MAIL-ORDER INFO

Read me first...

First order...
We do not have an online secure server for orders (all systems I've checked-out are either too expensive or inflexible).
Instead we use a customer registration system...
Step 1: get a registration form
Step 2: print-off the form & fill it in.
Step 3:
Send the form to us.
For security reasons, all initial orders must be preceded by a completed registration form, which must be hand-written and signed. As the bank insists we have proof of customer origin, we prefer to receive registration forms by mail, as this constitutes proof of where the customer is. You can also fax it to us. Best to phone and check we got it okay!
You can email a form if you are known to us or already registered & updating info (use 96dpi greyscale jpg, compressed to 60k).
Make sure you include a normal phone number and the security code [the final block of 3 numbers on the back of credit cards].
If you don't like faxing/sending all such info, then tell us key extras like the expiry date and security code by email or phone [a card cannot be used without these].

Further orders...
Once registered, you can make orders by phone, regular mail, email or fax, and benefit from our usually speedy same day despatch!

Order forms...
Available with catalogues, or by request with an order. You can also download an order form and print it off yourself.
Please use it for mail or fax orders. Write clearly and in capitals where you can. Use a highlighter or red ink for important notes.

Email orders...
When making an order by email be sure to be clear as to who you are! i.e. list your full name and address.
This avoids bogus orders or items going to the wrong person. We do have different customers with the same names!

Phone orders...
When ordering or reserving by phone, ask for Alan, tell me your full name and that you a registered customer.
I will access your file on our off-line system.

PayPal option...

As a number of people have requested it, and for ease of payment for those wanting to buy things like "The Crack In The Cosmic Egg" CD-Rom without needing to register, I decided to set up a personal PayPal account. Setting up a personal account like this avoids all the extra charges associated with business banking, but does have disadvantages (see Notes below).

Use the SEND PAYMENT option at PayPal to my personal (Alan Freeman) PayPal account: utle2uk@tiscali.co.uk.
When you do this, also email me at: utle2uk@tiscali.co.uk to let me know, giving your address info, etc.!
And/or include such info along with the payment instruction.

Notes, observations...

Surcharges: under £10 add 10% / over £10 add 5%. There are various charges on PayPal transactions, depending on the type of funding, currency conversion, etc., plus a fee of 20p per transaction. As there's no way of knowing what charges will be beforehand, add the appropriate % to any order total, which usually covers it. If in doubt email and ask for a quote.

Fund clearance: please be patient! As I'm using this account as a proxy for Ultima Thule, I need to clear funds to pay UT so that your order can be processed. Why do I do this? It avoids the bank charges that would be incurred if we had the PayPal accounted linked to our business account. PayPal charge 25p per withdrawal under £50, I usually await fund build-ups of £50+ to avoid transfer charges when forwarding payments to Ultima Thule. The drawback is this can cause delays on smaller payments. If you wish me to clear the funds immediately, please add the 25p PayPal fee and tell me. Such transfers usually take 3 work days.
Don't want to wait?: Those in a hurry should register with UT and pay by credit or debit card!

Important: Never send me a payment for something that I may not be able to supply!
I do not want to get involved with returning/refunding funds, so only use PayPal to order things that we definitely have in stock, i.e. items that you have reserved, or Ultima Thule releases and Audion Magazine. If in doubt email or phone for a quote.

Problems? Goods not arrived? Queries! You know we are a reputable, long- established business, so please don't start a dispute via PayPal. Such action not only can cause inconvenience, delays and affect transactions with other customers. Remember, delays can be caused by various factors, some beyond our control. Always email or phone before you do anything else!

Regular customers, repeat orders, etc. - it is best to register with UT!
Excepting personal payments to me (Alan Freeman) for other non Ultima Thule purchases, this is a secondary payment/order option. For Ultima Thule orders it is still best to use our normal customer registration system for credit/debit card payments, especially for establishing repeat orders and our super speedy mail-order. It will also cost you less. Remember, we also accept UK Sterling cheques, UK Postal Orders (not crossed), and many other payment methods. If in doubt, enquire!

Postal rates... see new site!!!

Observations & Information...

Alternatives
As lots of the stuff we have at Ultima Thule is rare and/or hard to get, and that many titles are one-off's or very limited, we recommend you list alternatives if ordering by mail, email or fax.

Invoices & reserving
Request a pro-forma invoice or email to reserve goods before payment. All UK (and most EEC) sales are treated as shop sales. Elsewhere (non EEC), invoices are issued, as per export rules. Businesses will receive a full official invoice.

VAT
UK/EEC inclusive sales tax. VAT (Value Added Tax) has 2 rates in the UK: 1] Goods & services = 17.5 %, 2] publications 0%. For the VAT free cost (of type 1 items) divide the price by 117.5% on a calculator. A non-VAT price is roughly 85.1%. Sales to businesses in the EEC require a VAT number & official order for us to be able to supply goods without UK VAT. All non-EEC sales are exempt from VAT.

Payment Methods
£ cheques:
UK Bank Cheques, Eurocheques, Drafts, Money orders. A tip: blank, UK bank cheques noted "not to exceed £..." avoids the need for credit notes.
£ Postal Orders: Do not cross them! Banks charge a high clearance fee. For added security, make postal orders payable to "Steven Freeman".
Credit Cards: Almost any Visa, Eurocard, MasterCard, JCB, and now American Express*. Minimum order £5.00.
Important: Only usable after completion of our Customer Registration Form.
Debit Cards: Visa Delta, Visa Debit, Connect, Switch. Minimum order £10.00.
Important: Only usable after completion of our Customer Registration Form.
Bank transfer: Request details if you wish to transfer to our account.
UK currency: Cash sent by mail is risky. Ultima Thule will not be liable for any losses.
Foreign currency: Add £6 or $10 for fluctuations/costs. Registration is essential.
Foreign cheques: These can cost £12+ in bank fees and weeks to clear.

* American Express - we decided to add after they told us it only costs... and there's no fee if it's not used. Well there is an extra bank credit fee that they never told us about. And, their claims that so many people look out for the American Express logo or name meant it was a no brainer if they were right. But, in the first 6 months we've only had one customer use it, in the shop by someone I know who has other cards, and then American Express messed up their account data and took over a month to credit us, and only when I chased them up and got them to sort it out! Some things can be more trouble than they're worth!

Discounts
Discounts do not apply to P&P, services, magazines, books, or accessories.
UK special discounts...
payment by Credit Cards...
£200+ = free parcel post (or £5 off registered), £500+ & 2% discount.
payment by cash, cheques, debit cards, uncrossed postal-orders...
£100+ = free insured parcel post (or £5 off registered), £500+ & 4% discount,
£1000+ free parcel post and 8% discount.
Export special discounts...
payment by Credit Cards...
£200+ = 2% discount, £500+ = 4% discount.
payment by cash, £ cheques/etc...
£100+ = 2% discount, £500+ = 6% discount, £1000+ = 10%.

The small print...
P&P rates:
We use a unit system to cope with mixed orders of CD's, records, cassettes, etc. What we charge is:- the postage cost (based on the average weights) + the packaging costs + a small handling charge + VAT (if appropriate). These rates are a guide, and are what is usually charged. P&P on large orders may be cheaper. If you are unsure about P&P costs, then enquire.
Packing: We take care in our packaging! In fact, Steve is regularly commended for it. Records are packed in cartons tightly (to avoid movement) with extra bubble-wrap inside. Smaller items (such as CD's and cassettes) are usually wrapped in corrugated card and mailed in neat Jiffy bags.
Recorded delivery: Advisable, if you want to make sure the goods are signed for. Essential for deliveries to blocks of flats or to businesses, to make sure the item gets to the right person!
Insurance: The Post Office only has limited liability for loss or damage, thus we recommend insurance on orders over £25! Items very rarely go missing, but it's often better to be safe than sorry. Parcel rate prices include insurance in the P&P charge quoted.
Insurance cover: This varies for different countries. If no instructions are given, we'll use our discretion and charge accordingly. But note, as parcel insurance is limited per parcel (only up to £250 in some places), orders over any such threshold will usually be split into smaller packages.
Customs Declarations: To deduct tax, we need to keep records and fill customs forms correctly. Documentation must tally with our accounts. Low value declaration is illegal. False declarations can result in Customs fines. We cannot fully insure, or claim compensation on lost or damaged items incorrectly valued! A tip: Packets under $50 (approx. £33 inc. P&P) are exempt from import duty in some countries, and you are less-likely to be clobbered. The disadvantage is that postal costs per item may be higher.
Part-exchange: If you wish to send us records or CD's in part-exchange against goods, please observe the following. 1) Before you send us any goods, always send us an email or letter with the list of goods you are wishing to dispose of. 2) We usually only take "ex" or better condition goods. Condition grades can be useful, else any offers are based on m/m product. 3) Await our offers before deciding to send anything. Note that all offers are subject to inspection and condition grading, and offers will be adjusted accordingly.
We use a standard rate of offering half of what we sell an item for in exchange value. That is, if we sell a record for 6GBP you get 3GBP credit to use against an order. This is the same deal for if a person brings the records into the shop personally, or if they send them to us. The exchange value you get from us is treated as a cash sale amount as with any other payment method. We cannot give any other allowances. P&P is charged the same as with any other method of purchase. Customers abroad may find that postal costs your end may make such transactions impractical.
We do not normally pay cash for second-hand goods, except to customers visiting the shop, and UK clients that specifically request a cash payment. Any such cash offer will be a third less than the exchange offer.
Low-risk buying scheme: As you can't try before you buy with mail-order, we offer a privilege mail-order scheme for the return unwanted/disliked items as part-exchange. The rates are, when returned within: 14 days: 75% on second-hand items & new CD's [not usually digipaks, as these rarely get returned in perfect condition]. 60% on new records & new DP/CC CD's, 50% on cassettes. After 14 days to 1 month: 50% second-hand items, 40% for new items (not cassettes). Conditions: Returns must be in condition as supplied. i.e. a new CD should be returned in new condition! If anything returned shows any sign of wear, play-marks, finger marks, etc., then it will be treated as second-hand part-exchange (as detailed above). This scheme is a privilege extra service for registered and/or regular customers only. It is not intended as a cheap library or rental service, so please respect our conditions, and only use the scheme for genuinely unwanted items. Not valid for: videos, publications, special-order, or sale/reduced items!

Problems...
Quality:
Second-hand items are visually checked & tested for accurate grading. If you are finicky avoid items "vg+" or less. We try not to sell cassettes with defects, or CD's that won't play correctly!
Faulty Goods: Not all things that seem faulty are so. Check CD's on a different player! If you are sure an item is faulty, tell us. We will, however, usually need the return of faulty goods.
Postal Damage: We take great care packaging, but cannot guarantee against wear to covers, or damage to CD cases. If anything arrives damaged, keep all packaging and make a claim. Do not return goods until you have checked with us first! Generally, we recommend you add insurance.
Non-delivery: Check your local sorting office (or neighbour) first! Wait 1 week (1 month abroad). UK Parcelforce can take 10 days. If enquiring, tell us: the date of the order, what you ordered, etc.

Condition Grading Rough Guide...

100%

75%

70%

65%

60%

55%

52.5%

50%

new

m/m

m/ex+

m/ex
ex+/m

m/vg
ex+/ex+

m/g+
ex+/ex
ex/m

m/g
ex+/vg+

m/f
ex+/vg
ex/ex+

£9.00

£6.50

£6.00

£5.50

£5.00

£5.00

£4.50

£4.50

£10.00

£7.50

£7.00

£6.50

£6.00

£5.50

£5.00

£5.00

£11.00

£8.00

£7.50

£7.00

£6.50

£6.00

£5.50

£5.50

£12.00

£9.00

£8.00

£7.50

£7.00

£6.50

£6.00

£6.00

£13.00

£9.50

£9.00

£8.50

£7.50

£7.00

£6.50

£6.50

Abbreviations...

Products
CD - Compact Disc
CDM - Compact Disc Mini album
CDS - Compact Disc Single
CDR - Recorded Compact Disc
CD-Rom - CD +PC Rom data files
CD+ - CD +PC/Mac data files
DVD - Digital Video/Versatile Disc
EP - Extended Play 7"33 / 12"45
LP - Long Play record 12" / 10"
MLP - Mini LP 12" / 10"
MC - Music Cassette
VHS - Video VHS Cassette

Other infos
#
- Item new to this list!
BK - Book, booklet, etc.
BT - Bonus Track(s) included, i.e. 2xBT
CC - Card cover (often a mini LP style gatefold)
DP - DigiPak cover (plastic tray glued to card sleeve)
GF - Gate-Fold cover
IN - Insert/inner sleeve included
MAG - Magazine
PO - Poster included
PS - Picture Sleeve
RE - Reissue

Second-Hand grades...

Music product
m - mint: a perfect, "as new" item, with no notable defects.
ex - excellent: minor flaws, slight wear, some defects.
vg - very good: a record that has obvious visible flaws,
minor noise or clicks, etc. Good for all but quiet musics.
g - good: a record that plays okay, but will have notable crackle or distortion. Some old loud records will be okay.
f - fair: will play with considerable noise and crackle. Not really recommended at all!
b - bad condition, may not play properly!
+ - i.e. ex+ means better than ex, but not m.

Covers & Inserts
m - mint: should be perfect, "as new", with no real defects.
ex - excellent: will show signs of being handled, and be obviously second-hand.
vg - very good: liable to have minor damage and wear, etc.
g - good: will be a bit tatty!
f - fair: may be just about holding together!
b - bad: hardly there at all!
co - cut-out: slotted/punched, usually US import deletion/promo.
nc - no cover.

General layout...

i.e. ASH RA TEMPEL - JOIN INN (Ohr: GF) LP vg/vg £25.00 - (Spalax) CD £13.00 - etc.

Meaning: ARTIST - TITLE (label: info) FORMAT record/cover £price - etc.

New items: No grade = new item! i.e. the Ohr LP above is second-hand, the CD is new.
Second-hand grades: "m/ex" = "mint record / excellent cover". i.e. "m/vg/ex" is condition of each item in a set, & "ex" cover. i.e. "g-m/m" is a variable grade, only good in parts, with an "m" cover.