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How to shop/ FAQs

As part of our "CUSTOMER SERVICE GUARANTEE", we offer you.....

LOW DELIVERY COSTS & FREE POSTAGE on all orders over £50.  (See point 4. below.)

SPEEDY DISPATCH USING ROYAL MAIL - usually the next working day. (See point 3. below.)

COMPETITIVE PRICES - we constantly monitor prices online & react. 

A 30-DAY, "NO QUIBBLE" MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE on your purchases, including FREE RETURNS.  (See points 7. and 8. below.)

Our products are QUALITY GUARANTEED for 12 months (except food & toiletries).

CUSTOMER SERVICES Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 8.00pm. Simply call 01704  569 111.

Trading in the UK since February 2009, with secure online payment.

We comply with the The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000.

1. How do I place an order with you?  

Either online via our website, or by email, telephone or post.  
If an item appears on our website you can confidently assume that it is in stock. If, for any reason this is not the case, we will notify you immediately by email. You will be promptly issued with a full refund if you have ordered and paid for an out-of-stock item.

The prices shown on the website are what you will be charged at the Checkout, but a delivery charge will be added to each order. (See point 4. below.)

Online... 
Our website is up and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can place your order at any time that suits you. 

Browse through the different departments of Fair Trade products and follow the simple on-screen instructions. This website has state-of-the-art security features so you can shop with confidence. We take online payment from most debit and credit cards, or you can shop using PayPal.

By email, telephone, or post... 
Simply contact us with the product code, description and the quantities you would like. We will then confirm the value of the order including delivery charges and take your name and delivery address details.
You  then send us a cheque or postal order made payable to THE FAIR TRADE STOREOnce this has been cleared by our bank,  we will post the goods out to you.  
Or you can use PayPal, when an invoice will be emailed to you, significantly speeding up the payment process.

Please note, we are not able to process debit or credit card payments over the telephone.

2. How do I pay for the products I order online?

By PayPal - We take payment from you via PayPal, which is also one of the most secure and highly respected payment services available today. You DO NOT need a PayPal account to pay by card through them. Your card information never comes to our site or onto our computers. It resides on a PayPal server that is heavily guarded both physically and electronically. Your card information is automatically encrypted in transit from your computer to their's using the Secure Sockets Layer Protocol (SSL) with an encryption key length of 128-bits (the highest level commercially available). PayPal servers sit behind an electronic firewall and are not directly connected to the Internet, so your private information is completely hidden from unauthorised sources.

When you place an order and go to the checkout, you will be given a choice of which payment method to use. Once you have entered all your delivery details you will be forwarded to the Payment Provider's secure website which will handle the financial transaction.

We hold a GeoTrust SSL certificate - the world's second largest digital certificate provider. More than 100,000 customers in over 150 countries trust GeoTrust to secure online transactions and conduct business over the Internet. 
Look for their icon and the padlock symbol at our checkout.

We are PCI DSS complient (Trustwave).  (The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.)

3. How long will it take for my order to arrive? 

You should receive your delivery within 3-5 working days from placing your online order with us.

We always let you know by email that your order is being dealt with and also when it’s gone in the post - so you won’t be kept in the dark!

However, please allow up to 5 working days before you contact us with any issues.

Deliveries are made by Royal Mail from Monday to Saturday between 7am and 3pm.  See point 5. below for what happens if you are out.

4. How much will delivery cost me?

Delivery within the UK.....

For orders up to £10 the delivery cost will be £2.50   
For orders over £10 and up to £30 the cost will be £2.80   
For orders over £30 and up to £50 the cost will be £3.80   
For orders over £50 delivery is FREE *.    

These costs apply to EACH ORDER, regardless of the weight, or number of items included. 

Unfortunately, we do have to charge you for delivery, in order keep our operation commercially viable. 

Remember, there is no such thing as "free delivery".
Online retailers must be able to recover their actual delivery costs (not to mention packaging and handling costs) somehow and this sort of "free" offer can take the form of inflated selling prices.
THE FAIR TRADE STORE does not do this - our sell prices remain as competitive as possible, but we do ask you to contribute towards these delivery costs.
With us, what you see is what you pay – transparency is what our customers have asked for and that is what we aim to deliver.

We work out your delivery cost based on the price of the goods ordered (regardless of the number of items) and do not penalise you for the weight involved.
Your order will fall into one of the price bands shown above and the exact delivery cost will be displayed in your shopping basket and then added to the price of the products you have selected. 
In other words, the total cost for you to pay will be clearly shown before payment is requested.

Please note:  These prices are subject to change following any revisions to pricing made by Royal Mail. 

* The Free delivery offer is for orders placed via our website Checkout. Orders managed manually, outside of our Checkout, will attract the appropriate delivery charge.

5. Who will deliver my order?

 We deliver your order using Royal Mail.  (For certain heavier packages, Parcel Force will be used.)

You will not need to sign for receipt of your delivery, but if you are out and the item is too large to post through your letterbox and/or a neighbour is not available to take delivery, Royal Mail will leave instructions with you in these circumstances, making it clear what action you need to take, via a “Something for you” card.

This card will explain that you can either arrange a re-delivery, or you can collect your packet or parcel from your nearest Royal Mail Local Delivery Office (or local Post Office). A handy numer to call is 0845 605 0767 for details of where your local office is located.  Arrange redelivery at www.royalmail.com/redelivery


Want to have your order delivered to a different address? 
Perhaps you work, or would like your gifts sending direct to a friend or family member? 
No problem!  Simply use the box provided at the checkout to confirm the details.
It may be worthwhile providing a workplace address for delivery if this is more convenient for you and you are away from your home address during weekdays. But please note: you may need to check with your workplace regarding their ability/policy on accepting such packages.

Our checkout process also allows you to write a message to us to communicate any special requirements you may have, such as "leave with neighbour" or "leave in porch" etc.
 

THE FAIR TRADE STORE can not be held responsible for goods that are lost or delayed in transit. We always request a "Proof of Postage" document from the Post Office for each order we send out to customers and these are kept on file in case of a query.

6. Do you deliver outside of the UK?

YES, we most certainly do.

Our online shop ONLY allows orders to be processed for customers with delivery addresses within the UK – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and including The Isle of Man, The Isle of Wight and The Channel Islands.

HOWEVER, we have customers from within the European Union, North America, Australia etc and are keen to develop our business further afield. So, wherever you are, please use the contact us  page to get in touch with your requirements and we can discuss putting together a personalised quote for you. Payment in any currency can easily be processed using Pay Pal.

We welcome all new business opportunities and will go out of our way to meet your requirements wherever you are in the world. Please just ask us.....

7. Can I return an unwanted item for a full refund?

YES, of course you can - and it`s simple, quick and FREE!

We understand this may occasionally happen and you certainly have the right to change your mind if you decide you no longer want a product you have ordered. This is where our 30-DAY, "NO QUIBBLE"  MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE comes in....

You must notify us of your intentions within 30 days of your initial receipt of the goods. We will then agree with you what action to take, including the opportunity to exchange your unwanted product for another item.
(Please use the contact us page to get in touch with us. This page also includes the address to send your "returns".)

FOR A REFUND, you will then need to return the good(s) promptly to us. All items must be unused and resaleable. Please include any packaging and a copy of the receipt.
After satisfactory inspection, we will then provide a refund, INCLUDING the initial delivery charge AND the postage cost you have incurred in returning the good(s) to us (up to the value of  Royal Mail 2nd Class).
Our policy is that the initial delivery charge will only be refunded if the returned item(s) was/were the only product(s) included in the order.

Any refunds will be promptly actioned once the unwanted item(s) is received back with us in accordance with these terms and certainly within a maximum of 7 days. The refund will be actioned via your original payment method.
 
In the case of exchanges, a re-delivery charge at our standard delivery rate will apply. (See point 4. above.)
 
Please note: Until the goods are safely received back by us, you are responsible if the goods are lost, damaged or destroyed - the item is your responsibility until it reaches us. We cannot be held responsible for returns that are lost in transit - we can’t process a refund or exchange for an item we don’t get back!
For your own protection, you are strongly advised to request the "Proof of Postage" service (available free of charge) at  Post Office counters when returning the item, or you may wish to select a delivery method that insures you for the value of goods that you are returning.

Because we value your custom, the above policy goes beyond your statutory rights under The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000.

Please note: Due to health and hygiene reasons, we will not refund or exchange earrings, food products, body care or toiletry items, unless they are incorrect,  faulty or damaged. This is to protect the well-being of all our customers. Neither are we legally obliged to refund or exchange music CDs where the seal is broken.

8. What happens if I receive an incorrect, faulty or damaged product?

We apologise if, in rare circumstances, this should ever happen.

All products are hand checked before despatch and carefully wrapped for protection.
However, if you feel you have a problem you can rest assure we will resolve things to your complete satisfaction. We will do everything we can to make sure you are happy with both your purchase and the back-up service you receive from us. After all, we want you to shop with us again in the future!
This is all part of our "CUSTOMER SERVICE GUARANTEE".
 

Please notify us within 30 days of your initial receipt of the goods of any problems.  (Please use the contact us  page to get in touch with us. This page also includes the address to send your "returns".)  We will then ask you to return the product(s). Please include any packaging and a copy of the receipt, along with any receipts for the postage you incur in returning the package to us.  

Once we have had a chance to assess things, we will discuss with you whether you would like a replacement and this will be re-sent out without any further delivery cost to you.
If this is not what you would like, then our policy is to refund you the cost of the item, INCLUDING the delivery / postal charges you have incurred. We refund up to the value of Royal Mail 2nd Class postage on the returned items. 
The refund will be actioned via your original payment method.
Our policy is that the initial delivery charge will only be refunded if the returned item(s) was/were the only product(s) included in the order.

Any refunds will be promptly actioned once the unwanted item(s) is received back with us in accordance with these terms and certainly within a maximum of 7 days. The refund will be actioned via your original payment method.

Please note: Until the goods are returned to us, you are responsible if the goods are lost, damaged or destroyed - the item is your responsibility until it reaches us. We cannot be held responsible for returns that are lost in transit.
For your own protection, you are strongly advised to request the "Proof of Postage" service (available free of charge) at  Post Office counters when returning the item, or you may wish to select a delivery method that insures you for the value of goods that you are returning.
The above policy goes beyond your statutory rights under The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000.

Please note: As most of the products we sell are hand crafted, often using recycled and/or natural materials, there may be slight variations from the actual images shown and the dimensions quoted. This does not mean that the product is faulty or damaged. In fact, we feel that this makes each item unique and even more special. Fair Trade products are individually made by local artisans in the developing world using traditional techniques. They are not the mass produced items most of us are used to, so please bear this in mind when assessing the quality and appearance of each product.

9. Will my personal details be disclosed to third party companies?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. This information will never be passed on unless we ask your permission to do so.

And remember, your bank details will not be disclosed to THE FAIR TRADE STORE at anytime – all payment details will be collected securely and administrated by Sage Pay or PayPal.

10. How will my goods be packaged?

We care about the environment. As such, we use recycled or sustainably produced materials as much as possible.

We also re-use packaging sent to us by our suppliers whenever we can. Therefore, don’t be alarmed if it looks like your package has been used before – it probably has and you can feel good that between us we are doing our bit for the environment.
However, what’s inside your package will be attractively wrapped and presented – we are confident you will be impressed!
Any packaging we handle that can’t be re-used is sent for recycling.

Shopping online and using a home delivery service can result in lower carbon emissions as one van makes several deliveries in one journey, unlike a trip to the shops, where it’s often one car per shopper and you have to think about petrol costs and parking charges.

We use Royal Mail, who are still one of the greenest options for deliveries. They continue to put environmental issues at the top of their business agenda, have a clear environmental policy and targets for reducing CO2 emissions. 

Please bear the above points in mind when assessing the delivery charges that we have to apply.

If you have any further questions that have not been answered here, please contact us. We will get straight back to you!