Delivery and Shipping Information
About buying from The Writing Desk
Our philosophy is to provide the best possible service in all aspects whatever your order - large or small. We have many satisfied customers and you can read some of their testimonials on our guestbook. You can learn more about us here.
How to Order
You can order via our website or by telephone (please note our business hours).
We ship worldwide. Our shopping basket calculates shipping costs automatically when you select the delivery destination.
If an item is shown as out of stock we may be able to reserve it for you from our next delivery. Please contact us for details. Items that are not shown as out of stock are usually available for immediate despatch.
Please provide a valid e-mail address with all orders. If you use GMail, Yahoo, AOL or other webmail service please check your spam folder if you don't think you have received our order confirmation e-mail. To ensure delivery, please add email@example.com to your contacts list.
VAT and Overseas Orders
VAT does not apply to orders sent outside the EU but we are required by law to display prices including VAT (at 20%). In the Shopping Basket, select the delivery country and VAT will be automatically removed from the goods total if the order is to be sent outside the EU.
For BFPO orders we can usually remove the VAT from the total. Please contact us to arrange this service.
If you are a buying for a business within the EU and have a valid VAT registration number please we can supply your order VAT-free. Please place your order first and contact us before making payment.
Please note that if you are travelling to the UK from outside the EU and you wish to place an order whilst you are in this country you will not be able to re-claim the VAT when you leave. Please see this page for more information.
VAT receipts are sent with all orders.
UK Postage prices
We charge a flat rate of £2.50 (£1.50 for small items like cartridges and refills). Orders over £20 include free First Class post.
Overseas Postage prices
Shipping costs start at £2.00 within Europe and £2.20 outside Europe. Please refer to the table below for more information
To get an exact price for shipping, add the desired items to your Shopping Basket. You do not need to log in nor do you need to enter any name or address details, just the destination country. There is no obligation to proceed with an order.
Our detailed prices for postage are as follows:
|Item type||Europe||Outside Europe|
|Pens**||£2.00 plus 3% (max £15)||£2.50 plus 3% (max £15)|
* No additional charge when ordered with other items.
** We charge a flat rate plus 3% of the basket value (including VAT) for international shipping. Maximum overseas shipping cost for pens only is £15.. Please note free UK postage only applies to fountain pens, rollerballs, ballpoint pens and mechanical pencils. It does not apply to dip pens or other types of pen unless otherwise stated.
*** Charge for one item. Additional items charged at £0.90 for Europe and £1.20 for outside Europe.
We charge what we believe is a fair price to ensure your order is well packed and arrives safely. As a comparison, a package containing a bottle of ink would normally cost £3.20 in the UK (price correct April 2015).
A note about sending paper (notebooks and writing pads) overseas
You will see that we include a notice on the relevant pages that reads "we cannot ship A4 paper overseas due to excessive weight". This is because all air-mail packages have to be under 2kg. If you want to order A4 paper and you live outside the UK, please contact us first. It may still be possible to send your order but there could be additional shipping costs.
All packages sent to destinations outside the EU will have a CN22 Customs Declaration attached. Please do not ask us to under-value a package. If there is particular wording we should use so your import officials charge the correct amount of import duty please tell us.
We attach Safety Data Sheets to all overseas packages that contain fountain pen ink in case customs or other officials are concerned about the contents. If this sheet is missing and you need to send one your local customs a copy, you can download one here.
How we send your order
We aim to dispatch all items that are in stock within 2 working-days of receipt of payment (orders including ink samples may take up to 10 working days). Sometimes we have to extend this period, for example when we are on holiday. If this is the case there will be a clear notice on the contact page and in your shopping basket.
If any items are out of stock we will inform you as soon as possible at which time you can cancel or amend your order. For items on special order we will aim to inform you within 48-hours with an expected dispatch date.
Please note that orders for ink samples may take a little longer depending upon stock levels.
In all cases please check that you have given us the correct delivery address. If you require delivery to a business address, please ensure you put the company name as well as the street address. We cannot be held responsible for missing or delayed parcels when the customer has made an error in the address. If a parcel is returned to us undelivered because of an address error we will charge postage for its re-delivery.
Most items are sent by Royal Mail First Class post which takes 1 to 2 working days from day of despatch. Orders of value £70.00 and above will be sent by Royal Mail First Class Recorded Delivery for no extra cost. These parcels will require a signature upon receipt. Delivery times will be the same as First Class post.
Orders of value £110.00 and above will be sent by Royal Mail Special Delivery for no extra cost. This is a next-day service guaranteed for delivery before 1pm that requires a signature. Please note that next-day delivery is dependent on the time of day you place your order and whether we have all items in stock. If you need your items in a hurry please check with us before ordering.
For orders less than £70.00 we offer Royal Mail First Class Recorded Delivery or Royal Mail Special Delivery at extra cost. For orders over £70.00 but less than £110.00 we offer Royal Mail Special Delivery at extra cost. Please note the above regarding next-day deliveries. If you order after 12 noon and require next-day delivery please telephone us to confirm.
Click and Collect will be available from our shop in Bury St Edmunds when it opens.
International orders are sent by Royal Mail air-mail. Delivery times vary but normally take approximately 3 to 5 working days in Europe and 7 to 10 working days outside Europe. Please note these figures are a guide. Please allow longer at busy times and during public holidays.
Orders of value £70.00 and above will be sent by Royal Mail "International Signed" or "International Tracked and Signed" (depending on the destination country). These are registered and insured services that require a signature upon receipt (please let us know if you do not want to sign for your package and we may be able to arrange this for you). You will be e-mailed the tracking number when your order has been dispatched (if you provided a valid e-mail address). For orders of value lower than £70.00 you have the option of paying extra for this service.
Important information regarding overseas deliveries and those to Scotland, NI, CI and BFPO:
Royal Mail introduced new restrictions on hazardous goods as of January 2013. As a result of these restrictions, certain goods, for example Li-Ion batteries and perfumes, are now prohibited. Although bottled fountain pen ink is not a hazardous substance, it can look like a perfume bottle when x-rayed (all parcels travelling by air are x-rayed first), some parcels may be delayed slightly if they have to be further inspected. Unfortunately, this is beyond our control but we are working with Royal Mail to reach a practical solution. We apologise for any potential inconvenience.