully completed your order, you can Contact Us to confirm that we have received the order and obtain your order number.Back to top
I placed an order, but would like to add more products or amend it - can I do this?
Please Note: We can ONLY add to or amend your order up to the point when it is being picked for customers who have paid using our secure on-line card processor. This is because your payment is pre-authorised and is not processed until your order is packed and ready for despatch.
To avoid any confusion your instructions are required to be made in writing (replying to your order confirmation email is fine). We need your order number, the correct product codes, descriptions and quantities required if you wish to add, or clear instructions if you wish to amend.
If you have paid for your order using BACS or Paypal your order is closed at the point when you complete your order (over which we have no control) and unfortunately we cannot make changes after this point.Back to top
I received my order, but something is missing - what should I do?
Before reporting an item missing, please thoroughly check through the items you've ordered - for ease of packaging, sometimes smaller items are packed inside larger items (such as inside drawers or boxes). We use recycled kraft paper as void fill and smaller items can get caught in this - please DO NOT throw this away until you have smoothed it out and removed any items.
Check the sales receipt enclosed with your order - this might have a note or sticker relating to an item that's been delayed or taken off the order explaining why.
Check the outside of the parcel - does it have "1 of 2" or "2 of 2" written on the outside? Occassionally we need to split an order to keep items safe in transit, so although both parcels will be despatched on the same day, this doesn't always mean they will be delivered on the same day.
Have you checked your email? If there was a problem with any of the products ordered, we will email you to explain why it may have been removed from the order.
If none of the above applies, it is probably a picking error that can be easily rectified. Please Contact Us
with your order number and we will ensure this is corrected.Back to top
I would like to return something - how do I do this?
Simply Contact Us
for a Returns Form and send any unwanted products back within 30 days of purchase (mystery returns cause confusion and delays!).
Any products returned must be in resaleable condition and we will refund you for their value within 30 days of receipt in accordance with the EU Distance Selling Directive. However, we always aim to process any refund due with a maximum of 2 working days of receipt. As our outgoing p&p charges are heavily subsidised, we're sorry but we cannot refund return p&p costs.
If you have received damaged goods or an incorrect item in your order, we will offer you a refund or a replacement. If the error was ours, we will refund any reasonable postage costs you incur in returning an item to us (should we request you to do so
). Damaged or faulty items must be reported within 7 days of receipt - please keep all packaging materials until we have investigated the reason for the damage.
Under the terms of the EU Distance Selling Directive, you also have a 7 day cooling off period from the day you receive your order. During this time you can change your mind and cancel your entire order. You must contact us inside the 7 day period by email to let us know that you want to cancel your order and we will email you a Returns Form. When we receive your order back in resaleable condition, we will issue you with a full refund of your original order. As our outgoing p&p charges are heavily subsidised, we're sorry but we cannot refund return p&p costs.
The EU Distance Selling Directive does not apply to B2B (Business to Business) transactions - even if you are only making small orders at home for resale. Please ensure you are ordering correctly - you have every opportunity to enquire about any product prior to placing your order to ensure the product(s) you are ordering are suitable and correct for your needs. Back to top
I've ordered the wrong product - will you exchange it?
As our postage and packaging charges are heavily subsidised, we cannot offer an exchange service. If you have ordered a product in error, you can return the item(s) by following our returns procedure (see question above) and re-ordering the correct item. This will be considered a new order and p&p will be chargeable, but you will be refunded for the returned item. Back to top
My order hasn't arrived - what should I do?
You will receive an "order shipped" email on the day your parcel is dispatched. Before chasing your order, please check the following:
- Have you checked with other members of your household that they haven't put the parcel somewhere and not told you (it happens more often than you'd think).
- Have you checked with your neighbours to ensure that they haven't taken delivery for you (that happens a lot too!).
- Did you ask us to put a note on your order such as "leave in shed" or "leave with neighbour" - don't forget to check those people/places too.
- Have you checked with your local Post Office/Sorting Office that they are not holding the parcel for you - although a card should always be left to say a delivery has been attempted, this does not always happen and it is not uncommon for these cards to be thrown away with the junk mail.
- Have you checked your order to ensure that you've given the correct address and postcode? You are typing your own parcel label so any errors could result in a delay to your order being delivered or the return of your parcel.
If you have followed the above steps and your parcel has not arrived after 15 working days (this starts the day following despatch and is counted as Monday to Friday) then please Contact Us for additional help. Please allow 28 working days for international orders. We are bound by Royal Mail regulations that state a parcel is not considered lost until this period of time has passed.
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